Incredible Hulk (Vol. 1) #606

Background

The plan for world domination created by the Red Hulk, Leader, MODOK, and Samson has been discussed in cryptic terms for quite a while now. It finally dawned on someone that perhaps they should begin to explain what the plan is instead of just going through the motions.

Quick recap of the story:

  1. Fall of the Hulks: Alpha #1 - it was revealed that the smartest villains in the Marvel U (Leader, MODOK, Mad Thinker, Red Ghost, The Wizard) worked with Dr. Doom to form the clandestine "Intelligencia" group to steal the remaining texts from the Library of Alexandria, which have been preserved by the Eternals. Doom double-crossed his teammates and kept the information for himself. MODOK and the Leader decide to create their own Hulk as revenge.
  2. Fall of the Hulks: Gamma #1 - General Ross is killed by the Red Hulk. It is revealed that Banner and the Red Hulk have become reluctant allies to stop the Intelligencia and planned this for this to happen.
  3. Hulk #19 - as part of their plan, The Frightful Four kidnap Mr. Fantastic from the Baxter Building. The Red Hulk saves the Thing from being pulled into the Negative Zone.

Story 'Father's Day'

  Incredible Hulk (Vol. 1) #606
Summary: Spider-Man flashback cameo
Arc: Part 4 of 'Fall of the Hulks' (4-7-10)
Editor: Mark Paniccia
Writer: Greg Pak
Pencils: Paul Pelletier
Inker: Danny Miki

During a New York City parade celebrating Skaar and the Fantastic Four's victory over Tyrannus and the Mole Man, Bruce admits to Susan that while this is nice, he knows it won't last. He recalls the time the Hulk was a celebrated hero and how it ended. Bruce then sees Betty Ross in the crowd. Without thinking Bruce leaps off the Fantasti-car and tries to find her, but is unable.

Following the incident, Reed and Susan try to convince Bruce that Betty is dead and he should focus on Skaar. Bruce disagrees stating that Skaar only wants to kill the Hulk and teleports away.

Banner arrives in New Mexico to check in on Red Hulk. Banner tells him that he saw Betty in New York. The Red Hulk reminds him to stay focused on the mission. Just before Banner teleports to Latveria, the Red Hulk shares some insight into their relationship. He claims Betty hates Banner; always has.

Soon after his arrival in Lateveria, the Hulk attacks Doom inside his castle. Doom defeats the Hulk and absorbs his gamma powers into his armor. Skaar then appears and attacks Doom full force, trying to prevent him from killing the Hulk - so he retains the right.

Using sorcery, Doom causes Skaar to revert to his other form. Doom explains that he knew this "Hulk" was a highly advanced robot, not the real thing. As Doom prepares to kill the weakened Skaar, Banner appears and saves him, encasing them all in a protective dome that disables Doom's technology. Doom prepares to kill him using his sorcery but soon realizes that he can't speak the words for any spells.

Banner then explains that the Intelligencia wanted to bring Doom into their club, so The Leader laced the gamma radiation in the Hulk robot with a radiant neural anesthetizer, slowing Doom's brain functions. Doom can't believe that he's been tricked but it is proven true as he can't remember how to use his armors defenses or his sorcery. Banner reactivates the Hulk-robot who takes Doom back to Intelligencia HQ.

When Bruce tries to connect with Skaar's alter ego, the child has already figured out the situation. He is angry with Bruce for leaving the teleportation tech lying around knowing Skaar would follow him, hoping to help capture Doom. He calls him a bigger monster than Skaar for playing people just to find Betty.

With that Bruce suggests that they save the New Avengers from Red She-Hulk.

General Comments

So Dr. Doom got punked by his "inferior" brethren? That's actually one of the best sequences that I've read in a while.

Banner is proving to be sneakier than we have been led to believe. When the stakes are high such as they are (Skaar waiting for him to turn into the Hulk, the Leader and company poised to conquer the world) I guess you have to earn your "I'm one of the smartest man on the planet" coffee mug.

Overall Rating

4 webs. Great story backed by incredible work by Pelletier.

Footnote

The Hulk's parade that Banner mentioned occurred in Incredible Hulk #279