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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), Kieron Dwyer (cover art)
Wolverine and the Mimic fight briefly and end up tumbling over an embankment onto the road below. They are nearly hit by an oncoming car, which veers and nearly drives over a cliff! Luckily the Hulk saves it and gets the pair of mutants to calm down. The sun rises and the Hulk becomes Bruce Banner once more. The trio hitches a ride with the same kids Banner encountered earlier, who eagerly offer them some spiked alcohol. They ride with them as far as Toronto. As they arrive, night falls and Banner, who was a bit drunk, becomes the Hulk. He turns unexpectedly savage and leaps away.
Though he wasn’t looking for a fight with the Mimic, Wolverine pops his own claws as Rankin lunges at him with his. Their claws are equally matched and sparks fly as they strike each other. Wolverine doesn’t intend to hurt the confused Mimic, so he gouges a chunk of mud from the ground and flings it into Rankin’s eyes. The Mimic retaliates with a kick that sends Logan over the side of the small embankment they were fighting on. Mimic drives after him and the pair fall onto the road below and into the path of an oncoming vehicle. The driver swerves to avoid hitting them and smashes into the guardrail and nearly topples over the side of the cliff.
The Hulk leaps into action asking himself: “What’s wrong with those two, anyway?” He grabs the bumper of the car and pulls it back onto the road. The driver turns back to see his car being righted by the Hulk and exclaims “It can’t be!” The Hulk tells him that it can be and is, before telling him to hit the road and act as if nothing ever happened. The startled driver whole-heartedly agrees and zooms off.
The Hulk shouts at Wolverine and the Mimic and asks what they’re doing. He’s determined to stop their conflict because he feels that he’s responsible. He tells them that he has what the Mimic needs to calm himself down and hands him some pills. Calvin downs them. The Hulk begins to feel weaker and realizes that it is nearly sunrise. He hands the pills to Wolverine who supports the Hulk as he reverts into Bruce Banner. Mimic moves forward to help and tells Dr. Banner that it’s an honor to meet him. Logan tells him to skip the pleasantries and focus on getting a ride to Canada. He overheard Rankin’s earlier confessions to the Hulk and suspects that they may find some answers there.
The three misfits are looking a little worse for the wear as they try and flag down a ride. Banner is left with only a pair of pants, while Mimic is sporting only a pair of briefs. Lucky for them, the same group of kids who picked up Dr. Banner a few days earlier passes by and offers the trio a ride. They greet him warmly, surprised to have crossed paths with him again. Luckily they’re in a van this time and have room for all three strangers.
Janie instantly snuggles up with Bruce, commenting on how much she likes being around shirtless men. Mimic is pretty out of it and Logan gives him a pill in the hopes of rousing him a bit. The driver can’t help but notice that their passengers are down on their luck and in pretty sad shape and tells his girlfriend to pass the jug back to the newcomers. She urges them all to try it as it’s “something special”. Banner takes the bottle and Logan urges him to go easy on it since they don’t know what’s in it. Dr. Banner insists on trying it and comments that he doesn’t “want to be an ingrate”.
A while later, they arrive in Toronto where the Grateful Dead are playing. This is the last stop and they all get out of the van. Banner is a bit unstable from the amount of the “special booze” he had to drink and stumbles and falls. One of the kids suggests they let him sit there and enjoy the sunset. Hearing this, Wolverine realizes that Banner will be transforming into the Hulk at any moment. He tells the others to stay back “You don’t know what you’re dealing with here!” The Hulk turns and bats Logan away yelling at him “Neither do you!” The Hulk is wide-eyed and more savage than he previously was in this form. Wolverine suspects that it may have something to do with whatever Banner was drinking. The Hulk goes wild, leaping to the top of the nearby Sky Needle tower.
Mimic / Calvin Rankin
Janie and other unnamed joy riders
The other features in the issue are:
2nd Story: Poison in “Vandals of the Heart” Part 1
3rd Story: Scarlet Witch in “Separate Lives” Part 1
4th Story: Captain America in “The American Way”
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.
Logan’s “twin” is none other than Calvin Rankin AKA The Mimic. Prior to this revelation, Mimic was believed to have died in INCREDIBLE HULK #161.
Mimic first appeared and fought the X-Men in UNCANNY X-MEN #19. He joined the team in UNCANNY X-MEN #27 and left in UNCANNY X-MEN #29.
Banner got a lift from this same group of joy riders in Part 2 of this storyline [MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS (1st series) #52.