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Quote1 When you say "the Hulk," you think you know what that means. But the Hulk we knew no longer exists. There is no humanity left in him. So what we were dealing with was an animal. A monster. Quote2
-- Doctor Strange

Appearing in "Down to the Crossroads - Part One"Edit

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Synopsis for "Down to the Crossroads - Part One"Edit

Doctor Strange is in Washington, D.C. before a congressional hearing to provide answers on what happened to the Hulk following a mindless rampage across New York City. He explains how he cast a spell that banished the Hulk to another dimension. After this explanation, SHIELD agent Becerra -- the organizations expert on the mystic arts -- points out that this is the same explanation that Strange gave a Senate committee. While the Hulk was a problem that needed to be dealt with, she takes issue with a single man having so much power. The government officials scold Becerra for interrupting the proceedings but they are inclined to agree with her position and ask the Doctor if he did the right thing. Stephen explains that the mind of Bruce Banner no longer exists in the mind of the Hulk, leaving nothing but a creature of rage. The Hulk was unable to be stopped by the Avengers. Facing the monster alone, Strange had no other choice but to banish him to the Crossroads Dimension, a realm where he can find another dimension where he can live in peace. The worlds he could visit were ones where he could do no harm.

Suddenly, an insectoid creature teleports itself into the middle of the proceedings. It introduces itself as Master Ebbin, the Sorcerer Supreme of his dimension. He accuses Doctor Strange of causing the genocide of his people. Strange magically changes into his sorcerer's garb and states that he has no idea of what he is talking about. Ebbin explains that he was able to divine that that Doctor Strange banished the Hulk to his homeworld. Strange finds this impossible as he ensured that the Hulk could only travel to dimensions where he could do no harm to its citizens. However, he agrees to go with Ebbin to investigate the situation and make amends if necessary. As the two enter a mystical portal, Agent Becerra follows after them. They emerge in the Crossroads Dimension where they are greeted by the Puffball Collective. Strange declines their offer of assistance. He is about to sent Agent Becerra back to Earth, but she insists on tagging along to determine if the Hulk is truly no longer a threat. Strange concedes but warns her their trek will be a dangerous one and he cannot guarantee her absolute safety.

When they arrive in Ebbin's Sanctum, they are greeted by his assistant Krov. They are soon off to find the Hulk. Outside, Doctor Strange is horrified to see that this world is even more advanced than that of Earth and questions how the Hulk could be here. Seeing massive fortifications around the city, it seems they had some kind of preparation for the battle. As the fly over the city, invisible to its citizens, they watch as they send out a massive insectoid robot to defend them. Ebbin explains that his people have been fighting with the Hulk for generations, but no matter how powerful their weapons on, they are no match for the gamma-spawned monster. Ebbin also could not reverse the spell that banished the Hulk to the Crossroads as the magic is too strong. They suddenly witness as the Hulk arrives on the scene an easily destroy the robot.

Strange finds it difficult to understand how the Hulk has been a threat for as long as the history of Ebbin's people. Likewise, he can't understand how the constant harassment didn't make the Hulk dissatisfied thereby triggering the recall spell that would bring him back to the Crossroads. However, Doctor Strange finds no evidence of genocide that he Ebbin speaks of. Growing weaker, Ebbin tells him that now that the Hulk has destroyed their latest robot, his people will build an even more destructive weapon, willing to sacrifice their own lives to destroy the monster that has been tormenting them. Ebbin then suddenly dies, which makes no sense to Doctor Strange and Agent Becerra, as the situation makes no sense. After burying Ebbin, they go searching for the Hulk. Agent Becerra apologizes for her outburst in Washington and explains how she came to be a SHIELD agent due to her studies of the mystic arts in university. She is taken aback to be working with Doctor Strange since most of her research in mystical incursions involve him. Eventually, they find the Hulk in a cave and are horrified to see that he is among thousands of corpses of the insectoids that live in this world. Adding to this grisly tableau, the Hulk is complaining about being hungry.

Continuity Notes

  • Agent Becerra mentions how Doctor Strange already talked to US Senators about how he banished the Hulk. That happened in Incredible Hulk #305.
  • Doctor Strange mentions how the Hulk is devoid of Bruce Banner's mind. This was all part of a plot by Nightmare to use the Hulk to destroy Doctor Strange. His rampage was chronicled from Incredible Hulk #296-300.

Solicit Synopsis:

“CROSSROAD OF DESTRUCTION” AS FAN FAVORITE ARTIST GABRIEL HARDMAN FOLLOWS LEGENDARY ALAN DAVIS!

• What is HULK without his humanity?

• Free of BANNER, has Hulk destroyed an entire civilization?

• Even guest star DOCTOR STRANGE can’t stop him!


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Footnotes

  1. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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