Incredible Hulk (2nd series) #455

Issue Date: 
August 1997
Story Title: 
Waiting to X-Hale

Peter David (writer), Adam Kubert (penciler), Dan Green (inker), Digital Chameleon (colors), John Workman (letterer), Bobbie Chase (editor), Bob Harras (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

In her apartment, Betty Banner is visited by Henry Peter Gyrich, who informs her that her “deceased” father, Thunderbolt Ross is alive and takes her to see him. Meanwhile, in Orlando, Rick Jones picks up his granddaughter Janis after she has beaten up some policemen and they make their getaway. In New York, Wolverine brings the Hulk to the X-Mansion so he can be treated much to the chagrin of his fellow X-Men. Eventually, the Hulk wakes up, becomes enraged and begins to tear through the mansion. After using some trickery to trap the Hulk momentarily in the Danger Room, the Hulk escapes and continues his rampage. Facing off against the X-Men, Forge shoots the Hulk with a blaster and the Hulk is gone. Forge explains that he didn’t kill the Hulk, he disappeared. In an unknown location, the Hulk comes face to face with Apocalypse, who tells him that he will help him so they can give the world what it deserves.

Full Summary: 

The Xavier Institute, located in Westchester, New York is the home of the mutant group known as the X-Men. It includes Sam Guthrie, aka Cannonball, and the ever-lovin’ Wolverine. Standing at the front door of the mansion, Wolverine, carrying the Hulk, asks Guthrie what’s wrong with him. He acts like he’s never seen the Hulk before.

Guthrie proceeds to ask Logan if he’s out of his mind; he’ll wreck the mansion. Pushing past him, Logan tells him to stop whining. He said he wanted a souvenir from his trip. What’d he expect – “My teammate went to the Savage Land and all I got was this lousy t-shirt?” Logan then tells him that he won’t wreck the mansion and to go feed the cat or something. Surprised, Sam asks what cat? While Logan continues to drag the Hulk through the mansion, Scott Summers also asks Logan if he’s out of his mind, he’ll wreck the mansion. Logan tells him that he won’t wreck the mansion and continues on his way.

Taking a swim, Ororo Munroe aka Storm sees the Hulk being drug by the window and remarks that either she’s lost her mind or the Hulk just walked by. She could not begin to say which is preferable. In the hallway, Cable stands in front of Logan as he tells him that he won’t wreck the flamin’ mansion. Cable asks if he agreed to that in writing and then wonders what just meowed.

The Falls Edge compound in Virginia is headquarters of the mutant team known as X-Factor. At that moment, Forge receives a phone call from Storm. After asking that he thought they were trying to keep matters on the Q-T these days, Storm asks him if he has anything that can handle the Hulk with “finality” if need be. Forge tells her not on hand, but he can whip something up. When Storm asks him to bring it to the mansion, Forge replies that, for her, it will be door-to-door service.

Once they finish their call, Cable asks Storm if Forge is on the case. Storm says that he is; now she prays they do not have to use it. Cable tells her that he expects they won’t have to but there’s a world of difference between “expecting” and “anticipating.” He tries to anticipate everything. As they talk, Wolverine looks over the Hulk lying in a treatment area.

In New York City, in her new apartment, Betty Banner is reading through a script when she begins to cry. Wiping her eyes, she utters “blast him.” Every time she thinks she’s out of tears, he helps her find more.

Just then, a knock is heard at her door. Answering it, Betty sees Henry Peter Gyrich and remarks just what she needed, the G-man that ate Cleveland. Gyrich apologizes for the intrusion but something’s come up that requires her presence. Betty tells him the heck it does. She has to get the galleys for her book back to the publisher, she has tons of meetings to set up, a ton of things to do, and going off with a federal agent isn’t one of them. Gyrich informs her that this is regarding her father. Betty asks her father, what is he talking about? She puts flowers on his grave every month. Attempting to hand her a picture, Gyrich says that if she would just trust him enough to...

Betty cuts him off and emphatically exclaims trust him? He has her confused with someone who’s got a sense of humor. Gyrich tells her to just look at the blasted picture. When she does, Betty turns to Gyrich and says to him that if this is some sort of sick joke, she’ll see him roast in hell for this. Gyrich replies that he thinks that’s pretty well attended to already.

In the Hulk’s mind, he is the only one alive amidst a large area filled with gravestones. Enraged, he exclaims that it’s not true and begins to slam the ground with all of his force and power, destroying the dream.

Inside the med lab of the mansion, Logan tells Scott and Nathan that they’re making a mistake. The one shot they’ve got at this is letting the Hulk wake up unbound, unrestrained. Nathan adds “and uncontrolled.” The last time they went head-to-head was quite enough. Logan states that no one’s gone head-to-head with him more than he has. He’s telling them that, if they treat him with respect, that should be all the “control” they need. Scott tells him that they can’t take that chance and he knows it.

Logan starts to say that what he knows is... but he is interrupted by the Hulk growling as he is constrained. Nathan tells the Hulk that they’re aware that he’s been tearing around the countryside, terrorizing and rampaging. They can’t allow that. The plan is that he’s going to listen to them to ensure that they’re... Before he can finish his thought, the Hulk breaks out of his restraints and stands enraged before the three X-Men. As he does, Logan mentions that they’re going to need another plan.

In Orlando Florida, a couple of policemen walk up to a young lady with a red Mohawk and a long stretch of braided hair in the back. As they do, one of them mentions to the other to get a load of this one. Wandered away from the Magic Kingdom, does he think? The other cop tells him waaait a minute, he knows her from... Yeah, she’s the one who was part of the whole Hulk Island thing. Her picture was all over the place. Pulling out his baton, the cop asks the womanif she would mind coming with them.

Janis, the woman in question, tells them that she can’t, she’s waitin’ for someone. The cop then tells her to keep her hands in view and to come with them now. Pulling out her staff, Janis tells the cops that they are cruising for serious breakage. Just then, Rick Jones drives nearby in his convertible. Talking to himself, he says that she should be right around there somewh... Hearing the distinctive sounds of a scuffle around the next corner, Rick wonders what he’s gotten himself into now. Once he turns the corner, Janis jumps into the car and mentions to gramps that he sure did take his sweet time and that it’s time to scarper ‘fore the blue boys come to. After seeing the cops lying on the ground unconscious, Rick laments oh great...

In New York, Wolverine manages to dodge the Hulk’s charge and makes his way out of the med lab and into the rest of the mansion. As he runs, Wolverine calls back to the Hulk that they really don’t want to have t’ hurt him. Why doesn’t he reconsider what he’s doing and they’ll wait for his decision from a reasonable distance. Giving chase, the Hulk calls Wolverine gutless and tells him to get back there. Just then, Cyclops blasts the Hulk with a powerful optic blast. After doing so, Cyclops tells Doctor Banner that Wolverine is hardly gutless if he’s acting as point man to lure him into an ambush. If he’d just trust them, he’d understand that none of this is necessary. The Hulk angrily says that it is necessary to him and begins to charge towards the three X-Men.

Pushing through Cyclops constant optic blast, the Hulk tells him to come on; he wants to see what they’ve got. He asks if that’s all. The mighty mutants, the next stage of humans, the “next stage” is punier then the one they’ve already got. Cable proceeds to tell Cyclops to back off, he’s softened up the Hulk enough. A psi-blast should put him down for the count. As Cable begins to psi-blast the Hulk, the big green behemoth exclaims that he remembers him. He got into his head before. Never again! No one ever hurts him again.

With that, the Hulk claps his mighty hands together which unleashes a strong wind that knocks the X-Men to the ground. Picking himself up off the ground, Wolverine implores the Hulk to listen to him. He could’ve killed him while he was unconscious. Instead, he brought him there because enough of them have died. He’s one of them, not one of them. They’re all the worlds got left. The Hulk angrily states then the world is in deep trouble.

Just then, the Hulk leaps out of the side of the mansion and calls the X-Men idiots. Wandering into the woods, he remarks them in their fancy mansion, pretending they want to help him. Like he needs their help, like anyone could help him. Supposed to trust them – hah! They’re on his side – hah! They judge him like all the others. When some birds land on his shoulder, the Hulk says all judge him except them. He’s so tired of being judged... of... of not doing... being... enough. Yawning, he sits down underneath a tree and quietly states that he I so tired. Just then, the Hulk’s eyes fly open and he yells out no, it was too easy. The Hulk then leaps up and crashes through the “sky” above.

Walking through the mansion, Storm walks with Forge and Cable and states that, basically, they tricked the Hulk into the Danger Room, gave him enough of a tussle so he believed they were trying to stop him and then holographically made it appear to him that he had managed to escape. Forge adds and while he was “outside,” they flooded the place with sleeping gas, very slick. Cable says that what they need now is a sort of “sleep teaching” device to reprogram him while he’s under sedation. Forge begins to reply that shouldn’t be too diffi... but Cable cuts him off when he tells Scott that he didn’t copy that and asks him to say it again. Scott informs him that he said the Hulk tumbled to it. Wolverine’s trying to slow him down but...

Just then, the Hulk and Wolverine come crashing up through the floor below. As Storm leans down to assist Wolverine, Forge tells the Hulk not to move and to trust him, the gun he’s carrying can kill even him. The Hulk says trust, what a load of... Stopping mid-sentence, the Hulk remarks that he’s seen the gun that Forge is carrying before. He then recalls that it was the Maestro’s gun. Forge says that he doesn’t know any “Maestro” but he’s not bluffing. And he’s not giving up. Not to him, or any...

Before Forge can say anything else, the Hulk’s eyes slam shut. He wonders what’s going on but then deduces that it must be the TK witch from X-Factor. Returning from a shopping trip, Jean Grey informs the Hulk that she’s no longer with X-Factor and that the “witch” comment isn’t appreciated. Forge tells the Hulk that it’s over, if he’ll just listen to reason...

At that moment, the Hulk begins to charge and Forge fires on him with the gun. After the blast clears, the Hulk is no longer standing before them. In shock, Storm asks that the gun had no other settings? He said the weapon would stop him, not disintegrate him. This is nothing less than murder! Forge replies that it’s a ton less than murder. It’s self-defense. He then tells Storm to calm down because he’s not responsible. Yes, the gun could likely kill him, although it’d take a few shots. But it wouldn’t zap him into oblivion. Wolverine asks where he is then. Forge answers that he wishes he knew.

At Gyrich’s office, Betty opens the door and is shocked by what she sees. The man before her tells her that she looks even more beautiful than he remembers. She let her hair grow, it looks lovely. General Ross then asks his daughter if she’s just going to stand there or is she going to give her father a hug.

In an unknown location, the Hulk angrily asks the man before him who he is. The man replies that he is his savior. His name is Apocalypse and the fortunate thing is he need not trust him at all. It’s irrelevant but he shall help him all the same so that together, they can provide the world with precisely, no more and no less, what it deserves.

Characters Involved: 

The Hulk (green-skinned)

Cannonball (Sam Guthrie), Cable (Nathan Summers), Cyclops (Scott Summers), Jean Grey, Storm (Ororo Munroe), and Wolverine (Logan) (all X-Men)
Forge (member of X-Factor)

Betty Ross Banner
Rick Jones
Janis (Rick’s granddaughter from the future)

Henry Peter Gyrich

General Thunderbolt Ross
Various unnamed police officers in Orlando, Florida


Story Notes: 

Cable and the Hulk went toe-to-toe back in Incredible Hulk (2nd series) #444, during the Onslaught crossover event.

The Hulk Island story was featured in Incredible Hulk (2nd series) #451-453.

Jean Grey was part of the X-Factor team that also included Cyclops, Iceman, Beast, and Angel. As part of X-Factor, she faced off against the Hulk in Incredible Hulk (2nd series) #336-337.

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