- Hulk only fights those that threaten him!
Appearing in "And Now... The Space Parasite!"
- Space Parasite (Randau) (First appearance) (Main story and flashback)
- "a dove-like old man"
- Excellency, the Xeronian monarch
- Charlie (First appearance)
- Jack Klyne (First appearance)
- New York City Police Department
- Joe (First appearance)
- Green, tentacled alien
- Thing (Ben Grimm) (Only in flashback)
Races and Species:
- Xeron (First appearance)
- The Solar Chamber
- Solar Sceptre
- Randau's ship
- Teleportation chamber
- Teleportation chamber
Synopsis for "And Now... The Space Parasite!"
Materializing in the middle of New York following his battle on Asgard, the Hulk gets away from the mob that forms around him; upon reaching the relative safety of the rooftops, the Hulk changes back into Bruce Banner. As Bruce steals some clothing and tries to find his way to Rick Jones' apartment, Rick, General Ross, and Glenn Talbot are appearing on the TV with talk show host Jack Klyne to talk about the menace of the Hulk. Meanwhile, an alien known as the Space Parasite has decided to target the Hulk to drain him of his energy, believing that the Hulk's strength will power it for some time.
Meanwhile, Bruce manages to find Rick's apartment and convinces the landlady to give him a key to enter. Reading in Rick's date book that he is to appear on Klyne's show, Bruce turns on the television and hears Rick tell the audience that the Hulk is a menace and must be stopped. This devastates Bruce, who sits in quiet waiting for Rick to return home. When Rick arrives, he pulls a gun on Bruce, but cannot bring himself to shoot his old friend, shooting the floor instead as Betty also arrives on the scene.
The Space Parasite observes all of this, and believes he can use Bruce's current fragile mental state to bring out the Hulk. Just as Betty is about to tell Bruce that she still loves him, the Parasite plants a thought in her mind to make her hate him as well, and picks that moment to reveal himself.
Bruce transforms into the Hulk and attacks the Space Parasite, while the Parasite's own people, the Xeronians, watch the battle from their home planet. They recount that they used their technology to mutate their king into what became the Space Parasite to ward off invaders; however, when the Space Parasite succeeded in its task, it continued on into the universe, battling other beings of power to sustain its own life. They anxiously watch the battle, debating on if they should kill their former ruler or not.
As the battle rages on at Yankee Stadium, the military moves in ready to attack at a moment's notice. While the Space Parasite initially has the upper hand, the Hulk eventually overpowers the creature until its strength is at its lowest ebb. Believing he is about to die, the Parasite teleports himself back to his ship. However, the Xeronians detonate the ship while the Parasite is in mid-teleportation, and it ends up dying among the wreckage.
Although victorious in battle, the Hulk is then bombarded with gas fired by the police, which causes him to revert back to Bruce Banner, and is promptly arrested.
- There are a number of statements made in this story that should be considered topical references per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 they are:
- Bruce Banner comments that the price of subway fare in New York is 12 cents. This hasn't been the case since the 1960s.
- The narrative states that Mickey Mantle and the New York Yankees were playing at Shea Stadium for the Mayor's Trophy Game. This was an annual game between the Yankees and the New York Mets. This is should be considered a topical reference given that Mickey Mantle retired from baseball in 1969 and died in 1995. In addition to this, Shae Stadium was torn down in 2008.
- Rick Jones mentions how the Hulk had "turned on him", this happened in Tales to Astonish #100. What didn't realize was that the Hulk was enthralled by the Puppet Master at the time.
- This issue contains a letters page, Green Skin's Grab Bag. Letters are published from Sheldon Wiebe, Dale Simpson, Jeff Hamilton, William De La Torre, Mark Ramos, Paul Sanford, and Neil Lindenbaum.
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