Appearing in "This Means War"
- Hulk (Bruce Banner) (Main story and flashback)
- Rick Jones (Main story and flashback)
- Betty Banner
- God (Yahweh) (Invoked)
- Sabra (Ruth Bat-Seraph) (Mentioned)
- Emil Blonsky (Mentioned)
- S.H.I.E.L.D. (Mentioned)
- Sherlock Holmes (Mentioned)
- Jackie Shorr (Voice)
- President of United States (Mentioned)
- Willie Horton (Mentioned) (Topical reference)
Races and Species:
- Mandroid Armor MK III (First appearance)
- Ulysses' Energy Sword and Shield
- Hector's Energy Ball-And-Chain
Synopsis for "This Means War"
The nation of Trans-Sabal is in the midst of a civil war as the people revolt against their leader Farnoq Dahn. However, the resistance faces the might of American provided Mandroid armor. In the midst of a battle, their massive anti-armor cannon is knocked off its mooring, trapping one of the resistance fighters under it. When all seems lost the Hulk arrives on the scene and plucks the heavy weapon off the trapped soldier. Armed with this massive weapon among others, the Hulk enters the fray. The Hulk starts blasting the Mandroid units, forcing their pilots to flee. In the midst of the battle is his Pantheon teammate Hector who was knocked out in the battle. He is revived by Rick Jones who has joined the Hulk in the battle. Meanwhile, the Hulk runs out of ammo in the anti-armor cannon and is reduced to using more conventional firearms.
At that moment at the royal palace, Farnoq Dahn entertains his guests from the CIA who have been providing him with the weapons he needs to crush the resistance in exchange for eventually installing a democratic government. CIA agent Gavin excuses himself from the feast put on by Dahn when he is told that there is trouble on the battle front. There, the Hulk runs out of bullets but this doesn't stop him from laying into the Mandroids with his bare hands. When one of the enemies downs the Hulk with a massive weapon, the Hulk is saved by Ulysses who disarms their foe with his energy sword. He then kills the warrior, leading to protests from the Hulk, but Ulysses tells him that this is war and there will be casualties. Elsewhere, Rick Jones pulls Hector from the battlefield, however, they pause at one of the wrecked suits of Mandroid armor as Rick is shocked to see a SHIELD emblem on it. This makes him think about the situation there in and the events that led up to it....
... Some time earlier at the Pantheon's headquarters the Mount, Rick pays a visit to the Hulk in his quarters where he gives him a gift from Betty: a massive pair of pink bunny slippers. The Hulk then fills Rick on the Pantheons next mission. He takes his long time friend to the Pantheon's infirmary where victims of the Trans-Sabal conflict are being treated for burns after they were scored by American made napalm. The Hulk explains that the Pantheon seeks to remove Farnoq Dahn from his position of power. He then asks Rick to accompany him on his mission, which Rick agreed...
... Back on the battlefield, Rick finds a surviving enemy combatant and is surprised that it's a local loyal to the ruler of Trans-Sabal and not a SHIELD agent. Before Rick can learn where they got this equipment the man dies and Hector tells him that they need to get moving. While back in Reno, Betty Banner learns from her co-worker that a woman claiming to be Rick Jones' mother called but didn't leave her name or number. Suddenly, Betty gets a call from that same woman, her name is Jackie Shorr and she reiterates that she is the mother of Rick Jones. At the royal palace in Trans-Sabal, Farnoq and his CIA allies learn about the Hulk and the Pantheon's involvement in the resistance against his move, greatly complicating things. When Farnoq demands more to be done, Agent Gavin tells him that they cannot provide and SHIELD personnel because they are tied in with the United Nations. However, he was able to pull some strings and get a special task force flown in to assist.
As Agent Gavin informs him of this the task force in question is arriving by plane. This task force is the government sanction mutant team known as X-Factor.
- Mention is made of the movie Terminator 2: Judgement Day as though it had just recently been released. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- It is stated that they cannot provide SHIELD agents due to their association with the United Nations and "personnel losses". This is a reference to the losses that SHIELD suffered during the Deltite Affair chronicled in Nick Fury vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. #1–6 that saw SHIELD scaled down. At this time the agency was still recovering lost agents as seen in the pages of Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Vol 3.