Marvel Database
Marvel Database

Appearing in "Men In Green"

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  • Rick Jones' Exoskeleton (First appearance)


Synopsis for "Men In Green"

Betty Banner and Colonel St. Lawrence are searching for Bruce Banner in Area 102 and find him playing poker with General Ross, Doc Samson, Mister Fantastic, and Tony Stark. Bruce explains that he, Reed, and Tony have shared memories of playing poker and that Thaddeus joined them to win back the money for every tank the Hulk ever destroyed, while Samson is using the opportunity to examine Bruce. With all the men having important work to do, Betty intentionally blows the game by revealing Bruce's hand, prompting the men to get back to it. Betty lures her husband away, telling him that they can play poker together in their room.

Meanwhile, at the White House, Henry Gyrich debriefs the President on the Troyjan invasion of California which was thwarted by the Hulk. As a result, the Hulk inadvertently saved the life of the President's daughter who was attending university in the area at the time. This creates a very difficult position for the President, by all accounts he owes the Hulk and should pardon him for his past deeds, however doing so would be political suicide. When he asks Gyrich for advice on what to do, Henry suggests the President not make the decision alone. Thinking this over, the President decides to call the only person he can trust to help him make a decision: his wife.

Back at Area 102, Bruce and Betty head back to their room. Along the way, Bruce talks about how Rick and Betty released books about the Hulk. This causes Bruce to think about all the things that Betty has accomplished in life and how much more she could have done had she not gotten involved with him. As they enter their quarters, Bruce becomes grimly quiet and Betty insists that he talks about what is on his mind. Bruce talks about all the pain and misery that the Hulk has brought him. Betty is not willing to reflect on that because they are at the start of something great. To take her husband's mind off things, Betty suggests that they play a game of poker, but cheekily suggests that they make it interesting. The two start playing strip poker and some time later, Doc Samson checks on them as they need to get started working on Rick's exoskeleton. However, Bruce and Betty are still in the middle of their game and tells Samson to come back in a half hour.

In the lab, Reed Richards and Tony Stark are about to test Rick's new exoskeleton. Activating the suit, they warn Rick to take it easy when tries to move. Rick gets up so fast he ends up leaping up high in the air and has to grab a catwalk before he can fall. That's when Bruce arrives and offers to help Rick up. But as he does so he suddenly starts to transform into the Hulk. Rick tells the others to stay back, but when Mister Fantastic tries to subdue the Hulk he is easily repelled. Rick demands to know what has the Hulk so upset, but instead of explaining himself, the Hulk leaps out of the building and flees into the desert. Worried about what the Hulk might do, Rick goes after him, using his exoskeleton to run off at super-speed. At that moment, Henry Gyrich returns to the base and is greeted by General Ross and Colonel St. Lawrence. Gyrich tells them that the President is mulling over pardoning the Hulk but wants assurances that the Hulk is under control. Seeing the Hulk leaping away behind Gyrich, the General and the Colonel quickly usher Gyrich inside, assuring him that they do.

Not far away, Rick tries to keep up with the Hulk but moving at such speed is too much of a tax on his system and he tumbles onto the desert floor. Rick begins grasping on the faint memories of the day he was crippled when the Hulk approaches him. The Hulk tells Rick that he thinks it would be best for everyone if he just leaves. When Rick asks why, the Hulk almost admits that he is responsible for his immobility. Instead of revealing the truth, the Hulk talks of how he is responsible for making Rick's life so crazy. Rick points out that the Hulk saved his life all those many years ago and he shouldn't give up when he is on the verge of having it all. Rick then convinces the Hulk to return to Area 102 so they can face the future together, just like old times. The Hulk agrees and the two head back to base.

Later, when the Hulk has reverted back to Bruce Banner he meets with Henry Gyrich along with Betty, her father, and Colonel St. Lawrence. Gyrich explains that since the Hulk is a sensitive political issue the President has decided to quietly grant him amnesty in exchange for using his scientific brilliant and the Hulk's ability to protect American interests, much like he did with the Pantheon. The caveat is that he has to keep the Hulk under control and continue to see Doc Samson for treatment. Realizing that if he refuses he will be put on trial for all the Hulk has done, Banner asks where he can sign up. Back in their room, Betty assures Bruce that this is the best thing that could possibly happen and that just like Charlie in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", he will live happily ever after. The following morning Bruce wakes up and goes looking for his wife. He finds Betty in the bathroom her skin turning green from some kind of illness. Not knowing what is happening, Betty weakly asks Bruce to help her.


Continuity Notes

  • Bruce mentions that he, Reed, and Tony used to play poker in the "old days, which might not exist anymore." He is referring to their time on Counter-Earth where they lived reborn lives following the events of Onslaught Marvel Universe #1. When Franklin Richards sent them all there, it was with false memories that these heroes all had past lives unique to that world. One such memory, as revealed in Fantastic Four (Vol. 2) #5 was that Bruce, Reed, Tony, and Victor von Doom all went to the same university together.
  • In this story the President of the United States is depicted as Bill Clinton. He talks to his wife Hillary on the phone, and also makes references to his daughter Chelsey and Janet Reno, the Attorney General during the Clinton Administration. These should all be considered topical references per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
  • Bruce mentions Betty's recent appearance on the Rosie O'Donnel Show. This should also be considered a topical reference.
  • Betty's illness is because she was secretly injected with some of the Abomination's blood as part of a revenge scheme against the Hulk. This is revealed in Incredible Hulk #473474.

See Also

Links and References


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