Appearing in "Battleground Earth"

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Synopsis for "Battleground Earth"

Bruce Banner and Thaddeus Ross finds themselves prisoners of Armageddon, ruler of the Troyjans. Banner explains that this is out of revenge against the Hulk for killing his son Trauma. They are taken to the Leader's former sanctuary known as Freehold where Armageddon has erected a massive statue of himself and his son standing over a decapitated body of the Hulk. There they are confronted by Rock, who Ross barely recognizes because he doesn't have any recollection of his time as Redeemer. However, when Rock points this out Thaddeus begins to remember his time as the Leader's mindless drone. He also recalls after his death during a battle with the Hulk, his body was recovered by the Troyjans. Under the orders of Armageddon, Ross was experimented upon by alien scientists who used their technology to bring him back to life.

This is when Armageddon appears before them and he explains that he and his people tracked the Hulk back to Earth. When they searched for him they found the ruins of the Pantheon's Mount headquarters. From there, they traced back the Hulk's steps to Freehold where they found the advanced technology of great use to them. Using the technology there to bring Thaddeus Ross back to life, they wiped his memories of his resurrection and sent him back out into the world in the hopes of luring the Hulk to them. Armageddon then explains to Bruce that he will sacrifice his life so that his son, Trauma, might live. While not far away, the Silver Surfer has tracked the Troyjans to their secret hideaway. Location Freehold with his enhanced senses, the Silver Surfer then uses his Power Cosmic to blast a hole through the ice to get to them.

Meanwhile, in San Francisco, Marlo Jones tries to encourage her crippled husband to eat so he can gain strength. When Rick wonders what the point is when he'll just live out his life with a disability, his wife loses her temper with him. She points out that Rick is the luckiest man alive because he is still alive. She also reminds him of how Theodore Roosevelt was President of the United States while in a wheelchair. She also tells him to be grateful that Reed Richards and Tony Stark are both working together to create an exoskeleton for him so that he can walk. Although Rick points out that his wife has Theodore mixed up with Franklin Roosevelt, he begins to see her point. Back at Freehold, Armageddon shows Banner the reconstructed Deux Ex Machina machine that he intends to use to bring his son back to life. However, he explains that the problem is that the devices requires a power source to do so. With the Leader's Soul Man now dead, a power source has been denied to him. However, his scientists theorize that the Hulk can be the power soruce they need, but the process will likely kill him. When Banner tries to explain that the Hulk would never willingly sacrifice himself like that he suddenly begins to transform.

Outside of the lab, the Silver Surfer has arrived and begins attacking the Troyjan warriors stationed around the sanctuary. Not far away, Hotshot and Jailbait explain how the Riot Squad failed to protect Freehold from the alien invaders. General Ross assures them that help will come eventually, even in the most unexpected way. That's when they become aware of the Silver Surfer's attack on Freehold. While inside the lab, Armageddon is pleased to see that the Hulk is now before him. Suddenly, the Silver Surfer comes smashing in and demands to get revenge against Armageddon for attacking him previously, but the Hulk refuses to stand aside. He tells the Surfer that there will be no battle as he intends to give Armageddon what he wants, much to the surprise of everybody. Soon, the Hulk is strapped into the machine next to the lifeless body of Trauma. However, when the machine is activated the Hulk's energy output is far too much for the machines to handle and they begin to overload. As the Hulk begins to laugh manically, Armageddon orders the machine turned off. However, it is too late, as the Deux Ex Machine explodes and Trauma's body is incinerated in the process, ruining any attempts to bring the emperor's son back to life.

In the aftermath of the battle, Armageddon is shocked by the level of confidence the Hulk had in winning this battle. But he won it nonetheless, and Armageddon orders his men to prepare to leave. He tells the Hulk that he will die, and by his hands and when he finally does, he wonders who will care enough to try and bring him back to life.


Continuity Notes

  • Thaddeus Ross has some dim memories of his past as Redeemer. Thaddeus had died in Incredible Hulk #330. However, his body was stolen by the Leader circa Incredible Hulk #333 and he was resurrected by the villain, as explained in Incredible Hulk #400. However, his tenure as Redeemer between Incredible Hulk #397-400 was one of a mindless drone. He was killed in battle against the Hulk in Incredible Hulk #400.
  • Armageddon mentions how the Leader needed Soul Man to power his machine when he brought Marlo Chandler back to life. Marlo was murdered in Incredible Hulk #398. The Leader brought her back to life in Incredible Hulk #400, however, Soul Man was killed in the process.

Chronology Notes

A flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters:

See Also


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