Image: Marvel Comics

The Immortal Hulk is a twisting thrill ride and chilling character study rolled into one brilliant superhero reimagining, constantly upending reader expectations to illuminate new facets of the titular monster. It’s Marvel’s best comic right now, featuring a creative team at the top of its game. Writer Al Ewing has mined Hulk’s history for the most valuable story seeds, cross-pollinating them to grow a narrative that straddles science fiction, horror, and superhero genres. The art team of penciller Joe Bennett, inker Ruy Jose, and colorist Paul Mounts navigates each of those genres with specificity and swagger, creating immersive visuals that have passionate energy behind them.

You can tell that these artists are excited to bring Ewing’s story to life, and as the stakes build, the art team gets to make even bigger, bolder choices. The last issue ended with a wild cliffhanger revealing Hulk’s body broken into parts stored in separate containers in a lab, and even though his physical form has been completely dismantled, the creature still lives. This exclusive preview of next week’s The Immortal Hulk #8 reveals more about the organization that has apprehended and disassembled Hulk, introducing an obnoxious scientist obsessed with unlocking the secrets of Hulk’s immortality.

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Alex Ross delivers a cover that tells readers about the interior contents while also evoking an extreme feeling of terror, and the way the cover presents Hulk’s current predicament compared to the interior art says a lot about how to construct an image for maximum impact. For Ross, Hulk’s parts are stored in old-school glass jars on a wooden shelf, reminiscent of the kind of setup you’d see in a mad scientist’s laboratory in a classic horror film. That composition works well for a cover image, but when the interior art shows those parts, it’s with a two-page splash in a modern industrial laboratory environment, surrounding the scientists with containers of Hulk on all sides. The interior image emphasizes how huge Hulk’s body is while visually reinforcing Dr. Clive’s obsession, and introducing this villain in a sea of detached body parts makes him a frightening new threat for the series.