Synopsis for “Beyond the Border Lurks Death!”
This story follows up from Amazing Adventures Vol. 2 #16…
The Hulk has landed in Canada in in his usual fashion: With a bang. The impact of his last leap causing enough racket to draw the attention of a group of RCMP officers on horseback and prompting them to go an investigate. When they spot the Hulk, the Mounties calmly order the Hulk to surrender to them to be turned over to the American authorities. The Hulk responds by pulling up the ground up from under their feet sending the Canadian law enforcers tumbling to the ground. Regaining their feet the Mounties begin to fire upon the Hulk, but the Hulk stops the attack when he strikes a tree causing it to tumble into path and leaps away.
The news Hulk’s arrival into Canada spreads quickly and at a boarder crossing between Ottawa and Montreal refuses American travellers for their own safety. Among the cars in line is one being driven by Hank McCoy and his old girlfriend Vera Cantor. This set back upsets Cantor who needs Hank’s genetics expertise on some important mission to save the whole world. Unknown to Vera, Hank was a member of the X-Men known as Beast, who recently mutated himself further to have the appearance of a literal beast. Hank knocks her out by punching a nerve and changes out of his human disguise and reveals himself to the boarder patrol guards carrying Vera over his shoulder. This startles the boarder guards long enough for Hank to slip by into Canada and into the woods. There he changes back into his human disguise before Vera wakes up, when Vera asks him how they got across the boarder, he tells her it’s an old Rum smugglers secret and tells her that he needed to knock out. Due to the urgency of Vera’s problem, Vera accepts this and the two continue on their quest.
The Hulk meanwhile is continuing to leap and bound across the Canadian wilderness when suddenly he realizing his great strength and abilities are slowly waning away, but he has no idea why. Realizing that if he goes a certain direction he continues to grow weaker, the Hulk decides to follow the trail and stop whoever is sapping away his strength.
While elsewhere, the Hulk and Vera reach their destination, a log cabin in the woods, after being signalled that the coast is clear, Hank learns that Vera has brought him to see his old foe and former X-Men teammate Mimic. When he considers that Mimic didn’t tell Vera about his secret identity, which confirms to Hank that Calvin Rankin really does need his scientific expertise to tackle whatever problem is threatening the world. Inviting them in, Calvin explains to Hank that his mimicking power has grown out of control and that he’s begun not only mimicking peoples powers, but leeching them away to the point where he can potentially kill them. Calvin has been trying his best to control his abilities, but they continue to grow and fade as time progresses getting stronger each time. By his calculations, Calvin believes that his powers could cause him to suck the life out of every living thing on the planet. Taking them to the basement of the cabin he reveals that he and Vera have pooled all their money into expensive equipment to try and cure Mimic of his powers, however to date they have not succeeded and decided to seek Hank out to see if he can help somehow.
The Hulk meanwhile is continuing his trek toward the source that is draining his powers, now finding that his leaping ability and his strength have been greatly diminishes, but he continues to plod on even if it means the end of the Hulk. Back in the States, General Ross has learned that the Hulk has arrived in Canada and asks for permission to cross the boarder and deal with the Hulk. This request is denied as the Canadian authorities wish to study the situation and determine their own solution and Ross is ordered to remain in the United States. Furious that the Hulk is in Canada where his daughter Betty is currently on her honeymoon with Glenn Talbot, the General swears to prevent the Hulk from ruining her recent marriage to Talbot, and is not willing to let bureaucracy stop him from doing it.
The Hulk meanwhile has tracked the source of his power drain to Mimic’s cabin. Before the Hulk can climb down to it’s location he suddenly has a fainting spell and falls down on the cabin, crashing down to the basement where Hank has begun his experiments on trying to cure Calvin of his powers. Hank tries to reason with the Hulk, get him to understand that Calvin is sick and that he should leave, but the Hulk realizes that Mimic is the source of his waning power and swats Hank aside.
With Vera having gone to seek cover, Hank changes out of his disguise and attacks the Hulk as the Beast. The two pummel each other, but find that they are equally matched. Not wishing his potential savior to be harmed by the Hulk, Calvin gets up off the table and tries to join the fight. Realizing that there is no help for him, and feeling guilty that the Hulk is suffering because of his powers, Mimic decides to do the drastic: absorb the properties of the Hulk’s Gamma radiation into his body. Dying of radiation poisoning, Mimic thanks Hank for his attempt at helping him, but even though he is dying, he has at least saved the world. With his strength returning, the Hulk tries to comprehend what just happened and decides to leave, determining that whatever went on didn’t involve him. As the Hulk wanders off into the woods already beginning to forget the encounter, Hank changes back into his human disguise and tells Vera the bad news.