- Doesn't anyone give a damn about Bruce Banner anymore?
- -- Bruce Banner
Appearing in "Deathknell!"
- Glenn Talbot (Secretly the Russian spy Gregori Kronski) (Death)
- Air Force One
Synopsis for "Deathknell!"
Continued from last issue...
On the day that the President is expected to arrive at Hulkbuster Base to congratulate Glenn Talbot from escaping from the Russians, Colonel Armbruster has captured Bruce Banner and has him tranquilized and shackled up deep under Hulkbuster Base. As Banner is being overseen by Armbruster, General Ross and Betty Talbot, Armbruster tells Banner that he's lucky he was only tranquilized and that Armbruster could have easily have killed him. With no response coming from Bruce, Armbruster and General Ross leave Betty behind to be alone with Bruce. When Betty tries to get Bruce to talk, he angrily lashes out at her angry that everyone is focused on the Hulk that they've forgotten about Bruce Banner. After angrily telling her he has no friends, Betty sadly leaves the scene before Bruce can take back what he said.
Later in the day, Air Force One lands at Hulkbuster Base and President Gerald Ford is welcomed to Hulkbuster Base and is shown around by General Ross, Betty and Glenn Talbot. As the tour goes on, Colonel Armbruster goes to check on Harold Conrad's report on Talbot's sell scan. Finding Harold's dead body, Armbruster finds that the results were also burned. Able to print off new copies of the read outs from the computer, Armbruster is horrified by what he finds and speeds off to find the President.
Elsewhere on the base, General Ross shows them that they have captured Bruce Banner. When he shows off Banner to the President, Bruce is bitter and insulting and mockingly asks them to toss him a banana. As Talbot gets closer to the President, Armbruster suddenly bursts in and knocks Talbot and himself over the railing. Just then Talbot's body explodes, killing himself and Armbruster in the blast. The sudden and violent death horrifies everyone, especially Betty and Bruce begins to transform into the Hulk warning General Ross to get the President and Betty out of the area.
The Hulk breaks free and grabs Betty and tries to escape Hulkbuster Base, as he is attempting to do so Ross is able to get into a new battle suit, the HS-1000 and confronts the Hulk. While the suit is heavily armed with many different weapons, including lasers and sonic blasters the Hulk still manages to incapacitate it. He is about to land a killing blow on General Ross when Betty's pleas to stop distract the Hulk long enough for Ross to blast Hulk point blank with a gamma blaster, knocking the Hulk out. As Ross marvels over the fact that he has finally bested the Hulk, Betty hysterically asks him if it's worth the cost.
This story is continued next issue...
- The depiction of Gerald Ford as the President of the United States should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- The man who tries to assassinate the President is not the real Glenn Talbot, but a Russian spy named Gregori Kronski as revealed in Incredible Hulk #188, the switch happened when the Russians staged an "escape" in Incredible Hulk #176.
- In this editor's opinion, the Item HS-1000 may stand for "Hulk Smasher-1000".
- This issue contains a letters page, Green Skin's Grab Bag. Letters are published from Dean Mullaney and Kim Thompson.
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