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"Immortal Hulk: The Threshing Place #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Marvel Comics

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Written by Jeff Lemire
Illustrated by Mike Del Mundo
Colored by Mike Del Mundo & Marco D'Alfonso
Lettered by Cory Petit
2020, 33 Pages, $4.99

Review:

With the Green Goliath's entire history and relationship with death changing in the pages of Immortal Hulk, it offers the opportunity to tell some new stories from the character's past. This certainly offers a different perspective. Immortal Hulk: The Threshing Place takes us back to when Bruce Banner was traveling the country, presumably in the wake of Civil War II, with a chilling encounter with another gamma-powered creature.

What is continually amazing about the Hulk is that this monstrous character is full of humanity. That is on full display in this one-shot. Despite how the world sees Hulk and by extension, Banner, the guy still wants to help people. In this case, there's a child in danger and even if the locals think he's somehow involved in the kid's disappearance, he's still going to do what's right.

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While Jeff Lemire's story will take your breath away with its shocking nature mixed with all this heart, it's artist Mike Del Mundo that steals the show in Immortal Hulk: The Threshing Place. We've seen Immortal Hulk delve into some pretty gnarly body horror over the past couple years, but nothing like this. Del Mundo shows Banner's transformation into Jade Jaws as a completely unique experience. It's like the body explodes, sending organs, blood, and bones in every direction, eventually reforming into the gamma-powered monster we know and love. It's a mess of body parts and it's presented completely on its own to let the terror sink in.

That would be enough to set me on edge, but Del Mundo packs this book with ominous shots that really up the tension. This is a horror comic through and through. You can tell that this town has some secrets from the get-go. They're trying to keep them covered up with all the attention the area is getting now, but that's easier said than done.

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There are also some subtleties in the artwork that work very well to heighten to scares. A few pages before Bruce transforms, you can see a slight green tint in his skin. Del Mundo and Marco D'Alfonso make him look a little sickly, but we know what's really coming. That creates a great tone of foreboding.

Letterer Cory Petit works some magic, both with the guttural sounds of the gamma-creature Hulk encounters and with the quiet inner dialogue of Banner, presented in a shade of green that matches up to the overall look and feel of the book. It's not the bright, almost neon green we see in the main comic. It's something more muted which blends well with Del Mundo's artwork.

With the success of Immortal Hulk, I'm glad to see Marvel doubling down to give us new and unsettling stories with this creepy part of the Marvel Universe. This one-shot is special, moving from pure terror to shining hope. It's the kind of horror that can chill you to the core one moment and then bring a tear to your eye the next. This is one of the best one-shots of the year.

Grades:

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Overall: 3 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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