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Appearing in "The Big Bang"

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  • Watchdog One

Synopsis for "The Big Bang"

Thanks to the terrorist attacks by a group calling itself the Alliance, the world stands on the brink of nuclear armageddon. To try and stop this, the Hulk attempted to give the Alliance a "face" for the world to attack by growing a bear and calling himself the Maestro. After announcing himself as the leader of the Alliance, the Hulk quickly finds himself up north battling it out with Thor of the Avengers. As the battle rages, the rest of the Avengers watch the battle via a televised feed at their headquarters in Manhattan. The Black Widow asks Hercules how the Thor could be battling with the Hulk with most of his powers gone. Hercules explains that when they first became aware of the Hulk's challenge to the world they couldn't stop Thor from rushing off to face the Hulk. So angry was Thor at that moment he struck his hammer on the ground and he was suddenly was restored to his full strength, a seeming miracle. Crackling with energy, Thor then took off to face the Hulk alone.

As the battle between the two titans rages on, they are also watched by Matt Talbot. Talbot recalls how after the "Maestro's" pronouncement, the Hulk then attacked New York City. As Talbot and the military/SHIELD coalition then began discussing what to do to deal with the Hulk. That was when Henry Gyrich entered the room with Thor, announcing that the Asgardian thunder god was going to allow himself to undergo a berserker rage in order to destroy the Hulk once and for all. Elsewhere, the battle between the Hulk and Thor is being watched by Betty Banner, as well as Largo and Headgear of the Headshop. Largo thinks that the Hulk is acting insane. However, Betty isn't so sure, thinking back to the night before when she was visited at her home by her husband. The Hulk explains to his wife his plan to make himself a scapegoat for the Alliance terrorist attacks in order to prevent the world annihilating itself in nuclear war. When she insists that he isn't thinking straight due to the shrapnel in his brain, the Hulk briefly loses his temper with her. Calming down, Bruce tells Betty that he loved her before they had ever met and then leapt off.

As her recollection finishes, Betty compares the Hulk's battle with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, since they are fighting up north. Suddenly, Thor calls down a powerful bolt of lightning down on the Hulk, but this does little to slow the gamma-spawned titan down and the two continue their brawl. Back at army headquarters, Matt Talbot has summoned Doc Samson to give his expert opinions. Samson is horrified by the savagery between the two combatants and is disturbed that the Hulk hasn't gotten angry enough to revert back to Bruce Banner. Also watching is Omnibus, from his lab in Freehold. He gloats over the irony that his plan is being pushed forward thanks to the Hulk. However, his viewing is interrupted as Hotshot and the other citizens of Freehold force their way into Omnibus' lab. They are furious to learn that their leader is the mastermind behind the Alliance. Since these terrorists go against everything Freehold stands for, Hotshot orders his fellow citizens to take Omnibus down.

Meanwhile, Matt Talbot has had enough of watching the battle. Seeing both the Hulk and Thor as threats to the world, he orders a nearby military plane to drop an atomic bomb on both men, despite Doc Samson's protest. Spotting the bomb falling down upon them, the Hulk doesn't wish to see Thor killed as well and tosses the thunder god safely away just as the bomb drops. While everyone thinks the Hulk is finally dead, Betty Banner only starts to laugh when Headgear tries to offer his condolences.


Continuity Notes

  • It is mentioned how Thor had mostly lost his powers. This happened in Thor #491 and will remain the status quo until Avengers (Vol. 2) #10. The restoration of his powers here only lasts this issue.
  • Dum Dum Dugan mentions how the Hulk is complicit in the death of Nick Fury. Fury was seemingly killed by the Punisher in Double Edge: Omega #1. Dugan blames the Hulk for not stopping the Punisher when they had a chance to catch him, as seen in Incredible Hulk #433. However, unknown to all, this Fury didn't die. As revealed in Fury / Agent 13 #1 it was a LMD that the Punisher had "killed" and not the real Fury.

Continuity Errors

  • The Whizzer is depicted as being among the Avengers in this story, however at the time of this story the Whizzer is dead for a number of years after sacrificing his life to stop Isbisa in Vision and the Scarlet Witch #2.

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