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 favor.

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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