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Incredible Hulk #339: Review

Jan 1988
Peter David, Todd McFarlane

Story Name:

Native Son

Review & Comments

4 stars


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Incredible Hulk #339 Synopsis by Miguel Cruz
Bruce Banner, Rick Jones, and Clay Quartermain have made it to Boulder, Colorado. Clay confronts Bruce with his past, the abuse he suffered at the hands of his father. Bruce is angered and doesn't want to talk about it. Clay theorizes that the Hulk is a result of that abuse. Betty is in New Orleans, living in an apartment with Ramon. She mentions how she is feeling sick and goes to take a shower. Night comes and Bruce turns into the Hulk. Rick finds it interesting that the Hulk seems to be more interested in finding Betty than finding the Gamma bombs. The Hulk is angered that Rick tries to psychanalyze him by telling the Hulk that he's the emotions Bruce keeps bottled up, including jealousy and passion. In D.C., the shadowy man introduces himself to a general. This time the man is more definitively revealed to be the Leader. The Leader brings the general under his mental control. The Leader is interested in learning more about the Gamma bomb project. Clay takes the Hulk and Rick to a SHIELD safe house in Boulder. He hopes to gain access to the SHIELD computer database from there. A father and his young son are living in the house. The father hearing Hulk and co. break in confronts them with a pistol. The father is quickly overpowered by the Hulk. In reality the father is a SHIELD agent posing as the boy's father. Clay recollects that the boy's name is Alex Woolcot. Alex doesn't remember his real father a scientist who developed an incineration ray. His real father's brilliance had been matched only by his abusiveness. Alex had an accident with the incineration ray and absorbed its properties. With those powers, he inadvertently killed his own father. Alex lost his memory after SHIELD agents made an unsuccessful and unauthorized attempt on his life. Alex became a basket case after everything that had happened to him. SHIELD created a new home life for him to try to restore his sanity. In the present, Clay is unsuccessful at accessing the SHIELD database, but is able to gather information on Betty's whereabouts. Alex's power activates itself and he accidentally zaps the Hulk. The Hulk is angered and wants to get back at the boy. Rick tries unsuccessfully to reason with the Hulk. Meanwhile in New Orleans, Ramon breaks into the bathroom to find the water running and Betty not there. The Hulk tracks Alex to a nearby carnival and into a fun house. The Hulk smashes his way through the mirrors to get to Alex. He's about to pummel Alex when he is struck by memories of his own father's abuse. The boy sobs as he remembers having killed his real father and at the realization that he is about to be killed too. Rather than hit Alex, the Hulk finds himself consoling him. The Hulk returns Alex to the house. Alex decides that he will continue to live at the house and accept the SHIELD agent as his father. In the epilogue, Rick takes notice when the Hulk calls Rick by his first name.

Todd McFarlane
Jim Sanders III


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