Quote1 Aw, cut the crap. You've been saying that [you want to be left alone] for years. It's a crock and we both know it.
This is a big planet, filled with lots of places you could go if you really wanted to be alone. You're just like everyone else, Hulk. you want attention... Love...
But just as you yourself are dark and twisted, so is your concept of love. It hinges on fighting and violence. Keep this island and your stand-off. But that's not what you really
want, is it?
You need the hunt. The violence. You need to show you're the strongest there is. And you need a hunter to help prove it.
You need me.
-- Col. Cary St. Lawrence

Appearing in "Lock and Key"

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Synopsis for "Lock and Key"

After taking over the island of Key Duck, the Hulk finds himself confronted by Janis Jones and a Hulk from an alternate reality. While the pair try to talk sense into the Hulk, his ally Mike convinces him that the two visitors are trying to trick him. This leads to an all-out brawl between the two Hulks. When Janis tries to run to their aid, she is grabbed by Mike who doesn't want her to interfere. While they are fighting it out, the alternate Hulk tries to talk sense into his frenzied counterpart, explaining that he has only come to try and help. However, the Hulk is too angry to listen to his double's explanations as to why his current activities are going to send him down the wrong path. Not far away, Janis and Mike still struggle with each other. The whole time, Mike rants about how the Hulk running the island is everything he has ever wanted and will help him achieve his destiny of becoming a super-villain. This causes Janis to start laughing uncontrollably. Enraged by being mocked, Mike then tries to crush her head with a rock, but she easily knocks her opponent out once she composes herself before getting up and going to the two Hulks.

Meanwhile, the battle between the two Hulks has cut a swath of damage across town. Realizing that trying to talk sense is not going to work, the alternate Hulk decides that beating his counterpart into submission is the only thing he can do. However, before the fight can resume, this Hulk is shocked when the people of Key Duck start cheering for their captor. When he asks the crowd why they would side with the man who stranded them on the island, one of the locals explains that the Hulk saved them from Hurricane Betty. This leads the alternate Hulk to points out that the crowd is probably suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. This causes the Hulk to think about how his mother used to defend her father and he begins to hallucinate that she is there before him. Suddenly, this hallucination becomes his father, Brian, who berates the Hulk for being a monster. Then it turns into Betty, begging the Hulk to let her back into his life and stop pretending that he doesn't know who she is. Both Janis and the other Hulk notice that the Hulk has begun to glow, as though he is making a connection to something he lost. Seeing this, the other Hulk tells Janis that this is not good.

As Colonel St. Lawrence approaches in a helicopter, the other Hulk tries to explain things to his counterpart. He explains that the Hulk has always had some kind of mystical connection and that his recent brain injury and his battle with Onslaught opened him up to becoming a walking nexus between realities. This is how this alternate Hulk had been drawn to this reality. Janis goes on to explain that this Hulk was brought to a future like the one Janis comes from. However, things went differently: This Hulk was more complete and when he was brought to the future the rebels -- including Janis -- were killed. With Dystopia left in ruins and Doctor Doom's Time Machine destroyed in the fight, this Hulk was forced to kill the Maestro. He spent the next few years trying to help the Dystopians rebuild, but soon realized that he had replaced the Maestro. Not wishing to follow that path to madness, the alternate Hulk found another means to travel back in time, finding himself in this reality. When he learned about this realities Hulk, he became very afraid.

Using the word "afraid" was a big mistake, causing the Hulk to become angry again and resume his attack against his double. The alternate Hulk is knocked across town just as Colonel St. Lawrence and her troops arrive. Pulling himself out of the rubble, this Hulk is happy to see the Colonel, who is his lover in his native reality. He kisses her then leaps back to resume his battle with the Hulk. However, as Colonel and her soldiers arrive, they witness as the Hulk gets mad enough that the energy that radiates from him causes the alternate Hulk to be shunted away. The Hulk then begins to rage against the town, demanding to be left alone. However, Colonel St. Lawrence has the guts to approach the Hulk and point out how he is a hypocrite for demanding to be left alone yet always gravitating toward people. She points out that if the Hulk truly wanted to be alone, there are plenty of uninhabited places on the planet for him to live out the rest of his life in peace. St. Lawrence also thinks that the Hulk craves conflict and violence and needs someone like her to give him that need. With that, the Hulk left. In the aftermath of the battle, Officer Flannigan goes to visit Mike in the hospital and the two make amends. Officer Flannigan promises to treat Mike like the brother he is in the future. Meanwhile, the Hulk has decided to take Cary St. Lawrence's advice and has sought refuge in the desolate frozen wasteland where he can be left alone.


Continuity Notes

  • The alternate Hulk mentions two traumatic experiences that the Hulk has experiened recently: ** His brain injury, which happened when a grenade blew up in his face in his Bruce Banner form lodged shrapnel in his brain. This happened in Incredible Hulk #437.

See Also


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