- I hate fighting stupid robots! You don't scream or bleed or nothing! It's no fun!
- -- Hulk
Appearing in "Beyond Redemption"
- Hulkbusters (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "Beyond Redemption"
Betty Banner is running through the wilderness after escaping the clutches of the Leader. She has three of his robots chasing after her. Her flight puts her right in the path of the stolen SHIELD battle van being driven by her husband Bruce, Rick Jones and Clay Quartermain. They slam on the breaks and Bruce jumps out to go to his wife. However, before he can get her, she is snatched by one of the robots. It's at this point that the sun begins to set and the Hulk's personality begins coming to the fore. Banner leaps at the robot, but is easily knocked aside while Rick and Clay scramble to mobilize the battle van's weapon systems. Before they can act, the three robots then take off with Betty in their clutches. Furious, Banner gets back into the van and angrily demands that Quartermain go after them. They follow the robots to a construction site of the Carter Estates. There they try to incapacitate the robots but the weapons have no effect on the robots. They respond by knocking down the battle van. It's at this point that the sun completely sets and Bruce Banner begins to transform into the Hulk.
Meanwhile, in the Leader's laboratory, the gamma-spawned genius probes the minds of his other two prisoners. First, the mind of Craig Saunders, who was obsessed with explosives from a very young age. From popping caps as a child to creating explosives in high school, Saunders eventually went to work for the military as a demolitions expert. this career came to an abrupt end on the day that he tried to stop an airplane passenger from smuggling a bomb onto a plane in his briefcase. Shooting the man, Saunder accidentally set off the timer and with five seconds until the explosion he attempted to toss the explosive a safe distance away. Unfortunately, he tossed it into the path of a young mother and her child who were killed in the blast. Disgraced, Craig was discharged from the military and signed up with the Hulkbusters in an attempt to redeem himself. However, his attempts to stop the Hulk ended with failure and he was seriously injured as a result.
Back at the Carter Estates, Clay and Rick Jones continue to try to stop the robots, but their weapons still have no effect. The Hulk, however, comes ripping out of the ground and managed to rip one of the robots apart limb from limb. The other robots react to this by tossing away Betty, injuring her in the process. This makes the Hulk more furious than ever and he leaps at the robots. Although he lashes into them, he is not strong enough to fight two at a time and they eventually overpower the Hulk and begin smashing him with the construction equipment laying around.
Back at the Leader's lair, the Leader now probes the mind of Samu LaRoquette: In the poor neighborhood where he grew up, Sam had hours of fun playing in an old refrigerator with the door removed. As a young adult, he became an adventurer, enjoying deep sea diving, rock climbing, and exploring jungles. He eventually settled in as a college professor where he gave seminars about his adventures. It was here that he met Carolyn Parmenter, a student in one of his classes. The two eventually began a romance despite the warnings from the dean about inappropriate relationships. They had a wonderful relationship that ended when the dean discovered it. During the disciplinary hearing, Sam knocked out his professor and was fired from his job. His relationship with Carolyne ended shortly thereafter. LaRoquette then began working for Argo Industries where he was constantly at odds with his employers. He got fired from his job after he lost two of his men on an expedition and punched out his boss. He too joined up with the Hulkbusters for a chance of redemption. It seemed like things were getting better when the job reunited him with Carolyn, but she died shortly thereafter on their first training mission.
Meanwhile, the Hulk recovers from the onslaught unleashed on him by the Leader's robots and resumes his fight back. Ultimately, he destroys them. With Betty now safe, the Hulk tells them they need to get going. When Rick questions why the Hulk is being callow toward his wife, the Hulk reminds him that it's Bruce Banner that has feelings for Betty, not him. However, Rick isn't buying this attitude, and the Hulk puts his gruffness into question when he tells Jones to cover Betty up. Back at the Leader's lab, his transformation of Samuel and Craig is complete. He has transformed LaRoquette into the stone covered Rock, and Craig as the armored warrior known as Redeemer. The Leader boasts about how his latest creations will assist him in stealing the gamma bombs that he seeks.
- The narrative of this story refers to Betty as "Betty Ross Talbot Banner". Ross is her family name. At the time of this story, Betty has been married twice:
- While probing the minds of his test subjects, the Leader learns some history about Bruce Banner's ill-fated Hulkbuster team, he glosses over the following facts:
A flashback in this story affects the following characters:
- This issue is reprinted in the trade paperback Incredible Hulk Visionaries: Peter David Volume 2
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- 2 Images from Incredible Hulk Vol 1 343
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