The Leader declares: No happy endings.  Your Major Spoilers review of Immortal Hulk #36 from Marvel Comics awaits!


Writer: Al Ewing
Penciler: Joe Bennet
Inker: Ruy José
Colorist: Matt Milla
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Wil Moss
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 12, 2020

Previously in Immortal Hulk:  Armed with the knowledge of resurrection through the Green Door, as well as Bruce Banner’s various personalities, The Leader has targeted The Hulk for revenge.  With Devil Hulk on the wane, the savage, child-like Hulk has returned, and manipulating the form of Rick Jones, The Leader caused The Hulk to release a massive gamma-radiation pulse…


In the wake of the gamma explosion “Rick Jones” is left a twisted, inhuman mess.  Seriously, it’s gross.  And worse, the press was present to record everything that happened, leaving the Hulk in tears, roaring how he didn’t mean to do it, how he’s so sorry about what happened, but before anyone can even process the deaths, Gamma Flight arrives and attacks.  Puck’s forces manage to pin the Hulk down, but seeing his friend Jackie McGee in danger causes him to rage once more, TEARING OFF the arm of the Absorbing Man and causing an all-out brawl.  An enraged Titania plows into the Hulk, with Doc Samson wonders why everyone’s anger is out of control, leaving a wounded Absorbing Man to turn himself into a cloud of deadly gamma radiation.

Oh, and another Gamma mutate has escaped containment at Hulk Operations lab.


A truly good writer can make doom seem inevitable, even for heroes you know cannot die, and Ewing pulls that off in this issue.  What’s more, this issue’s opening visual of a twisted, radioactive Rick Jones body standing amid ashes and skeletal remains is so incredibly disturbing that it almost makes up for the frenetic pace of the rest of the issue.  That said, I was a little bit confused about the discussions between Doc Samson and Dr. McGowan, as well as a side-trip about a thumb drive, didn’t quite follow in my first reading of the issue.  The visuals help to overcome those problems, but there are a couple of transitions in this issue that required a second read to follow, and the identity of the man in the tube at the end required me to go back several issues to verify.  Even with those problems, though, it’s a really good-looking issue that shows utterly horrific things in very impressive ways.


In short, Immortal Hulk #36 may not be my favorite issue of this book, but it’s still a good comic book, with evocative art and coloring and a story that works more often than not, and a main character for whom you really feel empathy, especially as his world crumbles around him, earning a better-than-average 3.5 out of 5 stars overall.  The decision to treat Hulk’s world as a straight-up horror comic was a truly creative one and one that Ewing, Bennet and company have pulled off with aplomb.

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The only thing more chilling than the destruction from the Gamma explosion is the horror that the child-like Hulk feels about it... A really effective and creepy issue.

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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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