Appearing in "What Friends Are For!"
- Leader (Shadow only)
- Fantastic Four
- Franklin Richards
- Professor X
- J. Jonah Jameson
- Alpha Flight
- Soviet Super-Soldiers
- Lord Vashti
- President Ronald Regan (Topical reference)
Races and Species:
- United States Of America
- Soviet Union (Topical reference)
- Star Eye
- Energy Eater
- Captain America's Shield
- Captain America's Uniform
- Iron Man Armor MK V
- Orb of Agamotto
- Cloak of Levitation
- Eye of Agamotto
- Spider-Man's Web-Shooters
Synopsis for "What Friends Are For!"
The U-Foes have defeated the Hulk and now have Bruce Banner as their prisoner. Taking control of television broadcast signals, they then begin broadcasting a public execution of the Hulk. This broadcast is received by the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, the Defenders, Professor X of the X-Men, the Sub-Mariner, Daredevil, Spider-Man, Alpha Flight, and the Soviet Super Soldiers. All their attempts to track the source of the broadcast are blocked by some unseen force. Also watching the broadcast is Doc Samson and General Ross. While Samson feels sorry for Banner, the General thinks this is what the Hulk deserves as he is still bitter over the recent death of Glenn Talbot. This troubles Samson when suddenly, he recognizes where the broadcast is being taken. Also watching is Jackdaw's mysterious leader, who is interested in seeing how things play out, if the U-Foes should fail in destroying Bruce Banner, his plans for the Hulk will be ready to go into motion.
Elsewhere on Gamma Base, Bereet has unleashed her Defendroids to help liberate Banner from the U-Foes. While Rick Jones is willing to risk his life to save his friend, Betty Ross is still upset over the fact that Bruce Banner can now control his transformations into the Hulk, as she wanted him to be completely cured of his affliction. Betty also lashes out at her companions, saying that Rick only wants the Hulk to stay because he has nothing else to go back on, and Bereet is merely exploiting the situation to film her documentary. Soon they are upon the building where the U-Foes have Bruce a prisoner and Bereet tells Betty to be quiet as their enemies are near.
Inside, X-Ray continues to bombard Bruce with negative gamma rays to prevent him from transforming into the Hulk. Vector takes this opportunity to explain to the Banner how they survived their last encounter with the Hulk. Even though their powers surged out of control and seemingly killed them, the U-Foes continued to absorb cosmic rays until their powers stabilized and were able to evade death and regroup. As Banner evaluates his increasingly helpless situation, Bereet and the others manage to get into the building. While her Destructroids keep the U-Foes busy, she then uses her Energy Eaters, to cut through the mesh that is keeping Banner a prisoner. By the time the U-Foes have destroyed the Destructroids, Banner is now free and has transforms into the Hulk. With the intellect of Bruce Banner at his disposal, the Hulk wraps X-Ray up in the energy dampening mesh that the U-Foes used to imprison him. While grappling Ironclad, the Hulk tosses his opponent into Vapor who had just turned into a cloud of acid to try and harm their opponent. Causing Ironclad excruciating pain, Vapor is forced to assume the form of an anesthetic to keep her ally from experiencing anymore pain.
Lastly, the Hulk squares off against Vector who uses his powers to launch everything that isn't bolted down at the Hulk. Nothing seems to stop the Hulk, who manages to get close enough to crush Vector's hands, stopping his power and ending the battle in mere moments.
- Bruce Banner now has control of the Hulk and its transformations since a series of bombardments of gamma radiation between Incredible Hulk #269–272. He retains this ability until Incredible Hulk #296.
- Iron Man mentions how the Hulk was a founding member of the Avengers. That happened in Avengers #1. His membership was short-lived as he quit in the following issue because none of his teammates could trust him.
- The Wasp mentions that she is divorced from Henry Pym. This story takes place shortly after Yellowjacket struck the Wasp, was expelled from the Avengers and the Wasp filed for divorce. These events took place in Avengers #212–214.
- The Sub-Mariner mentions how Atlantis has been recently ravaged. He is referring to the events of Rom #35.
- Daredevil recalls how as Matt Murdock he once represented the Hulk in court. That happened in Incredible Hulk #152–153.
- Likewise, other heroes mention their more recent encounters with the Hulk, like Sasquatch in Incredible Hulk #272, and the Soviet Super Soldiers in Incredible Hulk #258–259.
- General Ross mentions how the Hulk was responsible for the death of his son-in-law, Glenn Talbot. Talbot died battling the Hulk in Incredible Hulk #260. Technically speaking, Talbot is actually the General's ex-son-in-law since Betty divorced him back in Incredible Hulk #238 (They had gotten married in Incredible Hulk #158.)
- All references to Russia being part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and depictions of Ronald Reagan as the President of the Untied States of America should be considered topical references per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- The U-Foes recount their previous encounter with the Hulk which happened in Incredible Hulk #254, and how they came back from seeming death, part of these events were seen in Incredible Hulk #273–274.
A flashback in this story affects the continuity of the following characters: