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Immortal Hulk Vol 1 16
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Issue Details
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32
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Quote1 I've been a sidekick for years now. I've seen a lot. I've seen the bad guys win. I've watched the good guys die. And if there's one thing I learned, it's this: The real monster in your life doesn't do loud rants in loud costumes. He doesn't gloat or give speeches. The real monster stays quiet. Keeps his head down. He's got a reputation to think about. He's got a name. Maybe you know it. Quote2
-- Rick Jones

Appearing in "It's Joe"

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Synopsis for "It's Joe"

At Shadow Base Site B, the scientists of U.S. Hulk Operations begin to cocoon the corpse of Rick Jones in Gamma-Activated Tissue. During this, Rick recalls the first time he witnessed Bruce Banner transform into the Hulk.

Meanwhile, at the Arizona Herald, Jackie McGee's editor confronts her about her recent lack of Hulk-related news pieces. She attempts to explain the trauma of her recent trip to the Below-Place, in which she met a hollow shell of her late father. Additionally, Jackie points out that there haven't been any recent stories on Hulk, which prompts Murray to bring up a new probable Hulk sighting: the destruction of Betty Banner's house and her disappearance. He provides a photo of the hole in the property, which leaves Jackie stunned. Before leaving, he notifies her that the Arizona Herald is expanding and becoming a national publication.

In New Mexico, Leonard Samson carries Banner across the desert to Shadow Base Site A. Bruce explains that the Hulk dug a tunnel out of Shadow Base after he murdered Dr. Jeffrey Clive and escaped. He doesn't mention the murder to Samson and dodges his questions about it, changing the subject to the mysterious exhuming of Rick Jones' body by "men in black". Samson tries to get Bruce to talk about Hulk's escape from Shadow Base, but Bruce grotesquely changes into the Hulk as the sun goes down, disgusting Samson. Leonard reiterates his question to Hulk, who freely admits he absorbed Clive, whom he found "annoying", matter-of-factly. He promptly brushes this topic away and begins to climb into the tunnel to Shadow Base, Samson following.

Shadow Base is seemingly abandoned, filled with scrap metal and ruins. The two begin to search the building, searching for what Hulk Operations may have left behind while they were evacuating. Hulk stops at one door when he discovers the scent of gamma radiation. Behind the door is a room full of gamma-mutated animals, including an ape, a dog, and a giant bat, all green and possessing very large fangs. The animals and Hulk fight.

Back at Shadow Base B, Rick Jones' body is in a gamma-activated cocoon. General Fortean is notified of Hulk's arrival at Shadow Base A, which he has predicted. He gives the order to activate a trap they've set there.

In California, at Betty Banner's destroyed house, McGee has a conversation with Detective Bao about where Betty may be. Bao reveals a piece of evidence the investigation found: a giant blood-red feather, which he believes came from a Hulk. A red bird-human sits on top of a branch of a tree above them.

Back at Shadow Base A, Hulk brutally defeats the gamma-mutated animals, knocking out the ape, tearing the dog in half, and smashing the bat into the floor. Clearing his head of battle adrenaline, Hulk realizes Hulk Operations is smarter than to leave bio-weapons like the animals loose, and that the animals were just a distraction to keep him from thinking too hard about what was going on. At that moment, Fortean activates the solar emitters on the ceiling, forcing Hulk to transform back into Bruce Banner. Agent Bushwacker steps out of the shadows and proudly declares the idea of the emitters came from Hulk's fight with the Avengers in Iowa before shooting Samson in the head. Bushwacker shoots Banner in the chest and taunts him as he scrambles away, wounded. He does this against Fortean's orders, who orders him to kill Banner quickly, but Bushwacker wants Banner to die slowly.

Hiding behind a wall, Banner frantically speaks to himself before his demeanor suddenly changes. He chuckles at the name "Bruce Banner" and declares he's not Bruce Banner. He smiles wide, and his eyes have become gray. Joe Fixit has taken control of Bruce Banner's body.

Solicit Synopsis

• Once upon a time, Rick Jones was the Hulk’s best friend. Now Rick Jones is dead...and gone.

• To learn why, Bruce Banner will have to face roaming gamma experiments, an assassin out for his blood...

• ...and the one thing that can cage the IMMORTAL HULK.

See Also

Footnotes

  1. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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