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From the Mouths of the Marvels:

“We have footage now of the Chicago incident where little Rickey Myers lost his life during the monster's rampage. Channel 6 warns the following contains graphic material and may not be suitable for younger viewers...."

-- TV news report, Incredible Hulk #36


JRJr's Hulk packs a mighty punch. Ask Doc Samson!

(Click panels for larger images.) _________________________

Featured Characters:

Incredible Hulk #34-43

  • Hulk/Bruce Banner
  • "Mr. Blue"
  • Doc Samson
  • Slater
  • Sandra Myers
  • Agent Pratt
Startling Stories: Banner #1-4

  • Hulk/Bruce Banner
  • Doc Samson
  • General Thunderbolt Ross

From the Inside Dustflap:

Bruce Banner is on the run. But he can never escape the beast within.

Years ago, physicist Bruce Banner was caught in the heart of a nuclear explosion. Now, when the meek scientist loses his cool, the raging force of nature lurking within his frail psyche finds release.

Banner thought he'd finally tamed his inner beast, until the Hulk's latest rampage resulted in the death of a child. His face plastered on TV news broadcasts coast to coast, Banner has no choice but to become a man on the run. The authorities are in hot pursuit, but the police aren't the only ones hunting the beleaguered scientist. A pair of deadly assassins track his every move, and the enigmatic Agent Pratt draws ever closer- waiting for the perfect moment to put his own sinister plan into play. Aided only by the elusive "Mr. Blue," will Banner resort to deadly force to escape his pursuers?

Startling Stories: Banner poses the most disturbing question of all: What does it really feel like to be Bruce Banner, bearing the guilt of responsibility for the death and devastation caused by the Hulk? After the monster leaves a city in ruins, Banner is finally prepared to end it all with a gun at his temple. But the mysterious,, gamma-irradiated government operative Doc Samson wants justice for the Hulk's action- and he's not about to let Banner slip away so easily.



The Incredible Hulk, Vol. 1

Reprints: Incredible Hulk #34-43, Startling Stories: Banner #1-4

List price: $29.99 (US) • $48.00 (Canada)
ISBN: 0-7851-1022-4 • Original Release Date: 11/13/02

352 pages

SPECIAL BONUS FEATURES: (13 pages total)

  • Introduction by Bruce Jones (2 pages)
  • Cover sketches by Kaare Andrews for Hulk #34-36, 38-41 (7 pages)
  • Cover renderings by Kaare Andrews for Hulk #37
  • Richard Corben sketchbook (3 pages)

Buy From:
TALES OF WONDER: $20.99 • AMAZON USA: $20.39

INCREDIBLE HULK #34-39: Return of the Monster

Script: Bruce Jones
Pencils: John Romita, Jr.
Inks: Tom Palmer
Colors: Studio F
Cover Art: Kaare Andrews

Hulk #34: "The Morning After"
23 pages + cover • January 2002

Bruce Banner enteres a flea-bag motel in St. Louis, on the run from pursuers of him as the Hulk. He corresponds on a laptop with a "Mr. Green," meditates and talks to neighbors of this decrepit tenement building who live in crime their daily lives. Later that night, Banner busts a neighbor kid named Jerome trying to steal his laptop and wallet and talks him out of it. The next day, Jerome is being bullied by a group of gang-bangers and Banner gives in to the power of the Hulk and decimates the boys. Banner hitchikes out of St. Louis towards Kansas City.

* * *

Hulk #35: "Silent Running"
22 pages + cover • February 2002


Banner wanders into a roadside diner, where he sits in a booth across from an autistic girl. Mr Blue warns him of oncoming trouble through his laptop instant messaging, and sure enough a team of agents enters the diner. Banner eludes their pursuit and makes his way into a field of tall corn, but is tracked by an agent and shot with a tranquilizer dart. He wakes up in the back seat of a car surrounded by agents, but fades into a dream sleep where he tries to subdue his Hulk impulses but is undone by a sequence in which the autistic girl is threatened. From the back seat of the car, Banner turns into the Hulk and rips the car apart. Back to Banner, he wanders back to the diner by the next morning, where he sees the little girl and smiles knowingly at her.

* * *

Hulk #36: "The Gang's All Here"
22 pages + cover • March 2002

On a prison death row, the warden is about to put away a female inmate named Sandra while the TV news plays a news report about the Hulk going on a rampage which cost the life of a young boy named Ricky Myers. Later, the woman is given a lethal injection. Doc Samson, meanwhile, is watching the same news reports, and receives a mystery phone call that stirs him into action. A team of special agents preside over film footage of a freelance mercenary named Slater, who they feel would be a good recruit for their mission. They communicate with him and request his participation in their mission, but Slater refuses. Banner receives word through his IM connection with Mr. Blue that things are about to get rough on him. Sandra's dead body is loaded into an ambulance to be taken to the morgue, but the ambulance is stopped and her body is commandeered by murderous gunmen. The mystery group of agents meet with Doc Samson and attempt to recruit him on their mission as well; he budges...for now. They also attempt to further persuade Slater to join up, and send a super-agent disguised as a maid to challenge him. They fight to a draw, and are both made the offer that whoever "takes out" Banner first gets "a bonus." Slater and the woman team up to track Banner down, while Banner wanders the countryside trying to get away from those he knows pursue him.

* * *

Hulk #37: "You Must Remember This...."
22 pages + cover • April 2002

While the nation is reminded through radio, TV and news media to be on the lookout for Banner, who they claim killed the boy Ricky Myers, a driver almost runs over Banner walking down the highway. The driver gives him a ride but they crash through a weak bridge under the weight of the automobile. Slater and his new female partner are tracing Banner through a laptop with a program that follows the location of Banner's computer. Banner tries to rescue the driver of the car with the aid of an arriving on-scene sherriff's deputy, but in order to rescue his trapped body, he must turn into the Hulk. Just as Slater and his partner arrive on the scene, the Hulk has tossed the car up out of the river and onto the overpass. Their car crashes into the car the Hulk through up, and before they can redouble to track him, Banner has wandered off, still emitting a traceable signal, but unable to be chased because the bridge is destroyed. Meanwhile, Doc Samson is dusting off his old "Hulk Chaser" equipment to see if it's capable of being put through the paces once again.

* * *

Hulk #38: "Last Chance Cafe"
22 pages + cover • May 2002

Slater and his partner are helped by a man and a woman who arrive on the scene, but instead of accepting help, they shoot them, take their car and give chase to Banner once again. Slater's partner is sure Banner will go to a remote diner on her map, and sure enough as they arrive there and pose as diners, he walks in. Back at the scene of their double-murder, two cops arrive and see the bodies they left behind. Shockingly, the two bodies rise, kill the cops and take their clothes, all the time receiving instruction from a remote source that is very interested in knowing the location and movements of Slater and his partner. Slater's partner insinuates herself with Banner at his table, trying to slip him a mickey, when Doc Samson walks in in disguise, quickly followed by the two "zombie" cops. All hell breaks loose with this many agents in place trying to track down a single man, and guns are flashed and shots fired- Slater's partner is shot in the head by one of the zombie cops, and Doc Samson, who appears to be looking out for Banner, slaps him around to try and bring the Hulk out. This plan succeeds, but unfortunately for Doc Samson, leads to the Hulk swatting him out the diner and into the horizon. The Hulk mops the place of Slater and the zombie cops. Later, Doc Samson makes his way back to the diner and Banner's laptop. He's knocked out by Slater's partner, who still has the visible marks of a bullethole in her forehead and appears to be a zombie as well. She takes the laptop from him.

* * *

Hulk #39: "Tag You're Dead"
22 pages + cover • June 2002

Slater is now solo and tracking Banner's movements through his computer, as well as tracing the Hulk's massive footprints. The Hulk, haunted by images of the child he thinks he has killed, has made it to a cabin where he is joined by the woman who was Slater's partner. She calms him with a "meditation technique" that draws Banner out. She confesses that she is the mother of the young boy, Ricky Myers, that Banner thinks he is responsible for killing. She explains that she is a soldier of fortune named Sandra who was accused of killing her son, and sentenced to be executed. Her body was captured by people who brought her back to life, and forced her to seek out Banner in exchange for the return to life of her son. As it turns out, her son's father is Doc Samson. Meanwhile, Slater comes into contact with other Hulk-hunters who he manages to kill and take from them pieces of what appear to be a top-secret weapon. Slater arrives at the cabin, forcing a final showdown, which results with an impassioned plea from Sandra for Banner to find her son before she blows up the cabin, killing herself and Slater....but not the Hulk. Later, Banner buries their bodies, and as he walks away, a hand comes creeping up from the grave.

INCREDIBLE HULK #40-43: Boiling Point

Script: Bruce Jones
Pencils: Lee Weeks
Inks: Tom Palmer
Colors: Studio F
Cover Art: Kaare Andrews

Hulk #40: "Boiling Point"
22 pages + cover • July 2002

The lives of three people converge as they start their day: a hostage negotiator for a Colorado police force considers suicide but thinks better of it, a corporate lackey goes over the edge due to a firing, stock market plunge and his wife leaving him, and Bruce Banner enters the small town Miser, Colorado. He goes into a convenience store, where the businessman has entered carrying a gun, taking hostages and shooting a security guard. Banner imagines himself as the Hulk, but stems such thoughts. The hostage negotiator is called into work the scene as the police set in. The businessman holds a gun to Banner's head, and the woman, Lt. Riker, calls the store and gets Banner on the phone. Banner communicates as the go-between for the hostage negotiator and the businessman, while Riker has thoughts of the last case she blew that led to the death of a little girl and her suicidal feelings. Then a Special Agent Pratt of the FBI rolls up and commandeers control of the scene from Riker, demanding Riker transfer communications with the hostage taker inside to him.

* * *

Hulk #41: "Poker Face"
22 pages + cover • August 2002

Agent Pratt turns out to be not an FBI agent but a Hulk hunter, presiding over a team including a sniper that stands at the ready on a rooftop. Pratt decides he can use Riker and sends her in with a bug so he can hear in on their conversation with Banner (unbenknownst to her.) Once inside, Banner deduces what is going on and convinces the gunman to release the children and help him escape, since it's the Hulk these people want and are willing to kill everyone else to get him. They try to escape out the back, but the gunman is shot, stirring Riker to try and subdue Banner, as she thinks he has made up the whole premise about the Hulk. However, the sniper draws a bead on her, trying to cajole the Hulk into coming out in Banner. He shoots, and Banner pushes her over and takes the bullet.

* * *

Hulk #42: "All Fall Down"
22 pages + cover • August 2002

Riker realizes Banner has been shot and as he turns into the Hulk, understands he was telling the truth. Pratt stands outside with the Hulk Gun waiting to shoot, and the Hulk rampages outside of the convenience store. He destroys alot of property before Pratt gets a clean shot on him, and the Hulk falls over unconscious. Riker stumbles out of the rubble, confused and shaken, and sees Pratt load Banner's body into the back of his SUV. Pratt shoots and kills his assistant, which reveals to Riker how ruthless he is. The regular police force arrives on the scene and Riker steals away in pursuit of Pratt, who is driving off into the hills with Banner. Banner awakes in the back seat, and questions Pratt about his capture, and what he plans on doing with him. Pratt tells him he's been drugged to the point where the Hulk will not emerge, and plays coy on Banner's final fate.

* * *

Hulk #43: "The Beast Within"
22 pages + cover • September 2002

Riker follows Pratt up the hills, tracing him using the bug that he had placed on her and which is now in Banner's possession. Banner, seeming to know Riker is tailing them, passes on information about their location. Pratt reveals to Banner that he sought out to get Hulk DNA for use in his organization's refinement of synthesized Hulk blood, which up until now has been killing test subjects. Riker is able to gain a vantage point on Pratt's oncoming car, and lines up a sniper shot. She fires at Pratt, and at the exact moment, Banner has through sheer force of will inspired the Hulk to come into being. The Hulk rips through Pratt's SUV and knocks him to the side. Riker comes onto the scene and Pratt is able to take her hostage in front of the Hulk, demanding the Hulk stand down or he will kill her. Riker reaches for a Hulk blood dart that is in Pratt's pocket and stabs him with it, which kills him. Riker and Banner are dazed and part from each other, Banner walking off into the distant mountains.


Script: Brian Azzarello
Pencils/Inks: Richard Corben
Colors: Studio F

Banner #1
22 pages + cover • July 2001

The Hulk goes on a rampage through Santa Fe. A helicopter carrying Doc Samson hovers over the "level three" catastrophe before setting him down to survey the damage and discuss operations with local military; they decide to blame this on a freak tornado. Banner is in a daze, wandering Santa Fe looking at the death and destruction he has caused. A medic gives him a sedative and loads him on an ambulance. They take him to triage where he attempts to help the doctors and nurses tend to the wounded and dying. Depressed, he walks away from the camp with a loaded gun, puts the barrel in his mouth and fires.

* * *

Banner #2
22 pages + cover • August 2001

The Hulk is able to fend off Banner's suicide attempt, and goes into an anti-Banner rage. Samson's paramilitary group is tipped off to the Hulk's activities, and they take off in a squadron of helicopters, one of which totes "The Weapon." Both Samson and his team and the Hulk get their swipes in, but ultimately "The Weapon" is deployed and fired on the tip of a warhead into the Hulk's chest.

* * *

Banner #3
23 pages + cover • September 2001

Samson and General Thunderbolt Ross have a showdown at HQ. Banner stumbles onto a convenience store holdup, but is unaware what is going on when he asks the robbers for some water. They give him a bottle of water and tell him to shove off while they continue their holdup. Outside the store, Banner is bitten by a guard dog, but he doesn't rage himself into being the Hulk. Cops arrive on the scene and pull their guns on him, and he's bitten by a scorpion on the foot. This, unfortunately, triggers the Hulk. Samson is informed that the Hulk has been sighted in action, and that even his "Weapon" wasn't enough to suppress his rage totally. Ross takes over for calling the shots, and Samson decides to go handle the Hulk personally. He confronts the Hulk, trying to psyche him into turning back into Banner, but the Hulk is too upset, and proceeds to beat the holy bejeezus out of Doc Samson.

* * *

Banner #4
23 pages + cover • October 2001

Banner wanders into a small town, where Ross has deployed tanker trunks to put the whole town to sleep. Banner is put into an airtight cell here he is fed a mixture of nitrogen and oxygen ("laughing gas") to keep him sedated and in a stable mood. Ross reveals the ultimate plan to lobotomize Banner so that he is no longer able to turn into the Hulk. Samson disagrees that it would be inhumane, and when Ross leaves he talks to Banner, who doesn't seem to mind at all, relieved that Ross' plan will seem to accomplish what Banner wasn't able to through suicide. Samson decides that a more dignified way of saying goodbye to Banner wasn't through lobotomy, so he shuts off the oxygen valve to the tank, leaving only nitrogen flowing, which would kill Banner in a matter of minutes. Banner thanks Samson, who leaves the room, and inevitably his heartbeat wanes to nothingness. And then....the heavy thump of the Hulk's heartbeat.

-- synopsis by Gormuu


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