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Revisiting young Bruce Banner (and his first monster) in Immortal Hulk #38 preview

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

October 14's Immortal Hulk #38 revisits the childhood of Bruce Banner and delves into even more of the trauma he experienced at the hands of his father, Brian. This time, it's over a then-three-year-old Bruce reading Paradise Lost.

Check out this preview:

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(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Immortal Hulk #38 preview

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(Image credit: Marvel Comics)
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(Image credit: Marvel Comics)
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"He's been chained. He's been suppressed. He doesn't even know if he's real," reads Marvel's solicitation for this issue. "But something is reaching through the Green Door. It wants to hurt Bruce Banner. And when you hurt Banner… the Devil Hulk takes it personally."

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

The Devil Hulk is one of many alternate personalities of Bruce Banner, one based on his self-hatred and reaction to the way he's treated by others as both Banner and the Hulk. Devil Hulk became the dominant personality of the Hulk at the onset of Immortal Hulk (even gaining the secondary name of 'Immortal Hulk'), but was later pushed out of the pilot's seat, as it were, but is still inside Bruce's head.

That's the Devil Hulk imprisoned on the final page of the above Immortal Hulk #38 preview.

This all comes after the pivotal Immortal Hulk #37, in which the Leader stepped out of the shadows, revealing he's been behind-the-scenes, manipulating Hulk's experiences and adventures for the previous few years.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

"This issue operates at a couple of speeds. There's the slow, deliberate building that Ewing and Bennett have been practicing for a couple of years now. Their character work, not just on the Hulk but on Rick Jones, Doc Sampson, Alpha Flight's Puck, Titania, and the Absorbing Man, has been building layer upon layer and each issue reveals a new layer," reads a review of Immortal Hulk #37 by Newsarama's Scott Cederlund

"For most of this issue, Hulk is a punching bag, getting knocked down over and over again by a gamma-powered Absorbing Man. This is a beat-down issue for the Hulk and that's where it really builds up speed as the true threats of the Immortal Hulk are revealed. The Leader, the big-brained but usually scrawny bodied counterweight to the Hulk, steps to the front of the plot, revealing his mastery over everything."

Bennett has said that he and Ewing's Immortal Hulk run will end with its fiftieth issue - so consider this a countdown to that finale.

Immortal Hulk #38 goes on sale on October 14.

Immortal Hulk is one - but just one - of the best Hulk stories of all time.

Chris Arrant

Newsarama Senior Editor Chris Arrant has covered comic book news for Newsarama since 2003, and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table.