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Quote1 Whoa! You come in different colors now? How many varieties of Hulk are available these days? Quote2
-- Iceman

Appearing in "Aftershocks"Edit

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Synopsis for "Aftershocks"Edit

In the ruins of Gamma Base, the damaged Harpy robots suddenly reactivate and continue their programming to find Bruce Banner and the Hulk and take to the sky. Meanwhile, in San Francisco, Warren Worthington meets at a coffee shop with his long time friend and teammate Bobby Drake. The pair attracts a crowd while actively displaying their mutant abilities. However, instead of the angry mob, they are used to, they are treated like celebrities. Although this change of the norm is welcomed after years of fighting for mutant rights, Warren can't help but wonder if there is anything left to fight for now that they are in a city where they are accepted for who they are. Bobby reminds Warren that they are X-Men and that there will always be something for the mto fight for.

At that same moment, the battle between the Hulk, Thor and the Red hulk atop the Golden Gate Bridge is coming to its conclusion. Later, at Graymalkin Industries, the X-Men have called a meeting as there are reports of a mutant incident happening in the city. Although Cerebra cannot detect any mutant energy signatures, Cyclops decides to investigate it anyway in order to maintain their good standing with the people of the city. Their meeting is suddenly interrupted when the ground begins to shake. Beast checks the computers and determines that it was due to seismic activity coming from San Andreas Fault, indicating that the attack in question could have catastrophic consequences should it continue any longer. Without further delay, Cyclops mobilizes the X-Men.

As the X-Men scour the city helping those put in danger from the earthquake, Angel and Iceman scout to find out who is responsible. Bobby suspects that it might be the Juggernaut, but is proven wrong when the Hulk suddenly leaps past them. Since the two have fought alongside the Hulk in the past, they decide to track him down and find out his side of the story. The pair takes the Blackbird and use its gamma trackers to follow the Hulk. They eventually land in Monument Valley just after his battle with the Red Hulk and discover that something during the fight got so hot it fused the desert sand into glass. Finding two pairs of tracks, the decide to investigate one of them together. Iceman, naturally suggests they follow the smaller pair. Meanwhile, not far away, the Hulk has reverted back into Bruce Banner. As he walks across the desert he is suddenly swarmed by the Harpy robots. When one of them grabs Banner, it agitates him enough to trigger a transformation into the Hulk. However, when the Hulk tries to fight back, he confuses the Harpies for his ex-wife, Betty Ross. The Hulk cannot bring himself to attack the robots and falls to his knees, apologizing.

That's when Iceman and Angel arrive and seeing the Hulk in danger, Bobby uses his powers to ice up one of the Harpy robots. This angers the Hulk, who lashes out at them. Realizing that the Hulk has confused the robots as his late wife, Angel tries to convince him that these are really robots. This causes the Hulk to remember how he fought Master Mold with the two X-Men in the past, and it convinces him that they are actually his allies. As the Hulk lashes into the Harpy robots, Angel and Iceman try their best to help. However, due to the arid nature of the desert, Bobby has a hard time using his mutant powers and is shattered into pieces by one of the Harpy robots. With no other choice, Angel allows himself to transform into the Archangel so he can use his metallic wings to help destroy the remaining Harpy robots. With the robots destroyed, the Hulk almost smashes Archangel, thinking him to be a robot as well, but Warren reverts back to his normal form and stops the Hulk. By this point, Iceman has reformed his body and asks what happened while he was down. The Hulk almost exposes Warren's secret, but Bobby doesn't pick up on it when the Hulk refers to Angel as "blue man". He then explains to them that the damage in San Francisco was caused when he was fighting the Red Hulk. Wanting to resume his battle with his foe, the Hulk leaps off.

Warren decides to let the Hulk go since they got answers to their questions. He then remarks that he now realizes that even if they resolve the issue of mutant rights, the X-Men will always have something to fight.

Appearing in "Smash Hit"Edit

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  • Dark Rahne (Band playing at the Fillmore)

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Synopsis for "Smash Hit"Edit

In San Francisco, Bruce Banner has ducked into a bar where an open mic night is underway, knowing that he can spend time there unrecognized and ignored. However, the tame night suddenly changes when Alison Blare, aka the mutant musician known as Dazzler, arrives to do some singing to practice for an upcoming gig. Her music delights the entire crowd including Banner, who is shocked when Alison suddenly pulls him up on stage to dance with her as she continues to sing. Twenty minutes later, Dazzler and Banner have hit it off and she tells him of her gig at the Filmore the next night. Having to leave, she gives him a free ticket to the show and tells him he should come. After she leaves, Banner crumples up the ticket and tosses it away. However, the bartender grabs it and tells Bruce not to be stupid and convinces him to go, noting how miserable Banner is and he deserves a great time.

The following night, the bartender goes with Banner to the Filmore to make sure he follows through on going to see the show. Working his way to the stage, Bruce watches as Dazzler's show begins. Spotting Bruce in a crowd, she pulls him up there with him and the crowd begins to go nuts. Bruce cannot believe what is happening, but Alison isn't done yet. Wanting to make the crowd go even crazier she kisses him on stage. Suddenly, hundreds of cell phones appear, snapping pictures. When she tells him that those pictures will end up all over the internet, Bruce begins to panic and this triggers a transformation back into the Hulk. Dazzler's backup band tries to come to her defense, but the Hulk easily swats them away. This upsets Dazzler as she thinks this will lead to her band quitting and she hates holding auditions.

She then lashes into the Hulk with her light powers, but she quickly drains them. Exhausted, she tries to convince the Hulk to calm down. Surprisingly this starts to work and she begins convincing him to sit backstage and watch the show. Unfortunately, she makes the mistake of calling him, Bruce. This angers the Hulk who screams in Dazzler's face as loud as his can. However, this allows her to recharge her powers and she blasts him out of the venue with a powerful light burst.

The following morning, Bruce Banner wakes up in a park and tries to make sense of what happened the night before. He reminds himself that incidents like this are why he cannot allow himself to try and have a normal life. However, looking at the ticket stub in his pocket, Bruce considers the last few nights and considers them and decides that it was at least nice to hear someone call him a good dancer.

Continuity Notes

Aftershocks

  • Iceman and Angel refer to the Hulk as their "friend" because they fought together years earlier against Master Mold, as seen in Incredible Hulk Annual #7.
  • The Hulk confuses the Harpy robots for his late wife Betty Ross. This is because Betty was once transformed into a Harpy creature as seen in Incredible Hulk #168. Betty died from radiation poisoning in Incredible Hulk #466. Unknown to everyone at the time of this story, Betty had been recently resurrected as seen in Fall of the Hulks: Alpha #1.
  • At the time of this story, the Angel had recently developed the ability to change back and forth between his Archangel form as a result of having his organic wings ripped off during the course of X-Force Vol 3 #1-6. He has kept this a secret from most of the X-Men, although the truth is ultimately revealed in Uncanny X-Men #506-507.

Smash Hit

Solicit Synopsis:

Mutant mayhem in a Battle by the Bay! While exploring their new home in San Francisco, X-Men Iceman and Angel discover that the weirdest part of the city isn't its eclectic populace or crazy landmarks, but the monsters that pass through -- namely the Incredible Hulk! Now they've got to track down Hulk and get to the bottom of a series of earthquakes (because THAT never happens in SF...) before the Red Hulk shows up bringing his trademark good cheer to San Fran. Did we say good cheer? We meant destruction and carnage. PLUS: Dazzler rocks out at the Fillmore and Hulk's got backstage passes! Will the Pop Princess get Smashed, live in concert?


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Footnotes



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