Appearing in "It's All True!"
Races and Species:
- Earth (Main story and flashback)
- Watcher's Homeworld
Synopsis for "It's All True!"
At the home of Joe Casey, writer for Marvel Comics, a phone call comes in from editor Matt Idelson. Matt wants a spectacular tale for the final issue of the Incredible Hulk. Although Joe wasn't prepared to do a series-ending story, he believes he can work with what he left and come up with the ending his employers are looking for...
On the world of the Watchers, Bruce Banner and Qnax are surprised when the world is attacked by the Bidoceros, the very aliens who requested them to take down the barrier around the Watcher's world because it caused them nightmares on top of seeking the Ultimate Machine so Qnax could save his people. However, the pressure caused by the attack causes Banner to transform into the Hulk. While the Hulk battles the invasion fleet, Qnax searches for the Watcher and the Ultimate Machine, witnessing his quarry flee through a portal. Grabbing onto the Watcher's pet, Qnax gets the Hulk's attention and the pair ride the creature through the portal.
As they pass through the portal they find them falling between dimensions. On the other side of the portal, they find themselves in a massive tunnel that is the true Ultimate Machine, hidden deep below the Watcher's homeworld. The Watcher then reiterates his question: What are these two beings willing to give up in order to discover the truths they seek. While back on Earth, General Ross has come to the town of Constellation thinking he was tracking the Hulk on another rampage but instead found the Abomination. Worse still, the Abomination has just revealed that he was responsible for killing his daughter, Betty Ross. The gamma-spawned monster mocks General Ross, challenging him to shoot him dead. However, Ross cracks under the pressure and swats the guns from his hands and begins revealing how he succeeding in poisoning Betty. While not far away, Doctor Katherine Spar and the arms dealer Devlin DeAngelo watch from afar. Still thinking that the rampage has been caused by the Hulk, the pair wait to see what happened.
Back in town, the Abomination explains that he was normal once, but after he transformed into the Abomination his many battles with the Hulk had preoccupied his mind and shattered his psyche. However, when he was able to focus he became jealous of the fact that the Hulk was able to find love from Betty Ross. A love that was denied to him by his wife Nadia, who has rejected him since his transformation. While on the Watcher's world, the Hulk has reverted back to Bruce Banner while he and Qnax have been deliberating on what to do with the Ultimate Machine. Without a moment of hesitation, Qnax walks into the machine to learn how to save his people and how to find his family. Banner finally admits that he is looking to learn the truth behind who is responsible for her death. With that, he decides to not hesitate any longer and walks into the Ultimate Machine.
Baner finds himself in a dream world, where he is a child and with a friend. As they are talking about his new living arrangements with his aunt following the arrest of his father. They suddenly become of a dumpster that looks like the one on "Sassafras Street". Suddenly, the dumpster pops open and Bruce is attacked by its occupant, a deranged puppet called Edgar the Grump. Bruce struggles with the puppet as it mocks him over the death of Betty. This triggers a transformation into the Hulk and rips the puppet in half. Suddenly, the gamma bomb appears and asks politely if it can go off. Rushing to stop it, the Hulk is too late to stop it from exploding. Suddenly, the illusion ends and Bruce and Qnax find themselves in the empty void. Qnax explains that he discovered that there was nothing that could save his people. Before Bruce can explain what he could see they are interrupted when the Ultimate Machine begins to shudder.
Going outside, they find that the Bidoceros have made their way outside the core of the Ultimate Machine. The Watcher tells the two visitors that these invaders must be stopped. The Watcher plans on doing this by expelling all aliens from his world. Agreeing that they both found what they were looking for, Banner and Qnax agree to be sent away as well. Back on Earth, as the military mobilizes to recover General Ross and whomever he has fought. The Abomination explains how he managed to kill Betty Ross. He explains that he used his espionage skills to infiltrate Area 102 and managed to inject his blood into Betty, causing her death. This revelation completely destroys Ross. As the Abomination begins to walk off, he is ambushed by the Hulk who had arrived in time to hear the whole confession. The Hulk is ready to kill the Abomination but before he can beat him to death, the military arrives. Ross recovers and gets two grenade launcher and orders the Hulk to stop.
When the Abomination explains his hope that the Hulk was going to kill him and put him out of his misery, the Hulk decides against it. With the military surrounding them, the Abomination manages to leap away. The Hulk remains, but before Ross can take a shot at him, Doctor Spar and Delvin DeAngelo arrive on the scene. Spar begs Ross not to kill the Hulk, and he that he won't, because Banner wasn't responsible for the death of his daughter. Reverting back into Bruce Banner, the Hulk explains that he learned to accept things. He tells Ross that this was all his fault becauase he chose to drive out to the gamma bomb test site, setting in motion all of the events that ultimately led to the Abomination murdering his wife. He finishes by saying that the only person who can understand what he lost was General Ross himself and gives him the chance to kill him once and for all. General Ross cracks, he can't do it, because he realizes that he loves Bruce Banner too much. Ross then orders his men to arrest DeAngelo and withdraw.
The next day, Bruce Banner is at a diner with Katherine Spar, who tells him that she has quit the gamma lab program at Hulkbuster Base. With General Ross having gone quiet for weeks the two discuss what they are going to do next. Banner isn't sure, but Spar thinks that she is going to go back to the Center for Disease Control. Banner thinks this is the right idea, telling her that to be in his "sphere of madness" has ruined so many lives, including his wife Betty. Spar thanks Bruce for the advice and goes back out to her car and drives off.
General Ross returns to the secret chamber where he has been keeping Betty's body in stasis. He explains that he is going back on his promise to not visitor her until he made Bruce Banner pay for her death. However, now that he knows Bruce isn't responsible he realizes that his stubbornness prevented him from trying to learn the truth. He realizes that he should have learned to trust Bruce instead of giving to his rage. He says goodbye to his daughter, telling her to rest in peace and that she honors him. After soluting her, he turns out the light and closes the door to her tomb.
- Unlike most real-life people, the appearance of Joe Casey in this story is exempt from the topical reference rules of the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. Marvel Comics creators exist in the modern age in their relative prime, regardless of what their physical age is in the real world. In addition to this, the adventures of various heroes in the Marvel Universe have been adapted into comic books on Earth-616, a practice that started back in Fantastic Four #10. The Hulk's own stories have been adapted in-universe as early as Incredible Hulk #291.
- Multiple mentions are made to Betty dying, this happened in Incredible Hulk #466. She is resurrected some time later in Incredible Hulk (Vol. 2) #62.
A flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters:
- The cover for this issue pays homage to Incredible Hulk #1.