Joe Fixit #1 Is Classic Marvel At Its Best

Hulk in his grey-skinned 'Joe Fixit' identity, dressed in a pinstripe suit.

Joe Fixit, Marvel’s latest glimpse at the Hulk’s past, is a fun and engaging romp that’s free of the bloat that plagues many other storylines.

Warning: Spoilers for Joe Fixit #1 ahead!Marvel has put the Incredible Hulk through many reimaginings lately, but none have been so fun as its latest foray into Banner’s time as Las Vegas enforcer Joe Fixit. By keeping the story tight and the action free of extraneous characters or call-outs, Joe Fixit #1 evokes memories of classic Marvel shenanigans as it lays out a new hero/villain dynamic between Fixit’s Hulk and the underworld’s iconic strongman, the Kingpin. With Spider-Man along for the ride as the audience’s surrogate, the issue that follows plays to the strengths of all three characters in a delightful fashion.


The Hulk’s “Joe Fixit” identity first appeared in 1988’s The Incredible Hulk #347, by Peter David, Jeff Purves, Mike Gustovich, Petra Scotese, and Joe Rosen. After having apparently died at the hands of Leader during the “Gammagate” incident (an event where Middletown, Arizona was annihilated by the detonation of a gamma bomb), the Hulk is found by mobster Michael Berengetti and brought on to be his enforcer. No longer transforming back into Bruce Banner physically or mentally, the Hulk is thrilled to have a life of his own in Las Vegas and happily accepts.

Related: Hulk’s Mobster Identity Returns in New Joe Fixit Miniseries

Joe Fixit #1 sees Peter David return once again to pen the Grey Hulk, alongside Yildiray Çinar, Dee Cunniffe, and Matt Milla. When passing through Las Vegas, Peter Parker sees Kingpin in town and follows his old foe to Berengetti’s Coliseum Casino. Realizing that Kingpin is trying to muscle into Berengetti’s territory, Spider-Man is delighted when Joe Fixit (whom Spidey recognizes as the Hulk) proceeds instead to lay the Kingpin out. Humiliated, Kingpin retreats and swears revenge on Fixit.

Kingpin’s Strength Is No Match For a Hulk

Joe Fixit effortlessly defeats an incredulous Kingpin.

There are so many character elements that align beautifully here. Traveling through Las Vegas, Spider-Man becomes the narrator and voice for the audience throughout the action, bringing along his usual charm (as well as an amusing dose of the Parker Luck). Kingpin, with his own prodigious strength, is the perfect villain for this story. Fisk is used to being able to physically intimidate mob bosses into doing his bidding, but the Hulk becomes an unstoppable impediment to the man who is accustomed to being the strongest in the room. Critically and to its favor, the issue does not try to establish anything outside the conflict between these three characters: no foreshadowing of side characters or gratuitous, plot-relevant Easter eggs to take the focus away from Kingpin’s impending fall.

Joe Fixit #1 is a solid A of an issue that anyone can pick up and enjoy regardless of their familiarity with the Marvel Universe as it makes the character elements and motivations clear from the beginning, and thus the action becomes engaging and easy to follow. And although Kingpin is humiliated again when he underestimates Joe Fixit, the way he casually murders a mouthy henchman and realigns his goals to killing Fixit allows him to maintain credibility as a legitimate threat to the heroes. With its balance of action, comedy, and strong character writing, the Hulk‘s latest story as Joe Fixit is a welcome return to classic Marvel style.

More: The “Perfect” Hulk In The Marvel Universe Has Been Revealed

Joe Fixit #1 is now available from Marvel Comics.

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