- Stupid, puny soldiers! Still you hunt Hulk! Try to capture Hulk! Don't you realize by now -- Hulk is the strongest one there is?!
- -- Hulk
Appearing in "The Monster or the Man?"
- Doctor Armstrong
- Rick Jones (Only in flashback)
- Fantastic Four (Mentioned)
- Mr. Fantastic (Mentioned)
- Brian Banner (Mentioned)
- Gamma Bomb (Main story and flashback)
- Gamma Accelerator
- Tranquilizer dart
Synopsis for "The Monster or the Man?"
General Ross shows a video presentation to military leaders, providing a threat assessment of the incredible Hulk. Major Talbot supplements the presentation by showing a pictorial history of the Hulk's origins, including the initial Gamma Bomb explosion. Suddenly, an officer enters the room interrupting the presentation. He tells General Ross that Bruce Banner has been sighted outside Chicago. Ross tells him to mobilize the troops.
In Chicago, Bruce Banner sneaks into a laboratory at a Brand Corporation facility. Hiding under a false identity, Bruce works at the Brand Corporation as a janitor. He begins modifying a device called the Gamma Accelerator in the hopes that it might cure him of turning into the Hulk. Something goes wrong however, and Bruce begins to change. His metamorphosis halts in mid-transformation, and he is stuck in a half-Banner/half-Hulk form.
Ross, Talbot and a squad of army personnel arrive on the scene and open fire on him. Although his strength is greatly weakened, Banner/Hulk is still tough enough to resist gunfire. Talbot somehow manages to fire a tranquilizer dart into Banner/Hulk's back, knocking him out.
When he awakens, he is still stuck in mid-transformation and contained within a special holding cell. Inside the creature's mind, a war of egos takes place. Banner's psyche battles that of the Hulk. On the psychic plane, Banner is every bit as strong as the Hulk, but the Hulk still manages to overcome him. The physical result is that Banner/Hulk transforms completely into the Hulk. He pounds his way out of the holding cell and leaps away into the desert.
Appearing in "Outsiders"
- Ron Stilwell
- Brad "Hulk" Bedford
Synopsis for "Outsiders"
In Billings, Montana, a high-school jock named Brad "Hulk" Beford torments a weaker kid named Stilwell. Brad is angry because he thinks Stilwell was trying to flirt with his girlfriend, Jennifer. A shadow falls across the field and Jennifer and Stilwell run away. When Brad turns around, he finds the Hulk standing in front of him. The Hulk asks him why he was tormenting the other boy, and Brad tells him that Stilwell is an outsider - an outcast. These are the same things that people often call the Hulk. The Hulk bellows at Brad, and the jock runs away.
The Monster or the Man
- This series is stated as happening "six years ago", this measurement of time passed in the Modern Age between stories published in 1998 and roughly around Incredible Hulk #209 per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. Stories published in 1998 fall under "Year Ten" of the modern age. Incredible Hulk #209 was published in 1977 which falls under "Year Four" of the modern age. As such the measurement of time here is accurate. When the Timescale pushes forward in November 2017, these stories will have taken place 11 years prior to present day publications.
- This story recounts the origins of the Hulk as they were published in Incredible Hulk #1.
- This story takes place during a period of time that Betty Ross was married to Glenn Talbot. The couple got married in Incredible Hulk #158. From the perspective of this story, the pair have been married for roughly a year. After a troubled marriage, the couple get divorced in Incredible Hulk #238 roughly a year after this story based on the Sliding Timescale.
- Bruce states that the Hulk represents everything he hates about his father. This is a vague reference to Bruce's abusive childhood, first chronicled in Incredible Hulk #312.
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