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Quote1.png Good day, gentlemen. You'll be pleased to know... the doctor is in. Quote2.png
Hulk (Bruce Banner)

Appearing in "Future Imperfect Part 1"

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Synopsis for "Future Imperfect Part 1"

In the distant future the planet Earth is a nuclear wasteland where most of humanity lives in a massive city called Dystopia ruled by the Maestro. In a buy marketplace, Janis Jones and her companions Pizfiz, Dakord, and Skooter are attempting to get through unnoticed. Pizfiz makes too much of a commotion, and they are detected by the Gravity Police who shoot Dakord as a warning and orders the other three to surrender. As Janis runs for cover she curses the fact that they have been caught especially after they have stashed the one they brought here to told him to wait. In the middle of the firefight, Pizfiz is injured and tells Skooter and Janis to make a break for it. The pair lure the pursuing Gravity Police officer down an alleyway. Suddenly, a building topples on the cops by the one that Janis has brought to this time: The Hulk. The Hulk quickly dispatches the ground troops and is then attacked by men who are fused with hovercraft. The Hulk is next attack by the Dogs of War, massive mechanical beasts. The Hulk easily rends them apart in short order. He then tells one of the surviving officers to send a message to the Maestro: That the Hulk is there to tear down his dictatorship once and for all.

This news is brought to the Maestro's minister who then takes the news to the Maestro himself. Although his master is busy having his way with a harem of women, this situation warrants an interruption. From behind the curtains, the Maestro emerges, revealing himself to be an elderly but massive Hulk. Meanwhile, the Hulk walks through the market and notices how everyone looks upon him with fear. He is found by Janis Jones who then brings him down into the secret base of the resistance set up to overthrow the Maestro. They are followed by one of the Maestro's spies, but he is blown up thanks to the security systems set up to keep enemies out. When they arrive in the secret den of the resistance, he tells Janis to start giving him answers or he will bring everything down around them. Janice takes the Hulk to a room where he is shown a series of footage from a holographic projector. She goes over the gamma bomb explosion that created the Hulk a century earlier. Seeing these images, the Hulk notes that they are not from footage recorded that day and asks where she got them. Janis explains that they come directly from the mind of Rick Jones. Janis takes the Hulk into a room filled with trophies of a world lost: the shattered and destroyed costumes and weapons of Earth's heroes who are now long dead thanks to the Maestro. There is an old man in this room and when the elderly man beings to play an harmonica the Hulk instantly recognizes him as Rick Jones.

Back at the Maestro's fortress, Pizfiz is strapped into a device that will forcibly scan his mind. The last resort as torture has not made this man talk. The Maestro gives Pizfiz one last opportunity to talk or else. The reveal refuses and so the Maestro orders his mind probed. Scanning his mind, they see images of the past as Pizfiz, and Janis shows up at the apartment owned by Rick Jones in the present. The young Rick Jones confuses them for religious nuts and is about to close the door in their faces when Janis forces herself inside. Rick tries to fight them off, but Janis causes him to pose when she shows him a card with a phrase written on it. However, the Maestro finds this too boring and tells them to scan deeper, even at the risk of frying Pizfiz's brain. They go back further in his memories, where the rebels have figured out how to repair Doctor Doom's Time Platform. The elderly Rick Jones tells his followers that he will send Janis into the past to recruit the Hulk to help them stop the Maestro. To fo do, Rick tells them that they will have to convince his younger self. He pulls out his old Avengers priority card and writes down the details of a memory he had with his wife Marlo that only he would know about. Suddenly, the memory feed goes dead and when the Maestro learns that Pizfiz has been completely lobotomized he kills him and storms out of the room.

Back at the rebels secret base, Rick Jones explains that the Hulk is some 90 years in the future. This world has been devastated by two nuclear wars that killed many of the world's heroes. When Banner asks what happened to Betty, Rick points his attention to a shelf containing the ashes of many people from his past, among them are the remains of his wife Betty Banner. Rick goes on to explain that the only civilization left is Dystopia and that it is maintained by the Maestro who used devices to keep the radiation low enough for people to live, but lords over the people. When the Hulk asks who the Maestro is, Rick grimly looks at him and rhetorically says "Do you have to ask?" While outside, the Maestro is out in the market as he and his men are tracking down the rebels secret hideout. Locating it, the Maestro immediately begins to dig into the ground. He smashes his way into the underground complex and then sends his troops ahead to kill the rebels. However, those resisting the Maestro have prepared for discovery by setting up various death traps that begin to cut down the Maestro's minions. Fed up with this, the Maestro walks through all the various traps which cause little to no harm to him. When Maestro demands that his foes come out, the Hulk appears before him.

Staring each other down, both men say "Doctor Banner, I presume."


Continuity Notes

  • Janis plays a recap of the Hulk's origins as they were first depicted in Incredible Hulk #1.


  • The issue's closing line "Dr. Banner, I presume?" is likely a reference to the famous real life quote "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"

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