Appearing in "Hook, Line & Sinker!"
Synopsis for "Hook, Line & Sinker!"
After the Beyonder secretly restored his mind, Bruce Banner finds himself back for the first time since he attempted psychic suicide and Doctor Strange banished the Hulk to the Crossroads. Not wanting to live a shared life with the Hulk, Banner attempts to leap off the Crossroads into the void below. As he plunges into the void, Bruce realizes that he is just going to keep falling forever. Lamenting over how he can't even kill himself, Bruce panics and transforms into the Hulk once again. The Hulk doesn't understand why he is falling and traces to slow his descent into the void. When he can't stop, he triggers the failsafe spell that transports him back in front of the signpost at the center of the Crossroads. Furious, the Hulk demands that he just wants to go home. No sooner as he has said this, a beam of energy arcs downward and sticks into his back.
This reminds Hulk of the laser spears that tried to fell Klaatu and the Hulk tries to pull away. He leaps into one of the Crossroad portals and finds himself on a world of sentient machines. Before they can examine him, the Hulk triggers the failsafe and returns to the Crossroads. Trying to get away from this energy harpoon on his back, the Hulk goes from portal to portal, world to world, in a futile attempt to remove the harpoon from his back. When nothing seems to work and nobody in the myrade dimensions can help, the Hulk demands who is harming him. Suddenly a spirt appears before him and it takes possession of the Hulk's body forcing Banner's spirit out.
Banner learns that this invading spirit is that of Walter Langkowski, an old university friend as well as Sasquatch of Alpha Flight. Langkowski explains that he recently learned that his powers were not the product of gamma rays, but the work of the Great Beasts of the north and that he had been possessed by the demon known as Tanaraq. In order to free himself, Langknowski sacrificed his body. For a time his spirit existed within Robert Bochs' Box armor. However, Walter decided to try and find a new body so he might live a relatively normal life and started searching the dimensions for a suitable host.
Walter is horrified that he took the body of Bruce Banner, even though Banner wishes to die, Walter cannot bring himself to morally take the body of a sentient being. Over Bruce's protests, Walter leaves the Hulk's body and his soul seemingly dissipates. Banner's soul is then returned to the Hulk's body. The Hulk suddenly finds himself pulled out of the Crossroads where he appears back on Earth in the headquarters of Alpha Flight, who are very shocked to see the Hulk in their midst.
This story is continued in Alpha Flight #29...
- This story happens simultaneously with the events of Alpha Flight #28. Alpha Flight #28 shows the events that happen just after Hulk arrives at the end of this issue, in which he attacks Walter Langkowski in the form of his robot body, Box, and rips his arm off.
- This was the final issue for Bill Mantlo and Mike Mignola. Following this issue, the creative teams of these two books would swap places, with John Byrne taking over The Incredible Hulk, and Mantlo and Mignola moving to Alpha Flight.
- Banner attempted to commit psychic suicide in Incredible Hulk #300, the Beyonder restored Banner's mind last issue.
- Walter Langkowski learned the truth about his powers and lost his body in Alpha Flight #23.
- Langkowski recalls when the Hulk was honored as a hero, that happened in Incredible Hulk #279.
- Although Langkowski's spirit seemingly perishes here, it is restored and placed in the lifeless body of Snowbird in Alpha Flight #44.
The flashback in this story has an impact on the chronology of the following characters: