Appearing in "Vicious Circle!"
Supporting Characters (Earth-616):
- Betty Talbot
- Glenn Talbot
- General Ross
- Leonard Samson
- Prof. Kerwin Kronus (Only appearance)
Supporting Characters (Earth-20476):
- Bruce Banner (Only appearance) (Possessed by the Bruce Banner of Earth-616)
- General Ross (Only appearance)
- Igor Drenkov (Only appearance)
- Rick Jones (Earth-20476) (Only appearance; dies)
- Glenn Talbot (Only appearance)
- Betty Banner (Only appearance)
- Kerwin Kronus (Only appearance)
- Doctor Kronus (Dream)
Synopsis for "Vicious Circle!"
Since their arrival from the Microverse, Jarella has been put in quarantine for her own safety. The Hulk cannot understand this and goes on a rampage across Gamma Base demanding that his love be released. General Ross leads the Hulkbusters in trying to contain the Hulk. Captured by the brute, Ross tries to explain that Jarella's quarantine is for her own safety, but the Hulk doesn't understand or want to listen. However, before General Ross can be harmed, a helicopter drops a containment dome on the Hulk and he is quickly knocked out by gas.
Later, Bruce Banner is made to watch the footage later in the company of Professor Kerwin Kronus. Kronus has developed a device that can send Banner back in time to the moment the Hulk was born and prevent it from ever happening. Banner cannot make up his mind on what to do about the situation because of his love for Jarella, but Betty and the others plead with him to give it a try. Banner later visits Jarella in quarantine where he explains his situation. When Jarella assures Bruce that she loves him regardless of his outer form, Banner decides to go through the test.
Soon, Kerwin Kronus is having his time travel equipment built at the site where Banner first tested the Gamma Bomb that turned him into the Hulk. Kronus explains that the device will send Bruce back in time into his body on the date of the accident and he will have full recollection of the future that will allow him to change the course of history. Soon enough, Banner is placed on the device and is sent back in time. He is shocked to find himself inhabiting the body of his past self just moments before the Gamma Bomb test. When Banner spots Rick Jones driving out to the site of the bomb test, he rushes out to warn the youth. However, this time, Banner does so from behind the protective barrier, calling to the youth to make a run for it. As the Gamma Bomb explodes, Banner ducks for cover and when all is clear he is happy to find that he was not turned into the Hulk. However, that joy is quickly replaced with horror when he discovers that not only was Rick Jones caught in the blast, but that it also killed him. Blaming himself, Banner begins to lose his mind as the time travel device brings him back to the present day.
When Banner is back in the present, history has been altered. Although he is no longer the Hulk, and now married to Betty Ross, he still cannot get over the fact that they have all committed murder. Banner is sequestered in a hospital to deal with his trauma. However, his rest is interrupted by Kronus, whose work was ruined by Banner's break down. Having reinvented himself as an armored super-villain, Kronus attacks Banner. Using his chronal energies, the mad scientist is able to transform Banner into the Hulk. As the two battle it out, Kerwin sends them back in time to the year One Million B.C. There the Hulk overpowers Kronus and beats him into submission. When the Hulk reverts back to Bruce Banner, Banner is horrified when the Kronus suddenly has the face of Rick Jones.
Suddenly, Banner wakes up and realises that the battle was all a dream. However, he still cannot rest with the fact that Rick Jones had to die in order for him to not become the Hulk. Rushing back to the time machine of Doctor Kronus, Banner uses it to go back in time once more. This time, Banner allows history to go on it's intended course. Rick Jones lives and Banner is turned into the Hulk, as history intended. Returning to the present, Banner tells his friends that he failed in his mission, but at least it's something that he can live with.
- Bruce Banner travels back in time to the events of Incredible Hulk #1. However, his activities here did not really change history. Instead, it created an alternate reality.
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