REVIEW: ‘Immortal Hulk: Time of Monsters,’ Issue #1

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Time of Monsters

Time of Monsters issue #1 is a one-shot story that ties into the Immortal Hulk arc. It is published by Marvel Comics, story by Alex Paknadel and Al Ewing, script by Alex Paknadel, with art by Juan Ferreyra, and letters by VC’s Cory Petit. The issue also includes an additional story titled “A Little Fire” written by David Vaughan, with art, colors, and letters by Kevin Nowlan.

“Time of Monsters” takes us back in time to 9,500 BCE. Here we meet Adad, the honored elder of the local tribe, and young Tammuz. They stand on the precipice of a giant crater, as Adad recalls their most recent failings as a people to justify why their food source disappeared practically overnight. It is the elder’s opinion that the Mother Goddess has become angry at children’s gluttonous ways, as they strip the lands, and she has sent her good green eye crashing down from the heavens to watch and spite them.

Young Tammuz, who has been plotting to leave the tribe without the knowledge of the elder, provides the perfect leverage for Adad to solve two problems with one action. Tammuz must be sacrificed to the good green eye.

Paknadel, and Ewing, have crafted such a brilliant story that explodes off the page with the intensity of a classic Hulk arc. In reading this, it feels like we are being introduced to a version of the Hulk that has the gravitas to keep this momentum of the story alive. Much like when we were first introduced to the Maestro, and fans and readers alike were commemorating the moment they were witnessing.

Neolithic Hulk resides in a time not yet explored, which depending on how you continued, and thus ended a mini-run like this, could set up the next big Hulk arc. Bringing back the Neolithic Hulk to face the Immortal Hulk. A pipe dream perhaps, but this one-shot is heavy with new creative influence and the ideas it could spawn.

Also kudos to Paknadel for layering in the plentiful amounts of Easter egg references to the Hulk character over the years. This was a fun touch when reading through the dialogue.

The issue is extremely well served by the artistic talents of Ferreyra who really owned the creative design for this new iteration of the first Hulk. The artist creates a copious amount of astounding visceral images that Immortal Hulk fans will have come to know well. During the transformation at the beginning of the issue, I can’t tell you how horrified I was yet truly astounded by the detail that was captured.

The lettering from Petit was well placed and sized. This was important as there was a lot of dialogue that preceded the inevitable carnage. The visual shift from human narration to Hulk narration was a great touch too.

The additional story “A Little Fire” from Vaughan was an enjoyable, after-dinner treat. Bruce Banner is lured into a physic trap by the Scarecrow as he feeds on the fear from the unwilling attendees at the Emerald City cinema. It was good to see an old Stark villain appear and try to best Banner, to beat the Hulk. Lots of references to the Wizard of Oz, which should crack a smile.

The art from Nowlan was a big standout as the color shifts from a darkened cinema setting highlighting the components of darkness and fear. Then gradually bringing in the light as the power balance of the issue shifts.

A great little addition to tack on the end of an already brilliant issue.

Overall, this issue exceeded all expectations I had of what Time of Monsters was really about. Yet, now I find myself yearning for more stories from this archaic green nightmare. Paknadel and Ewing may have sought to write a fun one shot, but they’ve stumbled on to a phenomenal idea, paired with the visuals from Ferreyra, this is a story Marvel fans would certainly be lining up for more of!

Immortal Hulk: Time of Monsters issue #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.

Immortal Hulk: Time of Monsters #1
5

TL;DR

Overall, this issue exceeded all expectations I had of what Time of Monsters was really about. Yet, now I find myself yearning for more stories from this archaic green nightmare. Paknadel and Ewing may have sought to write a fun one shot, but they’ve stumbled on to a phenomenal idea, paired with the visuals from Ferreyra, this is a story Marvel fans would certainly be lining up for more of!