Appearing in "The Closing Circle"
- Igor Drenkov
- People's Protectorate
- Leader (Samuel Sterns) (Only in flashback)
- Abomination (Emil Blonsky) (Only in flashback)
- Juggernaut (Cain Marko) (Only in flashback)
- Doctor Doom (Victor von Doom) (Only in flashback)
- M.O.D.O.K. (George Tarleton) (Only in flashback)
- Thanos (Only in flashback)
- Gargoyle (Yuri Topolov) (Mentioned)
- Crimson Dynamo Armor Mark III
- Doctor Doom's Armor (Only in flashback)
- Doomsday Chair (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "The Closing Circle"
Igor Drenkov, after years of being haunted by the day the Hulk was born, wakes up to find himself in the ruins of Los Diablos Missile Base. He is reliving the moments where he and Bruce Banner were going to set off the gamma bomb. To his surprise, Banner is here with him, although he is massive in form. After Banner berates Igor for not having his mind focused on the job he looks out onto the test site with a pair of binoculars. He then notices a boy out near the Gamma Bomb. He tells Igor to hold off the countdown until he can get back. Standing in front of the abort button, Igor's mind races over how he was originally on the base as a Russian spy and how he allowed the bomb to go off in the hopes of killing Banner and stealing the secrets of the Gamma Bomb. However, as the clock counts down, Igor struggles to make a decision and it's his indecision this time that prevents him from stopping the bomb. Just as before, he is suddenly blinded by the flash through the view screen as the Gamma Bomb apparently goes off.
Meanwhile, aboard a ship piloted by the People's Protectorate, the woman known as Fantasma begins to scream. At that moment she had been scanning Drenkov's mind when she was struck with his sense of anguish. Red Guardian tells his time to shape up, as they have been sent into American airspace to track down Igor Drenkov who was kidnapped from Washington, D.C. while on a diplomatic mission. It is imperative that they get him back as a recent political shift has left the Russian government feeling particularly vulnerable. Suddenly, the Protectorate's ship is attacked by Hector of the Pantheon, who damages the wing of the ship, forcing the Russian superheroes to make an emergency landing in the middle of the desert. Red Guardian, Perun, Vostok, Fantasma, and the Crimson Dynamo get out of the ship unscathed. They are confronted by Ulysses, Ajax, Atalanta and Hector of the Pantheon. As the members of the People's Protectorate charge at the Pantheon, they are suddenly teleported away.
While back at the missile base, Igor struggles with his sanity as he wanders around the base, reliving his past. Spotting the cabin where Bruce Banner used to reside, he goes inside thinking he will find his notes on the Gamma Bomb. As Igor begins to tear apart the cabin, in walks the Hulk and Rick Jones. Just like years before, Drenkov pulls a gun and tries to shoot the Hulk but to no avail. As Bruce begins to toss Igor around and berate him for the evil he unleashed, Rick Jones decides that this re-enactment have gone too far. He tells the Hulk to stop before he kills Igor. However, Bruce Banner has years of built up anger to direct toward the former Russian spy responsible for his transformation into the Hulk. As Rick and the Hulk argue, the Crimson Dynamo rips the roof off the cabin, and he orders they turn over Drenkov. Hulk complies by throwing the frightened Russian high up into the sky.
When the Crimson Dynamo flies up to recover Igor, the Hulk leaps up after him. However, he is blasted out of the sky by Fantasma and then attacked by the other members of the People's Protectorate. The Pantheon then arrive on the scene, and Atalanta manages to knock out Fantasma with one of her energy arrows. While the Hulk fights it out with Perun, Ulysses battles Red Guardian, while Vostok fights Ajax. Soon the Crimson Dynamo returns with Igor and joins the frey. Ultimately, each member of the People's Protectorate is overpowered, allowing the Hulk to once more direct his rage at Igor Drenkov. The Hulk takes Drenvok out to ground zero where he makes the Hulk sit right where the bomb went off. When the two groups finally catch up to the Hulk, he tells them that this is very spot where the Hulk was born, thanks to the meddling of Igor Drenkov. It's then that Red Guardian realizes that this is the anniversary of the Gamma Bomb test. The Hulk explains that he brought Drenkov back to make him face what he had done.
To everyone's surprise, Igor begins to laugh manically as he believes he is going to heaven for saving the world. This confused the Hulk, and Igor explains that although the Hulk has caused untold damage himself, he thinks about all of the various evil beings the Hulk has defeated over the years. Igor then asks that if he is to be held responsible for all the bad the Hulk has done, he asks can he not also be praised for the good the Hulk has done as well? Drenkov then breaks down into tears Suddenly, his mind snaps and he begins to rave about how died the day the Gamma Bomb went off. When nobody can answer him, Igor Drenkov then goes utterly mad.
Appearing in "Classic Battles of the Hulk"
- Original Avengers
- Betty Ross
- General Ross
- Silver Surfer
- Avengers West Coast
Synopsis for "Classic Battles of the Hulk"
A series of pin-ups of the various Hulk battles
Appearing in "Grudge Match"
- Magnetic particle displacer
- Cash Stasher
Synopsis for "Grudge Match"
Years ago, the savage green Hulk is being attacked by the forces of General Ross. Fed up of being attacked, the Hulk manages to leap away. Not far away, "Coyote" Cash flees from the police in his heavily armored vehicle after committing a robbery. When he smashes through a police roadblock, Cash believes he is going to get away scot-free. However, the Hulk lands on his engine, smashing it and sending Cash to a complete halt. The Hulk berates Coyote for getting in his way and leaps off. As he is being arrested, Coyote Cash vows to get revenge against the Hulk if it's the last thing he does.
A few years later, Coyote Cash is released from prison and immediately begins his next criminal scheme. He goes to Las Vegas where he plans to use a device to control roulette tables so he wins big and makes it rich. His only mistake is choosing the Coliseum Casino which just happens to be the very casino where the Hulk works in his Joe Fixit identity. Joe Fixit then has security confront Coyote when he tries to cash out. When Cash tries to flee with his money, the Hulk grabs him and tosses him out. Recognizing the Hulk, Coyote cannot believe that this has happened a second time. Coyote then finds himself back in prison for violating his parole.
Some time after this, Coyote is released from prison once more. Flying to Reno, Coyote attacks a military convoy and steals a bazooka from the truck. He then tracks the Hulk down to Rick Jones' apartment in the hopes of killing the Hulk's best friend. Finding someone sleeping in Rick's room, Coyote blasts it. However, it's not Rick, but the Hulk himself. The Hulk is furious that Rick's apartment has gotten trashed while he is house sitting and berates Cash for attacking him. Seeing a Hulk that is more massive than the last time he saw the gamma-spawned monster Coyote Cash cracks and gives up his vendetta and is handed over to the police.
Appearing in "Psychological Ramifications of Gamma Radiation"
- Doc Samson (Narrator)
- Brian Banner
- Rebecca Banner
- Walter Langkowski
- Peter Corbeau
- Raoul Stoddard
- Susan Jacobson
- Rick Jones
- Betty Ross/Talbot/Banner
- General Ross
- Doc Samson
- Pantheon of Sorcerers
- Doctor Strange
- Hideko Takata
Synopsis for "Psychological Ramifications of Gamma Radiation"
A case history on the various transformations of the Hulk, written by Doctor Leonard Samson.
Closing the Circle
- The Hulk and Igor Drenkov re-enact the events of Incredible Hulk #1. It is stated that this story is happening on the anniversary of those events. Per the Sliding Timescale, roughly eight years of time in the Modern Age has passed between Incredible Hulk #1 and this story.
- The Red Guardian mentions the "recent" dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as well as the KGB. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. The Soviet Union dissolved in 1991.
Classic Hulk Battles: The battles depicted here are as follows:
- Wolverine from Incredible Hulk #180–182.
- Thor (with the Avengers) from Avengers #3 (and expanded upon in Journey into Mystery #112).
- The Leader scene depicts the Hulk battling the Leader in the Murder Module as well as his Humanoids. No such battle was ever depicted, although the Murder Module appeared in Incredible Hulk #123 and 224.
- Abomination from Tales to Astonish #90–91.
- The Silver Surfer from Tales to Astonish #93.
- The East and West Coast Avengers from Incredible Hulk #321–323.
- The Toadmen from Incredible Hulk #2.
- The Thing from Fantastic Four #12.
- Ulysses from Incredible Hulk #382.
Psychological Ramifications of Gamm Radiation The images in this story are taken from various Hulk comics over the year including:
- The scenes involving Rebecca and Brian Banner are from Incredible Hulk #312.
- Bruce's experiment blows up in his face in high school is from Incredible Hulk #227.
- The death of Rebecca Banner and Susan Jacobson are from Incredible Hulk #377.
- Bruce hanging out with Walter Langkowski is from Alpha Flight #11.
- The scene of Bruce keeping the two Hulks apart is a recolored scene from Incredible Hulk #376.
- The Leader explaining his origins is from Tales to Astonish #62.
- Rick Jones with the Hulk that has Banner's mind is from Tales to Astonish #70.
- Bruce transforming into the Hulk during his first attempt to marry Betty Ross is from Incredible Hulk #124.
- The Hulk's first battle with Doc Samson is from Incredible Hulk #141.
- The Pantheon of Sorcerers casting a spell on the Hulk is from Incredible Hulk #140.
- The Savage Hulk and Doctor Strange is from Incredible Hulk #299.
- The Hulk confronting Bruce Banner in a cave is a dream sequence from Incredible Hulk #315.
- Bruce and Betty's wedding happened in Incredible Hulk #319.
- Bruce Banner coming out of the Hulk's chest begging to be killed is from Incredible Hulk #325.
- The Leader having his powers restored is from Incredible Hulk #332.
- The Hulk as Joe Fixit is taken from Wolverine (Vol. 2) #8.
- The Hulks fighting over possession from Bruce Banner's body is from Incredible Hulk #376.
- The "new" Hulk confronting Betty is from Incredible Hulk #377.
Grudge Match: This story takes places across various points in the Hulk's history that affect his chronology they are:
- The cover of this issue is a homage to Incredible Hulk #1
- First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
|Like this? Let us know!|