Alright, get comfortable… this one is a doozy! First, we see Doom’s inner thoughts – and he blames Banner for everything. M.O.D.O.C.K. and Leader are collecting the smartest men on the planet – only – instead of capturing Pym – Pym comes to them. There is some smart guy banter – you know:
“I cracked you code”
“Well, I knew you would so I countered your code cracking with another code!”
“I knew about the code cracking code and cracked that code with another code!”
But anyways – Pym has to help his fellow Avengers who are being embarrased by the Red She Hulk. Pym gets them stashed away – and Banner shows up with Skaar to help. Only, Pym’s not so sure about Bruce. Skaar takes on the Red She Hulk while Pym informs everyone that Banner has been dealing with the Red Hulk. At that moment Skaar has to help Spidey from not falling into a inter-dimensional door so Red She Hulk is free to attack – which she does… an attack directed at Pym – one that is designed to suck out his intelligence. This new ray is actually killing Pym – and even though Banner is trying to help – Pym doesn’t trust him.
He calls his fellow Avengers who aren’t there – Thor, War Machine, Cap, Miss Marvel, Photon – and they come swinging… only they swing at Skaar too. War Machine goes to help Pym by taking Banner out – but Cho helps Banner save Pym instead. Banner throws Cho at War Machine and Cho sets off War Machine’s repulsors – serving as mini EMPs and saving Pym… but not his intelligence. Pym tries to turn into Giant Man – but shrinks instead and Red She Hulk grabs him and takes off.
Banner tells the Avengers that they were in his way of saving everyone. No one knows whether or not to trust Banner – but he takes a team of Wolverine, Skaar, Cho, Namor, A-Bomb and Spidey to save the world. But in reality they are first going to save Betty Ross. Banner tells his team and they are ready to fight with him. As they attack a base – where Betty and Talbot are – 1000 miles away the Leader and M.O.D.O.C.K. are ready to set things in motion – they believe they are out to save the world.
So, yeah – there is a variant to this one that is much like the Hulk #20 variant – but I couldn’t secure a copy in the 7 freakin’ comic shops that I frequent. I had to secure one through ebay – but man, oh man, WTF? But this story is really getting interesting. With most of the 8 collected now – the Hulks return can’t be far behind! But – if anything – I can find plot holes that Loeb had written that will not be explained – even by the impressive Pak… this issue gets a B