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Quote1 Good day, gentlemen. You'll be pleased to know... the doctor is in. Quote2
--Hulk (Bruce Banner)

Appearing in "Future Imperfect Part 1"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Hulk: Future Imperfect #1.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "Future Imperfect Part 1"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Hulk: Future Imperfect #1.

In the distant future the planet Earth is a nuclear wasteland where most of humanity lives in a massive city called Dystopia ruled by the Maestro. In a buy marketplace, Janis Jones and her companions Pizfiz, Dakord, and Skooter are attempting to get through unnoticed. Pizfiz makes too much of a commotion, and they are detected by the Gravity Police who shoot Dakord as a warning and orders the other three to surrender. As Janis runs for cover she curses the fact that they have been caught especially after they have stashed the one they brought here to told him to wait. In the middle of the firefight, Pizfiz is injured and tells Skooter and Janis to make a break for it. The pair lure the pursuing Gravity Police officer down an alleyway. Suddenly, a building topples on the cops by the one that Janis has brought to this time: The Hulk. The Hulk quickly dispatches the ground troops and is then attacked by men who are fused with hovercraft. The Hulk is next attack by the Dogs of War, massive mechanical beasts. The Hulk easily rends them apart in short order. He then tells one of the surviving officers to send a message to the Maestro: That the Hulk is there to tear down his dictatorship once and for all.

This news is brought to the Maestro's minister who then takes the news to the Maestro himself. Although his master is busy having his way with a harem of women, this situation warrants an interruption. From behind the curtains, the Maestro emerges, revealing himself to be an elderly but massive Hulk. Meanwhile, the Hulk walks through the market and notices how everyone looks upon him with fear. He is found by Janis Jones who then brings him down into the secret base of the resistance set up to overthrow the Maestro. They are followed by one of the Maestro's spies, but he is blown up thanks to the security systems set up to keep enemies out. When they arrive in the secret den of the resistance, he tells Janis to start giving him answers or he will bring everything down around them. Janice takes the Hulk to a room where he is shown a series of footage from a holographic projector. She goes over the gamma bomb explosion that created the Hulk a century earlier. Seeing these images, the Hulk notes that they are not from footage recorded that day and asks where she got them. Janis explains that they come directly from the mind of Rick Jones. Janis takes the Hulk into a room filled with trophies of a world lost: the shattered and destroyed costumes and weapons of Earth's heroes who are now long dead thanks to the Maestro. There is an old man in this room and when the elderly man beings to play an harmonica the Hulk instantly recognizes him as Rick Jones.

Back at the Maestro's fortress, Pizfiz is strapped into a device that will forcibly scan his mind. The last resort as torture has not made this man talk. The Maestro gives Pizfiz one last opportunity to talk or else. The reveal refuses and so the Maestro orders his mind probed. Scanning his mind, they see images of the past as Pizfiz, and Janis shows up at the apartment owned by Rick Jones in the present. The young Rick Jones confuses them for religious nuts and is about to close the door in their faces when Janis forces herself inside. Rick tries to fight them off, but Janis causes him to pose when she shows him a card with a phrase written on it. However, the Maestro finds this too boring and tells them to scan deeper, even at the risk of frying Pizfiz's brain. They go back further in his memories, where the rebels have figured out how to repair Doctor Doom's Time Platform. The elderly Rick Jones tells his followers that he will send Janis into the past to recruit the Hulk to help them stop the Maestro. To fo do, Rick tells them that they will have to convince his younger self. He pulls out his old Avengers priority card and writes down the details of a memory he had with his wife Marlo that only he would know about. Suddenly, the memory feed goes dead and when the Maestro learns that Pizfiz has been completely lobotomized he kills him and storms out of the room.

Back at the rebels secret base, Rick Jones explains that the Hulk is some 90 years in the future. This world has been devastated by two nuclear wars that killed many of the world's heroes. When Banner asks what happened to Betty, Rick points his attention to a shelf containing the ashes of many people from his past, among them are the remains of his wife Betty Banner. Rick goes on to explain that the only civilization left is Dystopia and that it is maintained by the Maestro who used devices to keep the radiation low enough for people to live, but lords over the people. When the Hulk asks who the Maestro is, Rick grimly looks at him and rhetorically says "Do you have to ask?" While outside, the Maestro is out in the market as he and his men are tracking down the rebels secret hideout. Locating it, the Maestro immediately begins to dig into the ground. He smashes his way into the underground complex and then sends his troops ahead to kill the rebels. However, those resisting the Maestro have prepared for discovery by setting up various death traps that begin to cut down the Maestro's minions. Fed up with this, the Maestro walks through all the various traps which cause little to no harm to him. When Maestro demands that his foes come out, the Hulk appears before him.

Staring each other down, both men say "Doctor Banner, I presume."

Appearing in "Future Imperfect Part 2"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Hulk: Future Imperfect #2.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "Future Imperfect Part 2"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Hulk: Future Imperfect #2.

Having been brought some 90 years into the future the Hulk has agreed to join a resistance army against this world's tyrannical ruler: an evil future version of the Hulk who calls himself the Maestro. Having finally met face-to-face with his future self, the Hulk is sent crashing outside of the rebels base with a single punch from his future counterpart. The two then begin trading blows across the Maestro's city of Dystopia. However, the Maestro is much more ruthless than the Hulk, forcing the hero to stand down when he threatens to rend a woman limb from limb. However, the Hulk tries to bluff the Maestro into thinking he doesn't care, but this bluff quickly crumbles when Maestro tries to throw the woman away, prompting the Hulk to save her life. As the battle rages on, Janis Jones and her resistance fighters regroup in the hopes of assisting the Hulk in his battle, while Maestro's minister watches the battle and doesn't like what he sees unfolding, as the long this battle progresses the more the people will be swayed to side with the Hulk. Eventually, there is a pause in the battle where the Maestro mocks the resistance for choosing the Hulk of all others to pluck from the past, pointing out that everything the Hulk has done or will do have already been accomplished by his opponent. As the Hulk resumes his attack, the Maestro dodges his blows, reminding the Hulk that he is his future self and therefore knows every move he will make. The Hulk manages to get the edge when he punches the Maestro in the groin and knocks him into a nearby building. However, when he sees that there were people inside he breaks off from the fight to try and help save who he can. This leaves him open to be attacked by the Maestro who break's the Hulk's neck.

Meanwhile, back at the headquarters of the resistance, Rick Jones hears the news about the Hulk's battle with the Maestro. However, this doesn't concern him overly much, as he has seen the Hulk cheat death so many times in the past and has confidence that he won't let them down. When Janis asks for more information, Rick laps into a state of dementia. Meanwhile, the Hulk wakes up in a bedroom chamber within the Maestro's citadel where he sees a woman who, at first, he mistakes for his wife Betty Banner. However, this is one of the Maestro's many slave girls. She tells him that she is there to look after his every need while he recovers from his broken neck. Paralyzed, the Hulk cannot stop her from forcibly having sex with him, he begs her to stop but she won't listen and he begins to scream due to his helplessness in this situation. Not far away, the minister reports to his master the Maestro. Maestro is happy to hear that his past self is suffering. When asked why the Maestro doesn't just kill the Hulk, the Maestro tells him that he is doing just that, but slowly and with kindness. Outside of the citadel, the body of the resistance fighter known as Pizfiz is dumped in the massive grave that circles the Maestro's citadel. When scavengers try to pick his body for useful technology they are driven off by Skooter and other resistance fighters. He gives Pizfiz the best burial he can give in this set of circumstances and vows to see the Maestro die for what he has done to his friend.

Days later, the Hulk is still healing and is given a hover chair to get around. When he is visited by the Maestro, he is mocked about his helplessness. The Hulk tells his future self that if he could kill himself he would in the hopes that the Maestro gets wiped out of existence. Calling the Hulk's bluff, he hands him a weapon that he can lift with his now mobile arm and blow his own head off. However, he tells the Hulk that perhaps his arrival here has caused an alternate timeline to branch off, therefore killing himself will not affect the Maestro at all. The Hulk counters this by suggesting that perhaps the Maestro already lived through this moment from his own perspective and, knowing what would happen, knows that the Hulk didn't kill himself. Maestro tells the Hulk that if he is so sure of this then to do it. However, the Hulk chokes at the last minute, proving the Maestro's point that they are one-and-the-same and that he intends to get the Hulk to see this before they are done. Some time later, the Maestro takes the Hulk out into the wastelands where a small farming community exists. There, the Hulk is forced to watch as the Maestro is given the teenaged daughter of the leader of this community in exchange food and supplies that will allow this community to thrive until they can grow crops. The girl, named Char, gives herself up willingly. The Hulk is appalled by this, but the Maestro explains because of this sacrifice the farmers might be able to thrive and prosper in this desolate world. This exchange is observed from afar by Janis and the resistance. They contemplate what to do next, especially since their figurehead -- Rick Jones -- seems to be completely senile at this point. When Skooter suggests using the time platform to get more heroes from the past, Janis explains that the device is barely holding itself together as it is and they can't risk it.

Days later the Hulk is now able to walk on crutches and the Maestro taunts him some more with the slave woman who resembles Betty. The tyrant then points out how Betty's love for them was nothing more than a novelty to upset her father. The Maestro then shows the Hulk around the world that he created. He explains that after the bombs went off the radiation made him stronger and more intelligent and he used his skill to build Dystopia. After years of being called a monster, the Maestro now rules an entire kingdom taking what he wants. He then offers the Hulk the chance to rule by his side. The Hulk can't agree to staying because of all the friends and loved ones he has in his own time, but the Maestro points out that they will all die and he will be left with nothing, and that staying here in the future would be best. The Hulk agrees to think about it none-the-less. That evening the minister sneaks into the Hulk's room and attempts to assassinate the time traveler so that the status quo can be maintained. However, before he can pull the trigger, Janis and her followers get the drop on him. The Hulk wakes up and reveals that he had actually fully healed much sooner and had been faking it, buying time for the resistance fighters to infiltrate the castle, all part of the plan.

They then force the minister to bring them to the Maestro's chambers, but before the Hulk can breach the doorway he is blasted by a powerful weapon. Out emerges the Maestro who is armed with a weapon created by the mutant inventor named Forge which was made to destroy the Hulk years ago. It turns out that the Maestro knew this was all going to happen and soon a battle erupts between the resistance and Maestro's guards. In the heat of the battle, the Maestro kills his minister and then follows after the wounded Hulk. The Maestro follows the trail of blood back to the resistance bunker. There he is led into the trophy room of Rick Jones where he is confronted by his elderly friend. Back within his mental facilities, Rick mocks the Maestro and then tries to launch Captain America's shield at him. The Maestro deflects the weapon, sending it slamming into Rick. The elderly man is then thrown into and impaled by Wolverine's Adamantium skeleton.

He is then attacked by the Hulk, who throws Cap's shield with such force it pierces the Maestro's skin. The two fight it out, but the Maestro makes the mistake of trying to lift Thor's hammer and use it as a weapon. However, he is unworthy and so he cannot lift it. The Hulk lays into him again sending him crashing into a display containing the ashes of dead heroes and villains. The container containing the ashes of Betty Banner shatters and gets into the Maestro's eyes, blinding him. However, the Hulk's advantage soon ends and he is easily trounced by the Maestro. Wounded and unable to walk, the Hulk drags himself away with the Maestro following not far behind. The Hulk lures Maestro onto the Time Platform and activates it. The Hulk then goes to Rick who thanks the Hulk for his help before dying in his arms. Janis and her warriors soon arrive and learn what happened. When Janis asks the Hulk where he sent his future self, the Hulk says he sent the Maestro off to "face the music". The Maestro finds himself transported into the distant past right in front of the Gamma Bomb that first created the Hulk. To his horror, the Maestro realizes that this is the exact moment the bomb is about to go off. The Gamma Bomb then goes off atomizing his body while not far away the Bruce Banner of the past is bombarded with the gamma rays that will curse him into being the Hulk for decades to come.

Back in the future, before the Hulk is sent back home, he and Janis prepare a proper burial. With Rick's body cremated the Hulk attaches it to Captain America's shield and hurls it into the wastelands, sending Rick on one last adventure.

Solicit Synopsis

Explore a dark vision of the future as we celebrate the legacy of the House of Ideas with the era-spanning MARVEL TALES! This anthology series shines a spotlight on fan-favorite characters, features timeless stories and highlights some of our most impressive talent from the past eight decades. A hundred years from now, a ravaged world is ruled with a giant green fist by the gamma-spawned tyrant who calls himself the Maestro! In desperation, a ragtag group of freedom fighters reach back into the past for the one being who might be able to end the Maestro’s reign – the Incredible Hulk! But when titans clash, who will be the strongest one there is? The classic tale from definitive Hulk writer Peter David and legendary artist George Pérez, HULK: FUTURE IMPERFECT (1992) #1-2, is presented in all its gamma-powered glory! Collecting HULK: FUTURE IMPERFECT (1992) #1-2

See Also

Footnotes

  1. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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