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Preface

A number of references to the past military history of Thaddeus Ross are affected by the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. As such these references are generalized in the main body with clarification in the reference section below.

Early life

Thaddeus Ross (Earth-616) from Captain America Patriot Vol 1 4 001

Thaddeus Ross as a child circa 1953[1]

Thaddeus Ross was born into a family with a rich military history. A relative fought with General Sherman in the Union army during the American Civil War, and another was made a general while fighting in the Argonne during World War I.[2] However his grandfather was a farmer and he lived on he family farm in western New Hampshire. Thaddeus' father however was destined for the military and was a career soldier, his mother was a scientist.[3] His father spent much of his time in the army, but when he was home he read his son stories of valor.[4] As a young boy in the early 50s, Thaddeus spent time with his aunt Betsy Ross and uncle Jeff Mace (who unknown to him were secretly the heroes Captain America and Golden Girl in the late 40s). He befriended a neighborhood boy named Franklin Storm and they frequently played war.[5] About 50 years ago, Thad's father was on leave and was coming home in a Mustang fighter plane that was kept at the local National Guard station. Flying over the family farm the planes engine stalled and it crashed in the woods. Thaddeus was playing war with some of his childhood friends and went to the site of the crash where Thaddeus found his father's death body in the cockpit. At age 13, Ross began taking flying lessons and purchased an old crop duster and put on old style barnstorming shows. [6][3]

Military career

Thaddeus Ross (Earth-616) from Incredible Hulk Vol 1 291 001

Thaddeus becoming a Major after a military conflict in the east[4]

When Thaddeus came of age he enlisted in the military and graduated first in his class. As a cadet he met and fell in love with his captain's daughter Karen Lee and they were soon married. Soon he earned his double bars as a Captain before being shipped out to to fight in a conflict on the South Pacific.[7] It was during this conflict that Thaddeus earned the nickname "Thunderbolt" for his tendency to strike like thunder. By the end of the conflict, Ross had rose to the rank of Major. Thaddeus worked a desk job for the military, and it was during this period that his wife gave birth to their daughter Betty.[6][4]

While sitting at the rank of lieutenant with the United States Special Forces, Ross was approached by millionaire inventor Howard Stark whom Ross owed a favor. Thaddeus was teamed FBI agent Jimmy Woo, transforming demolitionist known as the Bear, Nessa the Kitten a Vegas card shark, and CIA agent Timothy "Dum Dum" Dugan in forming a group later referred to as the Stark Seven. Stark had the group break into Area 52, a Nevada Casino owned secretly run by aliens who call themselves the Greys in order to steal Rigellian Recorder #451, which Stark hoped to use to save the life of his unborn son. [8] Their mission was success and the Recorder not only saved the unborn Stark child, but also biologically engineered him to become what the Recorder claimed would be the salvation of human kind. [9] When the Greys tracked down the Recorder, this threatened the secret of Stark's child, which the Recorder warned would cause the destruction of the Earth by other galactic empires who had grown nervous by the developments on Earth. Howard then regrouped the Stark Seven, including Lieutenant Ross, and they attacked Area 52, destroying the Grey operation and wiping out the aliens in order to protect the secret of Stark's child. [10]

Ross was once more called back to active duty to take part in a conflict in east Asia, where he rose to the rank of General.[11] When the conflict was over, Thaddeus returned home and helped raise his daughter, who tried to be the son that Thad always wanted. 12 years after returning home, Thaddeus' wife Karen died of cancer, it was during her funeral that Ross ever showed any sign of emotion to his daughter. Later, Thaddeus came to the decision that his young daughter had no place on a military base and sent her off to boarding school until she reached adulthood.[4]

Gamma Bomb Project

Thaddeus Ross (Earth-616) from Incredible Hulk Vol 1 -1 001

General Ross[12]

Many years later, General Ross was assigned to recruit scientist Bruce Banner and utilize his research into gamma radiation to build a Gamma Bomb. Upon his first meeting with Banner, he was unimpressed with the bomb being used to destroy enemy weapons and fortifications but sparing lives, he wished a powerful weapon that would strike fear into America's enemies. Ross' first impression of Banner was that he was a weak milksop. Paying a visit to Banner later, Ross was upset to find that Bruce's father Brian—a convicted murderer—was living with him and warned Banner that this could negatively impact his development of the bomb before leaving. This soon was a non-issue as Brian Banner was later found murdered.[13] As Banner began developing the weapon, the military and government were concerned about how much of taxpayer dollars were going towards the development. Ross was called to answer for the delays in design and brought Banner to assure them that the project would continue without issue. The project itself was saved thanks to a glowing endorsement from industrialist Tony Stark, although Banner and Stark almost came to blows when Stark pointed out that the bomb could be made stronger.[14] It was by this time Ross was in charge of the Los Diablos Missile Base in New Mexico where he lived with his daughter Betty. When Bruce came to the site for the first time, Betty was interested in the timid scientist. Ross berated Banner for still having one of his childhood stuffed animals in his belongings.[15] Soon the Gamma Bomb project was under way and Ross oversaw the project with various other members of military brass. [16][17][18][19]

On the day of the Gamma Bomb test, Ross put extra pressure on Banner to ensure the test went off without a hitch. Betty, meanwhile, took a liking to Banner much to her fathers disapproval. That day fate would conspire to make this day a pivotal turning point in the life of General Ross and begin a years long obsession. Moments before the bomb went off Banner spotted a young man named Rick Jones out on the test site and told his assistant Igor Starsky to delay the countdown. None suspected that Igor was really a Russian spy seeking to steal the secrets to the Gamma Bomb project and when Banner went out to pull Rick from the test site he kept the countdown going hoping to eliminate Banner and get a step closer to stealing the plans. Banner succeeded in getting Rick to a led lined trench but the bomb went off before he could get to cover and he was bombarded with a lethal dose of gamma rays[20][21][22][23][24].

Chronal Interference

History was almost changed that day thanks to the machinations of Zarrko the Tomorrow Man a time traveller from the future of Earth-6297. He had tricked the future Hulk into going into the past to stop the Chronanarchists from changing history as well as created an even more powerful Hulk to use as a weapon[25]. When the future Hulk arrived in this era along with a Recording Observational Bot containing the mind of Bruce Banner, the R.O.B. tried to change history by knocking Banner into the trench before the Gamma Bomb went off. However the future Hulk was caught in the blast and mutated into a more powerful form[26]. General Ross and his soldiers tried to keep this even more powerful Hulk at bay, while the modern day Bruce Banner—given his future memories from the R.O.B. -- battled the Chronararchist known as Khotto. Banner ultimately reversed the change in history, putting it back on the right course, saving the lives of Ross and all the soldiers and erasing the super-powerful future Hulk from existence. None were left to remember any of these events had occurred. [25]

Early Altercations with the Hulk

Unknown to General Ross and everyone save Rick Jones—who pledged his life to Banner for saving his life—whenever night fell, Bruce Banner turned into a powerful brute that was later dubbed the Hulk. On the night of the Hulk's first transformation, he rampaged through the military base to get to Bruce Banner's cabin and prevent Igor from stealing his Gamma Bomb plans. General Ross mobilized a strike force to go after the Hulk. But when they arrived at Banner's cabin, Igor was subdued and the Hulk was nowhere to be found, Ross little suspected that whenever it was night Banner transformed into the Hulk. The following night when his daughter went out for fresh air she encountered the Hulk and fainted. Finding her later, he promised her that he would track down the Hulk and destroy the creature[20]. Unaware that Banner was secretly the Hulk, Ross soon began to grow suspicious of his activities outside of the base and his regular absences. When the Earth was threatened with invasion by the alien race known as the Tribbitites,[27] Ross tried to destroy their ships with missiles, but their magnetic weapons proved more than a match for Earth's primitive defences. Later when Bruce Banner was captured by the Tribbitites, he crashed one of their ships as the Hulk. When Ross and his men found Banner in the wreckage, Thaddeus immediately assumed Bruce was a traitor and had him locked up. That night Bruce turned into the Hulk and broke out of his cell. When the Hulk kidnapped Betty, Ross was powerless to stop him. Eventually, the Hulk reverted to Banner and both he and Rick Jones used a Gamma Ray to repel the alien invaders, redeeming Banner although Ross still found his activities suspicious. [28]

When the Hulk next resurfaced the brute attacked a number of military missile tests and Ross mobilized forces against him. When they finally caught up with the Hulk it was after he defeated the Distorter a costumed villain who used his mind control devices to bend the Hulk's will. Ross was surprised when the Distorter was unmasked and revealed to be Leon Stort, a member of the staff at Desert Base[29]. When the military sought to test out a new rocket that could escape Earth's orbit, Ross had Rick Jones brought in and played on the boy's sense of patriotism to trick the Hulk into boarding the rocket as he was the only being with a body powerful enough to withstand the launch. Ross didn't reveal until later that he had no intentions of bringing the Hulk back to Earth. When Rick learned the truth he forced the rocket to land in order to save his friend. When the Hulk next appeared he shut down the Ringmaster and his Circus of Crime. When Ross and his soldiers arrived on the scene after the battle the Hulk escaped capture once again[30]. Ross later got involved in the testing of a new Cobalt Bomb. To assist in the tests the military enlisted the aid of the Asgardian thunder god Thor. The test was nearly thwarted by Zarrko the Tomorrow Man.[31] Thor prevented Zarrko from stealing the c-bomb and returned it to the military[32]. Ross then started using military resources to create weapons to capture the Hulk, ironically in most cases they were based on weapons designs drawn up by Bruce Banner himself. After testing a new "Iceberg" missile, Ross ordered his soldiers to bring in Rick Jones again so he could be grilled on his connection to the Hulk and learn the whereabouts of Bruce Banner who had been missing for quite some time. Despite threats of locking Rick up, Ross couldn't get any information out of the boy. Banner eventually resurfaced as he and Rick devised a means where Bruce could switch back and forth between the Hulk and his human form at will with the aid of a Gamma Ray Projector. [33]

When Ross began to realize that his daughter was falling in love with Bruce Banner, he tried to dissuade her from following those feelings, not liking the secrets that Banner was obviously keeping. Later Betty was kidnapped by Tyrannus a long lived Grecian ruler who controlled the underground domain of Subterranea. Tyrannus ordered Ross to not impeded his coming invasion of the surface world in order to ensure the safety of his daughter. Ross complied, but Betty was eventually rescued by the Hulk. Later, Ross tried to apprehend the Hulk using the Iceberg Missile, but the weapon proved useless against the Hulk[34]. General Ross immediately blamed the Hulk for a series of sabotage that began occurring on the base. In order to capture and destroy the Hulk, Thaddeus hired the help of the Fantastic Four to track down the monster. Ross ignored Bruce and Rick's insistences that the sabotage was the work of another. Ultimately, the Hulk assisted in capturing the real saboteur, Karl Kort, another scientist who worked on the base who was really a communist spy[35][36][37]. General Ross and his soldiers were equally powerless when the alien known as Metal Master came to invade the Earth, as the alien's power over metal made all their weapons useless. When the Metal Master defeated the Hulk, Ross and his men were able to finally capture the green behemoth. When the Hulk angrily rejected Rick Jones—believing the boy had betrayed him—Rick asked Thaddeus if he could join the military. Ross turned Jones down, telling him he was too young to enlist. Eventually, the Hulk broke free and with the help of Rick and his newly formed Teen Brigade he defeated the Metal Master forcing him to leave Earth. Ross was surprised to learn this, but was less able to believe Bruce Banner's excuse that he was on vacation in Bermuda during the crisis to explain his absence[38]. Ross later sat in on a congressional meeting over the latest defence work being carried out by Tony Stark and his Stark Industries for the military[39]. Back at the base, Ross was unable to locate Bruce Banner when he was needed to help stop the villain known as Sundown. [40]

Sometime later, a giant mount was pushing through the ground near the base, as part of an invasion of the surface world by the Lava Men. Ross allowed the Avengers deal with the threat. He also insisted that Banner do something about the situation. Ultimately, Thor convinced the Lava Men to cease their invasion and the Hulk was tricked into destroying the mount. [41]

Hunting the Hulk

After the Hulk began resurfacing in the southwest again, Ross began devoting his energies to stopping the creature on top of testing out new weapons being made for the military. Later the Avengers Giant-Man and the Wasp tried to re-recruit the Hulk back into the Avengers. When the Hulk resurfaced Ross mobilized his forces to capture him. Ross was almost tricked into blowing up both the Hulk and Giant-Man by the heroes foe the Human Top, but this was thwarted by the Wasp and the Hulk escaped. When Betty continued to show romantic interest in Bruce, Ross wondered how she could love a "weakling" like Banner on a base full of soldiers[42].

General Ross soon began pressuring Bruce Banner to complete a new robotic suit of armor that would allow the wearer to withstand a nuclear bomb blast. That evening the suit was stolen by a spy. When the spy absconded with the suit after a test, Ross assumed that Banner was piloting the suit and ordered his capture. Ross soon discovered that this was not the case after Banner was found following a battle between the Hulk and the spy in the suit of armor.[43] Still suspicious of Banner's activities but not able to do anything without proof thanks to a presidential order protecting Banner, Ross convinced the Pentagon to send security officer Major Glenn Talbot to investigate Banner. Talbot took an immediate liking to Betty and soon became a rival for her affections, but Betty remained ever faithful to Bruce Banner. When the Hulk was was knocked out after his next battle with the spy, General Ross brought special restraints, ironically designed by Banner himself, to bound the Hulk and bring him back to base[44]. The base was next infiltrated by the professional spy and master of disguise known as the Chameleon who was hired by the gamma-spawned Leader to steal military secret. The Chameleon briefly posed as General Ross to get past security and dismiss the security detail around the Hulk. The Hulk reverted to Banner but was rescued and hidden by his friend Rick Jones before his double identity could be compromised. Ross ordered Banner's arrest when the Chameleon posed as Banner in order to steal a Gamma Grenade and kidnapped Betty. However he was stopped by the Hulk and defeated. Banner was then cleared of all wrong doing thanks to Betty confirming that the "Banner" who kidnapped her was an impostor, this still did nothing to disway either Ross or Talbot of any suspicions over Banner. [45]

Ross next ordered Banner's latest invention, the Absorbatron, to be transported by train with Banner under tight security. The shipment was attacked by the Leader's Humanoid creation and stopped by the Hulk, although Banner was implicated in the attack and arrested[46]. Ross and Talbot did not believe Banner's claims of innocence, and but still provided him with the tranquillizers he requested, unaware that they were being used to stave off a transformation into the Hulk. However Banner was soon released thanks to Rick Jones confiding the secret of the Hulk with the President of the United States. Banner and Talbot were then assigned to test the Absorbatron on Astra Island, but were attacked by the Leader's army of Humanoids.[47] The battle with the Leader ended with the Hulk being washed out at sea and reverting back into Bruce Banner where he was recovered by a Russian sub and taken as a prisoner to communist nation in Eastern Europe[48]. With intelligence reports coming in about Banner being taken to this country, General Ross immediately assumed that Banner had become a traitor to his country. He then began planning to deploy Major Talbot to covertly enter the country and recover Banner and learn the truth[49]. Soon a coded message was received from bandit chieftain Kanga Khan of Mongolia who had managed to capture Banner and was holding him for ransom. Ross then sent Major Talbot to pay the ransom and recover Banner[50]. When blasted off a cliff, Banner changed into the Hulk and left Mongolia leaving Talbot for dead. When he returned to his home in America, he was spotted by the military and after recovering Major Talbot, General Ross had his soldiers surround Banner and take him prisoner. However thanks to the President's influence, Banner was freed once again and was again signed on to test out his Absorbatron. Like with the previous attempt the island was attacked by the Leader's Humanoids[51]. When the Hulk and the Absorbatron were captured by the Leader and taken to his secret hideout, Banner managed to sent out a distress signal bringing both the military and Rick Jones to his location. Ross, still suspecting that Banner was a traitor some how and ordered his men to shoot to kill on sight. Although the Leader escape, Banner was shot in the head and seemingly died. [52]

While Ross and his soldiers secured the Leader's base, Rick escaped with Banner's body, and was able to revive the Hulk in Banner's secret desert lab. Meanwhile, the Leader unleashed a gigantic Humanoid on Missile Base. Ross and his soldiers tried to keep the massive construct at bay, and Thaddeus incorrectly assumed that the arriving Hulk was in league with the Humanoid and ordered that the military's new Sunday Punch Missile be deployed to destroy both[53]. While the Humanoid was incapacitated by the blast, the Hulk managed to escape. General Ross and his men surrounded the massive Humanoid, but before they could study it, the Leader incinerated his creation. Ross then gathered his men and continued their hunt for the Hulk, tracking him back to the cave where Banner's lab was secretly hidden where they threatened to level the cavern if the Hulk didn't surrender[54]. Rick Jones tried to convince Ross and his men to stand-down, but Thaddeus refused to listen and ordered his men to fire when the Hulk refused to come out. The secret lab was destroyed and the Hulk was seemingly slain. Observing the wreckage, Ross was surprised to find all sorts of scientific equipment, finally giving Ross the proof he needed that Banner and the Hulk were connect. However he incorrectly deduced that the Hulk was a robot created by Banner. Demanding answers from Rick Jones, Ross still couldn't get the boy to talk and ordered his soldiers to take him into custody again.[55] Following the supposed death of the Hulk, General Ross was assigned to test Bruce Banner's last invention, the T-Gun in order to find out what its function was. However Ross was still unconvinced that the Hulk was destroyed for good and ordered Glenn Talbot to continue the hunt for him, with no luck. Sure enough when the Hulk resurfaced, Ross received reports that the Hulk was heading for Washington D.C., and brought the T-Gun there. The Hulk was blasted just as he landed on the lawn of the White House and was seemingly atomized in the blast.[56] General Ross was under pressure to find proof that the Hulk was destroyed and not gotten away from his superiors[57]. Ross then attempted to question Rick Jones again, who still refused to reveal any of the secrets he knew about the Hulk. Ross let Rick go, but assigned Glenn Talbot to follow the boy and see what he could learn. After following Rick back to the ruins of Banner's lab, Talbot managed to get Rick's big secret: That Bruce Banner and the Hulk were the same man. [58]

The Orion Missile Crisis

With Banner's secret now out, General Ross hired a new scientist to work at the base, Professor Konrad Zaxon who was creating weapons that were powered by organic energies. When the Hulk resurfaced, Zaxon devised a way for Ross and his soldiers to capture the Hulk. However Zaxon proved to be a would-be world conqueror and attempted to kill the Hulk with his Organic Energy Attractor weapon[59]. However Zaxon became victim to his own weapon and the Hulk escaped. General Ross then went with Rick and Major Talbot on a mission to captured the Hulk. When Betty pleaded to her father not to destroy the Hulk in case he really was Bruce Banner, Thaddeus promised to do what he could[60]. Later Ross allowed the heroic X-Men to be recruited in the hunt for the Hulk who had appeared in the northwest, Rick convinced them that the Hulk was a hounded victim. The X-Men let the Hulk go when their leader Professor X learned that the military intended to weaponize the Hulk. [61] Not long after this, Rick, Glenn and Betty went missing.[62] General Ross mobilized a full military search party, blaming the Hulk for the disappearances[63]. Thad later found Rick and Glenn and learned that Betty was kidnapped by the costumed villain known as Boomerang who was working for the terrorist organization known as the Secret Empire. They had kidnapped Betty in order to hold her for ransom so the Empire could obtain the military's new Orion Missile[64]. Ross held Glenn responsible for Betty's kidnapping and when the Hulk was spotted in the region going after Boomerang, he mobilized an attack force but ordered Glenn to stay behind with a skeleton crew to defend the Orion. Meanwhile, The Hulk managed to recover Betty from Boomerang, who gave her up in order to escape the Hulk[63]. While out on the hunt, General Ross was confronted by the Hulk who took both him and Rick Jones to where he was keeping Betty safe. Thaddeus was surprised to learn that the Hulk actually saved his daughter, but the Hulk eventually grew agitated and bounded away. [65]

After the Orion Missile base was attacked by Boomerang, it was repelled thanks to Major Talbot and his men. General Ross then had the missile test moved to Florida[66]. Once the missile was ready, General Ross ordered its launch unaware that a spy named Gorki had developed a device to divert the missile and have it strike New York City[67]. The missile was stopped by the Hulk who redirected it into the Atlantic Ocean where it harmlessly blew up, but the Hulk was blamed for the missile being diverted in the first place. It was about this time that the military located one of the Leader's former bases and his prototype Hulk-Killer humanoid. Seeing this as a means of destroying the Hulk once and for all, General Ross ordered the robot be activated and used to destroy the monster. However once the creature was activated, it proved impossible to control and it went on a rampage until it actually crossed paths with the Hulk[68]. Although General Ross was bent on destroying the Hulk when he believed it was a menace, he soon realized that he was rash when Gorki was captured and his involvement in the Orion Missile situation was revealed. When the Hulk was made weak enough that he reverted by Bruce Banner, he was pulled out of the battle by Rick Jones. The General then complied with Banner's requests for supplied to build a weapon that allowed him to destroy the Hulk-Killer when he next transformed into the Hulk. [69]

The Manhunt Continues

Although the Hulk was hailed as a hero, the creature was set on another rampage thanks to the secret interference of Boomerang who was looking to get revenge against the Hulk for botching his job with the Secret Empire. This most recent rampage came just as General Ross received a letter from the President informing Ross that he had the sole authority to either grant the Hulk amnesty if he deserved it. Ross tore up the letter, determined to hunt down and destroy the Hulk, at least initially[70]. When Ross returned to Missile Base, he listened to appeals from both Betty and Rick Jones but only agreed to avoid destroying the Hulk unless there was no other option[71]. Soon, General Ross had to concern himself with other matters, namely the fact that his command had been infiltrated by a Russian spy and he ordered his men to hunt down the spy. Instead they found Bruce Banner who was trying to end his life by exposing himself to a lethal dose of gamma rays. Banner was captured and the spy, Emil Blonsky, bombarded himself with the gamma rays instead—transforming him into a massive and more powerful gamma spawned monster later dubbed the Abomination. The Abomination easily defeated the Hulk and kidnapped Betty. With her daughter a prisoner of the monster, General Ross was uneasy to come to terms with the fact that he needed the Hulk's help to get her back. But he feared the worse as the Hulk was on the brink of death after his battle with the creature[72]. With the help of Rick Jones, General Ross revived the Hulk who reverted back to Bruce Banner. Banner used his Infinite Weapon Ray to draw the Abomination back and weaken him enough for the Hulk to defeat him in battle. With the Abomination defeated, General Ross agreed to let the Hulk go, unsure how to deal with him after rescuing his daughter[73]. It wasn't before long when the Hulk went on another rampage and another subsequent clash with General Ross and his soldiers, but the Hulk managed to escape once again. [74]

Shortly thereafter the Hulk and Bruce Banner went into hiding and despite the on going hunt for the Hulk, General Ross was unable to locate him initially[75]. With the Hulk gone missing[76] General Ross and his command put hunting down the Hulk on the back burner while they dealt with other threats. During this period, Ross and his men were incapable of stopping the spy known as the Black Widow from stealing a new experimental X-76 Verti-Jet[77]. Unable to locate the Hulk, General Ross called in Major Talbot and assigned him to Operation: Lightning, to find and shut down the terrorist organization known as the Lords of the Living Lightning[78]. However, the Lords and their leader had convinced the Hulk to attack Missile Base. While General Ross was busy defending the base from the Hulk, the Lords managed to take over the base and take Betty hostage. Ross was brought to their leader and he was ordered to surrender the base or Betty would be left in a cell with the Hulk.[79] The Lords did not anticipate the Hulk's romantic connection with Betty and the creature refused to harm her and even reverted back into Bruce Banner. Major Talbot meanwhile managed to retake the base and force the Lords to retreat back to their base. With the threat of the Lords' supply of missiles, General Ross agreed to allow Banner to expose himself to gamma rays in order to destroy the headquarters of the Lords of the Living Lightning. The Hulk succeeded in doing this, destroying their mountain headquarters but the brute was buried alive.[80]

Devoted to Destroying the Hulk

Thaddeus Ross (Earth-616) and Richard Jones (Earth-616) from Tales to Astonish Vol 1 100 001

General Ross vows to get the Hulk[81]

General Ross and his soldiers arrived at the scene of the ruined base and Rick pleaded with Thaddeus to help free the Hulk. This proved to be a non-concern as the Hulk managed to free himself. However, unknown to all gathered at the scene, the Hulk was under the control of the Puppet Master who sought to use the Hulk to get revenge against his foe the Sub-Mariner. When Rick tried to approach the Hulk, the Puppet Master ordered him to swat the boy away, seriously injuring Rick. Cradling Rick's unconscious body General Ross vowed to get the Hulk no matter what it would take. When Betty arrived on the scene, Ross told her what happened and she was devastated by the news, truly believing that she had lost Bruce forever. Meanwhile, General Ross and his men monitored the Hulk's battle with the Sub-Mariner across Miami, but did not engage. Ultimately, the Sub-Mariner defeated the Hulk and returned to the ocean.[81] When the Hulk went missing again,[82] General Ross and his forces tried to contain the Silver Surfer who decided to go to war against the people of Earth. He was eventually stopped by the Fantastic Four[83]. After Rick had recovered from his injuries, General Ross, Major Talbot and Rick appeared on a television program to denounce the Hulk as a menace to society. Soon after this, the Hulk engaged in a battle with the so-called Space Parasite in New York City. The Hulk won the bout but was captured by the authorities when he reverted back into Bruce Banner. [84]

With Banner under sedation, General Ross ordered him to be taken out of New York. Ross accompanied a convoy transporting Banner's comatose body to JFK International Airport. Along the way the convoy was attacked by Rhino who had been hired by spies to kidnap Banner. The Rhino tried to escape with both Banner and Betty, but Bruce transformed into the Hulk once again. General Ross and his men recovered Betty while the Hulk seemingly slew the Rhino. At the end of the battle, the Hulk then grabbed Betty and fled the scene, much to the horror of her father[85]. With a Hulk on another rampage through New York City, General Ross appealed to the people of the city, ordering them to not leave their homes. During this rampage, the Hulk clashed with the so-called Missing Link an irradiated cave man unleashed upon New York by Russian spies[86]. After Betty was injured in a car crash during the crisis, General Ross was less than impressed when Nick Fury and the spy organization SHIELD were pulled in to apprehend the Hulk. Ross was impressed when a massive helicarrier pulled the two combating behemoths out of the city, but was shocked when it turned out that it wasn't a SHIELD helicarrier that captured the Hulk and the Missing Link, but a Russian craft piloted by Fury's communist counterpart Yuri Brevlov[87]. With the Hulk missing somewhere in Asia[88] General Ross and his command were assigned to determine what was causing a shift in the Earth's axis, causing all sorts of weather disturbances. This led to Ross wondering if Banner might have something to do with it[89]. Ultimately the crisis soon passed before Ross could learn who was responsible.[90]

With the Hulk still unaccounted for, Betty—who was still recovering from her injures—called her father daily to find out if there was any new information, much to his irritation. Soon Ross had to defend his base from the Hulk again after the Hulk was tricked into attacking it by the Sandman. The military soon learned the Sandman orchestrated the attack using the Hulk as a distraction while he tried to steal their new Space-Warp Ship. Not only did the Hulk ultimately defeat the Sandman, but he also saved Betty from another car crash. Ross tried to approach the Hulk to thank him, but the Hulk perceived this as an attack and fled[91]. Not wishing Betty to get into any more danger, General Ross ordered her confined to quarters. Soon, Bruce Banner came to her seeking help to cure himself of being the Hulk. The pair were confronted by Major Talbot and security prompting Banner to change into the Hulk. While the Hulk tried to escape with Betty they were both captured by the Sandman and the Mandarin who both sought revenge against the Hulk. Ultimately, the Hulk defeated both foes—with the Sandman being turned into glass and the Mandarin escaping—but he was captured by the military, something the simple minded Hulk blamed on Betty[92]. With the Hulk kept sedated by Neturalizer Rays, General Ross scrambled to find a permanent solution to deal with the Hulk. When the Leader turned up alive and well and offered his services to contain the Hulk, General Ross was convinced that the Leader was intending to right his past wrong. This played directly into the Leader's hands however, as he wished to get access to the base and its cache of nuclear weapons in order to trigger World War III. Despite his insidious goals, the Leader came through and built a Plasti-Thene prison to keep the Hulk subdued. This still did nothing for Betty who insisted that they let the Hulk go free. In private General Ross lamented over his daughter being in love with the Banner instead of a soldier like he wished. [93]

Soon Betty overheard the Leader's plans for Armageddon and convinced Glenn about it. When they brought Betty's discovery to Thaddeus, he refused to believe it thinking it was a trick being played by his daughter. However, Ross soon realized how wrong he was when the Leader began his opening salvo, using his vast mental powers to knock out all personel on the base. Unaffected by the Leader's, Betty freed the Hulk[94] who seemingly sacrificed his life to thwart the Leader's plans[95]. When the rogue Inhuman Maximus and his minions took control of the Central American island of Costa Salvador, the President of the United States initiated the mutual defence pact between the US and Costa Salvador. To this end he ordered General Ross to mobilize his troops to fight off Maximus and his band of rogue Inhumans. As it just so happened, the Hulk was also on the island as well[96]. General Ross and his men had to fend off not only against the Hulk, but the Inhumans as well. Eventually, the Hulk realized he was tricked and turned on Maximus, incapacitating his fortress and weapons with the help of General Ross and his men. Despite this, Maximus and his men fled, and when Ross attempted to apprehend the Hulk again the Hulk also evaded capture as well[97]. General Ross and his men were later relocated to Flordia for more missile testing. When the Hulk botched another test, Ross sent his men into the Florida Everglades to hunt him down. The hunt was complicated when Betty was kidnapped by another radiation spawned creature called the Glob. Like most other threats, the Glob was destroyed by the Hulk and Betty was rescued and left to be recovered by the military while the brute fled. [98]

References

  1. Captain America: Patriot #4
  2. Incredible Hulk #291 states that his grandfather fought in the Civil War, and his father in World War I. However due to the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 these should be considered topical references relative to the date the story was first published. These references also contradict later flashbacks into Thaddeus' past in Hulk Vol 2 #39. As such the exact relation these soldiers to General Ross has been generalized.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Hulk Vol 2 #39
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Incredible Hulk #291
  5. Captain America: Patriot #4 places this sometime in 1953
  6. 6.0 6.1 Hulk Vol 2 #27
  7. Incredible Hulk #291 states that Ross fought in World War II, however this is no longer the case as per the Sliding Timescale, as such the conflict has been generalized.
  8. Iron Man Vol 5 #10
  9. Iron Man Vol 5 #11
  10. Iron Man Vol 5 #12
  11. Incredible Hulk #291 states that this was the Korean War, however like the references to Ross serving in World War II this is a topical reference as per the Sliding Timescale in relation to the era the story was originally published
  12. Incredible Hulk #-1
  13. Incredible Hulk #-1 Brian Banner was accidentally killed in a fight with his own son, although a rainstorm washed away the evidence and the authorities dismissed it as a mugging gone wrong. Banner himself submerged these memories as well. See the entry on the Hulk for more details.
  14. Original Sin #3.1. It was later revealed that Stark tampered with the designs to make the Gamma Bomb more potent, thus making him responsible for the birth of the Hulk
  15. Incredible Hulk #312. This story also states that Ross worked with Banner's father in the past and considered him a "real man", contrary to his condemnation of Banner in Incredible Hulk #-1. This is likely due to the fact that the story in Incredible Hulk #312 was memories from the mind of Bruce Banner and the fact that Incredible Hulk #-1 states that Banner suppressed his memories of his father's death. Likely he fabricated the General's commendation of Brian Banner as a result
  16. Marvel: The Lost Generation #12
  17. Marvel Saga #1
  18. Incredible Hulk Vol 2 #12
  19. Incredible Hulk Vol 2 #15
  20. 20.0 20.1 Incredible Hulk #1
  21. Hulk! #20
  22. Incredible Hulk #312
  23. Incredible Hulk Annual #17
  24. Fear Itself: The Worthy #1
  25. 25.0 25.1 Indestructible Hulk #15
  26. Indestructible Hulk #14
  27. Referred to as "Toad Men" in this story, the name of their race was officially named in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #11
  28. Incredible Hulk #2
  29. Marvel Super-Heroes Vol 2 #3
  30. Incredible Hulk #3
  31. This was a Zarrko many years earlier in his personal history from when he tried to change history during the birth of the Hulk in Indestructible Hulk #14
  32. Journey into Mystery #86
  33. Incredible Hulk #4
  34. Incredible Hulk #5
  35. Fantastic Four #12
  36. Hulk and Thing: Hard Knocks #2
  37. Hulk and Thing: Hard Knocks #3
  38. Incredible Hulk #6
  39. Iron Man: The Iron Age #1
  40. Untold Tales of Spider-Man Annual #1997
  41. Avengers #5
  42. Tales to Astonish #59
  43. Tales to Astonish #60. The spy was later revealed to have been hired by the Leader as revealed in Tales to Astonish #62
  44. Tales to Astonish #61
  45. Tales to Astonish #62
  46. Tales to Astonish #63
  47. Tales to Astonish #64. The President depicted in this story is Lyndon B. Jonhson. However as per the Sliding Timescale this should be considered a topical reference in relation to when the story was originally published
  48. Tales to Astonish #65
  49. Tales to Astonish #66
  50. Tales to Astonish #67
  51. Tales to Astonish #68
  52. Tales to Astonish #69
  53. Tales to Astonish #70
  54. Tales to Astonish #71
  55. Tales to Astonish #72. The Hulk wasn't really killed, but teleported to safety by the Leader
  56. Tales to Astonish #75. In reality the T-Gun sent the Hulk to the 25th Century of Earth-6606
  57. Tales to Astonish #76
  58. Tales to Astonish #77
  59. Tales to Astonish #78
  60. Tales to Astonish #79
  61. X-Men First Class Vol 2 #5
  62. They were captured by Tyrannus in Tales to Astonish #80
  63. 63.0 63.1 Tales to Astonish #82
  64. Tales to Astonish #81
  65. Tales to Astonish #83
  66. Tales to Astonish #84
  67. Tales to Astonish #85
  68. Tales to Astonish #86
  69. Tales to Astonish #87
  70. Tales to Astonish #88
  71. Tales to Astonish #89
  72. Tales to Astonish #90
  73. Tales to Astonish #91
  74. Incredible Hulk #393
  75. Tales to Astonish #92
  76. He was on the planet Wundagore II from Tales to Astonish #94 to 96
  77. Avengers #40
  78. Tales to Astonish #97
  79. Tales to Astonish #98
  80. Tales to Astonish #99
  81. 81.0 81.1 Tales to Astonish #100
  82. He was transported to Asgard in Incredible Hulk #101
  83. Fantastic Four #72
  84. Incredible Hulk #103
  85. Incredible Hulk #104
  86. Incredible Hulk #105
  87. Incredible Hulk #106
  88. The Hulk was there from Incredible Hulk #107 through Incredible Hulk #109 and Incredible Hulk Special #1
  89. Incredible Hulk #109
  90. Incredible Hulk #111. It was revealed in Incredible Hulk #111 that the Galaxy Master sought to destroy the Earth. The Hulk foiled the Galaxy Master's plans in Incredible Hulk #109 through 112
  91. Incredible Hulk #113
  92. Incredible Hulk #114
  93. Incredible Hulk #115
  94. Incredible Hulk #116
  95. Incredible Hulk #117
  96. Incredible Hulk #119
  97. Incredible Hulk #120
  98. Incredible Hulk #121
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