Appearing in "Journey into Science"
- Iron Man (Tony Stark) (Appears in flashback)
- Dr. Wernher von Braun (Mentioned)
- United Kingdom (Only in flashback)
- Pacific Ocean
- Palmyra Atoll
Synopsis for "Journey into Science"
Dr. Derenik Zadian is giving an evening lecture at Oxford University. He tells the youths gathered that they were selected because they are the best and the brightest. However, he cautions them that there is the difference between being brilliant and being funded. He asks them if they want to be theoreticians being debated by professors after their deaths or do they want to be applying their ideas and changing the world in the present. He points to Dr. Werner von Braun, the inventor of the V-2 Rocket during World War II. How during the Cold War, he was snatched up by the United States to help beat the Russians in the space race as opposed to facing war crimes for his deadly invention. He tells them that their inventions will never go anywhere until people are afraid enough to implement their genius. Among the students attending this lecture are Tony Stark and Bruce Banner. Stark raises his hand and asks if they should align their inventions with military needs. Zadian instantly recognizes Stark and notes how brash he is. Derenik then says that Stark could fund his pursuits himself, but asks him what he is studying. When Tony states he is majoring in defensive technologies, Zadian tells him that the sky will be the limit.
That's when Bruce Banner raises his hand asks what the rest of them will have to do. Zadian goes on to explain that most technologies in their world today has spun off from military research. He tells Banner to continue his research organic agriculture if he wants but cracks a joke that he had already forgotten Bruce's name over all the pacifist talk, which leads to laughter from Banner's peers. Zadian concludes by telling the students that he hopes to someday sit on their own lectures and learn about how they also changed the world.
Iron Man is assisting Bruce Banner and his assistants on a S.H.I.E.L.D. mission to search for an island owned by Derenik Zadian. After searching 33 other islands, they come across one that has a defense system that can incapacitate Iron Man's armor. this confirms that this is Zadian's island. Maria Hill orders a boat be deployed for Banner and Stark. That's when Patricia Wolman states that she wants to go with them. Hill denies this request as the island is dangerous for Banner's assistants. Patricia protests this because it was her research into Zadian's unfulfilled military contract that allowed them to locate the island. Banner pulls her aside and warns her that her attempts to die by misadventure could get noticed by Hill and that will get her pulled off his team. She tells Bruce that this isn't why she wants to go, but it is because Zadian has the same neurological disease that she does and suspects he might have a cure. Still, he suspects that he will turn into the Hulk on this mission and refuses to let the Hulk be the cause of her death. By this point, Tony Stark has the boat prepped and read to go.
Soon, Stark and Banner are on their way to the island. Along the way, Tony recounts the lecture they both sat in on years ago, although he forgets that Banner was there as well. Banner explains that Zadian was given this island -- previously used for nuclear bomb testing in the 50s -- by the military for scientific research. However, he cut off all communication and all the notes on his research were destroyed. Tony thanks Banner from bringing him in on this mission to find out what had happened. Suddenly, a massive sea creature leaps out of the water and snags Banner and pulls him into the ocean. Before Iron Man can go in after Banner, two more of the string-ray like creatures leap up and grab him as well. He tries to fight them off with a jolt of electricity, but it has no effect on the creatures who continue trying to crush his armor. Suddenly, the Hulk leaps out of the water, prompting Iron Man asks the Hulk for help, per Banner's request, to make sure that the Hulk fights on the same side. The Hulk obliges, and strikes the creature, freeing Iron Man from its grip.
Once they get on the island, Iron Man's armor detects the radiation coming from the volcano at the center of the island. Suddenly, the Hulk reverts back to Bruce Banner, which is unusual as he was only the Hulk for a few minutes. Banner deduces that the radiation pulse is responsible. Suddenly a massive eye rises up out of the sand. When Iron Man blasts it with a repulsor ray but it only shatters it into a large number of smaller eyes. They are suddenly attacked by crystalline creatures that rise out of the sand, triggering another transformation into the Hulk. As they battle these creatures, Stark detects another burst of radiation and convinces the Hulk to flee the scene before he reverts back to human form. Once safe, Tony retracts his armor so it can recharge and reboot. Along the way he asks why the Hulk is simple minded again, and Banner believes that the Hulk's personality is balanced to be the opposite of his. That night the two men set up camp and unable to reach S.H.I.E.L.D., they begin talking. Banner theorizes that the entire island is the experiment that he has been working on. They then get to talking about why Banner developed the gamma bomb. He wanted to harness gamma for space travel, clean energy and other non-violent applications, but nobody was interested in funding him. It was through Zadian he was put in touch with the military who utilized his expertise to build the gamma bomb.
The following morning the pair are on the move again. As they get closer to the volcano they realize that their trek has been almost too easy, as if they were suddenly being led to it by the island itself. No sooner has Banner suggested this does the ground give out under them. They soon find themselves face-to-face with a massive face in the shape of Zadian. As it turns out, he has made himself part of the island itself in his quest to develop greatest defense. When Iron Man tries to attack him, Zadian is able to turn the blasts back on him. Meanwhile, Bruce Banner tries to get mad and trigger a transformation into the Hulk, but can't bring on the transformation. Incapacitated, Iron Man begisn mocking Bruce Banner, and calls him a menace and suggests that he and the rest of Earth's heroes will shoot him into space again. This angers Bruce enough to cause a transformation into the Hulk. The Hulk begins attacking Zadian, who unleashes creatures made out of rock to stop him. The ensuing clash frees Iron Man who sets the island to explode and flies clear. At that moment, S.H.I.E.L.D. and Banner's techs are watching the island when it suddenly explodes. Stark then goes looking for Banner, finding him some 300 miles away from the explosion. He fills Bruce in on what happened and Banner hopes that he never gets obsessed with his work in the same way Derenik Zadian had.
- "JOURNEY INTO SCIENCE!" GUEST STARRING IRON MAN Before BRUCE BANNER and TONY STARK became heroes, they built weapons.
- But who inspired them? One of Bruce's lab assistants has unraveled a mystery from their past. Now S.H.I.E.L.D. must send HULK and IRON MAN to retrieve one of the greatest weapon designers of all time.
- Will they come back as weapons of mass destruction themselves?
- Banner states that it was Derenik Zadian who put him in touch with the military. However, he is unaware that the military had an interest in him for years as seen in Incredible Hulk (Vol. 2) #81.
- Stark recounts how he exiled the Hulk into space in the past. He is referring to the events of Incredible Hulk (Vol. 2) #91–105.
A fladshback in this story affects the chronologies of the following characters:
Events occurring behind the scenes in this story are revealed later affect the chronology of the following characters:
Tony Stark/Iron Man:
- First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
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