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First Story: Michael Higgins (writer), Dave Ross (penciller), Dan Day (inker), Brad Vancata (colorist), Todd Klein (letterer), Kelly Corvese (assistant editor), Terry Kavanagh (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief), June Brigman & Roy Richardson (cover art)
Wolverine battles the Hulk, ignoring the Hulk’s attempts to avoid a conflict. After the obligatory tussle, Logan realizes the Hulk is not his usually aggressive self and the two call a truce. After sharing a meal and camping out they travel together until sunrise. The Hulk reverts to Banner and decide to hitchhike. When Logan stops to get gas, he is recognized for a recent murder nearby and arrested!
Wolverine pops his claws and says to the Hulk, “Hey bub, long time no see!” The Hulk replies that it wasn’t long enough for his tastes and his name is Hulk not “bub”. Logan asks if he’s sure it isn’t “Mr. Fixit”. Hulk says that if he remembers correctly, Wolverine’s gone through some name changes himself recently. Logan realizes that the Hulk is right. The last time they mingled it was in Madripoor and Logan was using his “Patch” identity.
Logan lunges at the Hulk and swipes at him with his claws saying that they might as well get this over with. The Hulk takes a step back and asks if this is really necessary. He actually tries to stop the fight but Wolverine doesn’t hold back for fear of letting the Hulk “get first licks”. He says “I may be short but I’m not stupid.” The Hulk finally gives up on averting the fight and punches Logan in the nose. The force of the blow sends Logan flying across the cave. The Hulk tells him that he asked for it and that he would have been glad to settle this in a more civilized fashion. Logan springs to his feet and says “Yeah…right!” unable to believe the Hulk would actually try to avoid a tussle. The Hulk asks if he’s calling him a liar and begins to get angry. Wolverine leaps back into the fray and taunts the Hulk by asking what he’s going to do about it. The Hulk grabs Logan’s leg and hurls him into the cavern’s wall.
The Hulk turns and leaves the cave asking himself “Can’t a man ever find any peace?” Logan recovers and tackles the Hulk. They both tumble over the side of the cliff and into the river below. The fight continues underwater with both of them thinking they have an advantage and wondering how long the other can hold his breath. When they come up for air, they both realize they are about to go over a waterfall!
When Wolverine finally makes it to the riverbank, the Hulk is gone. He dives back into the water to make sure the Hulk doesn’t need his help. He emerges from the water and the Hulk leaps into view. The Hulk just stands there looking at Logan and he finally gets that perhaps the Hulk really has changed and that he’s the one who forced the fight between them. He reaches out his hand and suggests they “let bygones be bygones”. The Hulk replies that it takes a big man to admit he was wrong and shakes Logan’s hand.
A short while later, the hulk and Wolverine are sharing a meal of bear meat over a campfire. As they talk, Logan comments that this is a side of the Hulk he’s never seen before. The Hulk tells him not to get sappy on him and that there are other sides to him.
The next morning as the two are driving along during the pre-dawn hours, the Hulk abruptly says that it’s about time that Logan let him out. Logan is confused and the Hulk says that he has to, his real trouble is about to start. Wolverine asks the Hulk if that’s a threat and is surprised as he thought they were passed that now. The Hulk says that Logan’s being paranoid and points out that they’re almost out of gas. Logan notes that there’s a service station at the next exit and the Hulk says that he still would have liked to be dropped off first. They each proceed to “take care of their business”.
Logan goes inside to pay for the gas and the man behind the register says that the register is broken and he needs to make a call. The man calls the police to report that the “killer from last night” is in the station. He grabs a shotgun and tells Logan to put his hands up. Logan asks what the problem is and the man replies that they don’t let murderers walk around free around here. Logan is incredulous and tells the man that he’s no murderer! The guy says that there’s no way there could be two guys matching his description. He adds that Logan will spend the rest of his life behind bars if he’s lucky! Outside, the sun has come up and the Hulk has reverted back to his human persona, Bruce Banner. He’s hitching a ride up the road, oblivious to the police cars that have just arrived to arrest Wolverine.
Hulk / Bruce Banner
Unnamed gas station attendant
The other features in the issue are:
2nd Story: Werewolf by Night in “Children of the Beast “Part 2
3rd Story: Stingray in “Family Matters” Part 3
4th Story: The Collective Man in “The Sons of Mary Tao-Yu”
This story takes place between INCREDIBLE HULK #369 (in which Freedom Force appeared) and INCREDIBLE HULK #370 for the Hulk and just prior to the X-TINCTION AGENDA crossover in the X-Books.
At this period in the Hulk’s evolution, his transformation from Bruce Banner into the gray-skinned Hulk only occurred at night. He also went by the name “Mr. Fixit.”
Patch and Mr. Fixit met up in Madripoor in WOLVERINE (2nd series) #12.