The Hulk is in the heartland, and for once, he’s not the real monster.  Your Major Spoilers review of Immortal Hulk: The Threshing Place #1 from Marvel Comics awaits!


Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Mike Del Mundo
Colorist: Mike Del Mundo & Marco D’Alfonso
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Wil Moss
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: September 30, 2020

Previously in Immortal HulkThere’s a monster raging in America’s heartland… and it’s not the Hulk.  When a young girl goes missing on a Kansas farm, Bruce Banner gets the itch, the one that tells him gamma is on the loose.  But this town doesn’t take kindly to strangers, especially the big, green, violent kind.  Can the Hulk save a child before it’s too late, or is he about to take the blame for another massacre?


Somewhere, in the Midwest, a bus travels down a dusty road, delivering Dr. Robert Bruce Banner to his next destination.  A child has gone missing, and somehow, he can sense that “The Gamma” is somehow involved.  The reports spoke of a monster that killed a bystander, but Banner tracks the scent of gamma to an experimental farm, where something is clearly going on.  When he tries to investigate, though, Bruce finds himself at the end of a gun barrel, as an angry father wonders is he’s somehow involved, ending with a beating and arrest for the man who would be Hulk.  He awakens in jail, and is less than shocked to hear explosions from elsewhere in the city.  The monster has awakened, and so The Hulk follows suit, busting free and killing a few people on the way.  He confronts the monster, but only then does he realize what REALLY happened to the missing girl…  and who the real monsters are.


Mike Del Mundo’s art in this issue reminds me of Richard Corben’s work, with massive, twisted monsters and weirdly bulbous rednecks all around.  There’s also a preponderance of green in the coloring, for obvious reasons, but it adds to the discomfort and dread of the story.  When it becomes clear that Hulk’s quarry IS the missing child, I worried that we’d get another bloody murder (at least two people seemingly die at his hands this issue), but instead, Lemire gives us an oddly tender moment where he draws the radiation from the creature and returns her to human form.  Still, having been through the Green Door, her life will never be the same, as Banner sadly explains to her father.  The difference between her and the Hulk, though,  he explains, is that she will always have her dad, a really bittersweet moment (especially for those who have been following what a horror Brian Banner is, was and has become.)  The ending is especially nice, reminding me of the 70s television show, as Bruce takes to the road once more, trudging away into the green hills of wherever.


It’s nice to have a fully contained story, but even nicer when that story is as satisfying as this one.  Immortal Hulk: The Threshing Place #1 looks really unique, especially against most modern books, with a painted look that stands out and some truly creative monster designs, with a compelling story wrapping everything into a well above-average 3.5 out of 5 stars overall.  If you’ve been wondering whether you need to jump on the Immortal Hulk train, but weren’t sure about picking up an ongoing, this book should give you a good idea of what you’re in for.

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DoneIn One

You can almost hear the sad piano as this issue ends, but it's a really well-developed vignette with the added layers of The Green Door to make it more tragic. Really quite good.

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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