Gamma Flight #3 Review

by Charles Martin on August 18, 2021

Gamma Flight #3 Review
Writers: Al Ewing & Crystal Frasier
Artist: Lan Medina
Colourist: Antonio Fabela
Letterer/Designer: Joe Sabino
Publisher: Marvel Comics

In its third issue, Gamma Flight finishes the job (almost) of putting all the pieces on the game board. Previously, we learned that Emil "Abomination" Blonsky and the deliciously deranged Dr. Alba would be our Big Bads for this story.

The heroes don't quite manage to uncover that fact for themselves here. Instead, they learn the backstory of Dionne/Stockpile, their initial foe who's maybe becoming an ally. 

And also, of course, the team's heavy hitters have to smash their way through a vast sea of alien monsters and then contend with a town full of "Gamma zombies," picking up clues to their antagonists' plans along the way.

Since this issue starts right off with some huge, explosive fight spreads, I want to start my critique off by shooting some well-deserved praise towards Lan Medina. His finish work does a fantastic job of evoking Joe Bennett's style from the Immortal Hulk. His characters are just as anatomically accurate as Mr. Bennett's and just as scrupulously detailed. And his monsters are dredged from the same deep nightmares where the artist of the mother series mined out so much great body horror.

But Mr. Medina brings his own sensibility to the blocking of his panels, using a tight focus on his characters to emphasize the frenetic craziness of that initial fight. The artist demonstrates further skill as the book gets quieter and talk-ier, mixing in solid medium shots that clarify the spatial relationships of the characters to each other and contextualize them in realistic settings.

Antonio Fabela puts the finishing touches on the visuals with some excellent high-intensity colour work. There are a few points where the colour choices begin to look slightly washed out -- but there is also some magnificent shadow work that shows Mr. Fabela knows how to work both ends of the palette.

On the script side of things, Al Ewing and Crystal Frasier remain a wonderful team. This series may not have the philosophical depth of the Immortal Hulk, but it's tightly paced and it repeatedly demonstrates the same insight into its characters. Their voices are entirely consistent, assuring the reader that these are the same people she first met in IH.

Puck handles some narration duty in this issue, and his words are a welcome throwback to the Below-Place arc he narrated in Immortal Hulk. This comic also gives Dr. McGowan a moment to shine as she provides psychological support to the merged Rick Jones and Del Frye. That support comes in the form of a nice, crunchy, Ewing-esque detail that has a strong ring of truth to it.

The psychological scene also shows off one of this title's greatest achievements: It gives Del Frye the moment of focus that the Immortal Hulk never got around to. And it's a powerful moment for the reader, too.

I suspect there's more of that to come in the last two issues. This one delivers some more "backfill" on Immortal Hulk characters, but I'll refrain from going into detail as I'm talking about antagonists and things could get pretty spoiler-y. Rest assured it's just as compelling as the heroic work.

Gamma Flight #3 keeps the series' action quotient sky-high, and the visuals remain a powerful callback to the best of the Immortal Hulk. But the creative team performs a remarkable bit of alchemy here, melding the monster-smashing action with great character development and psychological details that sparkle with realism. This series is a worthy coda to one of the greatest Marvel titles of the past decade, filling in some of the nooks and crannies left in Al Ewing's Immortal Hulk while also hammering out a great action-mystery yarn.

Our Score:


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Charles Martin's picture
Kudos to Leinil Francis Yu for the "Gamma Gothic" cover. I'm a sucker for fine art references.