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A late night Christmas shopper is surprised by an equally surprised Hulk on the snowy streets of New York in King in Black: Immortal Hulk #1, Marvel Comics (2020). Image: Al Ewing, Aaron Kuder/Marvel Comics

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Sad Hulk got to open his presents early this year

In a fantastic all-silent issue

Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

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

A late night Christmas shopper on a snowy NYC street flees from the Hulk, leaving a wrapped present behind. The Hulk reacts sadly at the man’s fear, but then grins huge and grotesquely when he notices the dropped present, in King in Black: Immortal Hulk, Marvel Comics (2020). Image: Al Ewing, Aaron Kuder/Marvel Comics

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.

Superman #28

Superman and Lois Lane visit a woman playing guitar on her Metropolis rooftop. Superman tells her that he can often hear her with his super hearing, and that her playing has helped him. “Sometimes I find myself stuck in situations — lost. And often your voice is out there... and it helps me get — it helps me get back home,” in Superman #28, DC Comics (2020). Image: Brian Michael Bendis, Ivan Reis/DC Comics

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

“You kill replicants,” a replicant says to the Blade Runner Aahna Ashina. “The ones that deserve it,” she replies. “Not you. My bosses don’t need to know how you disappear, just as long as you do,” in Blade Runner 2029, Titan Comics (2020). Image: Mike Johnson, Andres Guinaldo/Titan Comics

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

Gabby Kinney/Honey Badger, a clone of Laura Kinney/Wolverine, asks Wolfsbane whether mutant clones get Krakoan resurrection, in New Mutants #14, Marvel Comics (2020). Image: Vita Ayala, Rod Reis/Marvel Comics

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.

Batman #105

Batman and Ghost-Maker dash off to rescue some hostages together, bantering, in Batman #105, DC Comics (2020). Image: DC Comics

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

“We’re going to steal Doctor Strange!” declares Felicia Hardy/Black Cat in Black Cat #1, Marvel Comics (2020). Image: Jed MacKay, C.F. Villa/Marvel Comics

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

The Justice Society of Earth assembles at the call of Earth 2 Superman in Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC Comics (2020). Image: Steve Orlando, Mike Perkins/DC Comics

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.


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