Appearing in "Vicious Circles"
- Abomination (Emil Blonsky)
- Home Base
- Agent Baxter (Unidentified)
- Betty Ross (Appears on a computer screen, TV, or hologram only) (Unidentified)
- Ricky Myers (Appears on a computer screen, TV, or hologram only)
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "Vicious Circles"
An agent of an organization opposing Home Base has just killed one of their operatives posing as a bartender in a small New Mexico town in order to recover a disc containing the identity of one of their inside operatives.
Meanwhile, Nadia Dornova who has been seducing Bruce Banner for Home Base in order to be reunited with her ex-husband, now finds herself face-to-face with the Hulk. As the operative views the footage, the Hulk sniffs Nadia's scent. When he breaths on her too hard, Nadia slaps him across the face. After the operative finishes puking, after witnessing a woman getting her face peeled off, he continues to watch the footage to figure out who the patient was. Back at the diner, Bruce has reverted back to human form. He doesn't remember changing into the Hulk and she feeds him another story about passing out and brings her back into her home. However, along the way, Bruce tells her that he has an admission to make. While back at the hidden military base, Agent S-3 gets Abomination to agree to the terms. It's then that Agent S-2 comes out of hiding and wonders if she got the guts to negotiate with the Abomination in the same place where she got the scars on her face.
Back at Nadia's, the woman has Bruce tucked into bed and she asks him what it was he wanted to tell her. Instead, he asks how she got the scar on her face. This makes Nadia think of the time when he face was slammed into a mirror. However, she tells him it happened in another life. When Bruce asks if it happened when she was young, Nadia responds by telling him that she was never young. Meanwhile, the opposing agent is watching the end of the surgery footage. He's surprised to see that the new face was applied with minimal scarring. When the final bandages are removed, he is shocked by the identity of the woman in the hospital bed. Back at the military base, Agent S-3 has become touchy about her facial scars and warns S-2 not to bring it up again lest she tells Home Base about his cowardly performance that day. As they leave, the Abomination grins.
While at Nadia's, Bruce finally agrees to tell Nadia what's going on. He goes to his duffle bag to procure his laptop. He tells her that he has grown to care about her a great deal and that staying puts her in danger, so he wants to come clean with her and that there are people willing to kill her for what he is about to show. While in a car not far away, S-2 and S-3 get contacted by their master who tells them to return to base. S-2 is uneasy about this because usually their master is that curt when things have gone wrong, or he is going to eliminate an operative. Meanwhile, the operative has called his employers demanding more money to turn over the disc. As he negotiates with them, this organization sends an assassin to try and kill the man. However, he is wearing a kevlar vest that protects him from the assassin's bullet and knife. With his would-be killer easily subdued, the man tells his employer to pay his price or the disc goes back to the enemy. Back at Nadia's, Bruce reveals to Nadia that he is really the Hulk and shows her the footage in Chicago that depicts the apparent demise of Ricky Myers at the hands of the Hulk. He explains what he knows about the conspiracy to make him a wanted fugitive. As he details how he is looking to find Ricky Myers and clear his name, Nadia goes to her nightstand. As she reaches for her gun in one of the drawers, Bruce tells her that he is also looking for Ricky at the rest of her mother. When Nadia asks if this also might be deception, Bruce explains that he has to trust someone on faith. With that, Nadia turns around with a box of tea instead of the gun and tells Bruce that they should toast each other, one traveling soul to the other.
Meanwhile, at Home Base's hideout, Agent S-3 finds a guard standing outside her quarters. Forcing her way in she sees a woman standing before the massive screen with the image of their leader on it. Thinking she is being eliminated, S-3 confronts the woman only to learn that she is nothing more than the janitor. The leader of Home Base finds this curious and asks if S-3 is feeling a bit paranoid. That evening, Bruce Banner is fast asleep because Nadia had drugged his tea. She then uses his laptop to contact Home Base again with demands on why Bruce Banner is so important to her being reunited with her husband. However, the leader of this organization refuses to divulge why, just assures her that Bruce Banner will not be harmed. Back in the hotel, the man trying to sell the disc with the identity of the woman covers his tracks, making his it look like his attacker committed suicide. When his employers ask how he can be so cocky, he explains that not only does this disc reveal the fact of who infiltrated Home Base, but also their other identity, that of the mysterious Mr. Blue.
- Agent S-3 is actually Betty Ross operating undercover. Betty had died of radiation poisoning in Incredible Hulk #466. Her survival is revealed in Incredible Hulk Vol 2 #62. Betty was resurrected thanks to the machinations of the Intelligencia as seen in Fall of the Hulks: Alpha #1. However, her appearances here are all part of a reality warp created by Nightmare as revealed in Incredible Hulk Vol 2 #81.
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