- Consciousness makes cowards of so many...
- -- Doctor Doom
Appearing in "Pride Goeth..."
- Memory Transference Machine (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "Pride Goeth..."
Doctor Doom has lured the Hulk out into the Nevada desert, angering the grey skinned brute enough to attack. Doom fends off the Hulk with his armor's defensive weapons, incapacitating him with a neuro-space field. Doom announces his desire to form an alliance with the Hulk, and the brute feigns interest until Doom lowers the field and then resumes his attack. The Doctor is prepared for this, using a neuro-ray to controls the Hulk's movements until he is incapacitated. No match for Doom's advanced weapons, the Hulk decides to stand down and listen to what the Doctor has come to propose to him. Doom explains the events leading up to his ward -- Kristoff Vernard -- being reprogrammed with Doom's own memories and personality when he was thought to be dead. Because of this a series of events have led up to Doom being ousted as ruler of Latveria with Kristoff -- thinking he is the true Doctor Doom -- to rule in his place. Doom asks for the Hulk's alliance in exchange for safe haven in Latveria once it is retaken, and a position as Doom's minister. The Hulk is unimpressed as he likes his current position of power in Las Vegas. Hearing this Doom tries a different tactic, he goads the Hulk -- telling him that his long time rival the Thing has been granted increased strength and now leads the Fantastic Four and that the Hulk has been hiding out because he is too cowardly to face him. This naturally angers the Hulk enough that he decides to go to New York and defeat the Thing.
While at the Four Freedoms Plaza, the remaining three members of the Fantastic Four have returned home to tell Alicia of their recent adventures in the Negative Zone and their confrontation with the Beyonder, which was complicated by Doctor Doom's constant scheming. They also remark on how Doom offered to cure Sharon of her mutation into a She-Thing and how Sharon refused his help. With the tale told, Johnny invites Sharon and Ben to join them on a picnic on Staten Island, but Ben declines to keep watch over their headquarters. Alone with his thoughts, the Thing remarks how things were when Reed was always staying behind when he led the Fantastic Four and how he has changed personally since taking up the mantle of leadership for the group while Reed is away. Reaching the roof of the building, Ben is suddenly ambushed by the Hulk who attacks him from behind.
Since most people believe that the Hulk is dead -- and nobody has made the connection between the grey Hulk and his green alter-ego -- the Hulk reminds himself that he cannot speak during the fight, less the Thing get tipped off as to his true identity. Ben crashes to the streets below but survives the impact. The Hulk dives down to meet his foe but Ben knocks him into a city bus. Pulling himself out of the rubble, the Hulk then charges into another attack and the two begin trading blows. Eventually Ben begins to lose his temper and lands a strong blow, sending the Hulk flying into a parked car. Angered by the Thing's seemingly superior strength, the Hulk almost speaks, but catches himself before he can say more than a word. As the battle rages on, Doctor Doom watches from a building above. He believes that the Hulk will defeat the Thing and become his first loyal soldier in his army to liberate Latveria.
The battle in the streets below breaks through the street and into the sewers below. There Ben begins getting the upper hand and his blows send the Hulk flying back out onto the street above. With the Hulk weak and almost defeated, Ben grabs his opponent by the throat and is about to land the winning blow when suddenly he hears someone call out. Turning around, both Ben and the grey Hulk as surprised to see what appears to be the green Hulk coming to join the battle.
This story is continue in Incredible Hulk #350...
THIS IT (again)!
- Hulk VS Thing, and only one will walk away!
- Plus...Doctor Doom and...the GREEN Hulk?
- This one is a must!
- Doctor Doom and the Hulk appear here following the events of Incredible Hulk #349 where Doom lures the Hulk out into the desert.
- Doom talks about how Kristoff took over Latveria, the facts surrounding these events are as follows:
- During his battle against Tyros the Tamer in Fantastic Four #260, while Doom's body was destroyed he cheated death by using the Ovoids mind-swapping technique on Norman McArthur.
- Also while Doom was assumed dead, his Doombots reprogrammed his ward Kristoff Vernard with Doom's mind and personality in Fantastic Four #378. Kristoff was defeated and imprisoned by the Fantastic Four.
- The real Doctor Doom was later restored to normal by the Beyonder in Fantastic Four #288.
- Kristoff was freed in Fantastic Four Annual #20 and took control of Latveria when Doom's own Doombots turned on him after he admitted weakness, convincing the robots that Kristoff was the true Doctor Doom.
- The Hulk states that he has a "good gig" in Las Vegas, this is a reference to the fact that he faked his death in Incredible Hulk #346 and started working for mobster in issue #347 of that series under the alias "Joe Fixit" working for mobster Michael Berengetti.
- Both the Thing and the Hulk have gone through startling transformations:
- The Hulk states that he has defeated the Thing every time they fought. This is a very on sided view point. To date the pair have clashed in Fantastic Four #12, Fantastic Four #25-26, Incredible Hulk #122, Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Comics Magazine #5, Fantastic Four #112, Incredible Hulk #153, Marvel Feature #11, Giant-Size Super-Stars #1, Fantastic Four #166-167, Rampaging Hulk Vol 2 #5, Marvel Two-In-One #46, Marvel Two-In-One Annual #5, Marvel Fanfare #21, and Marvel Graphic Novel #29. Most bouts were a tie, with the Hulk only winning 4 fights (in Fantastic Four #25, Fantastic Four #167, Marvel Fanfare #21, Rampaging Hulk Vol 2 #5) and the Thing winning 3 (in Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Comics Magazine #5, Incredible Hulk #153, Fantastic Four #166).
- The woman here posing as Alicia Masters is actually a Skrull spy named Lyja as revealed in Fantastic Four #350 she took the real Alicia's place (around Fantastic Four #265) to spy on the Fantastic Four.
- Sharon mentions how Doom offered to cure her, he did so in Fantastic Four #318 and 319. She refused both times, but later takes him up on the offer in Fantastic Four #350.
- Ben mentions how Reed Richards used to lead the team, he ran the Fantastic Four from Fantastic Four #1-307 when he decided to take a leave of absence with his wife Sue so they could spend time with their son Franklin. They return to the team in Fantastic Four #326.
- The green Hulk seen in this story is a robot that was last seen in Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Comics Magazine #5.
- Ben, the Hulk, the robot Hulk and Doctor Doom are all next seen in Incredible Hulk #350.
- This issue is reprinted in the trade paperback Incredible Hulk Visionaries: Peter David Volume 3
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- Images from Fantastic Four Vol 1 320
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