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Quote1.png Your drug of choice, Doctor... rage. Over your rough childhood. Failed marriage. All the bad hands you've been dealt over the years, and you've suffered quite a string. Like most addictions, the Hulk is both cause and cure for your problems. Giving into him delivers release. At first. But then pain. Always pain. Quote2.png
Iron Man

Appearing in "The Conversation"

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  • Sylvan's jeep

Synopsis for "The Conversation"

Iron Man pays a visit to Gamma Base so he can interrogate Bruce Banner about the Red Hulk. However, Banner isn't interested in talking as Iron Man has made himself the most powerful man in the world since winning the Civil War, becoming Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., and locking him up in Gamma Base. However, he finds the situation with the Red Hulk incredibly amusing since Iron Man has no way of stopping him from accomplishing his goals, let alone finding out who he is. This amuses Banner and he refuses to help in any way.

Meanwhile, at a S.H.I.E.L.D. testing facility outside of Butte, Montana, a pair of communication majors rush to the scene to get footage of a battle between the Red Hulk and the Mighty Avengers. Everything the Avengers throw at this new Hulk is easily deflected. He strikes the Sentry with sufficient force to send him crashing into the jeep carrying the two students. However, they are saved from sudden death by Ms. Marvel who carries them away. When the Red Hulk tries to attack Ms. Marvel, he is intercepted by the Sentry and Wonder Man. With the students brought to safety, Ms. Marvel goes to join her teammates. By this point, the Sentry and Wonder Man have a hold of the Red Hulk while Aries leaps at the Hulk intending to impale him with his broken battle ax. While back at Gamma Base, Banner is not interested in helping Iron Man out, telling him that even if he knew who the Red Hulk was, he wouldn't reveal his true identity. Iron Man points out that he and Banner are not quite different, as neither of them is strangers to temptation. He likens Bruce Banner's rage to his past alcohol addiction. That turning into the Hulk is like giving in and drinking. That it seems to solve the immediate problem but only brings pain.

Back at the S.H.I.E.L.D. testing site, the Red Hulk continues to hold his own against the Mighty Avengers. Knocked near some missiles, the Hulk grabs one and tosses it to the ground, proclaiming himself the most powerful there is. Back at Gamma Base, Banner is amused by the analogy but doesn't' find it accurate. Stark explains that it takes an addict to help an addict. He then shows Banner a feed of the Red Hulk's battle with the Avengers. Banner agrees that this new Hulk is motivated by rage. While his Hulk was a manifestation of his desire to be accepted, while this Hulk's motivations appear to be power. While on the battlefield, the Red Hulk saves the two students from the blast, telling them that he isn't that bad. When one asks the Red Hulk who he really is, he whispers a name into her ear, telling him that it needs to be off the record and leaves. Back at Gamma Base, Iron Man leaves Banner in his cell. When the S.H.I.E.L.D. guards ask him if Banner knew who the Red Hulk really is. Iron Man explains that Banner figured it out after watching the footage of the battle but decided to keep it to himself, like the bottle of whiskey that Stark keeps in his office.

Solicit Synopsis

• Red Hulk vs. the 2000s-era Mighty Avengers…Ms. Marvel, Black Widow, Wonder Man, Ares, and the Sentry!


Continuity Notes

  • Iron Man mentions his past drinking problems, which was best chronicled in Iron Man #120128. He also mentions Bruce Banner's abusive childhood, which was first explored in Incredible Hulk #312.

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