Appearing in "Part Five"
Synopsis for "Part Five"
The Hulk arrives in New York City seeking out Hack, an informant referred to him by Nick Fury. When he arrives in the neighborhood he reverts back to human form and goes to the warehouse where Hack operates. As he shuffles along he notices that his degenerative neurological disorder is getting worse. When he meets Hack, a bespectacled man on crutches. He is excited to see Banner and invites him in, noting that the famous fugitive looks worse than he does.
Back in Nevada, Angela Lipscombe and Doc Samson begin psychologically analyzing Flux, a soldier that was mutated by gamma rays by General John Ryker to use against the Hulk. He explains how he was coerced into under going gamma ray exposure by Ryker who played on his sense of patriotism and duty to his country, something he didn't question for a moment. When they ask him why he went into the military, he tells them that he wanted to make his mother proud. After talking to his mother's strict upbringing Flux takes notice of Lipscombe's bare legs and begins to get flustered. He managed to get control of himself before he starts transforming into his gamma form. Back in New York, Bruce learns that Hack suffers from Polio and the two find a common bond in their illnesses. After fielding some questions about the Hulk, Bruce asks Hack to tell him what he knows about General Ryker. Hack's eyes light up because Ryker is at the root of every conspiracy known to man. Hack shows Banner a photo taken just after the JFK assassination which shows John Ryker posing as a police officer on the day Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested. Bruce wants to know if Ryker has any weaknesses and Hack tells him that he doesn't, that he even supposedly killed his wife after she learned about some of his secret activities. However, Bruce learns that Ryker operates out of Area 51 in Nevada.
At that very moment, deep in the very facility that Hack is talking about, John Ryker stands before a massive containment unit. He tells the gamma mutated creature inside that very soon he will get Bruce Banner the man they are seeking and will help them achieve all their goals, he asks the creature inside the containment unit to be patient for a few more hours. That evening, Doc Samson begins his preliminary evaluation of Flux, noting his oedipal complex, anxiety, and feelings of inadequacy when it comes to the opposite sex. He is joined by Angela who looks over his work before inviting him to join her in bed. Back in New York, Hack is going off on a rant about the various conspiracy theories he is following. He is struck silent when he turns to face Banner and finds a gun pointing in his face. Banner puts a fright into Hack, convincing him that the hacker is on the level. He then tells Hack that if he is to get involved any further he needs to stop treating this like a game. At that moment, General Ryker and his men have stormed Doc Samson's home and subdued all the occupants. When they protest that their civil rights are being violated, Ryker scoffs at the notion.
Soon there are reports that the Hulk is coming and Ryker orders his men to prepare a warm welcome. Back in his Professor form, the Hulk arrives at Samson's house to find one of Ryker's men holding a sign with his name on it. When the Hulk demands to know what's going on, the man tells him that General Ryker wants to speak with him immediately. Demanding to know what Ryker is playing at, the General tells him that he is to surrender. If he refuses, he plans on playing on the Hulk's compassion as he has had random citizen kidnapped and will have them executed one at a time if he does not return to base before 0200 hours. When the Hulk asks how Ryker was able to guess he would come here, General Ross comes out of the shadows and informs his long time enemy that he told Ryker where to find 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.
- This story states that John Ryker was involved in the assassination of JFK. Given his record of obfuscating facts, it cannot be confirmed if this is true or not, or if this is a topical reference in lieu of Ryker having access to a means of slowing or stopping his aging process.
- The creature in the tank here is Lucy Ryker, John's wife. It's revealed in Incredible Hulk Vol 2 #19 that she is dying of cancer. What's later explained in World War Hulk: Gamma Corps #3 is that her mutated form was caused when John injected her with the Hulk's blood in an attempt to try and cure her.
A flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters:
- This issue is reprinted in other comics and books, see references for more info.
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