Appearing in "The Dogs of War: Part 2"
- General Ryker (Main story and flashback)
- U.S. Army
- Unidentified gamma mutates
- General Ross (Only in flashback)
- Betty Ross (Only in flashback)
Races and Species:
- Earth (Main story and flashback)
Synopsis for "The Dogs of War: Part 2"
At a secret facility, General John Ryker is shown the latest gamma test subject who has died on the operation table because his body is incapable of handling exposure to the powerful radiation. Unimpressed with the results, Ryker tells his Doctor Vazir to perform an autopsy and inform him of what went wrong. Outside he tells his assistant, Mr. Johnson, to show the doctor photos of his wife and children to remind him of what's at stake if he fails to produce what Ryker wants. Still, after this recent failure, John is still convinced that the only way they can succeed in developing a process of successful gamma mutation is by capturing Bruce Banner. With this Johnson can help, as they ran the license plate of the car they found near the vicinity of their battle with the Hulk and determined that it belongs to Angela Lipscombe, Bruce Banner's ex-girlfriend from his university days. With this strong connection to Banner, John decides to pay Angela Lipscombe a visit.
At Angela's home, she continues to run tests on Bruce Banner, who is suffering from a degenerative neurological disease. With the symptoms getting worse, Bruce begins obsessing over the fact that he is going to die. He is so lost in thought that he doesn't hear Angela explaining how this disease will debilitate him over time. The disease has advanced to a degree where thinking and talking has become increasingly difficult in human form. Suddenly, there is a knock at the door. When she answers it she finds two men standing at the door posing as Jehovah's Witnesses. However, there is something not right about these men and Angela secretly reaches for a gun. Her gut feeling is correct as one of these men is John Ryker himself. But after a series of questions, she is able to send them away without issue. However, Bruce hears the voice of one of the men at the door and instantly remembers it as one of the senior military officials that was on site during the gamma bomb test that first turned him into the Hulk. Looking out the window, Bruce sees soldiers getting into position around the house.
Banner allows himself to transform into the gray Hulk and tosses a dresser out of the house. Then, appearing to take Angela as a hostage. General Ryker orders his troops to secure the area. This confuses the soldiers who are familiar with a green Hulk, not a gray one. This however, confirms to John Ryker that Joe Fixit was real. By this point, the Hulk has pulled Angela back into the house where he discusses his plan on how to get them out of this situation. Outside, John Ryker orders their men to attack the house and kill the hostage. Suddenly, the Hulk climbs out of the house with what looks like Angela in his arms. The Hulk allows himself to get blasted and contained. With shackles on his arms, the Hulk is confronted by General Ryker. When Joe Fixit asks who his captor is with, Ryker tells the Hulk that he works for a shadow organization that really runs the country. Hearing this, the Hulk breaks free from his bonds and uses a disposable camera to snap a picture of Ryker.
This was all a ruse to find out who is after him, and the Hulk's "hostage" was merely a medical skeleton dressed up in Angela's clothes. Managing to slip away, the Hulk doubles back and grabs Angela and leaps away before the military can stop him.
- Bruce Banner states that he has Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Since this story has been published there have been advances in treating the illness and with the advent of and innovations in stem cell research could potentially lead to a cure. As such any references to what disease Bruce is suffering from should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- In the flashbacks of the gamma bomb test, Betty Ross is depicted as wearing a lab coat as though she was part of the gamma bomb project. This was the case in a retelling of the Hulk's origin in Incredible Hulk Annual #1999 as part of the Chapter One initiative. It was an abortive attempt to retcon some of the more dated aspects of Earth-616 history. In that story, Betty was part of the gamma bomb project and worked alongside Bruce Banner as opposed to just being the general's daughter. This retcon has since been abandoned and has been consigned to the alternate reality of Earth-9992. Modern readers should ignore any suggestion that Betty worked on the gamma bomb.
- John Ryker remarks about how "Joe Fixit" is real. He is referring to the gray Hulk's alter-ego when he was a Vegas enforcer between Incredible Hulk #347-359. The general public was unaware that Joe Fixit was really the Hulk.
- Joe Fixit asks if Angela's hair color is real stating that "with the other one you couldn't tell!". He's referring to Bruce Banner's late wife Betty Ross. Betty is naturally a brunette but had dyed her hair strawberry blonde in Incredible Hulk #212 and later bleach blonde in Incredible Hulk #383.
A Flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters:
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