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Appearing in "Auld Lang Syne"

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Synopsis for "Auld Lang Syne"

In the middle of the Nevada Desert, Bruce Banner is visited by Qnax, the alien being known as the Amphibian and one-time foe of the Hulk. Banner vaguely remembers the Hulk's past encounters with the so-called Amphibian. The alien creature then reaches out his hand in friendship, telling Banner that he needs his help.

Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, General Ross and his Hulkbusters have set up a temporary base of operations after the Hulk was sighted in the area. With no trace of the Hulk, Thaddeus demands that Dr. Katherine Spar do something to help them track down the gamma-spawned monster. However, Dr. Spar did not sign up with Hulkbuster Base to hunt down and kill the Hulk, but to prove who truly killed his wife, Betty Ross. They are soon interrupted by the arrival of Devlin DeAngelo. After his encounter with the Hulk, the arms dealer offers to give Ross some equipment including their black market gamma tracker to help them find the Hulk.

At that moment, Qnax has taken Bruce to the Leader's old base in Italy, where Bruce shows the alien the device that sent the Hulk to the Watcher's homeworld to collect the Ultimate Machine all those years ago, a mission that led to his first clash with the Amphibian. Qnax explains the purpose of his mission for trying to obtain the Ultimate Machine: He was engineered off planet to specifically collect the device in order to restore order on his homeworld which fell into utter chaos. For his failure, he was exiled from his home world. When Qnax explains that he still seeks the device so that he could be reunited with his wife and child. Hearing this, Bruce thinks of his own wife and agrees to help. While in Nevada, DeAngelo's gamma tracker has not found a single trace of the Hulk. General Ross is starting to grow impatient, but DeAngelo merely uses this opportunity to get under the General's skin. Suddenly, they get a gamma trace in the town of Constellation, Arizona. They arrive to find the city in ruins, but whoever is responsible is still down there. While Doctor Spar doesn't believe that it is the Hulk, both Ross and DeAngelo think it is. Much to everyone's surprise, Thaddeus decides to go down into the town by himself to confirm if it is the Hulk or not.

Meanwhile, back in Rome, Bruce Banner and Qnax complete the repairs on the Leader's teleportation device. The Amphibian is impressed by the idea of being transmitted on thought wave. However, Banner explains that the Leader sent the Hulk because his body was strong enough to survive the trip. When the Amphibian thinks that Bruce won't be coming, he is put at ease when Banner allows himself to transform into the Hulk. The Hulk goes through the transporter first, with the Amphibian agreeing to follow after him. Soon, the Hulk is transmitted across the void of space in a thought wave until he arrives somewhere. The Amphibian is not far behind, but when he arrives he finds himself on a world other than his own. Worse, he discovers that due to the distance traveled, the Hulk arrived three days before him. Seeing this planet in ruins, the Amphibian wonders what sort of destruction the Hulk has caused on this world. Back on Earth, Thaddeus Ross travels through the town of Constellation until he finds the one responsible for destroying the town.

Back on the alien world, Qnax finds the Hulk and wrestles him into submission, causing a reversion back to Bruce Banner. With the crisis over, the Amphibian gives Bruce and environmental suit. With a universal translator, Qnax explains the situation to the aliens, members of the Bidoceros race, who are relieved that the Hulk's rampage is over. They learn that since the last time the Hulk and Amphibian visited this Watcher's world, they placed a barrier to prevent people from teleporting on their world. This is why they found themselves on the Bidoceros' world. They also learn that this deflection field has also negated the Bidoceros' ability to dream anything but their worst nightmares and it threatens to drive their world insane. As it turns out the aliens have constructed a means of getting to the Watcher's world. Learning this, Bruce and Qnax agree to go.

While back on Earth, Thaddeus Ross goes to confront the being responsible for destroying the town of Constellation, but instead of finding the Hulk he discovers the Abomination.


Continuity Notes

  • Bruce Banner recount his mission for the Ultimate Machine and his first battle with the Amphibian which occurred in Tales to Astonish #7374. The Leader later tried to use it and nearly lost his life in Tales to Astonish #75.

Chronology Notes

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

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