INCREDIBLE HULK #436-440 and CUTTING EDGE: HULK (1995-1996): Ghosts of the Future

The U.S. Army storms Bruce Banner’s house, shoots Betty, and forces Hulk to give himself up.

When they arrive, she flashes them, distracting them long enough for her to call her husband. After a big fight, he gives himself up.

While in captivity, Omnibus and The Leader–secretly partners–hire Ringmaster to play mindgames on Hulk so that the military can control his transformations and weaponize the Hulk persona.

Subplot time: Chief Largo has a bunch of freaks created by The Leader, who he calls The Headshop (they’re a lot like Headmen–guys whose heads are on new bodies). They plan to free Hulk and hope he will feel indebted to them, so they can use him to help get revenge on Leader for mutating them.

Problem is, they free him as Banner and, thanks to Ringmaster, he can’t change to Hulk.

In Banner form, he’s hit by a grenade. And lives.

So he is unable to be killed, even as Banner.

He is hurt, though. Betty cries over his body and her tears…

Make him change form into a bigger, weirdly colored Hulk. And he seems to be going crazy. He starts calling himself Maestro and taking credit for some acts of destruction actually caused by Leader–which means heroes have to fight him again.

In the end, even Thor isn’t enough. The army nukes Hulk. There’s a big explosion panel and then…

Betty just laughs because she, like us readers, knows this won’t kill Hulk.

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