Appearing in "Assassin"
- Unnamed Hulk victim
Synopsis for "Assassin"Bruce Banner and Kate Waynsboro return to the United States after his failed experiment in Mexico. When he arrives at the airport, Banner is swarmed by a throng of reporters. As he answers their questions a man pulls out a gun and tries to shoot him. Banner saves his own life by transforming into the Hulk, rendering the bullet harmless. The Hulk then disarms the man before demanding why the man tried to kill him. However, the man merely goes into a rant about how the Hulk is a monster before he is dragged away by the authorities.
Soon, Bruce and Kate arrive at the Baxter Building where they are greeted by the Thing. Since most of the Fantastic Four no longer live at their headquarters anymore, the Thing wishes them the best. They then go into Reed Richard's lab, where they find a recorded message from Mister Fantastic telling Bruce that he has access to the entire facility for Banner's research. Using the scanners, Bruce picks up a strange surge of gamma rays in space and when he tries to analyze it with Reed's devices, the machine blows up in his face. Banner is saved from injury by quickly turning into the Hulk. When Bruce contacts Mister Fantastic, he learns that Richards has also been tracking that same mystery energy source.
After their research is done for the day, Bruce and Kate sit down to have dinner. There they discuss Bruce's concerns over his plan to use gamma rays to increase crop growth. They are both concerned about the unpredictability of gamma rays and how they could kill others, or worse, turn them into monsters. After a romantic interlude, the couple go to sleep for the night. That evening, Bruce has a nightmare where he is the savage Hulk once again and is being attacked by the members of the Fantastic Four. After defeating his foes, the Hulk tracks down Banner himself and attacks him in his bed. Bruce wakes up screaming, waking Kate in the process. When she asks what's wrong he tells her of his concerns over losing control of the Hulk.
The next day, Bruce decides to pay a visit to the police station where the man who tried to shoot him has been incarcerated. There, Banner tells the desk chief that he wishes to speak to the man who tried to kill at the airport. Because Banner can take care of himself, the officers allow his request. When Bruce talks to his would-be assassin he learns how the Hulk had once destroyed the man's hometown. Although the man and his family were evacuated by the military, their home was destroyed. Government aid left them living in a trailer. However, without their town, no job prospects, and all their possessions gone, the man began to drink heavily. This eventually led to his wife leaving and taking their children with her. The final straw for this man was when he read the news that the Hulk had recently been pardoned by the President. Banner is upset hearing this and promises to try and make things right for this man that the Hulk has so grievously wronged.
Later, Banner hires Matt Murdock to help get the charges against the man dropped. Released from police custody, the man is driven to his old hometown by Kate Waynsboro. There he is shocked to see that the Hulk has rebuilt the entire town. The man is almost speechless at this revelation and thanks Bruce for his help before heading to his new home.
- The Thing mentions how the rest of the Fantastic Four no longer live at the Baxter Building. At the time of this story, Reed and Sue had moved to Belle Porte to give their son Franklin a normal life and while Sue was pregnant with their second child. They moved there in Fantastic Four #263. Likewise, the Human Torch decided to move out and get his own apartment in Fantastic Four #257. Reed and Sue eventually return to the Baxter Building after the events of Fantastic Four #279. Johnny moved back in not long after this. This story incorrectly references Fantastic Four #260.
- The strange energy surge that Bruce Banner is investigating is the work of the Beyonder, as revealed in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #1. Mister Fantastic began his own investigation in Fantastic Four #263-264.
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