Savage Hulk #1: The Man Within Pt I

The Leader, one of the Hulk’s arch enemies, watches footage of the Hulk’s recent run-in with the X-Men. The X-Men had confronted the Hulk in Las Vegas. The military arrived to stop the fight and contain the Hulk, but the X-Men escape with the Hulk. Awhile later, a tourist captured the X-Men on video talking to “the Hulk’s alter ego” Bruce Banner. The Leader wanted to know what the X-Men and Dr Banner were discussing after that altercation. They were talking about Xavier.

That was the answer to the “massive psychic pulse” which “united all human consciousness in common purpose”. The X-Men had sought the Hulk’s help to revive Xavier from his coma. The Leader had been tracking the X-Men and the Hulk that day.

In the Nevada Desert, the Hulk is relentlessly attacked by the military. Despite throwing every type of missile at the Hulk, he is indestructible. Finally, after destroying all of the tanks and missile launchers, the Hulk escapes in search of quiet underneath the stars.

At the mansion, Xavier is busy working on a device to help Dr Banner better control the Hulk. He refuses to heed his students’ pleas for him to rest as he had just awoken from his coma. The device, which was used to help revive Xavier, was originally intended to help Dr Banner himself. Even as the Hulk, Dr Banner was able to lead the X-Men to the device to save Xavier. As Dr Banner had been trying out the device on himself, it stored a “psychic imprint” of Dr Banner’s inner turmoil. Xavier, having picked it up, would not rest until he can free Dr Banner of the Hulk.

The X-Men arrive at Dr Banner’s laboratory. Havok uses his powers to blast free the rocks obstructing the entrance.

Meanwhile, Dr Banner wanders into an RV park to scavenge for clothes. A kind camper and his wife offer him a hot dinner.

Inside Dr Banner’s lab, Xavier reads Marvel Girl’s mind to get a visualisation of their fight with the Hulk, and strategise for their next confrontation with the Hulk. Xavier boosts Marvel Girl’s telepathy by “sharpen[ing]” her focus. With that, the X-Men set off, leaving Xavier, Beast and Polaris behind to prepare the machines.

After dinner, Dr Banner and the campers observe that gamma blasts have begun again in the distance. Dr Banner chases the campers away as he feels his transformation into the Hulk taking place.

The X-Men arrive at the blast site and are forced to fly their plane low to avoid the missiles. They come face to face with another green giant: the Abomination.

Next: Savage Hulk #2