Appearing in "Monsters in Our Midst"
- Fantastic Four
Races and Species:
- Gamma Tracer
- Encephalo-band (Destroyed)
- Fantasti-Car MK II (Destruction)
Synopsis for "Monsters in Our Midst"
General Ross has called the Fantastic Four to Gamma Base to assist in his most recent attempt to capture the Hulk. Reed Richards hopes that he can effect a cure on Bruce Banner so that he can live out the rest of his life in peace. With the pleasantries out of the way, the Fantastic Four take off in their Fantasti-Car to begin their hunt for the Hulk. At that moment in the town of Crystal Springs, Colorado, Banner is in a local diner mulling over ways of curing himself. However, Bruce has come to learn that the Hulk is a reflection of the dark side of his personality and it will be much harder to cure himself it than he previously thought. He soon begins chatting it up with Abby Davis, the waitress working at the diner who has nothing but nice things to say about Crystal Springs. Bruce admits that he doesn't know where he's going and is told that this couldn't be a nicer place to set himself up. Meanwhile, the Fantastic Four are closing in on Bruce's location thanks to a gamma-ray tracer build by Mister Fantastic.
Back at the diner, Bruce and Abby's conversation gets flirty and she eventually gives him her number to call that evening. Since he hasn't been interested in a woman since Betty got married to Glenn Talbot, this is a refreshing change and he decides that he should call her when he gets back to his motel room. However, just as Bruce leaves the diner, the Fantastic Four arrive in town. When Bruce overhears Mister Fantastic asking people if they have seen the Hulk recently he decides to slip away before he is spotted. However, as Bruce slips out of town his anger gets the better of him and he starts to transform into the Hulk. The transformation sets off Mister Fantastic's gamma tracer and soon the Hulk arrives. The Fantastic Four attack, with the Human Torch trying to contain the Hulk in a flame lasso, but the Hulk puts it out by smashing a fire hydrant. After dispatching the Torch, the Hulk falls victim to the Invisible Girl's invisible force-fields which cut off his air supply. Reed then comes in with a device based on the Encephalo-Helmet once constructed to allow Bruce Banner's mind to operate in the Hulk's body. However, the Hulk manages to crush the device and begins harming Reed. This prompts the Thing to rush into the fight, screaming his battle cry "It's Clobberin' Time".
Back at Gamma Base, Major Reeves calls for another meeting with General Ross and Major Talbot. He demands to know why he wasn't consulted when they brought in the Fantastic Four to assist in the capture of the Hulk. He goes on to say that he expects full cooperation from Gamma Base for his report to the Pentagon. Back in Colorado, the battle between the Hulk and the Fantastic Four rages on. The Thing and the Hulk get into a skirmish, and the Hulk is knocked near Abby. She is pulled away by the Torch who has his offer of going out on a date shot down. Eventually, the Hulk becomes fed up, especially after hearing the Thing tell him that he doesn't hate the Hulk. Having finally had enough, the Hulk suddenly leaps away. In the aftermath of the battle, the Thing confides in Reed that he thinks the Hulk isn't evil, just misunderstood. Reed agrees, thinking that Banner's fate could have easily been his. With the battle over, the Fantastic Four pack up and prepare to leave Colorado.
- 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 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.
- The Encephalo-Helmet referenced in this story was used in Incredible Hulk #200.
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