Appearing in "Small Talk"

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Synopsis for "Small Talk"

The Hulk is among a group of heroes who have teamed up to try and stop Thanos from using the Infinity Gauntlet to take over the universe. However, the Hulk has found himself shunted back to the sewers of New York City, but at miniature size. Getting a grip of himself, the Hulk at first thinks he has been transported to an alien world. However, after fighting off a proportionately massive sewer rat and seeing the trash-filled water, he recognizes that he is back in New York.

Meanwhile, in Reno, Marlo Chandler calls her mother to let her know that she is okay in light of the fact that half the population of Earth has mysteriously vanished. While dealing with her mother's guilting her over not calling more often, Marlo flips through television channels and comes upon news footage of her boyfriend Rick Jones vanishing with everyone else, causing her to faint. Back in the sewers, the Hulk comes across the Abomination who is carrying his ex-wife Nadia Dornova deeper into the sewers, thinking that he has been told by God that he must take her to his domain. When the Hulk tries to stop the Abomination, he discovers that do to his small stature not only can his old foe not hear him, but he also doesn't have the proportionate strength to do much good. After literally being stepped on by the Abomination, the Hulk begins thinking about his wife during this crisis and hopes that she is okay. Back in Reno, Betty is trying to apply for a job at a crisis hotline. She manages to convince the owner that she is a good fit for the job, and is put on the job immediately because there is a need for people answering phones.

In New York, the Hulk continues to follow the Abomination, trying to think of a way to save Nadia from his clutches. When the Abomination arrives at the homeless commune where he lives, Nadia wakes up and is frightened by her. The Abomination tells her of the chaos that is happening in the streets above and he had taken her here to get away from it. He also talks about knowing and admiring her work when she was in Europe. He doesn't tell her who he really is even though she begins suspecting that she is her ex-husband. When the Abomination explains that he brought her down here out of love, Nadia lashes out at him, demanding to be let free. Hearing the Biblical tone of the Abomination's reasoning, the Hulk decides to whisper in his ear. At that moment in Reno, Betty learns about how half of the population of Earth suddenly disappeared and they have been getting an onslaught of phone calls since the crisis started. She gives Betty a quick crash course and she also meets her new co-worker, a woman named Veronica. She then decides to check to see if Marlo is okay. When Betty gets a busy signal, she assumes that Marlo is okay, unaware that she had passed out.

Back in New York, the Hulk uses his strength and small stature to knock the Abomination around and convince him that he is the voice of God. He manages to convince the Abomination that he needs to let Nadia go. When the Abomination loses his temper he smashes some pipes. Frightened, Nadia tries to flee but the steam from the pipes obscures her ability to see and she runs into a wall knocking her out. Convinced to let her go, the Abomination returns Nadia to her apartment. When she wakes up she thinks it's all a bad dream. The Abomination tells the "voice" that he could not know what it is like to be transformed and live the life of a monster. Considering his job is complete, the Hulk leaps away when suddenly he finds himself caught up in another portal.


Continuity Notes


  • Betty (whose hair was dyed last issue) being paired at work with a black-haired Veronica is a reference to the Archie Comics characters Betty and Veronica. The two agree not to make jokes about their names.
  • The Hulk recalls to himself pulling a similar "voice of God" trick while Bruce was a student at CalTech, using the victim's braces as a receiver, and noted that the gag was used in a movie. This is a reference to the 1985 film Real Genius.

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