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The Deadliest Man Alive

Season Two, Episode 48


Director(s) Steve Gordon

Man of Action

Summary Iron Man and Captain America are arguing with General "Thunderbolt" Ross at the entrance to a new Hulkbuster base.  The Avengers have a Presidential Order authorizing the release of the Hulk, but Ross is outraged, expressing that order or not, the Hulk is a menace.  Captain America argues that the Hulk was framed, and then manipulated into surrender by the skrull agent who had taken Captain America's form - the real Hulk is a hero and innocent of all the charges against him.

Ross releases the Hulk, in Bruce Banner's form, but he almost immediately Hulks out and savagely attacks Iron Man and Captain America.  Ross orders the Hulk re-captured, but to no avail - the Hulk smashes his way out of the Hulkbuster base and escapes.

Iron Man assembles the Avengers, and updates them in that the Hulk has escaped and is seemingly irrationally violent.  Captain America takes the Hulk's side, but Iron Man still wants him captured.  Hulk is found in the Niagra Falls area, and its a race between the Avengers and the Hulkbusters as to who will reach him first.

Banner and the Hulk argue in the Hulk's psyche, with Banner observing that the Avengers are their friends and allies, and that there was something wrong with the transformation; neither Banner nor Hulk personas initiated it.

Captain America arrives, and tries to talk the Hulk into letting them help him.  While Cap talks, something triggers the Hulk irrational rage, and the behemoth strikes out.  Cap orders the Avengers to take him down, reminding them that he is not an enemy.  Thor, Iron Man (in his Hulbuster armor), Vision, Wasp, and Hawkeye all engage.  Cap tries to talk to him once more, but the Hulk holds his head in pain, and attacks.

The Red Hulk arrives, and helps put the Hulk down.  The Red Hulk wants to join the Avengers, claiming that he was duped by the Red Skull.  He spends the week doing good works, but Thunderbolt Ross seems to be just as against the Red Hulk from the regular one.  Captain America still seems to want to trust Banner, but the Avengers take a vote, and induct the Red Hulk, giving him an Avengers ID card.

Captain America is still suspicious.  The Red Hulk tries to convince Cap that he's a good guy and the Hulk is a menace.  The Red Hulk offers to take Cap's dislike of him outside, but Hawkeye pulls him away to continue the Avengers Mansion tour.

Captain America infiltrates the Hulkbuster base and frees the Hulk.  As he is working on it, the Red Hulk rats Captain America out, and takes them to stop the renegade hero.  The Wasp, having stowed away on Cap, helps by investigating the brain implant that has been put in Hulk's ear; it is what has been driving the Hulk into rages.  Without the implant, the Hulk knows that it wasn't Cap and the rest who betrayed him.  The Red Hulk arrives to arrest Captain America, and its Hulk Vs Red Hulk time.  Captain America explains about the implant, and the Avengers step in to help the Hulk.

The Hulk and the Red Hulk take the fight outside, and the Red Hulk drops the Hulk's anger trigger.  The Wasp and Hawkeye are appalled that the Red Hulk manipulated them into making him an Avenger and framing the Hulk.

The Red Hulk continues to fight the Hulk, and the Avengers when they arrive.  Iron Man taunts the Red Hulk in that the Red Hulk will need to turn in his Avengers ID; the Avengers ID transforms into some goop that surrounds and solidifies on the Red Hulk, making him unable to move. Trapped, the Red Hulk reverts to his human form - Thunderbold Ross.  Iron Man prepared a contingency trap, just in case.

Hulk wants to smash Thunderbolt Ross, but remarks that Ross is the real monster, and lets him be taken into custody.  Hulk rejoins the Avengers, but takes a leave of absence, although he takes his Avengers ID, and will return if they need him.

 * Listening to Ross talk about Hulk is like watching JJ Jameson talk about Spider-Man; its like the dialogue is interchangeable, for the most part.

* I disliked the laziness of the writing staff; I thought it was quite unbelieveable that Hawkeye and the Wasp, both of whom were supporters and friends of the Hulk all along, accepted that he'd gone renegade, especially with Captain America not accepting it; they should have been on Cap and Hulk's side all the way along. 

* While we can postulate that Ross used an Life Model Decoy to build his own alibi as to exculpate him from being the Red Hulk, I would rather they had made it explicit, and tied up that loose end.  Sloppy.

* More comic book physics then the Hulk catches the ship with civilians that the Red Hulk wants to throw at him.  The Hulk may be that strong, but the structural integrity of the ships hull isn't - it would have splintered all around him.  More laziness from the writers.