5 Ways Peter David’s Hulk Run Is More Influential (and 5 Why It’s Al Ewing)

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There have been many Marvel employees who wrote The Hulk’s Adventures. Among them were Stan Lee, Bill Mantlo, John Byrne, Greg Pak and Mark Waid. The best known, however, are Peter David and Al Ewing.

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David keeps walking The incredible Hulk, which began in 1987 and ran for 12 years, set out numerous plot points that other writers used in the decades that followed. Ewing did paperwork for The immortal hulk from 2018 and continued many of David’s plot points. Together they are probably the most influential writers of the Green Behemoth.

10 Peter David established Banner’s multiple personalities

Big Guy Hulk, Gray Hulk and Bruce Banner

When David took over The incredible Hulk, the series had stalled. One moment Bruce Banner was in control of his gamma-rayed side, and the next he was out of control. Not long before the writer took over, the Hulk was separated from Banner and then combined again to reintroduce the Gray Hulk.

David thought he had nothing to lose. So he messed things up. He began to separate the identities of the rampaging Hulk (who eventually came to be known as the Big Guy), the Gray Hulk (Joe Fixit), and Banner. He took the concept of multiple personalities introduced by others and expanded it.

9 Al Ewing expands David’s concept

Inside Hulks Mindscape in Immortal Hulk # 40

When Al Ewing took on the Immortal Hulk, he didn’t throw away the proverbial playbook by David and other creators. If anything, he expanded their concepts and established a being with true Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).

He did this through a similar method that David used during his run. It went into Banner’s mind. For Ewing it was more than just the big guy, Fixit and the good doctor. It was the Devil Hulk who ended up being something like the father Banner always wanted. Instead of steel doors to keep everyone separate, the doctor’s brain was filled with hulks in chained metal armor that could not be broken by the banner’s different identities.

8th Peter David brought ease to the Hulk

Hulk wears a Savage Dragon fin

David has always had a humorous touch in his writing. It showed up in Spider-Man, Young Justice, and even Star Trek. With series like the Justice League titles becoming more easily touched by DC in the late 80s and early 90s, David was the right person to facilitate the Hulk’s adventures.

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Though not as obvious as league Keith Giffen and his partner JM DeMatteis David added loads of humor to the title. Notably, he added references to numerous DC characters to generate laughter. While Incredible hulk # 431 he even had Betty Ross Banner try to disguise her husband with a green fin on his head. Similar to a certain Savage Dragon in Image Comics.

7th Al Ewing returned horror to the Hulk

Al Ewing's horror influence in Immortal Hulk # 40

The Hulk was never considered a superhero. Stan Lee, co-creator with Jack Kirby, was inspired by the influences Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In other words, there was an element of horror in the character.

While other creators shifted Hulk towards superheroes, David one of them, Ewing returned to Lee’s influences. In doing so, he exacerbated the horror in many ways, such as the banner and others were killed or transformed. Although disturbing, Joe Bennet’s artwork makes the grotesque beautiful. In the end, readers were both disgusted and intrigued.

6th Peter David introduced the professor

The Professor's debut in Incredible Hulk # 377

Something new happened in The incredible Hulk # 377. David and artist Dale Keown put Joe, Big Guy and Banner together for a therapy session with Leonard Samson. It wasn’t made in the outside world. Instead, it took place in Bruce’s head thanks to the ringmaster’s hypnotic abilities.

Samson’s goal was to convince the three personalities to work together because they were stronger as a unit. Upon their approval, the personality known as The Professor emerged. David’s influence in bringing this version of the Hulk continued through his run as well as other mediums. The concept of a highly intelligent Hulk eventually became popular in Avengers: Endgame.

5 Al Ewing Joe Fixit reimagined

Joe Fixit as a Mafia enforcer and his human counterpart

One of David’s Hulk manifestations was Joe Fixit. This was a smaller and slightly weaker version of the gray incarnation of the monster that worked as a bouncer in Las Vegas. Joe stayed full-time for several months thanks to magic. However, when that wore off, he had to share time with Banner during the day.

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Ewing went one step further with this concept. Instead of bringing back the Gray Hulk, he embodied Joe as a human facet. To the point where he could take over Banner’s mortal body without changing. In a graphical yet beautiful panel set in Immortal Hulk # 40, the Big Guy “born” a human version of Joe, complete with a cheesy mustache and sideburns.

4th Peter David made Rick Jones and Betty Banner major players

Rick Jones marries Marlo

Despite hanging out with the likes of Captain America, Captain Marvel, and The Avengers, Rick Jones is primarily a member of Team Hulk. So did Betty Ross Banner, the woman who flattered Bruce and eventually married him. However, these important characters were more of a minor player.

David promoted her to the main cast during his run on the show. In fact, the author’s influence has made both characters much stronger. What was going on in their plans was sometimes more interesting than Hulk’s adventure.

3 Al Ewing revealed the ugliness in Rick and Betty

Rick Jones has mutated into Immortal Hulk # 36

Unfortunately, Rick and Betty went through a lot between the end of David’s run and the start of Ewings. Both became Hulks – A-Bomb and Red She-Hulk, respectively. Both apparently died and came back to life. Although they needed a break, Ewing decided to make it harder for them.

For example, Rick’s body was removed from the Shadow Base at Severin Memorial Cemetery and used as a gamma envelope for a resuscitated abomination. Later his reborn body was taken over by The Leader. Meanwhile, Betty was accidentally shot in the head by a member of the base. She transformed into the harpy version of herself. She would continue to show Bruce that ugly side of herself whenever they wanted to talk. In the end, Ewing’s influence showed how damaged these two characters were after years of dealing with the Hulk.

2 Peter David has tackled serious problems

Jim Wilson dies of Aid in Hulk # 420

David’s time up The incredible Hulk wasn’t just jokes and giggles. During his 12 year tenure, he has addressed several serious problems. The abuse of Banner’s father was constantly brought up on the show and became the impetus for his DID

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He was also passionate about the HIV crisis of the late 80s and early 90s. Jim Wilson, Hulk’s former partner, was diagnosed with the disease and became an advocate for others. In a poignant story by Incredible hulk # 421, Jim asked Hulk for a gamma-irradiated blood transfusion to save him from full blown AIDS. Banner saw it as a risk and decided against it and Jim died of the disease.

1 Al Ewing studies DID carefully

Immortal Hulk versus Avengers

Despite wrapping a blanket of superheroes in a serious condition, Ewing doesn’t make fun of DID The immortal hulk. It is an influential study of the disorder manifested in the various facets of Banner.

He does this best when Banner and his counterparts are shown in his thought landscape. Ewing reveals the pain some of them feel from transformation and constant struggle. How Banner becomes one of the Hulks is an investigation into horror as a door closes when his meek body is killed and the Green Door enables the Hulk to be resurrected.

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