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Appearing in "Outcasts!"

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Synopsis for "Outcasts!"

Having returned to Gamm Base after disappearing for a few days, Bruce Banner allows himself to be tested by S.H.I.E.L.D. who fears that he might have become the Hulk again. When the tests come up negative, Banner is let free. He is soon joined by his wife, Betty, who is near hysterics. Bruce learns how S.H.I.E.L.D. attempted to control the creature known as Zzzax by using Thaddeus Ross to control the creature. The plan went awry because Zzzax absorbed Ross' mind leaving him mindless in the process. Although Bruce already knows this following the two Hulk's battle against the creature, he acts as though it is news to him. He hopes that while S.H.I.E.L.D. is still hunting for him, Rick Jones manages to get back to his secret lab before sundown.

Elsewhere, Rick Jones is riding on a bus full of refugees from the last town that the Hulk rampaged through. Rick feels horrible being among these people that he inadvertently made homeless. As they begin to pass nearby Bruce's old lab, Rick convinces the driver to let him off on the side of the highway. As Rick walks across the desert, he thinks about how his life had changed after he played his part in the birth of the Hulk. He recalls how he later on went to become partners with Captain America and the Avengers, then Captain Marvel, and how he used mental powers to stop the Kree/Skrull War. Soon he is at the cave where Bruce's hidden lab is located. Unaware that he is being watched by strange creatures, Rick enters the lab and recalls how he and Bruce Banner used to spend a lot of time in this lab while trying to contain the Hulk during the early days of the creature's life. Before Rick can seal himself into the containment room built for the Hulk, he is attacked by anthropomorphic desert creatures. These creatures include desert lizards, ants, carrion birds, cactus and even rocks.

The leader of this group, a humanoid snake calling itself Rattelor, explains that they call themselves Outcasts. The creatures explain how they were all mutated years ago by the gamma bomb explosion that first created the Hulk. Seeking companionship, these intelligent gamma mutates found themselves shunned by their own species, as well as the humans in the neighboring towns. They soon connected with each other and found refuge within the cave which contains Bruce Banner's lab. Having seen the Hulk in action, they worship him as the so-called "green one". When Rick tries to explain that he is a friend of the "green one", the Outcasts refuse to believe him. Calling him an intruder they all pile on the young man, intent on killing him. However, this is just as the sun sets triggering Rick's transformation into the Hulk once more. The Hulk fights free, and the Outcasts are surprised to see that he is the "green one" they have been waiting for. Rattelor and the others then welcome among their group, the simplistic Hulk is delighted to finally belong among creatures like himself. Over the next few days, the Hulk helps the Outcasts expand their underground domain, while during the day he shows them how to survive.

Meanwhile, at Gamma Base, Bruce Banner is cleared by S.H.I.E.L.D. and is allowed to go. Clay Quartermain then calls a meeting with the Hulkbusters. Samuel LaRocquette is unhappy to see that Doc Samson is included among their number because he still blames Samson for the death of Caroline Parmentor. Quartermain calms everything down and asks them to remain together as an expansion of S.H.I.E.L.D. operations in town. All the Hulkbusters agree to remain together, even LaRoquette, who decides to stay because he still has scores to settle with Samson. Elsewhere in the facility, Betty continues to fill Bruce in on what happened to her father. He also confides in her that Rick Jones is the new Hulk that S.H.I.E.L.D. is hunting. When she begs him to spend time with her, he tells her that he owes it to Rick to try and find a cure. Betty is on the brink of a breakdown at this point but refuses to let her husband go and follows after him. Soon Bruce requisitions a jeep from the motor pool and heads off, unaware that S.H.I.E.L.D. suspects some connection between Bruce and the new Hulk and are now following them. Seeing the S.H.I.E.L.D. convoy following after her father, Betty secretly hitches a ride on the back of one of the trucks. At that moment, in South Carolina, the strange being in an aging mansion has completely drained all the life from the nurse who hired to look after him. The being tells his butler that he needs a stronger boy and suggest that the hunt down the Hulk.

Later, as sundown rapidly approached, Bruce Banner arrives at his secret lab and is shocked to see the strange creatures that Rick has found there. When Rick turns into the Hulk, he tells Bruce that these Outcasts are his friends. Suddenly, the S.H.I.E.L.D. army arrive at the scene. The Hulk immediately begins to fight back, causing the soldiers to open fire. The Outcasts scramble for cover. Although the Hulk manages to fight off the S.H.I.E.L.D. attackers, but the Outcasts have sustained a number of casualties. Rattelor then tells the Hulk that it is too dangerous for them to be around him and tells him to stay away. They leave one of their dead for the Hulk to burry while they retreat into the deep recesses of the cave in which they live.


Continuity Notes

  • As far as S.H.I.E.L.D. knows, Bruce Banner has been cured of being the Hulk following a nutrient bath in Incredible Hulk #325.
  • The battle between Zzzax and the Hulks is recounted in this story. Thos events played out in Incredible Hulk #326328.
  • The Outcasts claim they were mutated in the original gamma bomb blast unleashed in Incredible Hulk #1.
  • Samuel LaRoquette is angry at Doc Samson because he blames him for the death of his lover and former Hulkbuster comrade Caroline Parmenter in Incredible Hulk #318.

See Also

Links and References


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
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