What If... the Hulk Went Berserk?

I suppose it's natural that with my look at the original What If? series, there'd be an increase in What If-related posting. The actual reason I'm doing this one now instead of next Saturday is because I've already done it! Way back in January of 2009 in fact. But since it wasn't formatted like my other What If? posts, I've decided to do a little update.

What If Vol.1 #45 (June 1984)
Based on: Incredible Hulk #1
The true history: Bruce Banner sees Rick Jones drive into a gamma bomb testing ground and runs off to throw him in a ditch. He gets the brunt of the blast and, irradiated, soon becomes the Hulk.
Turning point: What if Bruce Banner was a little slower getting to Rick Jones?
Story type: Team Slayer
Watcher's mood: Hard-boiled... egg
Altered history: In this parallel, Banner doesn't get to Rick as quickly and fails to throw him into the ditch. Only Banner's thin body acts as a radiation shield.
What this does is link the two men telepathically. So when Banner becomes the Hulk in the hospital (and it's the Savage Hulk, not the nocturnal gray Hulk), Rick can feel him and vice-versa. General Ross soon learns about this bond, and starts torturing poor Rick... which isn't helping the Hulk calm down any.

Guess what this does to the Hulk? His only brain friend dies IN HIS MIND! Well, from them on, it's Die Ross Die! Loads of destruction ensue, with the Hulk throwing ICBMs at Ross' helicopter.
That's when ol' Thunderbolt decides to call in the super-heroes. First on the scene are the Fantastic Four. Hulk destroys the Pogo plane, but it gets worse. A brawl with the Thing ends at a missile silo where the Green Goliath decides he hasn't had enough radiation for one day.
The explosion turns both men human again, but as soon as Banner wakes up, carried by Ben Grimm and moaning about Rick, he's not far from ripping his pants some more.
Ouch. The Human Torch is next, buffetted into another state. Reed and Sue Richards realize then and there that they are the sucky half of this team and leave well enough alone. Iron Man comes to rescue, but his "delicate" armor can't stand up to the Hulk's rage and bam, just like that, Tony Stark's heart is stopped.
Which leaves it all up to the mighty Thor who breaks the Hulk's neck and burns Banner's body with a well-placed lightning bolt.
Most. Hardcore. What if. Ever.
Books canceled as a result: Let's see. No Hulk. No Fantastic Four. No Iron Man. This might even have hurt Captain Mar-Vell's chances.
These things happen: On a regular basis in fact. The Hulk's always going berserk. However, if you're looking for a storyline about the Hulk never being allowed to rest from his enraged state, may I suggest John Byrne's run on the title? In that story, Banner finds a way to split himself off from the Hulk, resulting in a weak, crippled Banner and a force of nature Hulk that cannot be stopped. Yes, it's Star Trek's "The Enemy Within", but with more green.

And Saturday: What if Spider-Man's Uncle Ben Had Lived?
My (second) guess: Responsibility? What's that?



Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Orville The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine