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Quote1 Stop. This is what he wants. To create distrust among us. He knows the most intimate details of our plans -- and how Ross, in particular, was crucial to them. With the general's murder, he's fired the first shot...now we shoot back. Quote2
-- M.O.D.O.K.

Appearing in "Thunderbolt"Edit

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Synopsis for "Thunderbolt"Edit

Captain America and Ms. Marvel have been called in to Washington, D.C. at the request of Doc Samson to examine a scene at the Reflecting Pool. There he walks him through the scene of a battle between the Red Hulk and Thaddeus Ross, who was wearing a suit of Redeemer armor. Although Ross had the element of surprise, the Red Hulk managed to beat him to death. Samson takes them to the body just as it is being airlifted off the scene by the military. Samson concludes by telling them that the Air Force is taking over the investigation and vows to kill the Red Hulk after the funeral for General Ross. On the scene, Captain America thinks he recognizes someone from his "old days", but finds that impossible.

Two days later, a funeral is held at the Old Post Chapel, among the various military personnel that come to pay their respects is Steve Rogers, formerly Captain America. He bumps into Rick Jones and is surprised to see him for the first time since he was transformed into A-Bomb. After exchanging some small talk, Rick picks up on the fact that Steve, Captain America, and Ms. Marvel are present just in case Bruce Banner decides to show up. Soon, the funeral begins with Doc Samson starting the eulogy. Samson begins by recounting the Ross family and their proud military history. How, Thaddeus started as a barnstormer before enlisting in the Air Force, graduating with top marks at West Point and earning the nickname "Thunderbolt". He also speaks of his marriage to Karen Lee and the birth of his only child, Betty Ross. Unknown to all, the eulogy is being recorded from the monitoring station of the Intelligencia. The Red She-Hulk wishes she could be there, but MODOK insists that she needs to keep a low profile. When she presses the issue of feeling cooped up, Lyra tries to get her to follow orders. This leads to a clash between the two women until MODOK ends the conflict with a mental blast. He warns them that the death of Ross complicates their plans, and warns them to stop their squabbling least it creates more problems for them.

Back at the funeral, Colonel Simon Savage of the wartime Leatherneck Raiders, take the podium to speaks about Ross on behalf of the United States military. He talks about how Ross was the a shining inspiration for those who serve their country, this is met with cheers from the soldiers in attendance. Next up is the Thing, who talks about how Ross set the bar high when he himself was part of the Air Force. The mood kind of sours when Ben says that Ross was a bit of a nutjob. However, he explains himself more clearly, by commenting on the General's obsession with the Hulk. He remarks about how it was Thaddeus Ross was the one who first got the Fantastic Four to battle the Hulk. He concludes by pointing out that you cannot talk about General Ross without mentioning his obsessions. From there, A-Bomb asks to take the podium and speak. He tells them that he has known Thaddeus Ross longer than almost anyone, but there is one person who knew him longer. Much to the shock of all present, Rick Jones calls upon Bruce Banner to take the stage. Banner talks about how his late wife, Betty Ross, was the center of the General's world. How of all the men involved in her life, the one that he felt was like a son to him was the late Glenn Talbot. He talks about how the Thaddeus' world fell apart when both Glenn and later Betty died, and that it is no wonder that he died battling a Hulk. Banner concludes saying although Ross often made the problem of the Hulk worse, it didn't negate the fact that his alter-ego was a danger and Ross saved many lives as a result.

Once Banner is finished speaking, the coffin is lifted up and carried out. Outside, Banner is around just long enough to witness the 23 gun salute before A-Bomb grabs him and leaps away. That evening at Arlington National Cemetery, two figures come to pay their respects to the grave of Thaddeus Ross. It turns out to be Glenn Talbot and Betty Ross, two people who are believed to be dead. Later, in the Intelligencia war room, Samson reports back about his findings of the Red Hulk killing General Ross. He suspects that he had outside help, but the rest of the Intelligencia doesn't know for sure. Since the Red Hulk has interfered with their plans, the group of mad geniuses vow to strike back. While in the secret cave of Bruce Banner, the Red Hulk meets with Banner, who helped him in killing Thaddeus Ross. Even though the Red Hulk doesn't trust Banner, he realizes that they need to work together to stop what will happen next.

Fall of the Hulks continues in Hulk Vol 2 #19....

Continuity Notes

  • The events of this story happen nearly simultaneously with the events of other stories. The proper chronology is as follows:
  • The man who appears to be General Ross in this story is actually a LMD, as revealed in Hulk Vol 2 #23.
  • Samson mentions how the Red Hulk took on Thor, that happened in Hulk Vol 2 #5.
  • This story recounts the early life of Thaddeus Ross mostly as it was originally told in Incredible Hulk #291. However, certain elements have been updated in this telling as many of the references in Incredible Hulk #291 (which conflicts he fought in etc.) are topical references per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
  • How Colonel Simon Savage can appear here in relatively good health considering the fact that he fought in World War II is unexplained, as the Sliding Timescale would make it impossible for someone who was active in the 1940s be this vital (or alive) in the Modern Age without some kind of means of slowing their aging. One possible explanation is that he may have had access to the Infinity Formula through his association with Nick Fury. Another possibility is that this is actually a LMD of Savage, as Fury has employed them to pose as his wartime buddies in the past. As of this time there is no official explanation.
  • The Thing mentions the Fantastic Four's first battle with the Hulk. That happened in Fantastic Four #12.
  • Bruce also mentions the relationship between Betty Ross and Glenn Talbot. The pair began a romance in Incredible Hulk #150 and ultimately got married in Incredible Hulk #158. However the marriage was strained during the period between Incredible Hulk #163-Incredible Hulk #206 during this period, Glenn was captured by the Russians and replaced with a spy, who later died trying to assassinate the President. When Glenn was ultimately rescued, he was in a catatonic state. Although the Hulk restored him to normal, Betty and Glenn ultimately divorced in Incredible Hulk #238. Glenn later died in combat battling the Hulk in Incredible Hulk #260.
  • The man who appears to be Glenn Talbot in this story is also a Life Model Decoy as revealed in Hulk Vol 2 #23.

Chronology Notes

A flashback in this story affects the chronologies of the following characters:

Some characters also appear in other stories between the pages of this issue the affected characters are:

Page 2

Page 5

Page 7

Page 29:

Publication Notes

Solicit Synopsis:

It’s almost here! JEPH LOEB and original WORLD WAR HULK artist JOHN ROMITA JR. bring you the set-up to the event of 2010. With the Hulk family growing exponentially over the past year, it was only a matter of time before things came to a smashing head. But what could set all of these characters into a rage that has them turning on each other, and on the world? Whose death starts this? Just what role do Skaar, A-Bomb, the She-Hulks and the Marvel Universe play in this story? One thing’s for sure—things are about to get incredible!


  • No trivia.


See AlsoEdit


  • None.


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