Appearing in "The Monster and the Mystic!"
- Sandt (Main story and flashback)
Synopsis for "The Monster and the Mystic!"
The Hulk has been knocked out thanks to a mental tug of war between Doctor Druid and the Maha Yogi. This leaves Druid alone against the Yogi's minion, the alien warriors known as Mongu. While the mystic is focused on his foe, the Maha Yogi manages to stun Druid with a mental bolt. With his foes defeated, Maha Yogi orders Mongu to lock them up in his dungeon. Meanwhile, just outside of New York City, Jim Wilson is almost finished his cross country trek across the country to find the Hulk. He is dropped off in the Warehouse District by a seemingly helpful trucker. However, after Jim is out of earshot, the truck driver reports in to the very people who have been pursuing him in Los Angeles.
Back in New Jersey, the Hulk and Druid find themselves shackled in the dungeon of a Maha Yogi. When the Hulk tries to break free from his bonds he finds that they are electrified to prevent him from breaking free. Seeing that the Hulk has no means of escaping, Druid hypnotises the brute calming him enough to trigger a reversion back into Bruce Banner. Now that the restraints no longer fit his smaller frame, Banner manages to slip loose and then work on freeing Doctor Druid. However, when Druid blasts open the door out of their cell they find Mongu has just arrived to deal with them.
In New Mexico, General Ross enters his daughter's room to find a letter informing her that she has left to rediscover herself. She apologizes for telling him in a letter, but she points out how her life has been run entirely by men and if she couldn't get a clean break, her father could have talked her into staying. Even though Betty promises to be in touch, this news upsets General Ross who crumples the letter in his hand. In the Maha Yogi's castle, Mongu leads Banner and Druid on to their intended fate. Along the way, Druid asks how Mongu could be so loyal to the Maha Yogi. Mongu explains how he was a warrior from the world of Sandt. The greatest of his people he gave into fear during a battle with the Man-Thing. The Man-Thing's burning touch fused Mongu's axe to his hand. Showing signs of fear resulted in Mongu's ostracisation in his society. Ashamed and distraught, Mongu had leaped into the dimensional void outside of his world. As he fell through the infinite void he was pulled to Earth by the Maha Yogi who offered Mongu a chance to rule at his side. Given a second chance, Mongu had remained with the Yogi ever since.
When the pair are brought before the Maha Yogi, the evil sorcerer decides that Bruce Banner will fight against Mongu to the death. Unwilling to fight Mongu, Banner is forced to do so anyway. While trying to fend off the warrior's attacks, Banner's pulse speeds up enough to cause him to transform into the Hulk again. The Hulk refuses to fight with a weapon, and even without one, he manages to get the better of Mongu in battle. Seeing that this fight will end in failure, the Maha Yogi uses his Jewel of Jeopardy to increase Mongu's strength and powers. With Druid's mind becoming clear again thanks to the Maha being distracted, the mystic uses his powers to control a nearby rope and rip the jewel from the Yogi's hand. Seeing the mystical rock fall into the ring, the Hulk knocks Mongu aside and picks it up. When the Yogi begs the Hulk to return it, the brute decides against it and crushes the gem into dust. With the gem's destruction, the Maha Yogi begins to rapidly age as the centuries catch up with him.
With his master old and feeble, Mongu ceases fighting and carries the Maha Yogi away, vowing his loyalty to the aging sorcerer until his death, and beyond.
- References that the Maha Yogi is a mutant are not accurate. It is later revealed in Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #27 that the Maha Yogi was a normal human altered by the Caretakers of Arcturus centuries ago.
- Jim Wilson began seeking out the Hulk back in Incredible Hulk #209. Wilson is being pursued by the Corporation as eventually revealed in coming issues leading up to the events of Incredible Hulk #237.
- Betty's problems stem from her disastrous marriage to Glenn Talbot. The couple has been married since Incredible Hulk #168. Things got bad when Talbot was put in a catatonic state in Incredible Hulk #208. Even though he was later cured in Incredible Hulk #200 the couple continued to have problems until Glenn decided to separate from his wife and left Gamma Base in Incredible Hulk #210.
- Mongu recounts his battle with the Man-Thing from Fear #14.
- The Hulk recounts how he has battled in arenas before. The story cites Incredible Hulk #201 as the most recent example, but he was also forced into an arena during the events of Incredible Hulk #5 as well.
- Although the Maha Yogi is reduced to an impossibly old age he somehow managed to restore his youth by his next appearance in Avengers Annual #22. An explanation has not been forthcoming.
A flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters: