- What they don't understand -- even with all their brain power... I don't want to stop them. I'm going to make sure that they succeed...
- -- Red Hulk
Appearing in "Conspiracy Theory"
- Fantastic Four
- Bruce Banner
- Frightful Four
Races and Species:
- Negative Zone
Synopsis for "Conspiracy Theory"
At the Baxter Building headquarters of the Fantastic Four, Mr. Fantastic continues to try and decipher the security footage from Gamma Base that was taken prior to the apparent death of Thaddeus Ross. As Reed tries to decipher what Banner is saying in this video, the building is suddenly attacked by a new incarnation of the Frightful Four. The Wizard jolts Mr. Fantastic with a powerful burst of electricity, while Klaw taunts the Invisible Woman with the sound of her children begging for help, the Human Torch is attacked in the garage by Lyra, while the Thing is awoken from his sleep by the Trapster. While the others fend off their attackers, an incapacitated Reed Richards is unable to stop the Wizard from opening the portal to the Negative Zone. Mr. Fantastic then has an anti-gravity disk attached to his hand and is sent flying out the window. Although the Torch manages to burn off Lyra's clothes, she is immune to his flame and she snuffs it out by clapping her hands together. Klaw, distracts Sue with a sound duplicate and is able to knock her out from behind. While at that same time, the Thing breaks free from the Trapster's paste, he is sent tumbling into the Negative Zone portal.
Before the Thing can be pulled through, the Red Hulk arrives and grabs the Thing's hand. Observing the situation from the Intelligencia's war room, Samson is furious to see that the Red Hulk is interfering with his plans. MODOK warns Samson to calm himself as this was expected, however, Samson still is determined to kill the Red Hulk. The Red She-Hulk tries to force him to calm him down, but he is spoiling for a fight. In response, she knocks him out with a headbutt. Having had enough of the fighting, MODOK stuns the Red She-Hulk with another mental blast. Samson is concerned that the Red She-Hulk, never mentally stable to begin with, might prove to be a problem without the proper conditioning. MODOK reminds him that they are on a tight schedule and they will have to make due with keeping her on a shorter leash.
Back at the Baxter Building, the Red Hulk succeeds in pulling the Thing out of the Negative Zone portal. However, the Thing thinks that he is part of the attack on his home and lays into the Red Hulk. The Red Hulk tries to explain that he is trying to stop the attack, but the Thing isn't willing to listen at first. However, he convinces him that they need to shut down the Negative Zone portal before it destroys them all. Outside, Mr. Fantastic has been wrapped around the Baxter Building by the Wizard. The mad genius informs Richards that he is one of eight people that he and his allies are seeking out. When the rest of the Frightful Four return successful, the Wizard orders them all to head back to base, taking Reed Richards with them. While back inside, the Thing and Red Hulk attempt to shut the Negative Zone portal. Unfortunately, the Thing gets sucked in again when the Red Hulk absorbs too much energy from the portal. Red manages to pull the Thing back and they both manage to close the portal. This doesn't do much to get the Thing to trust his would-be ally and he lays another punch on the Red Hulk. The Red Hulk warns that something big is happening and they will have to learn to work together, before leaping off into the night sky. When Sue and Johnny recover from the attack, Ben tells them that Reed has been captured and swears to Sue that they will get her husband back.
That night, the Red Hulk meets with Bruce Banner in his New Mexico cave. Red is furious that Banner knew the Negative Zone energy would weaken him. Banner doesn't have time to listen to his complaints as he suspects that they will go after McCoy or Pym next. When Red warns Banner that if such a situation happens to him again, he will kill Bruce. Banner reminds him that everything hinges on their alliance, but the Red Hulk doesn't think so.
This is it! The Fall of The Hulks begins here. The opening round: THE RED HULK VS. THE THING with Reed Richards' life at stake. When the Baxter Building is attacked by the all-new, all-deadly Frightful Four, who will save the Fantastic Four? How about THE RED HULK? Not a chance. The superstar team of JEPH LOEB and ED McGUINNESS shotgun this mindblowing chapter of the biggest Hulkventure of them all.
- The events of this story happen nearly simultaneously with the events of other stories. The proper chronology is as follows:
- Skaar defeats the Mole Man and Tyrannus and is celebrated by New York City, Incredible Hulk #605 and the flashback in the first story of Incredible Hulk #606.
- The apparent death of Thaddeus Ross and his funeral in Fall of the Hulks: Gamma #1.
- The capture of Reed Richards by the Intelligencia in this issue.
- The capture of Doctor Doom in the first story of Incredible Hulk #606.
- Bruce Banner and the Red Hulk's meeting at the end of this story.
- The recording that Reed is watching was recorded in Hulk Vol 2 #3.
- Reed Richards mentions the apparent death of Thaddeus Ross, that happened in Fall of the Hulks: Gamma #1. However, this was actually a Life Model Decoy, as revealed in Hulk Vol 2 #23.
- The Thing mentions that he was inside the Baxter Building the last time it was pulled into the Negative Zone. He is referring to the events of Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four #1-3.
- Lyra is wearing the Human Torch's red and yellow costume which he originally wore from Fantastic Four #132-159.
- The Wizard mentions that Lyra is replacing her mother's position on the Frightful Four. Thundra was a member from Fantastic Four #129-133.
As the events of Fall of the Hulks happens simultaneously in various issues, the following characters appear in this story as well as elsewhere as follows:
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