Appearing in "Haunted Hulk, Part 1"
- Machine Man (Aaron Stack)
- Iron Man (Tony Stark)
- New Avengers
- Red She-Hulk (Betty Ross)
- Venom (Flash Thompson) (Recap)
- Shades posing as:
- Black Fog (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- New York
Synopsis for "Haunted Hulk, Part 1"
Thaddeus Ross and Annie are camping out in the desert for the night. Thaddeus is suddenly woken up by the sound of someone stepping on their dying fire. He demands to know who is there, but the shadowy figures says nothing and then vanishes, leaving Ross to believe that he's had been seeing things.
The following morning they are back at Gamma Base with Machine Man going over their attempts to track down Zero/One. Unfortunately, the search during their most recent battle against her has turned up no trace of their foe. They suspect that she used her ability to take herself out of sync with time to make her entire mobile platform disappear along with her. They are then given a report about Zero/One's former assassin, the Black Fog. Reports indicate that he is in Hyderabad. Suddenly, X-51 activates his weapons and tries to fire upon his comrades, but Ross sees the robot's reflection on his tablet screen and is able to push everyone to safety. With Machine Man continuing to attack them, Ross turns into the Red Hulk. He demands to know why X-51 is attacking them but gets no response as he tries to fight off his attacks. As Thaddeus breaks Machine Man into pieces he sees the strange shadowed figure once again and demands to know who they are, but nobody else can see him. Suddenly, X-51 snaps back to normal and asks why he is being disabled. However, the Red Hulk isn't sure that is the case.
The next day in the courtyard of Avengers Mansion, Iron Man, Daredevil, and Spider-Man are in the middle of a training session when suddenly the Red Hulk arrives. He demands to know where Doctor Strange is and they tell him that he can be found in his Sanctum Sanctorum in Greenwich village. Once at Strange's Sanctum, the Red Hulk is allowed in and tells the Doctor about the spirit that seems to be trying to kill him. Intrigued, Strange decides to investigate the cause. He unleashes some mists and asks the Red Hulk to remain calm and breath deeply. They scan through Thaddeus' memories until they happen on the day not long after the Red Hulk's battle with Zero/One. In this memory, Thaddeus is hiking with his daughter Betty Ross. The two remark how this is the first time in years they have spent any time together without fighting. The pair notes that their anger is more in control when they are not Hulks. That's when Betty mentions a theory Annie had thought up about the Hulks: Since their transformations are controlled, they are governed by self-perception, noting that her father looks much younger than before. He then tells her that he recently went back to the family farm and suggests that Betty look after the old place. Betty says she has other obligations to a team but will check on it as soon as possible. She then turns into the Red She-Hulk, who shoves Ross to the ground and tells him to stop babbling about the past before leaping away.
With the memory over, the Red Hulk hasn't learned anything from the mysterious spirit following him. Strange explains that he viewed the memory so he can know more about someone he entrusted his life with. That's when Thaddeus realizes that his daughter had joined Doctor Strange's latest incarnation of the Defenders. This makes him furious, and he decides to leave by leaping out the skylight. Landing a short distance away, the Red Hulk is suddenly attacked by the angry spirits of soldiers who he sent into combat and were killed in action. Among them is the spirit of Glenn Talbot, who chastises Thaddeus for letting him die while trying to finish his war against the Hulks and then become a Hulk himself. He is then attacked by the Abomination who presses his hand through the Red Hulk's body, causing him a great deal of pain.
Suddenly, they are banished by Doctor Strange, who explains that this was all part of his plan. He explains that the Red Hulk's attackers were nothing more than shades set upon him by his mysterious foe. Unfortunately, Doctor Strange no longer has the mystical power to determine the identity of the mystery attacker. However, he knows that when the Red Hulk had recently been in the afterlife, a vengeful spirit attached itself to him in the hopes of killing him.
Appearing in "The Objective"
- Unnamed general
- Unnamed pilot (Only appearance)
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "The Objective"
Years ago, Colonel Thaddeus Ross and his squad were sent on a mission to the Pyrenees Mountains in Catalonia to recover an ancient artifact that could be used as a powerful weapon. When they are deployed in the area, Ross' troops wonder why they weren't given any specialized equipment for their mission. Ross doesn't think the general would have sent them on this mission unprepared. The squad is unaware that they are being observed by members of the Moksha Sect of vampires.
As they travel the region, Corsikal Volatzin their paranormal expert, notes a number of skeletal remains that are around and tells them that this is a good sign that the object they seek is nearby. Soon they reach a castle and smash through the barred doors. Inside, Corsikal uses a mystical device to draw them to the object. They soon find it, the Orksk Eye, embedded in the chest of a centuries old knight. Volatzin tells them to remove the object and put it in a container but warns them not to touch the object. Ross has Mellon remove the Orksk Eye with his knife. However, before he can get it in the container, it leaps off the knife and attaches itself to Mellon's chest. This transforms him into a horned beast. As Ross scrambles to get his troops under control, the Orksk possessed Mellon kills one of his fellow troops. Ross asks Volatzin if there is any way to stop the Orksk. When he learns that it can only be stopped when the host is killed, Thaddeus opens fire on Mellon, fatally wounding the creature. As the rest of his remaining troops regroup, Volatzin gets close to the Orksk to get some photos of the creature. Suddenly, Mellon reaches out and grabs Corsikal's hand and forces it onto the Orksk Eye just as he dies, transforming the paranormal expert into the monster.
With Corsikal killing his troops, Ross orders a retreat but gets protests from Barlow who insists that they recover the object. Before he can protest things further, Barlow is killed by the Orksk. Ross shoots it dead, killing it once more. This time, he crushes the Orksk Eye, deciding that it was too dangerous to have. As he leaves, the Moksha vampires slip into the castle, grateful for the soldiers for destroying the artifact, allowing them access to the castle.
Later back at the Pentagon, Ross accuses Brigader Nelson of planting Barlow on his team and testing out the artifact on his men. His superior accuses him of treason, but suddenly the military police come to arrest Nelson, finding proof in Barlow's diary. Ross is commended and promoted to Nelson's rank. His superior officer tells Thaddeus that they are going to stick with scientific weapons in the future, as they are easier to control.
• Bonus-Sized! A Great Jumping On Point, As The Ghoulish Haunted Hulk Arc Begins!
• Who Or What Is The Dark Figure Hunting Red Hulk?
• Can Red Hulk’s Might Match Malevolent Magic?
• Appearances By Dr. Strange, Red She-Hulk, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Daredevil And Others We Aren’t At Liberty To Divulge!
Haunted Hulk, Part 1:
- The strange spirit in shadow turns out to be the ghost of Doc Samson, as revealed in Hulk Vol 2 #52.
- Iron Man confirms that Red Hulk is a member of the Avengers, this is following the events of Avengers Vol 4 #7-12.
- Doctor Strange recounts the Red Hulk's recent encounter with Blackheart, that happened in Venom Vol 2 #13-13.4 & 14.
- Strange also pulls up the memories following the Red Hulk's battle with Zero/One in Hulk Vol 2 #48.
- Thaddeus Ross states that he has been declared legally dead. That happened when the Red Hulk seemingly slew Ross in Fall of the Hulks: Gamma #1. Since Thaddeus is the Red Hulk, this deception was pulled off with a Life Model Decoy, as revealed in Hulk Vol 2 #23.
- The Red She-Hulk mentions prior obligations to a team. She is referring to the Defenders who she has been a member of from Defenders Vol 4 #1-12.
- One of the shades that attacked Thaddeus Ross poses as Major Glenn Talbot. Talbot was Thaddeus' right-hand man since Tales to Astonish #61. When Ross suffered a mental breakdown in Incredible Hulk #228, Talbot took over the mission to destroy the Hulk in Incredible Hulk #243. Talbot died trying to destroy the Hulk in Incredible Hulk #260.
- The Red Hulk killed the Abomination in Hulk Vol 2 #1.
Haunted Hulk, Part 1:
A flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters:
- Also includes "Catching Up With Jeff Parker", a two-page interview with Jeff Parker by Dugan Trodglen and John Rhett Thomas, a four-page "saga"-style recap of Ross's life, focusing on his time as the Red Hulk, a three-page "Bring on the Bad Guys!", providing brief histories on the villains introduced during Jeff Parker's run on the title along with insights from the writer on each, and a one-page "Hulk: The Reading Chronology!" detailing the various collections featuring Red Hulk
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