Immortal Hulk: The Threshing Place #1 Review

by Charles Martin on September 30, 2020

Immortal Hulk: The Threshing Place #1 Review
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Mike Del Mundo
Colourists: Mike Del Mundo & Marco D'Alfonso
Letterer: Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Before it forged an amazing new Gamma-mythology and tackled contemporary social issues in story-arc form, the Immortal Hulk launched with an episodic feeling, strongly reminiscent of the 70s TV show.

In their Threshing Place one-shot, Jeff Lemire and Mike Del Mundo successfully recapture that feeling of novel, self-contained horror stories.

A farm girl goes missing and some of the locals who search for her get torn apart by a mysterious monster. Bruce Banner smells the whiff of gamma on the news stories (and later literally on the ground), and heads in to help.

But of course where goes Banner there also goes the Hulk. Devil Hulk is in his full glory here, racking up quite the body count as he serves as Bruce's "loose-cannon" partner in this detective yarn.

Mike Del Mundo's art, as usual, calls for a subjective gut-check. If you have a taste for it -- and I do, personally -- this comic comes across as a solid example of his style. His heavy-browed Hulk is wisely blocked, crowding almost all of the panels he appears in and looking perfectly larger than life.

Colour is particularly important in a "painterly" style like this, and Mr. Del Mundo (with help from Marco D'Alfonso) handles it well. Like the overall level of detail, the intensity and contrast of the colours are manipulated to attract and direct the viewer's eyes to the critical parts of each panel.

Over in the script, Jeff Lemire does an admirable job with the interplay between Banner and Devil Hulk. It's a pretty tense team-up. Banner goes in hoping to wrap everything up before nightfall; he knows exactly how Devil Hulk will finish it if he fails. And thanks to some "arrest the creepy drifter" policing straight out of the old TV show, that's exactly how the case gets solved. 

Mr. Lemire puts them through a smooth, well-placed horror-mystery plot. There's a twist to it that could possibly be predicted, but I think it's satisfying whether or not you see it coming.

Devil Hulk, as noted above, does quite a lot of killing between this issue's covers. Most notably, he appears to have stolen the Minotaur's favourite "head squish" maneuver after the Xemnu arc. Hulk's targets are (arguably) all deserving, but it still makes a noteworthy contrast to where the main series is at these days.

But that's not necessarily a bad thing! Death has seemed rarer and cheaper in the Immortal Hulk lately, between the Gamma resurrections and the recent cavalcade of super-powered antagonists.

In the Threshing Place, Mr. Lemire rediscovers that visceral fear Al Ewing and Joe Bennett tapped in the first issues of the Immortal Hulk. The new Devil Hulk was a terrifying force of nature, something you'd have nightmares about running into in a dark alley. Because right from #1, it was clear that Devil Hulk would kill or maim without hesitation and with enjoyment. And that's the Hulk Mr. Lemire & Mr. Del Mundo successfully bring to the page.

Immortal Hulk: Threshing Place is an interesting and rewarding side-story. Its creators are mindful of the main book's tone but unafraid to explore their own spin on Devil Hulk and Bruce Banner. If you like the Immortal Hulk -- particularly the early, episodic issues -- you'll love this throwback tale that could easily be added to the first trade paperback.

Our Score:


A Look Inside


Charles Martin's picture
You may as well queue up a youtube clip of the end credit music for the Hulk TV show for the final panel.