Declan Shalvey creates a breathtaking and accessible story with Immortal Hulk: Flatline, balancing raw emotion with hard-hitting action.

One of Marvel’s most acclaimed titles in recent years has been Al Ewing and Joe Bennett. Immortal hulk, reimagining the Green Goliath as a horror character rather than a conventional superhero. As the series draws to a close with its 50th issue later this year, fan-favorite comic book creator Declan Shalvey takes over as writer and artist in the one-shot special. The Immortal Hulk: Flatline # 1, take the most monstrous Green Giant on an autonomous adventure as Bruce Banner continues to deal with his gamma-ray-powered inner demons. And Shalvey’s story cleverly balances expected high-impact action and pure emotional storytelling with a standalone theme that could function as accessible and effectively as the classic Hulk story while staying within the most horror-oriented sensibilities of the game. main series.

As Bruce continues his tortured existence by moving from one small town to another throughout the American Southwest while doing menial jobs to get ahead, he is greeted by a familiar face from his past. With the clock running until dusk, Bruce completely surrenders and transforms into the Hulk at dusk, the reunion being interrupted by the arrival of another gamma-powered antagonist who can easily take on the Hulk on his worst day as one. The quiet night in a nondescript city quickly turns into a battlefield for the Hulk on a physical and emotional level.

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Although he is perhaps best known for his artistic work on beloved titles such as Moon knight, Shalvey has been building his own impressive resume as a comic book writer in his own right. Of titles owned by creators such as Swamp bodies memorable Marvel tales like Deadpool vs. Old Man Logan and the recent opening number of Wolverine: black, white and blood, Shalvey has firmly shown that he is as effective at writing scripts as he is with pencils and inks. Here, he leans toward a vision of Bruce Banner resigned to his fate, as the tension builds as Bruce becomes more and more aware of the last glimmer of twilight. And yet, between the suspense and the necessary action, Shalvey knows how to keep his emotional core in view amid all that gratuitous crushing.

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And all this, of course, doesn’t mean that Shalvey has visually missed a step. Both to illustrate and to color the theme, Shalvey plays with shadow and dimly lit interiors to help build tension as the story progresses. Shalvey’s Bruce Banner is someone who just feels drained and ruined by the complicated nature of his double life on each panel and that helps underscore the tragedy of the premise. And when the action inevitably arises, Shalvey doesn’t pull his punches; The artwork isn’t quite as gruesome and grotesque as Bennett’s work on the main series, but Shalvey still makes readers feel every hit of gamma power on the page.

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This is a derivative one-shot that not only shows what makes the main Immortal hulk series so effective and endearing with readers; it’s also one that readers who haven’t kept up with the work of Ewing and Bennett can turn to. Shalvey has created a story that ties in perfectly with what his counterparts are doing, but also puts his own flair on the new status quo of Bruce Banner and his more sinister half. This issue is perfectly accessible for new readers looking to give the title a shot without much prior knowledge. And with lots of applause from start to finish and a strong command of his protagonist superhero’s voice, hopefully Shalvey will get a chance to play more with the Hulk in the future.

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