Appearing in "Hard Questions"
- New X-Men
- Iron Man (Tony Stark) (Only in flashback)
- Xavier Institute student body
- Sentinel Squad O*N*E
- Caiera the Oldstrong (Recap)
- Black Bolt (Recap)
- Illuminati (Mentioned)
- Tag (Brian Cruz) (Mentioned)
- Icarus (Jay Guthrie) (Mentioned)
- Wallflower (Laurie Collins) (Mentioned)
- New York State (Only in flashback)
- Nevada (Mentioned)
- Las Vegas (Mentioned)
- Sakaar (Illusion)
Synopsis for "Hard Questions"
A Short Time Ago:
Professor X meets with Iron Man at S.H.I.E.L.D.'s New York headquarters to report about the X-Men's recent encounter with the Shi'ar. After telling Stark that Havok and Polaris decided to stay in the Shi'ar galaxy, Tony asks him to have them keep an eye out for the Hulk. He then explains that while Charles was absent the Illuminati voted to exile the Hulk into space after a rampage in Las Angeles. Noting that the Sub-Mariner voted against this move, Tony wonders what Xavier would have voted had he been there, for that Charles has no answer.
At the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, Charles uses Cerebra to search for sign of any new mutants that have been born since M-Day, but finds nothing. He fears that the mutant gene has somehow been erased and that his race may be facing extinction. While upstairs the Beast runs the New X-Men through a training session in the living room of the mansion in order to teach them how to deal with combat situations where innocent people may be present. Suddenly, the ground begins to shake as the Office of National Emergency calls the Sentinel Squad away from their post defending the school. Quickly, the Beast and his students turn on the television and see the Hulk making his demands that the population of Earth turn over Mister Fantastic, Doctor Strange, and Iron Man. He explains that they are responsible for the destruction of his new home of Sakaar and he demands vengeance. To prove how serious he is, the Hulk shows the badly beaten body of Black Bolt and warns the people of Earth that this will happen to the whole world if they do not comply with his wishes. The New X-Men insist on going out to help, but Beast denies them this, saying the other field teams are already out. Suddenly, the ground begins to shake again. On the front law stands the Hulk, who demands that the mutants inside the school turn over Charles Xavier immediately.
The Beast orders Prodigy to get the other students to safety while he and the New X-Men go out and face the Hulk, warning them that this is the Hulk at his most dangerous. He reminds them that one-quarter of the mutant population left on Earth lives here and they fight to prevent them from being wiped out. As Xavier gets the other students to safety, the Beast confronts the Hulk but refuses to turn Xavier over to the gamma-spawned monster. The Hulk slaps the hirsute mutant away, prompting the New X-Men to leap into battle, forcing the Hulk back outside. Meanwhile, the Beast recovers from the blow and gathers Elixer, telling him to use his death touch on the Hulk. When the boy expresses his concern over killing a living being, the Beast assures him that the Hulk's healing factor will prevent him from dying. Rushing his student out into the middle of the battle, the Beast gets close enough to the Hulk for Elixir to do his job. Unfortunately for them, the Hulk is hardly weakened at all by the attack and easily trounces the youthful mutants, warning them to stand down or face the consequences. When they refuse to stand down, the Hulk easily overpowers and incapacitates each one.
But, before the Hulk can smash Mercury, he is slashed in the back by Wolverine who has just arrived with a team of senior X-Men. Before they can begin fighting, Professor X comes outside to face the Hulk. Although physically outmatched, Xavier tries to defeat the Hulk with his telepathic powers. Reaching into the Hulk's memories, he the Hulk's time on Sakaar and how he found love from Caiera the Oldstrong, only to lose it when she was vaporized by a massive explosion. The X-Men are horrified by what they see, but Xavier assures the Hulk that the rest of the Illuminati would not have intentionally planted a bomb to try and destroy him. The Hulk then reveals that he knows Xavier was supposed to be at the meeting where his allies voted to shoot him into space. Since Xavier hadn't been there on that day, he now demands to know how Xavier would have voted had he been present.
When the Illuminati voted to shoot the Hulk into space, Professor X wasn't there...but the Hulk just found out he was supposed to be. So he shows up at the Xavier Institute to ask a few pointed questions, Hulk style. With the other teams away, only Beast and the New X-Men stand between the massive rage of the Hulk and the Professor...not to mention the younger students who'd be caught in the crossfire. Can the X-Men-in-training survive the wrath of the Jade Giant until the other X-teams get back? Or will the young mutants become casualties of the World War Hulk?
- This story takes place between Page 20 and 23 of World War Hulk #1.
- During the opening flashback, Iron Man and Professor X discuss matters pertaining to recent history at the time. These items include:
- How Havok and Polaris are in space with the Starjammers, this happened following the events of Uncanny X-Men #475–486.
- The Hulk went on a rampage through Las Vegas in Fantastic Four #533–535
- The Illuminati voted to exile the Hulk in New Avengers: Illuminati #1 and acted on that vote in Incredible Hulk (Vol. 2) #91. They discovered that the Hulk was lost in space in Incredible Hulk (Vol. 2) #100.
- Xavier searches for traces of new mutants and find none. This is thanks to the reality warp caused at the end of House of M #8 that saw most mutants on Earth lose their powers and prevented new mutants from being born, practically driving the mutant race to extinction.
- The Hulk beating Black Bolt within an inch of his life happened in World War Hulk #1. However, unknown to everyone at this time, Black Bolt had been replaced by a Skrull spy, as revealed in Secret Invasion: Inhumans #3.
- The Beast mentions that he has fought the Hulk several times. The first of these was back in X-Men #66.
- The Hulk notices that Professor X is walking again, his restored mobility was caused by contact with the M'kraan Crystal in Uncanny X-Men #486.
- Charles Xavier pulls up the memories of the Hulk's time on Sakaar which was chronicled in Incredible Hulk (Vol. 2) #92–105.
A flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters:
Links and References
- World War Hulk: X-Men at the Grand Comics Database
- World War Hulk: X-Men at comicbooksdb.com