Appearing in "Scapegoat"
- President Bill Clinton (Topical reference)
- Elaine Schoenfeld
- Henry Gyrich
- Dum Dum Dugan
- Senator Robert Ralston
- Matt Talbot
- Human Torch
- Wolf Blitzer (Topical reference)
- Regis Lee (Mentioned) (Topical reference)
- Kathie Lee (Mentioned) (Topical reference)
- Nick Fury (Mentioned)
- Maestro (Mentioned)
- United Kingdom
- Air Force One
Synopsis for "Scapegoat"
After taking shrapnel to his brain, the Hulk seeks out the Leader's commune in Northern Canada called the Freehold. However, along the way, the Hulk begins to hallucinates a nuclear blast. As the Hulk struggles to keep his mind together someone attacks him from behind. Meanwhile, at the headquarters of the Headshop, Headmistress has troubles accepting that Betty Banner will be able to keep their existence a secret. Their leader Largo thinks otherwise and points out that although she lied to them about the Leader, they used her for their own ends. As such, Largo thinks they can trust her and offers to escort Betty home, although Headmistress still holds a grudge and thinks that this is far from over. Back in Canada, the Hulk suddenly finds himself under attack by Ogress and Hotshot of the Riot Squad. The Hulk subdues Ogress and insists that he comes in peace. When Hotshot doesn't buy it, the Hulk threatens to break Ogress' back if he doesn't stand down.
Meanwhile, in the parking garage of the World Trade Center, a man comes upon one of the Leader's Humanoids. Not knowing what it is, the man dismisses it as just one of the strange things to be seen working in New York. While in Washington, D.C., a tour group is being shown around the White House. At the end of the line is a man who is in a strange trance. As the tour guide continues on, the enthralled man stops to sit in a nearby chair. Back in Freehold, Jailbait is back in Omnibus' lab to see the lab mice. When Omnibus enters the lab, Jailbait quickly hides, recalling how Omnibus freaked out the last time he caught her in his lab. From her hiding place, she learns -- much to her horror -- that Omnibus is behind the terrorist organization called the Alliance and is now planning new attacks on Wall Street and White House.
At that moment in Reno, Nevada, Rick Jones and Marlo are going through his fan mail which has ballooned since the release of a trading card of Rick. Suddenly, there is a knock at the door. It turns out to be Elaine Schoenfeld, the lawyer who represented Marlo's family when she was in a catatonic state. Schoenfeld has come to broker a deal that would see the Jones couple be the hosts of their own daytime talk show. When considering the idea, Rick thinks it should be a blast. At that very moment, the bombs planted at the World Trade Center and the White House go off. While at the same time, the Hulk has been brought into Freehold, where he is increasingly temperamental thanks to all the residents staring at him. When he is approached by Omnibus, the Hulk tells the leader of Freehold to take him to an x-ray machine and he will explain everything from there. Meanwhile, at army headquarters, Henry Gyrich telephones the President to inform him of the attacks on New York and Washington by the Alliance. The President demands that they do something about the situation. When Gyrich goes back to his military and SHIELD liaison and demands some kind of action, Matt Talbot points out that in order to retaliate they'll need a target.
Back at Freehold, Omnibus completes his x-rays of the Hulk and discovers the grenade shrapnel that threatens the Hulk's life. The Hulk explains that he wants access to the machines the Leader once used to save his life before. However, Omnibus explains that he doesn't know where the Leader might have hidden that equipment, hiding the fact that he is under the Leader's thrall from the Hulk. Omnibus instead offers the Hulk the chance to stay at Freehold, pointing out that various terrorist attacks being carried out by the Alliance. Seeing images of the destruction caused by this organization, the Hulk believes that this is what the Maestro warned him would happen in the future. When Omnibus is indifferent about the world situation, the Hulk rages. Suddenly, he gets the idea that he can use the Maestro against the Maestro's future and departs from Freehold. Later, Betty Banner is watching the news coverage regarding the Alliance attack on Mount Rushmore. To her horror she witnesses as her husband lands on the scene, smashing the national monument even more. Emerging from the rubble the Hulk, now sporting a bear, announces that he is the Maestro and the leader of the Alliance. As he issues his challenge to the world to stop him, the Avengers suddenly arrive on the scene.
- Betty lied to the Headshop, telling them that the Leader was still alive when, so far as everyone believes, he seemingly perished in an explosion in Incredible Hulk #400. However, the Leader has survived and continues to operate as seen first in Savage Hulk #1.
- The original twin towers are depicted on the site of the World Trade Center of this story. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. The original towers were destroyed in a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. The Timescale has pushed forward such that the modern age does not begin until after the year 2002 and will continue to slide forward with each year.
- Likewise, the depiction as Bill Clinton as the President of the Untied States should also be considered a topical reference.
- Henry Gyrich states that Nick Fury is dead. Fury was seemingly killed by the Punisher in Double Edge Omega #1. However, this was later revealed to be a Life Model Decoy of Fury as revealed in Fury / Agent 13 #1.
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