- Does "Worship" mean smash? 'Cause Hulk has sure smashed Thor a few times... And he says he's a god.
- -- Hulk
Appearing in "Hulk Smashed"
- Puma (Thomas Fireheart) (First appearance chronologically)
- Joseph Threetrees
- General Thaddeus Ross
- Major Glenn Talbot
- Major Reeves
- Kisani People
- Ravage (Geoffrey Crawford) (Appears on a computer screen, TV, or hologram only)
- Betty Talbot (Illusion)
- Jarella (Illusion)
- Rick Jones (Illusion)
- Jim Wilson (Illusion)
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "Hulk Smashed"
The Hulk lands on a highway in the middle of the deserts of New Mexico, forcing an approaching truck to drive off the road and into a ditch to prevent from hitting him. Emerging from the truck are Thomas Fireheart and his tribal shaman, Joseph Threetrees. The shaman welcomes the Hulk as a friend. Fireheart finds this reckless, but the shaman insists that they need to welcome the massive stranger with kindness and respect. When the Hulk rejects their offer of friendship, Fireheart transforms into the Puma to face the intruder. Although the Puma is much faster than the Hulk, his attacks do nothing more than make the gamma-spawned brute angry.
Meanwhile, at Gamma Base, General Ross and Major Talbot are brought before Major Reeves who demands answers as to why the Fantastic Four failed to capture the Hulk. Talbot points out at least they had success in capturing and containing Ravage, with the help of the Hulk himself no less. When they have no answers as to how soon they can cure Geoffrey Crawford of his condition, Major Reeves tells them that he will be requesting to be assigned to Gamma Base immediately. Back on the highway, the shaman orders the Hulk and Puma to stop fighting. Despite the protests from the Puma, the shaman convinces the Hulk that he is welcome with their people. With no other choice, the Puma reverts to human form and as the shaman talks of the Hulk's alter-ego, the Hulk begins to lose his temper again. He insists that he is not Banner and is about to throw the shaman's truck, but he convinces the Hulk to calm down and invites him back for a meal and to find inner harmony. Hungry, the Hulk calms down and asks his newfound friends if they have any beans.
Soon they are taken to the Kisani reservation where the locals are initially afraid of the Hulk, but Threetrees convinces them to welcome the Hulk. When they sit down to a meal, Threetrees tells the Hulk to offer a prayer to the gods for the bounty before them. The Hulk makes Threetrees and his people laugh when he asks if pray means the same as smash, because he smashes Thor all the time. While his people are getting to like the Hulk, one named Crazy Fox still can't trust the Hulk and uses a GPS device to tip the military off to his position. Soon, Threetrees convinces the Hulk to undergo the Rites of the Eagle so that he can confront and make peace with his "inner self". While back at Gamma Base, Major Reeves gets word on the Hulk's location and orders the troops to mobilize.
Back at the reservation, the Hulk falls asleep and enters a dream state with the Puma as his guide. The Hulk is visited by illusions of Betty Ross, Jarella, Rick Jones, and Jim Wilson. They all convince the Hulk that they all truly love him, especially Jarella. In the waking world, the Hulk suddenly reverts back to Bruce Banner. In the dream, Hulk's friends take him to the one person he needs to stop hating and learn to love: Bruce Banner. The Hulk reacts angrily, thinking that they have tricked him. In the waking world, the Major Reeves has seen that Banner is back in human form and prepares a sniper to take the kill shot. In the dream, Bruce tries to explain that he wants to end the conflict between himself and the Hulk one way or the other. As the two reach for each other, the sniper takes his shot, hitting the Hulk. When word gets back to Major Reeves, he tells General Ross and Major Talbot that he has eliminated Bruce Banner, much to their surprise.
However, the bullet only grazed Banner's skull, and suddenly changes into the Hulk. As the Hulk's healing abilities begin kicking in, Threetrees orders his people to resume their positions in the ritual. Inside the Hulk's mind, the Hulk points out that Banner is just as destructive as the Hulk if he uses his scientific skills to build more and more deadly weapons. Soon, the soldiers at Gamma Base arrive and order that the Kisani turn over Banner's body. They are all shocked to see that the Hulk is alive and well. When he threatens the soldiers they open fire, prompting the Hulk to flee. With Major Reeves having flubbed his mission, General Ross believes that they'll be put back in control of Gamma Base and are back in business.
- 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.
- In the the Hulk's vision quest, he is "reunited" with Jarella who mentions her then recent death. Jarella had died in Incredible Hulk #205.
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