WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for The Immortal Hulk #10 by Al Ewing, Joe Bennett, Ruy Jose, Le Beau Underwood, Rafael Fonteriz, Paul Mounts and VC’s Cory Petit, out now.
The Immortal Hulk has taken pride in being arguably the greatest horror comic Marvel has produced in years. By turning up the monstrous nature of the Hulk, upping the body horror and now opening the green door and showing readers what lies beyond, this book is literally dragging its characters to Hell.
At the end of last issue, Hulk was in pitched battle against the new Red Hulk, who had previously been the Absorbing Man -- Crusher Creel. The mysterious black ops lab Shadow Base had been experimenting on samples taken from the Hulk (and at one point experimenting on Hulk himself) for ways to control, weaponize and ultimately profit off Bruce Banner’s misfortune. Hulk had been holding his own, however, until the new Red Hulk emerges at the site of his original transformation. Los Diablos is the area of desert where Banner was caught in a gamma explosion on that fateful day back in Incredible Hulk #1, and now he’s back again fighting against another Hulk who’s returned them there for reasons unknown.
Shadow Base isn't the only group watching this fight unfold, though. After a close encounter that left Sasquatch depowered, Captain Marvel has set up a Hulk-catching task force within Alpha Flight called -- what else -- Gamma Flight, and they catch wind of the battle themselves and head on over to see what they can do. When they get there they discover that, while Creel is still alive, he’s been practically ripped in half and his spine has been ripped out by Hulk. Neither Shadow Base or Gamma Flight can see how this is possible, but while Red Hulk has been absorbing the gamma from Hulk, Hulk’s been doing the same thing to Creel, putting them at something of a stalemate.
When Hulk gets distracted by Gamma Flight, Creel makes his move, running off to the crater in Los Diablos caused by the original Gamma Bomb detonation. It’s at this point that Hulk realizes the truth: Creel is here to open the Green Door. While the specifics of what exactly the Green Door is hasn’t been explicitly laid out, it’s tied to the beast within, one that’s fed by Gamma radiation and causes the horrific mutations that create Hulks. Whatever it is inside Creel has been feeding off the radiation in Hulk, but he’s got all he can now, so he’s heading to the one place where Gamma is still in the soil, in the water and even in the air around them: Los Diablos -- ground zero.
With a blinding explosion, the Green Door blows wide open, changing the landscape and seeming to transport everyone in its wake to a demonic realm of hellfire and destruction. “We’re where we’ve always been,” says Hulk, “Where everybody’s always been. Welcome to Hell.”
Hulk, Creel, Gamma Flight and a lone sniper sent from Shadow Base are all now in what looks to be the same place they were before, but a hellish version of it. The group is surrounded by shattered buildings, there’s rubble and debris everywhere, red lightning filling the sky and there's what looks like a mountain in the distance, on top of which a violent beam of green light shoots up to the heavens.
Is this a different dimension, or has Earth itself been transformed? Are they all somehow inside the very Gamma energy that courses through Hulk’s veins? Is this what his mind looks like? Whatever it is, it seems like life has become more horrific now that the Green Door has finally been opened.