Incredible Hulk (2nd series) #444

Issue Date: 
August 1996
Story Title: 
Cable Vision

Peter David (writer), Angel Medina (penciler), Robin Riggs (inker), Richard Starkings and Comicraft (lettering), Glynis Oliver (colors), Malibu (enhancement), Bobbie Chase (editor), Bob Harras (chief), Mark Waid and Scott Lobdell (Onslaught plotters, uncredited).

Brief Description: 

Storm and Cable continue trying to get the Hulk’s help in the fight against Onslaught, but Onslaught has already taken over Banner’s mind and forced him to fight the X-Men. Hulk throws Cable around like a rag doll, and Storm struggles to keep up and lend a hand. Cable reminisces about his previous experience while growing up in the future, and realizes that he has to stay and help Hulk no matter what. Cable gasses Hulk to death and Storm resuscitates Hulk with a bolt of lightning. Hulk is angry at being used by Onslaught, and swears that he wants revenge against him. They fly toward New York, where the battle will take place.

Full Summary: 

Storm hurtles through the air as fast as she can, desperately trying to catch up to Cable. Cable, however, is barely conscious, struggling to stay awake as the Hulk carries him around beating him senseless. The Hulk is under the mind control of Onslaught, and neither X-Man can get through to him. Storm cries out that the Hulk is not in his right mind, but her mercy will only extend so far, and for the Hulk to release Cable at once. The Hulk tells Ororo to make him, and he claps his hands, creating a thundering boom in the air. As Storm has the Hulk distracted, Cable takes the opportunity to throw himself at the Hulk, knocking him off of the building they landed on. Storm shouts for Cable to get free, but the Hulk lands on his feet and quickly leaps away, still carrying Cable. Cable doubts that even if he heard Storm that it would have made any difference in the long run.

Elsewhere, the mysterious woman from the future known as Janis lies in the Pantheon safehouse, frightened by images of her future where the Maestro rules the world with an iron fist. She gets out of bed and sees the Hulk standing in the doorway. She asks him why he helped her, and he responds that it amused him. Suddenly, the Hulk screams in pain and holds his head, repeating that he has to find and destroy Cable. Janis tries to stop him, but realizes she can’t – this happened hours ago. Janis passes out.

In a magazine office, the editor is screaming to his staff that they need a new direction – something to blow the roof off. At that moment, the Hulk arrives and smashes Cable through the ceiling. Cable realizes that this is the end for him, but all of a sudden, the Hulk stops. Cable is confused. He looks up and sees the Hulk frozen in his tracks because he is staring at a pinup of a model named Betty Paige. The Hulk begins losing his mind. Cable attempts to use his underdeveloped telepathy to break Onslaught’s control, but he ends up trapped in the Hulk’s mind, and the techno-organic virus begins spreading through his body quickly. Onslaught has imprisoned Cable in the Hulk’s mind, and Cable interprets it as a boulder rushing down the stairs at him. Cable continues climbing the stairs in the Hulk’s mind, and finds a massive sealed door. Cable thinks that the door must hold all of the secrets of Hulk’s mind. Cable focuses and breaks through the door, thinking he could find out more about Onslaught and maybe even repair the Hulk’s fractured psyche, but finds nothing – he was set up. The boulder returns and pushes Cable off the top step, and as he falls, he hears a faint voice cry for help.

Cable snaps out of it, and checks the time, wondering how long he was out, and finding that it was only a few seconds. He looks over his shoulder and sees Hulk standing there, ready to smash. Before Hulk can attack any more, Storm conjures a large tornado to lift Hulk off the ground. However, Hulk manages to grasp a piece of the floor that was torn up, and he hurls it at Storm, knocking her into the harbor below.

Cable slowly comes to his senses outside, begging some bystanders to help him to his feet. They run away in a hurry, and Cable starts thinking about his life in the future, where at one point, a downed opponent who had tried to kill him begged for help – and Cable went and sought help, but by the time they returned, he was dead. Cable always wondered if he wanted the man to die. He stops worrying about it for now, though, as he needs to focus on survival – the Hulk has returned again. Cable quickly takes some weapons from a gun store across the street, and fires a gas pellet at Hulk. Hulk tries leaping away to escape the fumes, but Storm uses her powers to make the gas stay around Banner’s head, forcing him to breathe it in. Cable plans to have Storm use a full force lightning bolt to essentially stop the Hulk’s brain for a moment, so it can shake Onslaught’s control. However, as Storm unleashes the full fury of her power on Hulk, Cable wonders if they may have overdone it, as Hulk falls lifeless to the ground. Storm tells Cable that they have to get away, as the police are coming, but Cable says that he will never leave anyone behind again. Cable goes back into Hulk’s mind. There, he finds himself continuing the fall through space with the boulder representing Onslaught’s control chasing him. Cable hacks away at the boulder, and finally breaks it open, finding the long lost Dr. Bruce Banner inside. Storm quickly summons a small lightning bolt to strike Hulk’s chest and restart his heart, and succeeds. Hulk gets up, wondering where he’s been.

On the X-jet, Cable asks Banner if he’s up to the task of facing Onslaught. Hulk says he isn’t sure, but he definitely wants a piece of whoever’s been screwing with his mind. If there’s one thing he believes in…

“It’s doing EVERYTHING you can.”

Characters Involved: 





in Janis’ nightmare:
The Maestro

Story Notes: 

This issue is a part of the Onslaught crossover, and the Hulk / Cable story is continued directly from the pages of Cable (1st series) #35.

The Maestro is Hulk in an alternate or possible future.

The name Betty conjures images of the Hulk’s wife, Betty Ross, in his mind, and this causes him to calm from his savage state. It also seems to be a defense against Onslaught’s mental assault, as it causes Hulk to revert to his Banner persona. This Hulk, of course, isn’t the savage Hulk, he is the amalgamation of all forms, so without Onslaught’s mindwipe, he remains in control of his mental faculties and still has the strength of Hulk.

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