The Breaker-Apart Cometh in Immortal Hulk #25
Writer Al Ewing's run on Immortal Hulk has arguably been one of the most creative and unique interpretations of the character. Ewing has presented innovative concepts regarding Hulk's mythos in addition to the unexpected implications of being exposed to gamma radiation. Also, he has not shied away from implementing supernatural and cosmic elements throughout the series' narrative.
Now, despite the run's overarching uniqueness, Immortal Hulk #25 provides an intriguing break from the series' narrative structure as the issue puts Hulk at the literal center of the cosmos, though not in the present day.
Rather, the issue depicts the end of the universe, upon which the Immortal Hulk is the only survivor as he is ultimately responsible for its demise.
Upon the beginning of Immortal Hulk #25, readers are introduced to Par%l, an entity wandering through the black of the universe. Interestingly, this entity is not wandering aimlessly, despite its seemingly unconscious nature.
Rather, Par%l maintains an objective, searching for color, life amidst the darkness of the universe.
Following this introduction, the comic begins traversing Par%l's own history. They once bonded with another entity known as Farys. Though, in order to bond, these entities required the utilization of a bondmaker known as D%nel. Unfortunately though, D%nel has since been killed by another entity known as the Breaker-Apart.
Thus, in the present time, Par%l and Farys cannot reaffirm their bond due to the eradication of their bondmaker.
Consequently, one can assume that this Breaker-Apart being is responsible for eradicating color out of the universe. Ironically though, when Par%l and Farys recall the moment of D%nel's death, the two primarily remember one color bleeding through the gruesome event: green.
Despite trying to devise a plan to stop impending doom, the two eventually come to realize that their respective deaths are inevitable as the Breaker-Apart is unstoppable and will be the last one standing come the end of all color and life in the universe.
It is safe to say that Al Ewing has provided an unsettling depiction of the Hulk throughout his Immortal Hulk run. Witnessing a monster that simply cannot die while encompassing power beyond our understanding is intimidating to say the least.
Now, to think of all of this beyond an earthly level is a whole other battle. The content of Immortal Hulk #25 challenges a reader's mind. Firstly, it breaks the structure of the series thus far by presenting a stand-alone narrative. With this, it also breaks the setting we have grown accustomed to as readers.
Therefore, through these aspects alone, the issue provides an unsettling sense of isolation. Ewing pulls us into an unfamiliar setting with unfamiliar figures as colorists Chris O'Halloran and Paul Mounts detail a dark and lonely, cold universe.
As a result, readers have no choice but to empathize with the sole survivors of Par%l and Farys, despite knowing very well that nothing can stop the Breaker-Apart from his destruction, or, rather, Hulk from his destruction.
The Last Man Standing
It is an interesting concept to ponder that both the Hulk and the end of the universe are inevitable. At this point, Hulk has transcended any semblance of human nature he may have maintained a tether to.
We may have once understood the Hulk to be a monstrous, green being with low intelligence, but Immortal Hulk #25 depicts the gravity of evolution. The Hulk seems to be fulfilling his destiny by becoming more than a monster.
He has evolved into a destroyer of worlds, a consumer of existence.
One cannot help but wonder though, does Hulk have motivation in accomplishing these tasks?
Perhaps, these actions are simply inscribed in his own destiny, his own inevitability. Hulk has prescribed himself to the universe's order, simplifying it further as he takes on the role as being its executioner.
Though, perhaps there are also various facets by which to view this event, that is the end of the universe. Perhaps Hulk is actually disrupting order and taking charge of it rather than prescribing himself to the process. As a result, one can argue that Hulk has become a harbinger of chaos.
Either way, Hulk is now in control of the fate of the universe, whether that was meant to be his destiny or not is up to interpretation.
Ultimately, it does not matter.
The Immortal Hulk is in charge and holds the fate of Earth and the entire universe in his hands.
I've said It before, and i'll say it again, Immortal Hulk Is one of the best, if not the best, ongoing series at Marvel right now.
Right when you think Ewing is hitting a snag, he galvanizes something new, bringing us a fluid narrative that continues producing dynamic, engaging tales.
Honestly, we may not get another issue like Immortal Hulk #25, which once again emphasizes the individuality of the issue itself. Though, that should also remind us that we truly do not know what's coming in the rest of this series.
If one word could describe the context of Immortal Hulk I believe that word would be, unpredictable.
In order to truly engage with this series, one must be willing to surrender themselves to the unknown, a process we may be uncomfortable or unfamiliar. I assure you though, that surrender will be worthwhile.