Incredible Hulk 2000

Title: “Basic Instinct”

Writer: Paul Jenkins

Penciller: Mark Texiera

Inker: Richard Clark

Colors: Tom Smith

Editor: Tom Brevoort

The savage Hulk stands at the gamma bomb testing site brooding. Banner’s memories of his childhood start to filter through to the Hulk . He also thinks about Betty and Jarella being dead. Hulk screams to the sky.

She-Hulk stands looking out the window at Avengers mansion. Wasp asks She-Hulk what is the matter. She-Hulk says that she was just thinking about Bruce. Wasp asks if there is any particular reason. She-Hulk asks Wasp if she ever feels alone in a crowd of people. Wasp says yes and that it is part of being an Avenger. She-Hulk says that when she starts feeling depressed even when nothing is wrong she remembers the huge burden that Bruce Banner has to bear. She-Hulk tells Wasp about how her appeal of Bruce’s trial was dismissed and that she knows someone on high blocked her from proving Bruce’s innocence. She says that even with all her connections as an Avenger she can’t find out why.

Hulk leaps along. He lands on a police car. The cop gets out and clocks the Hulk at 473 miles an hour as he leaps away.

Later, Vision summons Scarlet Witch as they have noticed some seismic activity in Central Park. He says that morning fog is blocking a satellite view. Iron Man has flown out to investigate. Iron Man sees a tree fly over head. He gets close enough and spots the Hulk throwing trees around. Iron Man says that he is going to need backup. A traffic copter gets buzzed as the Avengers and She-Hulk arrive in a quinjet. Scarlet Witch instructs that them to perform ‘big green scenario number eight’. She-Hulk says that sometimes the Hulk listens to her, and maybe she should just go ask him what his problem is. She-Hulk walks up to Hulk and asks what is the matter. Hulk growls and charges into She-Hulk. The other Avengers run in to fight as She-Hulk is knocked clear. Wanda tells Goliath to go check on She-Hulk. Vision starts checking some things that strike him as odd. Goliath asks She-Hulk is she is okay. She-Hulk says yes, but that she thinks she broke a rib. Iron Man hits Hulk with a repulsor ray while Triathlon starts running around Hulk. Hulk claps his hands and the impact blasts Triathlon off his feet. Hulk holds Triathlon over his head. Wasp asks Wanda if she can hex Hulk back into Banner. Wanda starts to form the hex. Hulk throws Triathlon aside. Warbird and Iron Man attack Hulk until Wanda is ready. Wanda blasts Hulk. Hulk is forced to think all these memories about Betty. Hulk is turned into Bruce Banner. Bruce falls over. She-Hulk tries to check to see if Bruce is alright, but Bruce is hallucinating and freaks out. Bruce hulks back out into the savage Hulk. Hulk knocks her away and knocks her unconscious.

Wanda says that she doesn’t get it. She says that her hex should have countered his anger. Vision says that the Hulk isn’t angry, and announces that he has found what he was looking for. Vision says that according to an anthropology website Hulk is acting as a lower primate. He says that the Hulk is showing off the way a baboon would. Vision says that he thinks that the Hulk is trying to find a mate. Vision says that the Hulk is trying to assert his dominance over the female. She-Hulk is helped back up and listens to what Vision is saying. She-Hulk says that Hulk has come here for her, and that she has to go straighten him out.

She-Hulk asks Hulk if he is looking for a good time. Hulk looks at She-Hulk and sees Betty and Jarella in her. Hulk screams and beats his chest. Hulk runs at She-Hulk but she doesn’t move. Hulk says that he is the strongest one there is. She-Hulk says that it isn’t the worst pick up line she ever heard, but that she isn’t interested. Hulk asks, “She-Hulk does not want Hulk?’ She-Hulk says that she is sorry, but Hulk goes off to pout. Hulk says that he is alone again like always. Hulk says that puny humans always attack him and that he always wants to be alone. Hulk says that he does not want to be alone anymore. She-Hulk says that Hulk is a doll, but that somewhere inside Hulk he is still her cousin. Hulk says that he remembers Jarella, and that she wishes he could see her smile again. She-Hulk says that Hulk will find someone. Hulk shouts that She-Hulk is the only one like him. He says that She-Hulk does not want him, and that she doesn’t care if he is alone. She-Hulk tells him to wait, but Hulk just says that he is not smart like She-Hulk, but that he is not stupid. Hulk leaps away.

Iron Man says that he had better go after him, but She-Hulk says not to. She says that Hulk is going to have to be alone because of her. She says just this one time to let him alone in peace.

Hulk wipes his eyes as he leaps.

No Excuses rating: 5 out of 10

I really don’t get this story. I thought Paul Jenkins understood that the Savage Hulk was Banner’s inner child, and yet here we have a story where Hulk instinctually behaves the way a baboon would when he is looking for some action. I doubt that Hulk was reading the same files the Vision encountered, and I further doubt that Banner’s inner child is looking for some action. Another little issue is that She-Hulk is not the only female gamma irradiated person and I don’t get how Hulk just knows where to go to find her. Hulk is not a monkey.

The art would be above average, but someone over exposed the negatives or something and the art is way to dark to be enjoyed thoroughly.