- We have to stop this before it spreads. For good or ill, Gentlemen, the fates seem to have decided that a reunion is in the cards for... the Defenders!
Appearing in "Mano A Mano"
- Absorbing Man (Carl Creel)
- Fixer (Norbert Ebersol)
- Mentallo (Marvin Flumm)
- Mole Man (Harvey Elder)
- Rhino (Aleksei Sytsevich)
- Tyrannus (Romulus Augustulus)
- Lockjaw (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "Mano A Mano"
The Hulk and the Thing have agreed to meet at the Last Chance Bar for an arm wrestling competition to see who is stronger. The patrons begin making bets and the two powerhouses talk tough. Everyone is unaware that an army of supervillains is aware of the meeting and have targeted the bar.
Just as the pair begin their match, the Rhino, Blastaar, the Absorbing Man, and Quasimodo come bursting in. They try to attack the two heroes, but they pay no mind and as they struggle in their competition manage to knock out anyone who gets close enough to get into the range of their grappling fists.
Watching from a ship are Mentallo and the Fixer who find this display completely embarrassing. They decide to take on more drastic measures and once the building is evacuated they drop a bomb on the two combatants. The entire area is annihilated, but the Thing and the Hulk aren't even phased by the blast. However, the table and chairs they are using to wrestle suddenly crumble, ending the match in a draw. Getting up off the ground, the pair agree to meet next week.
Appearing in "Four on the Floor"
- Betty Banner
- Marlo Chandler
- Rick Jones
- The Pantheon
- Jill Walker (Only appearance)
- The Wild One (Mentioned)
- Oshtur (Mentioned) (Invocation)
- Denny (First appearance)
- Jerry (Voice)
Races and Species:
- United States of America
Synopsis for "Four on the Floor"
A writer named Lucien Aster has published a book entitled “Spelling Made Easy”. Inside are actual mystical incantations. Whosoever reads the incantations is transformed into a demon. Aster is holding a book signing at a mall outlet in Reno, Nevada. Rick Jones and Marlo Chandler are present.
Suddenly a demon appears and begins wreaking havoc. Although nobody realizes it, the demon is a woman named Jill Walker who is also possessed by the mind of the Sub-Mariner. The demon instinctively dives into a fountain in order to get some water. Rick Jones throws an electric guitar into the fountain. The electric jolt shocks Namor’s essence from the demon’s consciousness, and it is forced to merge with Rick Jones’ body. The demon turns back into Jill Walker. Shopping for clothes in the mall, the Hulk arrives and is shocked to discover that Rick and Namor are sharing the same body. Meanwhile, Pantheon members Delphi and Ulysses go to the book signing for Spelling Made Easy. However, when Astar touches Delphi's hand something frightens him and he flees. Ulysses chases after him, but Astar manages to get away in a limo that is driven by a bat-like demon.
Back at the apartment of Rick Jones, the Hulk struggles with the situation that Namor and Rick have found themselves in. When the Hulk demands answers from Namor, the Atlantean prince doesn't remember but feels like sorcery might have been involved. This convinces the Hulk to put in a call to their old friend, Doctor Strange. While in the depths of space, the Silver Surfer is plagued by a horrible nightmare. In it, a creature calling itself the Wild One who warns the Surfer that he will be doomed for all eternity. The Surfer awakens his dream and decides to go to Earth to get the assistance of Doctor Strange, unaware that he is playing into the Wild One's hands.
Back in Reno, Doctor Strange interviews Jill Walker and learns that the last thing she remembers is reading the book Spelling Made Easy. While at the Pantheon headquarters, the Mount, Ulysses asks Delphi why she was so determined to purchase a copy of the book. She explains that she had a vision that the book was connected to a great evil. When she confides to Ulysses that she hates her powers, the pair give into their passions and start to kiss. However, they are interrupted by Paris who offers to hose them down. While in Reno, Doctor Strange compares notes with Namor and the Hulk. Strange warns the Sub-Mariner that Rick's mind will begin influencing his personality. This causes Namor to panic when he unconsciously eats an entire bag of chips and begs Strange to fix the problem. Strange warns him that the only way they can do that is by finding Namor's body. Probing Namor/Rick's mind with the Eye of Agamotto. There he finds a buried memory of Namor wandering Los Angeles in a state of amnesia. He was lured to a place where a demonic spell was cast to transfer Namor's mind into a demonic form. Doctor Strange suspects that it is all tied into the Spelling Made Easy book. Upon seeing the cover, Namor recalls how Rick's girlfriend Marlo Chandler had just recently purchased the book.
At that moment at the apartment shared by the Hulk's wife Betty and Marlo Chandler, Marlo has just settled into a bubble bath and is reading from Spelling Made Easy. She suddenly feels compelled to read one of the passenges outloud and suddenly she is transformed into a demon. While at the Pantheon's headquarters, Paris is paging through the book and learning from Ulysses about how Delphi purchased the book. Paris then begins reading one of the passages out loud. Their leader Agamenmnon tries to warn him to stop, but it is too late and Paris begins to turn into a demon as well. Back at Marlo and Betty's apartment, Marlo tries to attack her roommate when the Hulk comes smashing in. They try to contain her, but Marlo manages to smash out of the window and flies away. The trio follow after Marlo as a storm begins. They follow Marlo to a nearby lovers make out spot where they witness Marlo meet up with another demon. They are joined by Ulysses who tells them that the other demon is Paris. Recalling how electricity broke the demonic spell last time, the Hulk takes a couples car and crushes it into a make-shift lightning rod. He then leaps between the two demons. They begin trying to rip him apart, but the Hulk holds on long enough for a bolt of lightning to strike them.
With Marlo and Paris restored back to normal, it confirms to them that there is something wrong with the Spelling Made Easy books. Doctor Strange suggests that its time for the Defenders to reunite and solve this mystery, starting with the publisher of the book. While at the offices of Pan-Dimensional Publishing Building Astar reports back to his master, a being that has possessed the body of the Sub-Mariner. Even with this minor set back his legion of demons are growing to bring about the arrival of the Wild One.
This story is continued in Namor the Sub-Mariner Annual #2....
Appearing in "Things to Come"
- X-Factor (Illusion)
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "Things to Come"
At the Mount, Agamemnon tells Delphi of a vision he had of the future wherein he learned of a tyrant named Dracchiss is destined to do untold damage to the world some 500 years in the future. He asks Delphi to look into her seeing pool so they can know how to deal with Dracchiss when his threat finally comes to be.
Delphi looks into her Scrying pool, and somehow accidentally brings Dracchiss into this reality from the future. The future despot uses his powers to probe Delphi's mind to learn where he is. Dracchiss is caught in the act by Achilles who tries to attack him. However, Dracchiss is too powerfull and tosses Achilles up through the floor into the Pantheon training room where Ulysses and Hector are in the middle of a training session against holograms based on the members of X-Factor. Ulysses then orders Paris to get Ajax to help contain the danger.
Down below, Atalanta is trying to take down Dracchiss with her energy arrows until the rest of the team can get down to help. The battle turns when their foe begins tossing Ajax around. However, under the guidence of Agamemnon, Delphi uses her scrying pool to open a portal to deep space. He then orders Achilles to attack, and when Dracchiss attempts his mind probe on Achilles he learns too late that his foe is immune. Achilles then knocks Dracchiss into the pool, exiling him into deep space. With the portal closed, Agamemnon explains that he put these events in motion to deal with Dracchiss before he could become a problem.
Appearing in "Nobody Loves the Hulk"
- Abomination (Emil Blonsky) (Main story and flashback)
- Doc Samson (Leonard Samson) (Main story and flashback)
- Leader (Samuel Sterns) (Main story and flashback)
- Rhino (Aleksei Sytsevich) (Main story and flashback)
- Ringmaster (Maynard Tiboldt) (Main story and flashback)
- Thing (Ben Grimm) (Main story and flashback)
- Tyrannus (Romulus Augustulus) (Main story and flashback)
- Wolverine (Logan) (Main story and flashback)
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "Nobody Loves the Hulk"
Rick Jones puts together a rock-n-roll song called "Nobody Loves The Hulk". The song details several of the Hulk's exploits as well as a showcase of his various villains. As the song closes, the Hulk politely voices his disapproval.
Appearing in "The Running Man"
- Hulk (Bruce Banner) (Dream)
- Doctor Palmer
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "The Running Man"
A psychiatrist named Doctor Palmer walks into Doc Samson's empty office and listens to a personal recording of a session Samson has had with a patient. Palmer believes that this is a recording of Bruce Banner, the man also known as the Hulk. The man on the recording is confessing his guilt over the many people who had died during the Hulk's most recent savage attacks. In this dream, not only is he terrorized by both the green and gray Hulks, but also by the many victims that the Hulk killed in his rampages.
Samson steps into the office and chastises Palmer for this breach of conduct. He kicks him out of the office. Samson is glad that he altered his own voice in the recording otherwise people would learn that these regrets are those of Doc Samson, not Bruce Banner.
The Running Man
- The rampages that haunt Doc Samson are the rampages from Incredible Hulk #296-300 and Incredible Hulk #314-324.
- This issue is reprinted in the trade paperback Incredible Hulk Visionaries: Peter David Volume 8.
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- Images from Incredible Hulk Annual Vol 1 18
|The Return of the Defenders|
|Part I: Incredible Hulk Annual #18||Part II: Namor Annual #2||Part III: Silver Surfer Annual #5||Part IV: Doctor Strange Annual #2|
- Incredible Hulk (Volume 1)
- Incredible Hulk (Volume 2)
- Defenders (Volume 1)
- Defenders (Volume 2)
- Rampaging Hulk (Volume 1)
- Rampaging Hulk (Volume 2)
- Tales to Astonish (Volume 1)
Links and References
- Incredible Hulk profile at Wikipedia
- Incredible Hulk profile at Marvel Universe
- Incredible Hulk profile at Toonopedia
- Incredible Hulk series index at the Grand Comics Database
- Incredible Hulk series index at CBDB
- Incredible Hulk series index at Comicbookdb.com
- Hulk Library
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