Incredible Hulk (3rd series) #86

Issue Date: 
November 2005
Story Title: 
Terra Incognita, conclusion

Peter David (Writer), Jorge Lucas (Artist), Carlos Lopez and William Muray (Colorists), Rus Wooton (Letterer), Andy Brase (Cover Artist), Jacob Chabot (Production), Nathan Cosby (Assistant Editor), Mackenzie Cadenhead (Associate Editor), Mark Paniccia (Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor in Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher), Special Thanks to Rachael Smith

Brief Description: 

Dr. Rappaccini contacts Scorpion through a secret earpiece she put in her daughter’s head, and uses her to trigger a post-hypnotic suggestion that puts the Hulk to sleep and reverts him back to Banner. She then orders the cyborgs to kill Banner, but Scorpion tries her best to stop them, to no avail. Suddenly, Banner transforms back into Hulk and begins to fight the cyborgs. Apparently, Hulk never sleeps, so the post-hypnotic suggestion does not work on him like it does on Banner. The heroes win, but are attacked by a giant cyborg, which leads the battle to the streets. Scorpion escapes outside with the man she had come to rescue and watches, as the Hulk uses the shells of the Sydney Opera House to kill the cyborg. He then destroys the rest of the opera house, claiming he hates opera. Meanwhile, Dr. Lazlo yells at Dr. Rappaccini for having their project revealed too early, as Magneto will find out. Rappaccini kills Lazlo and then frames him and Dr. Isaac for the cyborg project. Banner seemingly believes her and orders everyone in AIM, including Scorpion, out of Australia, except for Monica, who is in charge of reverting the cyborgs. After they leave, Magneto contacts Banner and offers to let him live in peace if Exodus returns to power. However, Banner refuses to leave and swears that, if Magneto interferes with him, he will take down the House of M.

Full Summary: 

In a secret control room, Dr. Monica Rappaccini watches as her secret plans begin to unravel. However, she is not bothered. A man, one of the advisors’s to the Hulk, points at the screen and screams that the Hulk found out. Annoyed, Rappaccini tells him that she is aware of that. The advisor reminds her that every psyche profile they have on Banner shows that he would not approve of them using human subjects. More annoyed, Monica tells the man she read the profiles.

As the man goes on and on, she tells him to shut up before she shoots him herself. She then orders him to plug her into bandwidth designated Alpha One. The man does so, and the computer informs Rappaccini that she is ready to speak. Monica then calls out over the transmission to her daughter, Scorpion, and tells her that mother needs to speak with her.

In the secret cyborg lab, Scorpion is confused as to how her mother could be speaking to her. Dr. Isaacs asks Scorpion if she is okay, but she is not, as she can hear her mother’s voice in her head. Dr. Isaacs jokes that his first wife used to say that all the time. Monica ignores Isaacs and explains to Thasanee that she secretly implanted a transponder into her ear when she first joined AIM. Scorpion is angered that her mother did that, as it is intrusive.

Hulk, bored, asks if he needs to be there. Dr. Rappaccini is blunt, and tells Scorpion to get over herself. She also needs her to say “dormez.” “Dormez?” questions Scorpion. Why does she have to say that?

Suddenly, the Hulk begins to moan and is all wobbly. Scorpion asks Hulk what is wrong, but he reverts back into Bruce Banner and falls to the ground, asleep. Scorpion rushes to Bruce’s side asking what is wrong. Dr. Isaacs tells Thasanee that “dormez” is French for “sleep,” so he suspects her mother managed to introduce a post-hypnotic suggestion into Banner’s sleeping mind. Angered, Scorpion cuts off Isaacs, as she understands what he means. Her mother screwed with Banner in every sense of the word. How do they wake him up? Why did she want him unconscious in the first place?

Dr. Rappaccini switches to bandwidth two and orders all cyborg units to get Bruce Banner for immediate dispatch.

In the lab, all the cyborgs begin to operate, much to the dismay of Dr. Isaacs. He orders them to become inactive, but the cyborgs shove him aside. Scorpion asks the cyborgs if they are out of their minds and then orders them to get away from Banner. Dr. Rappaccini orders the cyborgs not to fire on Scorpion. They need to clear her out of the way first. One of the cyborgs tells Scorpion that she must be moved, but she tells him that she would like to see him try. “As you wish,” replies the cyborg.

Scorpion blasts the cyborg away, as he still has human parts, so he is still susceptible to her attacks. However, there are too many cyborgs and they surround her and detain her. Scorpion calls out to her mother and tells her that, if she can hear her, then she should know that she will never forgive her.

In her lab, Dr. Rappaccini says to that Scorpion will forgive her, as she is her little girl. She won’t stay mad. If she does… Dr. Rappaccini can fix that too. She then orders the units to dispose of Banner at will.

The cyborgs surround the sleeping Banner and aim their guns at him, against the protests of Scorpion. They then fire on him.

Suddenly, the Hulk emerges from the circle and smashes the cyborgs. He then turns to the other cyborgs and says, “boo.”

As Hulk smashes more cyborgs, Dr. Isaacs runs for cover. In his rage, Hulk almost hits Scorpion, but she stops him and reminds him that she did try saving his life. However, she is confused as she thought he was sleeping. Didn’t her mother do something to Banner? Hulk replies that he never sleeps, even when Banner does.

Scorpion puts two and two together and surmises that her mother couldn’t plant a post-hypnotic suggestion in him, because Hulk, as Banner’s subconscious, was still active as alpha wave patters and so her mother couldn’t make her command take root. Then Hulk was just playing possum… to… to...

Scorpion is left confused as to why Hulk played possum, but Hulk tells her that she needs to stop talking now. “Okay,” replies Thasanee.

Suddenly, the two hear a rumbling sound and turn to see a giant cyborg, three times the height of the Hulk, rush into the room. Scorpion announces that her mother is in so much trouble for this.

It is daylight in Sydney, Australia, and the people walk through the city doing their normal routines. However, suddenly, the ground breaks open beneath them as the Hulk is thrown into the air by the giant cyborg. Down below in the facility, Scorpion finds the cyborg that was once Jon and drags his unconscious body out as the facility begins to collapse. She isn’t sure how his girlfriend will react upon seeing him like this, but they should worry about that fiasco later.

Scorpion cannot believe it though. Humans flee to Australia to escape mutant oppression, but are used by AIM as lab rats to turn them into an army to… defeat mutants or take over the world? Scorpion and Jon make it outside, but once they do so the foot of the giant cyborg smashes the car next to them.

The Hulk leaps towards the cyborg, threatening to kill it. However, the cyborg punches Hulk to the ground and is prepared to step on him.

From a nearby balcony, Dr. Rappaccini and the advisor watch the battle. The advisor tells her that they need to regroup. The army had to be kept under wraps until they were ready to launch. It seems their hands tipped early. Magneto will certainly know of their plan before they can prepare their army. Dr. Rappaccini tells the advisor, Dr. Lazlo, that she has already thought of everything he can say.

Angered, Lazlo asks her if she thought about what she will say to their associates when they demand to know who is responsible. Dr. Rappaccini smiles, and tells Lazlo that her plan is to blame him. Not impressed, Lazlo asks her if she didn’t think that he would have something to say about it. With all due respect says Dr. Rappaccini, as she shoves Dr. Lazlo off the balcony to his death, she will have to disagree with him.

The Hulk finds himself at the Sydney opera house, angrier than ever. He lifts one of the shells off of the opera house, stating how he hates cyborgs, Australia, and personal pronouns. He then chucks the shell at the oncoming cyborg, which guts the beast and then knocks him down. The being emerges from the rubble, greatly injured, but another flying shell kills it for good.

A few moments later after another Hulk rampage, Scorpion arrives on a boat and tells Hulk that she really doesn’t want to annoy him, but she was curious. She understands that he three the two shells to destroy the cyborg, but why did he destroy the rest of the Sydney Opera House? She means… well… he knocked it down for no reason. Hulk tells Scorpion that he had a reason. Thasanee asks what the reason is, and learns that the Hulk hates opera.

Sometime later, back at his office, Banner meets with Dr. Rappaccini, Dr. Isaacs, Adam West, and Scorpion. Dr. Rappaccini tells Banner that Dr. Isaacs is clearly trying to cover his tracks. She had no idea that the cyborg army existed before. Scorpion, annoyed, asks her mother if she is really going to pretend that she didn’t have any involvement. Monica tells Banner that Dr. Lazlo confessed the whole thing before he committed suicide, rather than face the consequences.

Dr. Isaacs calls the accusation outrageous, and Scorpion goes on to remind Banner of how her mother put something in her ear. Dr. Rappaccini defends herself and claims that she did it to keep Thasanee out of trouble. Scorpion then reminds her of the post-hypnotic suggestion on Banner. Rappaccini explains that she put a failsafe in Banner’s mind, or at least she thought he did. She did it to one day defuse a tense situation. Can they blame her? He is a walking nuclear bomb. He has spent years trying to control the Hulk. Can they truly condemn her for doing no less?

Banner thinks for a moment, and then announces that he wants them all out. He wants them out of the city. He wants them out of the continent… except her. Shocked, Scorpion hopes that Banner is pointing at her, but finds out that Banner wants Dr. Rappaccini to stay. Scorpion questions this, but Banner simply tells her to get out. Before Scorpion can argue further, Banner asks Dr. Rappaccini if she can reverse the cyborg transformation. Monica tells Bruce that it will take time. He tells her to get started, the orders the others to get anyone remotely connected to AIM out of the country. “NOW!!!” screams Banner with his eyes glowing green.

Everyone leaves the room and, for a moment, all is silent. Suddenly, a voice tells Banner that he is keeping his friends close, but his enemies closer. Banner turns to the balcony and sees Magneto, ruler of the House of M! Banner asks Magneto what he is doing there, or rather a holo-projection of him. Magneto tells Banner that he does not need this aggravation. He will be happy to know that those he ousted – Exodus, Pyro and others – have learned their lesson. He should allow them to take back power and he can return to his life among the aborigine. The Hulk will be left alone. What does Banner say?

Banner tells Magneto that he likes being in charge. He still has things to accomplish. He tells Magneto to stay out of his way, or he swears he will come down like the fist of God on the House of M and remake the world into one where mutants aren’t in charge.

“What an interesting world… that would be,” says a smiling Magneto. The holo-projection then disappears, leaving Banner alone.

Characters Involved: 

Bruce Banner/Hulk

Dr. Isaac, Dr. Lazlo, Dr. Monica Rappaccini, Scorpion II, Adam West/Machine Teen (AIM)

Giant cyborg
Various cyborgs


Story Notes: 

This is a tie-in of the House of M crossover, which had a prelude in Excalibur (2nd Series) #13-14, and its main story is in House of M #1-8. Other tie-in issues include House of M: Spider-Man #1-5, House of M: Fantastic Four #1-3, House of M: Iron Man #1-3, Uncanny X-Men #462-465, New X-Men (2nd Series) #16-19, Cable/Deadpool #17, Black Panther (3rd Series) #7, Mutopia X #1-4, Wolverine (3rd Series) #33-35, The Pulse #10, The Pulse: House of M Special Edition, Exiles #69-71, Secrets of the House of M, Captain America (5th Series) #10, and New Thunderbolts #11. None of the tie-ins are needed to understand the main story in House of M #1-8.

While serving as an Avenger, Wanda’s reality warping powers slowly deteriorated her mind and she lost all grip on reality. Desperately wanting children again, she reconjured them back and went mad, thinking the Avengers as her enemies and killing Ant-Man II, Hawkeye, and Vision during the Avengers Disassembled event in Avengers (1st Series) #500-503. In the end, the heroes could do nothing, but let Dr. Strange turn off her mind temporarily. Wanda was then taken by her father, Magneto, to Genosha where she has been from Excalibur (2nd Series) #8-14. When the Avengers and X-Men gathered in House of M #1 to decide the fate of Wanda, her powers were used to change reality so that Magneto ruled the world, populated mostly by mutants. The heroes who would most likely interfere were given new lives, which made it impossible for them to rise up against Magneto, while others were given their greatest desires to preoccupy them. Almost the entire world population has no memory of the old world.

According to the Secrets of the House of M one-shot, Bruce Banner was almost murdered by his insane father, who thought he would be a mutant as his own genes were mutated thanks to working with radiation. Banner was saved by the police, but his mother was unfortunately murdered. His father was shot dead by the police. Bruce later went to college and was asked to work for the Defense department to create a super-army, but met little success. Pressure from General Ross led to a lab accident that bombarded Banner with gamma rays, thus transforming him into the Hulk. Ross hunted down the Hulk who defeated his opponents in San Diego, before fleeing into the ocean. Banner awoke in Australia and joined the aborigine people, vaguely remembering his time as the Hulk. Magneto himself asked Banner to join him, but Banner declined and has been with the aborigines since.

Adam West is better known as Machine Teen.

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