It’s been a hard winter for the Hulk. The Leader trapped Bruce Banner and most of his alters in Hell, leaving just two personalities inhabiting Hulk’s actual body, which has been drained of gamma energy until he looks more like the Jolly Green Giant.
Alone together this Christmas are Joe Fixit, the Vegas wise guy personality, and Devil Hulk, the destructive and child-like “Hulk smash” personality, who’s just looking for a little understanding. Unfortunately, Hulk is in New York City just as an endless horde of symbiote dragons controlled by a space god shows up.
Typical Marvel holiday season.
What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Monday Funnies, Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. But there will be great comics. (And if you missed the last edition, read this.)
King in Black: Immortal Hulk
OK, but seriously, the Immortal Hulk tie-in one-shot to King in Black is a great single issue, totally readable even if you don’t know anything about Venom or the Hulk, and is funny, action, packed, and has a happy ending. And it does all of that without any dialogue.
Brian Bendis wraps up a historic run on Superman with a callback to one of its earliest issues. Just one of those great, sweet Superman moments.
Blade Runner 2029 #1
Titan’s Blade Runner series returns! I quite enjoyed the first installment, Blade Runner 2019, for its focus on women struggling against being consumed by the cyberpunk capitalism machine. The first issue of this sequel looks to be doing the same. Also the main character is a queer lady Blade Runner who struggles with disability, so that’s badass.
New Mutants #14
New Mutants #14 is the first from writer Vita Ayala, who’ll soon be writing Children of the Atom. It’s a strong start to a new story arc, it’s bringing the Shadow King back as a villain, and it has everybody’s favorite clone of Laura Kinney/Wolverine asking very important questions about whether she’s allowed to die.
And, sure, Gabby is nearly unkillable due to healing factor but also don’t you dare not resurrect my sweet murder baby.
What’s this? Batman had his final confrontation with a rival vigilante who uses less empathetic tactics and instead of punching each other a lot they talked out their differences and the other guy agreed to tone it down and work with Batman?
James Tynion is really innovating on the form over here.
Black Cat #1
Look, sometimes you read a line that’s so Only In Comics it has to go in the roundup.
Tales From the Dark Multiverse: Crisis on Infinite Earths
In general, I find the Tales from the Dark Multiverse tie-in one-shots to be pretty universally depressing — like a Marvel What If? but it’s always a bad ending. So I want to shout out Steve Orlando and Mike Perkins for their version of Crisis on Infinite Earths were Earth 2 became the basis of the new timeline and the Justice League were the outsiders in a new place, while the Justice Society took over protecting humanity. Sure, it’s still got a bit of a pyrrhic victory, but at least there’s a victory.