The Continuity of Al Ewing: How the Hulk Writer Channeled Marvel History into a Smash Hit
You may have missed
it, but Al Ewing’s been busy at Marvel for a good while now.
Beloved by critics and
his peers, Ewing has been creating some of the best superhero comics in recent
memory while many Big Two readers slept on them. But he continued forward, making
the most out of lower-profile titles and the line-wide requirements that came
along with them. The scribe spent years holstered as Marvel’s secret weapon,
and with every new series built a small but passionate fanbase, desperate for
him to receive a title to truly call his own.
Ewing spent five years writing for Marvel
before achieving a breakout hit. During that time, other creators might have
become frustrated toiling away on lower-tier books. Instead, he cherished every
opportunity given to him, as it allowed him to contribute to the tapestry of
the Marvel Universe and better understand the way it worked. He chose to put
his energy towards learning, studying, developing. Those five years weren’t a
period of discouragement. Instead, they were one of growth, and one where he
learned how to bend the will of the mechanics of Marvel comic history in his
This was all building to Immortal Hulk.
With its launch, Ewing caught the eyes of everyone in comics. Widespread praise
for the title and massive sales turned him into one of the publisher’s most
important writers practically overnight. But Ewing knows his journey took far
longer than that.
The path was fraught with challenges lesser
writers would have failed to overcome. In the years ahead of the release of Immortal
Hulk, Ewing had to learn the landscape of Marvel publishing and how to make
the best with what he had to become something more. This is an examination of
how a writer turned obstacles into opportunities, editors and readers into
advocates, and continuity into his greatest tool, paving the way for him to
become one of the most respected and exciting superhero writers of this decade.
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