Here’s a slight variation on the origin of the Hulk. It’s still pretty faithful – to a point – then branches off in it’s own direction. Let’s talk about some of the changes: Bruce Banner is a little more outgoing, he’s not afraid to flirt with Betty or stand up to Thunderbolt in a more aggressive way. A lot of the same – for example; Igor is still Bruce’s assistant and Rick Jones still makes a stupid move of being at ground zero at the wrong time – except that this time Jones in an Intern who wasn’t informed of the test.
Bruce asks for the countdown to be stopped – but it can’t be – he heads out to the bomb site and saves Jones… again. But a big change is that that is the last we see of Jones in this story. Instead we hear Thunderbolt tell Bruce that not only is he pulling funding for the project, mainly because Bruce is still alive and well – thus proving the bomb doesn’t do what was intended – but Bruce tells Ross it was never meant to be a weapon – but Ross also tells Banner to stay away from is daughter.
Bruce freaks out and he calls Betty to tell her everything. She tries to calm him down but to no avail – Bruce gets more and more angry thinking that the Army just wants to steal his bomb and that Ross scammed him – he blames Betty and says that she knew it all along. He gets so angry that he changes… he turns into the Hulk
That’s when Hulk releases the fury. He destroys the base camp – destroys EVERYTHING – he throws jeeps and helicopters, fires break out, things are exploding all around. Then the Hulk captures a glimpse of his reflection. It stops him right in his tracks as he stares into the mirror and sees himself – and then his other self, Bruce Banner.
In the morning, Igor stands over ruins and tells Bruce that everything is gone, the research is lost, it’s all in Bruce’s head now. Bruce tells Igor he’s leaving – he’s disappearing and he gives Igor a letter to give to Betty. The last page shows Betty reading the apology from Bruce and an explanation on why he’s leaving.
What a great story – a perfect re-imagining of a classic character – my only complaint is that they didn’t make this into a Hulk series. I would’ve loved to see more of this. They did do a story for each of the major players in the MU – but this one was totally the best! Grade: A