Issue(s): Hulk #281, Hulk #282, Hulk #283, Hulk #284
However, with Banner's intellect keeping the Hulk's rage in check, he's unable to get mad and strong enough to defeat the Leader's humanoids.
Satisfied that he's no threat, the Leader sends the Hulk and his friends back to Earth.
The Hulk heads to Avengers Mansion to try and locate the Leader again. Their security protocols cause Rick and Bereet to get pissed off and leave.
While with the Avengers, the doomsday robot build by Tony Stark's father, Arsenal, somehow repairs itself (the Avengers apparently just left it lying in a sub-basement after the last time it was defeated). The Hulk was having a nice chat with his cousin She-Hulk when it attacked...
...and he gets mad enough to defeat the robot when She-Hulk pretends to be knocked out.
Meanwhile, Iron Man locates the Leader.
With his confidence somewhat restored, the Hulk heads out for the Leader again, this time with the Avengers in tow.
There's a space battle between the Avengers and the Leader's humanoids. A point is specifically made that Thor has chosen to forgo a space helmet, instead choosing to rely on the "hour's worth of air he can hold in his lungs". The scenes even have Thor shouting while in space (through a throat-mike, at least, since there's no sound in space). Not exactly treating the air in his lungs as precious. Meanwhile, the Hulk does use a helmet.
When the heroes get aboard the Leader's space base, they meet the Leader's robot Omnivac...
...who has them sit down to a meal. But Jackdaw, who's been "disciplined" (i.e. beaten) by Omnivac because she doesn't like the Leader's latest scheme...
...warns the Hulk and the Avengers that the Leader has built a time machine and gone back in time with the goal of applying gamma radiation to the earliest humans in order to... it's not quite clear what he hopes to accomplish, exactly.
But the Hulk & the Avengers use the Leader's organ-time machine...
...to travel back...
...and stop him.
There's a mini-Hulk vs. Thor fight in here as well. Thor is under the impression that he's back in his Viking God days at this point.
Meanwhile, Betty is off on a tropical vacation, trying to forget Bruce.
At the end of the issue, the Hulk is offered membership on the Avengers.
We won't see his response on panel, but he'll have declined by Hulk #285.
Even with the Leader's nonsensical plot, this should have been a fun arc with the smart Hulk teaming up with his cousin and the team that he helped form, but Mantlo doesn't pull it off.
I'm generally a booster of Sal Buscema, and he's good here, but he has a weird way of depicting the Hulk jumping and i wanted to point it out:
Here's an odd She-Hulk action pose as well:
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place after Captain Marvel joins the Avengers in Avengers #227, and before Iron Man quits the team due to alcoholism in Avengers #228. The story of the Hulk actually meeting up with the Avengers prior to Hulk #281 is shown in Hulk Smash Avengers #3.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (7): show
Arsenal reminds me of Firepower, from IRON MAN #224.
Posted by: Jay Patrick | July 12, 2013 4:10 PM
I do find it a tad strange that Bruce and Jen wouldn't even speak to each other from the blood transfusion up to this point. Yeah, I get different situations but to go two and a half years, particularly with what Jen was left with with Bruce bolting out back in her origin...either Bruce and Jen trust each other that well or they've just been way too distracted.
Posted by: Ataru320 | July 29, 2013 4:34 PM
Realized after commenting on Hulk Smash Avengers #3 that the return of the Wasp costume, but minus the one leg is from the opening here. But here it simply looks like an error on the colorist, especially as it still has the stripe down the side.
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 7, 2015 6:33 PM
There's no link to this on the 1983 page.
Posted by: George Lochinski | October 20, 2016 2:54 PM
Yes there is, right after Hulk Smash Avengers #3. (And please use the forum for this sort of thing in the future.)
Posted by: fnord12 | October 20, 2016 3:21 PM
SInce Mantlo had the Hulk bring it up, what's preventing Hawkeye and Captain America from dying due to explosive decompression in space? They just seem to be wearing their normal costumes with helmets.
Posted by: The Small Lebowski | February 25, 2018 8:55 AM
As I understand it, as long as their eyes, ears, etc. are all covered, explosive decompression wouldn't be an issue, but yeah, they should get a nasty case of the bends.
Posted by: Andrew | February 25, 2018 3:00 PM
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