- The name's Banner. Bruce Banner.
Appearing in "Bruce Banner is: The Spy Who Smashed Me"
- Prometheus (Mentioned)
- Zeus (Mentioned)
- Pandora (Only in flashback)
- Hope (Only in flashback)
- Hercules (Mentioned)
- Odoacer (First appearance)
Races and Species:
- Hell (Invoked)
Synopsis for "Bruce Banner is: The Spy Who Smashed Me"
Dr. Sofia di Cosimo the director of Il Museo Della Mitologia Antica addresses a special NATO crisis meeting to discuss the theft of Pandora's Box by Tyrannus and the Red She-Hulk. However, the authorities have been tricked into thinking the Hulk had stolen it. She explains the box, actually, an urn, was given to Pandora by Zeus with the instructions not to open it. However, she opened it unleashing all of the world's ills. She eventually sealed the urn once again, but not before the last inhabitant of the box: Hope. US General Gladwell finds this legend hard to swallow. However, when Bruce Banner (hiding in back of the room) points out that Sofia is the is the world's foremost Crypto-Mythologist in the world, Gladwell decides to listen in. When Sofia figures how powerful Pandora's Box is, the General suspects that it is stronger than the Hulk. Making his presence known, Banner disagrees, saying he didn't steal Pandora's Box and is willing to recover it to clear his name. He is quickly surrounded by soldiers who open fire, but Banner activates his shield to block the shots. He then grabs Sofia, turns into the Hulk and smashes his way out of the aircraft the meeting is taking place in.
As the ship fires missiles at them, Amadeus Cho radios in and tells the Hulk that they are gamma tracers. In order to evade the missiles, the Hulk reverts back into Bruce Banner and reactivates his shield so he and Sofia land safely in a river. After getting their bearings, Bruce explains that he knows who took the urn but wants to protect the thief, hence why he didn't reveal to the General who had taken it. Leading Sofia through the river to cave entry, he explains that the one responsible is his wife. Suddenly, Banner turns into the Hulk, who corrects his counterpart, by saying Betty Ross is not his wife anymore, but Banner can't keep away. When they are suddenly attacked by Tyrannus' underground creatures, the Hulk easily defeats them and turns back into Bruce Banner. When talking to Banner about his relationship with the Hulk and his feelings toward Betty, she is convinced that Bruce is clinically insane. Suddenly, they are surrounded by Tyrannoids and captured, which is all part of Bruce's plan.
As expected, they are taken to Tyrannus and Betty. Tyrannus is glad to see that Sofia is with Bruce, as he was planning on kidnapping her anyway. Knowing that Banner willingly allowed himself to be captured, Tyrannus asks what it is that Bruce wants. Banner wants to take Betty back, explaining that if she continues to turn into the Red She-Hulk, she will be trapped in that form forever. Betty doesn't want to go with him, and allowing herself to transform into her alter-ego, tells him that she isn't afraid of her alternate form like he is. She then shoves Bruce down and tosses Pandora's Box to Tyrannus and tells him they need to get this show on the road. Sofia demands to know why Tyrannus wants to open the box. He explains that in the year 467 AD, he was crowned as the last king of Rome at the age of twelve. He states that he wanted to do a good job and make the world a better place, but he was merely a puppet for his father, leaving him to take the blame for their poor decisions. Tyrannus was then chased out of Rome by a barbarian named Odoacer. He vowed to one day to return to Rome, and use Pandora's Box to bring hope to the world.
Bruce tells Tyrannus to get to the point, so the subterranean dweller asks Sofia if the legends of the box are true, that hope is trapped inside. Sofia explains that if the legends are taken literally, then it is true. However, she points out that there are many contradictions, and she believes it is not so much what is inside the box, but the point of the story: not to open the box. Red She-Hulk then asks her what she thinks is inside the artifact. Sofia isn't sure, but if it is an unknown horror or pure hope, it will instantly transform humanity and they do not have the right to make that decision. Before the box can be opened, missiles strike the castle filling the room with smoke. Bruce turns into the Hulk and grabs the Red She-Hulk, while Sofia tries to grab Pandora's Box from Tyrannus. Suddenly, the wall breaks open and in come a group of armored individuals calling themselves the Knights of Rome. Amadeus Cho warns the Hulk that they are magic users, but as soon as the smoke clears the Knights are gone, and they have taken Tyrannus, Sofia, and the Box with them. Before the two Hulks can get into a fight, Amadeus Cho reminds them how dire the situation is and suggests that they team up to save their allies and the world.
MR. & MRS. HULK, Part 1 & 2
See the Hulk as you’ve never seen him before: as an international super-spy! With Amadeus Cho as his guide, Hulk dons a tuxedo and enters into a world of espionage, only to find his opponent is…Red She-Hulk? And what happens when Betty finds a new man? Hint: it doesn't really go over that well…especially when that man is one of the Hulk's oldest foes!
- Some of Bruce and Betty's marital history is covered in this story:
- Based on the Marvel Legacy renumbering infographic, this issue is actually Incredible Hulk Vol 1 626. A different editorial count resulted in its publication as Incredible Hulks Vol 1 #627.
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