Writer: Al Ewing / Artist: Ryan Bodenheim / Marvel
The Fortean Chronicles
If there is one thing you can to say about General Fortean, it’s that he’s a driven man. It’s one of the aspects of this book that Al Ewing continues to drive home. Issue #21 gives us our closest look yet at the villain, his history with the Hulk, and what makes him tick. The reader will learn a lot by the end, including just how dangerous the General can be.His patriotism borders on an unconditional faith and conviction that he is doing the right thing.
A Fortean-focused issue was long overdue. Unfortunately, it does come with a few drawbacks. His backstory is predictable. So if you were expecting any big revelations about his past, prepare to be disappointed. Fortean is portrayed more as a background character during all of General Ross and Banner’s biggest moments rather than a major player. There is also the fact that his story beats have always been similar to General Ross, so the reader already knows what to expect.
How To Make A Monster
However, while there is truly nothing surprising about Fortean’s history, that doesn’t make it any less interesting to read. I suppose that’s because we get to understand his motivations a bit more and the extremes he has gone to up until now. The most interesting parts are the parallels between Fortean and Ross, as well as the evolution of their protégé and mentor relationship. As I’ve mentioned before, Fortean is an incarnation of General Ross, which was a deliberate choice by Ewing. You can see how Fortean’s ideology and beliefs were shaped by Ross, and how certain events challenge him. Moreover, Ross’ history battling against the Hulk and his own time as the Red Hulk gives an idea of how much an impact such events had on Fortean.
Another one in the books for one of the best Marvel stories on the shelves. It’s an insightful issue with some interesting visuals. This time Ryan Bodenheim takes up the reigns for art duties. The way his art pops out on the page, like an old 60’s comic about an alien invasion. I imagine it was to highlight the sci-fi elements of this issue alongside the flashback scenes of Fortean’s history. He doesn’t do gruesome and horrifying as well as Joe Bennett, but Bodenheim sure does feature some eye-catching visuals.
8.5 Headshots out of 10
Reading The Immortal Hulk? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.