Appearing in "The Dogs of War, Part Four - Codename: Flux"
- Jennifer Walters (Mentioned)
Synopsis for "The Dogs of War, Part Four - Codename: Flux"
At Gunther's Bar, Private Benny Tibbets tries to have a drink alone when one of the female patrons begins flirting with him. Nervous around women he turns down her offer to go somewhere private. When she insists he loses his temper and his body begins changing shape. Turning into an unstable green-skinned monster, Tibbets fights his way out of the bar, smashes out one of the windows and flees into the Nevada desert. Meanwhile, the Hulk sits in the swamps of Florida waiting for General John Ryker to pick up on his gamma signature and come for him. During this time he reflects on how he has been living a lie. The whole time he existed in his "Professor" persona he fooled himself into believing that he was really Bruce Banner in the control of the Hulk's persona. He wonders how many others were fooled by this, including his late wife Betty. Now he sits waiting, realizing that he was just another pale imitation of the real Banner the whole time.
Back in Nevada, Private Tibbets is hitting a punching bag trying to keep his emotions in check. However, thinking back to how he handled the situation at the bar he loses his temper again and turns into his Flux form and demolishes the punching bag with a single blow. That's when General Ryker enters the room and orders him to stand down, this causes Flux to calm down enough to revert back to human form. Ryker tells Benjamin that orders have come down and that he is to go after the man responsible for his current condition. Playing into Tibbets sense of patriotism, Ryker tells him that he must travel into the swamps of Central Florida and take down the Hulk before he harms anyone. He feeds Tibbets a bunch of lies about how Banner is an agent of state-sponsored terrorists in the middle east and has been selling them Russian technology after creating the gamma bomb.
Meanwhile, Doc Samson tells Angela that he has received word from Jennifer Walters that someone has interfered with his trial and upheld his conviction in the deaths linked to flight 1701, that someone is doing their best to ensure the original conviction sticks. Angela then apologizes for calling Leonard a liar with respect to keeping the truth about Bruce's "Professor" persona a secret and the pair make amends. At that moment in Florida, Private Tibbets is air dropped in the area where the Hulk has been located. The Hulk is surprised to see that the man they are sending after him is a young man no older than nineteen. However, the Hulk is caught off guard when Benjamin turns into Flux and attacks him. Learning that Flux blames him for his current condition, Hulk tries to explain that General Ryker is manipulating him into doing his dirty work. Flux talks about how when he was deployed to the Middle East the enemy used weapons that killed his troops and blames Banner for this. The Hulk holds back and Flux's insecurities cause him to revert back to human form. He is easily shoved aside by the Hulk who also reverts back to human form. Banner explains that he is suffering from a degenerative cognitive disease but as an expert on gamma radiation, he wants to help Tibbets find a cure for himself.
The Hulk is besieged by Ryker's most terrible creation: the ever-changing young man known as Flux! What is the secret of this strange and tragic figure, and how will he alter the life of Bruce Banner in the most unexpected of ways?
- There are numerous mentions to the fact that Bruce's wife, Betty Ross, had just recently died. She died of radiation poisoning in Incredible Hulk #466. She will be eventually resurrected, as seen in Incredible Hulk (Vol. 2) #62.
- Mention is made about how Doc Samson helped created the "Professor" identity for the Hulk. This happened in Incredible Hulk #377.
- She-Hulk's court loss is covered in more detail in Incredible Hulk Annual #2000. She was fighting to have Bruce Banner's name cleared on various acts of destruction caused from Hulk #1–11 that were part of a scheme carried out by Tyrannus.
- There are references to Iraq being an enemy nation to the United States and to the Gulf War and references to the USSR. All of these should be considered topical references per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- 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.
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