Incredible Hulk (Vol. 1) #608

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.

  • 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.
  • Fall of the Hulks: Gamma #1 - General Ross is killed by the Red Hulk. It is revealed that Bruce Banner and the Red Hulk have become reluctant allies to stop the Intelligencia and planned this for this to happen.
  • 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.
  • Incredible Hulk #606. The Intelligencia send a cosmic-powered Hulk robot to bring in Dr. Doom - and succeeds!
  • Hulk #20 Red Ghost kidnaps both T'Challa (Black Panther) and Henry McCoy (Beast).
  • Incredible Hulk #607: Hank Pym (Wasp) is captured by the Intelligencia. Banner convinces the Avengers to loan him some of their people for a final assault.
  • Hulk #21 Red Hulk breaks into the Intelligencia's modified S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier to free She-Hulk and destroy their machinery. He fails and is captured by Leonard Samson.

Story 'Endgame'

  Incredible Hulk (Vol. 1) #608
Summary: Spider-Man appears
Arc: Part 10 of 'Fall of the Hulks' (4-7-10)
Editor: Mark Paniccia
Writer: Greg Pak
Pencils: Paul Pelletier
Inker: Danny Miki
Cover Pencils: John Romita, Jr.
Cover Inks: Klaus Janson

Banner, A-Bomb, and Korg storm the U.S. Defcon 1 Survival facility in Bowland, AZ. When Banner tries to extract Betty from the base, she refuses to go, claiming that he's lost his mind siding with the Leader, helping him to capture Reed Richards and the real heroes. Glen Talbot, her bodyguard, throws her into a bomb shelter normally reserved for the current President.

While The Leader watches from his stolen, modified S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier Banner and the other heroes launch an assault on them. The Leader realizes that the Banner in Arizona is a fake and deactivates his image inducer,revealing Amadeus Cho behind the illusion. Banner and Skaar make their way to the lab where they begin to disconnect the kidnapped super-geniuses from the Liddleville Machine, which keeps them trapped in a fantasy simulation. Skaar demands to know what's going on. Banner admits he's using his friends and playing every possible angle to save Betty and the world from the Leader.

Banner's plan works to near perfection. He did not count on the Red Hulk - who broke into a separate section of the ship - to be captured. This allows the Intelligencia to use him as the power source for the Cathexis Ray and transforms their A.I.M. volunteers (A.I.Marines) and Banner's strike force into red hulks.

Banner suddenly wakes up from a nightmare. Betty asks if it was "that fight" again. She reminds him that he was the savior of that day. He is unaware that he's been plugged into the Liddleville Machine.

General Comments

As you can imagine, this leads into the next mega-event "World War Hulks". If that crossover is anything like this one, you can just get Incredible Hulk and look the rest up on Wikipedia.

Overall Rating

4 webs. Great story and killer art. After a few years of preparation and in some cases spinning their wheels (at least in the adjective-less Hulk), this has proven to be an all-out action romp that is quite entertaining. Nice to see that these guys DO know how to tell a story.