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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)
A suddenly enraged Hulk terrorizes patrons at the top of Toronto’s famed Sky Needle. Wolverine and Mimic work together to try and halt his rampage. Their efforts are interrupted by a strange lightshow and supersonic harmonics that draw the Hulk away. The two mutants tag along and all three arrive at the cave that houses Dr. Ronald Rankin’s abandoned lab. A hologram of Rankin appears and explains how the devices housed within helped to suppress his son’s powers. The machinery has been overtaxed but Banner is confident he can fix it. The Mimic opts to try and find a new means of controlling his powers and himself. He decides to try Logan’s recommended path: Japanese-inspired meditation.
The Hulk is poised atop Toronto’s famed Sky Needle. He is visibly enraged and tearing at the roof of the tower. Those in the restaurant below are terrified and cry out for help. Wolverine is bewildered by the sudden shift in the Hulk’s mood and thinks it may be due to something that Dr. Banner was given to drink by the joyriding teens they caught a ride with. Logan and the Mimic climb an exterior ladder to the top of the tower. Logan asks the Mimic if he’s doing okay, considering the bloodthirsty rages that have overcome him in recent weeks. Rankin is surprised at how good he feels and assures Wolverine that he can help with the Hulk. He even notes that he was deputy leader of the X-Men long before anyone had heard of Logan. Logan points out that he was taking care of other business at that point in his life.
As the two mutants reach the roof of the tower, the Hulk rips off a chunk of roofing, balls it up and tosses it at them. He tells them to stay away or he’ll kill them both. Adamantium claws prove more than capable of handling this threat and the two ascend to the rooftop, thankful that the authorities below are keeping bystanders a good distance away. The Hulk swats the Mimic away with savage force. Wolverine jumps onto his back, prepared to do whatever it takes to stop him from harming others. He urges the Hulk to calm down.
Suddenly, an array of golden lights fills the night sky near the three superhumans. The Hulk is inexplicably drawn to them and leaps into the air. The Mimic grabs his leg as he takes to the air in pursuit of the lights. Logan points out that there’s some kind of supersonic component to the lightshow but the Mimic can’t hear it. Logan is confused by this since the two have shared the same powers since this entire adventure started. As they soar through the sky, Logan asks Mimic if he has any clue where they’re headed. As they descend, Mimic realizes that they have landed near his father’s old lab! This is the same lab where he first faced the Hulk and nearly died!
Light fills the cavern as they enter and the hulk suddenly comes to his senses. The light coalesces into the form of a hologram. The image is none other than the Mimic’s father: Dr. Ronald Rankin! Mimic is shocked to see this image of his long dead father. The Hulk transforms into Bruce Banner, despite the fact it is still night. The hologram of Dr. Rankin explains to his “son” that prior to his death, he infused a part of his essence into the complex machinery he had created. He was concerned about what might become of Calvin once he died so he found a means of storing his thought processes in this device so he could ensure that Calvin’s powers were gone forever.
When his powers were restored and he lost control, Dr. Rankin’s digital persona began generated a pulse effect that would help him maintain control. It was only when the Mimic left the range of the signal that he began to suffer from uncontrolled berserker rages. Wolverine realizes that this is why Calvin didn’t notice the supersonic signals, he had heard them for so long he no longer even noticed them.
Banner interrupts this explanation to point out a problem with the machinery. The hologram acknowledges that it has overtaxed the machinery in order to deliver this message. He looks at Wolverine and tells him that he is pleased to see that at least some of his research paid off. Logan asks what he means and the hologram says that there is much to tell but not enough time. The image begins to dissipate. Calvin cries out as the last vestige of his father disappears.
Banner explains to the others that Dr. Rankin and most of his circuits are gone but that his remarkable work was not in vain. He felt certain that there were enough components left to repair his father’s machine. Calvin says that he is tired of being dependent on machines and drugs to control himself and wonders if there isn’t another way. Wolverine says that while it’s good to know he has his father’s devices to fall back on, he might want to try out some of the techniques that have helped him to control his own feral urges. Mimic asks what Logan means. Wolverine explains himself and the three go their separate ways.
Mimic starts in on Logan’s recommended plan right away. He builds a small Japanese styled temple where he begins to practice meditation. By the time it is complete, he has reverted to looking like his old self. Logan leaves feeling that for once in his life he was part of the solution to a problem. He hopes that the Mimic will now find a little peace in his life.
Mimic / Calvin Rankin
Unnamed waiter and patrons at the Sky Needle
Via holographic projection:
Dr. Ronald Rankin
The other features in the issue are:
2nd Story: Poison in “Vandals of the Heart” Part 2
3rd Story: Scarlet Witch in “Separate Lives” Part 2
4th Story: Doctor Strange in “The Librarian”
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, when his father’s devices negated his powers.