Quote1 Don't leave us! We have no one without you! Stay! We'll find some way to make you happy! Quote2
-- The Puffball Collective

Appearing in "Friends"

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Synopsis for "Friends"

After an unpleasant altercation with a giant reptile on an unknown planet, the Hulk is instantly transported back to the Crossroads. The Puffball Collective is still present and try to make the Hulk’s stay enjoyable, but the Crossroads points him towards a tropical planet more to his liking.

The Hulk scavenges the world in desperate search of food. But every thing he tries to eat, from the fruit to the living creatures, turns out to be poisonous to him. Eventually, a strange spine-like parasite that had been attached to a smaller animal attaches itself to the Hulk’s back. A symbiotic relationship is formed, and the spine even helps the Hulk to regain some moderate use of speech again. The spine needs a host body and in exchange, it will purify the Hulk’s system so that he can consume the otherwise poisonous food this planet has to offer.

Over the course of several weeks, the bond between parasite and Symbiont grows stronger and they come to regard each other as friends. All living creatures on this planet are hosts to a similar parasite creature. Before long, the collective spines are called together to discuss an important issue – the Hulk. As the Hulk is not native to this world, and cannot reproduce, he threatens the longevity of the spine culture. He eats up their livestock and increases the chances that future spines will not be able to find suitable hosts. The spine must be removed from the Hulk’s body.

But neither the Hulk or his parasite have any desire for this to occur, as it would mean the death of each of them. The Hulk bounds away and begins leaping across immense canyons. The parasite is overjoyed as he is the first of his kind to ever know the wonders of flight (such as it is). The parasite then asks the Hulk to scale a tremendous mountain – the highest peak on the entire planet. The Hulk does so, and when he gets to the top, the spine is overjoyed to be the first of his species to ever see the stars. But the spine knows that he cannot continue with this life. He voluntarily detaches himself from the Hulk and dies soon after. The Hulk, saddened by the loss of his friend is transported back to the Crossroads.


Continuity Notes

  • The Hulk was deported to the Crossroads dimension by Doctor Strange in Incredible Hulk #300. The Crossroads is something of a directory that allows visitors the ability to travel to any of dozens of different worlds. Strange erected a spell so that should the Hulk ever become disheartened by any particular world, he will instantly be transported back to the Crossroads so that he can try out another one.

Publication Notes

See Also


  1. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks

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