Episode 23: Banner missing - again (Hulk #4, Part 1) -- Nov 1962

  
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In this episode:

Mike and Ed discuss the disappearance of Bruce Banner. Has he been kidnapped by the Soviets? Or are aliens involved? Finding Bruce Banner should be the world’s #1 priority given how he recently saved the world from an alien invasion.

In this issue:

Bruce Banner is missing to the world at large. Rick Jones is questioned by the Army about his disappearance. Meanwhile, the Hulk, freed from Rick’s mental control, flies around, saves a bus full of children, and disrupts a film set.

Rick and the Hulk are reunited. Rick finishes an experiment that Bruce had set up to allow Bruce control over his transformations into the Hulk. The experiment is a success, and Bruce’s personality is maintained while he is the Hulk, although he is angrier and crueler.

A spaceship then appears, and an alien named Mongu emerges. He issues a challenge to Earth’s mightiest champion to meet him in combat. Bruce transforms into the Hulk and confronts Mongu, who is revealed to me a robot created by the Russians as a ruse to kidnap the Hulk and taken him back to their country to analyze so that their scientists can build an army of warriors like him. The Hulk defeats the Russians and escapes.

The Army appears at the battle site, but the Hulk and the Russians are gone. The Army concludes that the Hulk must have created the Mongu robot in an attempt to generate publicity, and the newspaper reports the Hulk’s apparent hoax.

Assumed before the next episode:

The world frets as they await word on Bruce Banner’s safe return.

This episode takes place:

After Bruce Banner goes missing, and as public opinion on the Hulk continues to sour.