Appearing in "How Green My Garden Grows!"Edit

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Synopsis for "How Green My Garden Grows!"Edit

The Hulk has returned to Jarella's world of K'ai to bury her body. Having found the world decimated since he last visited it he was taken to the Valley of Life to bury his love. There he was attacked by the Gardener who refuses to let any living humanoid set foot in his small paradise.

Bound in vines, the Hulk demands that the Gardner to let him free so he can bury Jarella. The Gardner refuses, and as the Hulk continues to struggle the Elder of the Universe realizes that he cannot explain himself to the Hulk in this state of mind. Using his Soul Gem, the Gardner awakens the mind of Bruce Banner....

He explains how he, like the other Elders of the Universe, have one single obsession to govern the eons-long lifetimes, his being Gardening. He tells how he obtained a Soul Gem and used it recently to create a lush garden on Earth's Moon. When the Stranger came to his paradise, the Gardner got assistance in dispelling the invader with the aid of Spider-Man and Adam Warlock. Warlock and the Gardner combined the power of their Soul Gem's in order to repell the Stranger. However, thinking that he had tainted his Gem's ability to sustain life on the moon, the Gardner left, leaving the Gem behind. This Gem ended up in the possession of the Mad Titan knwon as Thanos who was collecting all the Soul Gems to power a massive synethic gem which he plotted to use to snuff out all the stars in the universe. Thanos was stopped thanks to the combined efforts of the Avengers, Spider-Man, the Thing and Adam Warlock, however Warlock perished while turning Thanos into stone. The heroes then buried Warlock's body on an asteroid and left his Soul Gem there on his grave. The Gardner later came and collected the Soul Gem and took it with him to K'ai where he created the Valley of Life. Remembering how his last paradise was tainted, the Gardner vowed to never allow man to tred in his gardens again.

With the tale finished, Banner asks the Gardner to at least allow him to give the woman he loves a decent burial. The Gardner refuses and carries Jarella's body away, assuring Banner that she will be buried. Having yet another thing taken away from him causes Banner to burst into tears. His sorrow is so great his body reverts back to human form, allowing him to get free of the vines he is caught in. However, Banner refuses to give in and vows to find Jarella and bury her himself, even without the power of the Hulk.

Back on Earth, Betty Ross bids farewell to Captain Marvel and his lover Elysius as they fly off. Before she can depart in her private plane with Rick Jones and Fred Sloan, a soldier comes to tell her that her ex-husband Glenn Talbot wishes to speak with her. Betty refuses to grant an audience and soon flies off without another word. A heartbroken Glenn Talbot watches as Betty's plane takes off and flies away from Gamma Base. Meanwhile, in the Colorado Rockies, Doc Samson and General Ross continue their hunting trip. When Ross spots a strange creature in the woods, he opens fire assuming that it is the Hulk. Samson assures Ross that it wasn't the Hulk after he heard reports that the gamma-spawned monster had been banished from Earth.

Back on K'ai, Jarella's followers wait outside of the Valley of Life fearing that their would-be king had been killed there. Suddenly, a stampede of animals come rushing out of the forest and begin attacking them. While inside the lush region, Banner stops by a stream to get a drink of water when he is suddenly attacked by the very thing he tried to drink. As he is being pulled into the liquid, Banner's pulse races enough to trigger another transformation into the Hulk. The Hulk fights his way free and then leaps across the Valley in order to intercept the Gardner and his animal followers. The Gardner orders the animals to attack the Hulk, but they are not match for him. Seeing signs of the battle, the people of K'ai are reinvigorated and start fighting back against their attackers. Meanwhile, with no more animals to set upon the Hulk, the Gardner tries to fight the brute one-on-one.

The two struggle and the Gardner begins to wonder powerful the Hulk really is. As they fight the Soul Gem levitates off the Gardner's brow and the Hulk knocks the Gardner aside and plucks it out of the air. Hulk comes to the conclusion that if the Soul Gem could create the Valley of Life it could also restore Jarella's enitre world. With that, the Hulk throws the Soul Gem into the ground and it burrows its way directly into the planet's core. As the planet begins springing to life, the animals quit fighting. The people of K'ai soon join the Hulk as he buries Jarella in the Valley of Life. When her grave marker is constructed they are all surprised by a flower that suddenly pops out of the rocks. This is the work of the Gardner who has realized how selfish he was being and asks the Hulk if he can stay. The Hulk tells the Gardner as long as he remains peaceful he may remain on K'ai. With his lover finally buried, the Hulk tells the Gardner to send him back home. With a wave of his wand, the Gardner causes the Hulk to resume his normal size, leaving the people of K'ai leaderless but with a bright future ahead of them.

Continuity Notes

  • This story makes multiple references how the Microverse exists within the atoms of the Hulk's world. This is not correct as revealed in Fantastic Four #282, the Microverse actually exists in another dimension that is accessed by shrinking small enough to breach the dimensional gulf.
  • The Gardner mentions a number of past events:
  • The dates on Adam Warlock's tombstone read 1967-1977. The years on this tombstone should be considered a Topical Reference relative to the date of publication per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. Although the dates state that Warlock had been alive for 10 years, this is more reflective of the numbers of years of publications between his birth in Fantastic Four #66 (published in 1967) and his "death" in Avengers Annual #7 (published in 1977). As the Timescale is measured the actual period of time that has passed is two years of Marvel time. Publications released in 1967 fall under "year two" of the modern age and those published in 1977 fall under "year four".
  • Jarella is finally laid to rest here, however she is briefly resurrected during the Chaos War years later in Incredible Hulks #619-620 before being laid back to rest.
  • Although the Soul Gem revitalizes K'ai, it doesn't remain the planet's core for long. As explained further in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #5, the Soul Gem was later recovered by the Gardner and is back on his brow when he is seen again in Secret Wars II #6.

  • No trivia.

See AlsoEdit

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