- Oh, by the way ...it's "speak." Not "walk." Speak softly ...and carry a big stick.
Appearing in "What If...General Ross Had Become The Hulk?"
- Igor Drenkov (Death)
Synopsis for "What If...General Ross Had Become The Hulk?"
The story begins with Uatu the Watcher quoting Werner Heisenberg's of observation as being also what changes the "nature of the thing observed" as he watches Bruce Banner and Rick Jones running for the trench from the Gamma Bomb.
Once the bomb is detonated Uatu tells the reader that as the viewers are watching the events unfold, it also changes the scene as Heisenberg predicted. In so forth Bruce Banner is not the one who saved Rick Jones and becomes the Hulk. It was General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross.
Part 1: Who Watches... The Hulk!
At Nevada's "Military Base", scientist Bruce Banner is making some last-minute checks for his experiment on the Gamma Bomb. His fellow colleague, Igor Drenkov, protested that the bomb is too dangerous and insisted that Banner reveal the secrets of the Gamma Ray. Igor's moment is then cut short by the arrival of General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross and his daughter Betty. Ross impatiently demanded that Banner commence the test as soon as possible. Banner doesn't perceive too well of Ross' belligerent attitude and questions him that all America is doing is giving itself more reasons not to negotiate, and that words are more effective than "well-placed bombs". Ross refuted Banner with a misquote of Theodore Roosevelt's "Big Stick policy" and believes pacifistic negotiations are weak by comparing it to Neville Chamberlain's appeasement to Adolf Hitler before telling the scientist to start the G-Bomb's countdown.
Igor then informed everyone that he had saw a trespasser, Rick Jones, out in the test site. Just as Banner was about to volunteer to get Rick out of there, Ross decided to go instead. Before leaving, Ross tells his daughter to return to their home instead of "making googly eyes at Banner" much to Betty's chagrin. As Ross drives his jeep to Rick, Igor takes advantage of Ross' absence and override the countdown, knocking out the bunker's scientists with sleeping gas and searching for Banner's lab notes.
Ross soon confronts Rick at gunpoint and put him under arrest for trespassing. Suddenly the two hear a loud klaxon, which Ross recognised as announcing the G-Bomb's imminent detonation. Ross forced Rick to run to the trench, and he is then exposed to Gamma Rays. However, it was different to Banner's transformation, in that the detonation did not occurred until sundown. And so Ross experienced a more "immediate metamorphosis." Ross' enlarged transformed body, unfortunately, fell and fatally crushing Rick.
Meanwhile, Bruce is awaken by Major Glenn Talbot, who wants to know what happened and of Ross' absence. Bruce recalled the events and alarmingly learned from Talbot that the G-Bomb went off. Bruce deduced Igor's treachery. Glenn swears that his men will capture Igor and have Bruce accompany him in finding General Ross.
At the Ross' home, Betty worried for her father and Bruce's safety since hearing of the bomb's detonation. Suddenly her house is burst in by her "Hulked" father.
Part 2: Terror Of The Hulk
Uatu tells the viewer that Gamma Radiation affected differently for different individuals. In Bruce Banner's alter ego, there was a mental cloud hung between his dual identities. But in Ross' Hulked state, there is no mental cloud existed for Ross. In his confused and shocked state, Ross wants to cry out "It's me, Betty! Don't you recognize me? What's wrong?" But like a stroke victim, his brain cannot issue proper commands. So all he could say are grunts and roars, which frightens away his daughter. Betty attempts to contact the military for help and Ross sees a mirror of himself. This shocked him and he flees by performing a long jump.
Bruce and Talbot discovers the crushed body of Rick Jones. One of Talbot's men urgently reports to his superior of Betty's encounter with her father (described as a "hulking monster"). Talbot, who is bewildered of the events unfolding, orders Bruce to look after Betty and gives him a pistol for protection. As Talbot is about to leave, Bruce realized that Ross is the Hulk and tries to tell Tablot, but is too late as Talbot drives away.
Meanwhile, Igor has made off with Banner's notes on Gamma Radiation and is driving to his rendezvous point. Unfortunately for him, he made one grave mistake. The car he took belongs to General Ross, in which the Hulk Ross noticed it in mid-air and violently stops Igor. Ross realized Igor is responsible for his transformation and kills him by throwing the car he is in at a gas station, causing a massive explosion. Ross' actions, however, has also killed many innocent bystanders at the scene. Realizing what he has done, Ross tries to make things right. However, the Army arrives and attack the Hulk. Ross, for first time in his life, retreat.
Part 3: The Hulk Cornered!
As Ross flees, he realized that he should never run away from Betty and instead could have explained to her. He is then shot down by a helicopter and is then surrounded by tanks. Ross, this time instead of using words, use pure force against his attackers. Demolishing the tanks and leaving Talbot and his soldiers alive. In his mind, Ross believes that his new form will save lives. Ross leaves and jumps to where his daughter is, hoping that she will understand him.
Just as he arrives to his home, he shockingly finds that one of the tanks he threw landed on his house with Betty inside. Ross reverts to his normal self as he despairingly kneels in front of his destroyed home. Bruce has already arrived there, who somberly informs Ross that he saw everything that happened on Betty's death. Ross bereaved as to how he will make up for everything, and wants somebody to tell him. Bruce tells Ross that the General convinced him that the "world's too dangerous" and the "time for words is over", before shooting him in the head with Talbot's gun. Bruce then correctly tells the now deceased Ross that Roosevelt's quote was "speak softly and carry a big stick." Bruce walks away as Uatu looks on.
Meet again, for the first time, General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross... a veteran army officer who believes that the time for talk is long past, and all that matters is his country's ability to develop weapons that will annihilate its enemies. Experience with him what happens when he himself becomes the mightiest weapon on two legs...but is trapped within that weapon, unable to communicate with former allies who only want to destroy him.
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