I realized something when thumbing through this story… the main emotion that fuels the Hulk lore is jealousy. This story really brings that to light.
Just like Spiderman is driven by guilt and Batman by revenge…
Hulk is driven by jealousy. Emil, the scientist who worked with Banner in the very first comic, detonated the Gamma Bomb because he was jealous of Banner’s position and power. Hulk has always been jealous of people’s acceptance of each other. The Leader is jealous of the Hulk’s power – as is the Abomination.
Well, this story revolves around Leonard Samson who promises he can, not only cure Betty Ross (who has been crystallized), but get rid of the Hulk forever. As the Hulk searches for Jarella – the microscopic green lady who first shows the Hulk true love (you have to read it) he comes across Major Talbot. As Hulk is about to crush Talbot, Samson projects an image of Betty Ross and makes Bruce Banner come out. Bruce agrees to let Samson try to cure him and save Betty. Long story short – but Samson’s laser works – Betty becomes flesh again and Samson cures Bruce. Then, Samson, jealous of Hulk’s might, uses the laser on himself and becomes a muscle bound scientist. He sets his sights on Betty – who still loves Bruce, but lets Samson take her out – Banner gets jealous of Samson’s new mighty physique and his new interest in Betty and turns the laser back on him. He unleashes the Hulk again – and Samson jumps into action – trying to beat him down. Samson gets his ass handed to him and his ego bruised, but in a horrible twist of fate, Betty comes running to Samson’s side – rather than worrying about Bruce’s return of the Hulk.
Great story. I recommend everyone read this.