Synopsis for “Between Hammer and Anvil!”
Continued from last issue…
Having failed at stopping the Hulk and Wendigo’s rampage through Quebec, Wolverine’s superiors have come to take matters into their own hands, much to Wolverin’s chagrin. Arriving in a helicopter, they knock the Hulk out with a gas bomb and contain him in a cage that is airlifted out area. Coming around, the Hulk is furious to find himself in captivity once more and breaks free, fleeing into the country side. As he tramples through the forest he overhears music and smells food, following the senses he comes across travelling hobo Crackerjack Jackson. Jackson, a former professional harmonica musician invites the Hulk to sit down and keep him company and offers him some of the beans that he is cooking up. The Hulk accepts the invitation and the two become quick friends.
Elsewhere, two escaped convict the racist Johnny Anvil and the white hating “Hammer” Jackson are fleeing from the authorities following their dramatic escape from their chain-gang. Coming across a crashed alien ship, they run into a member of the Glx race. Fearing the strange creature, Hammer fires bullets at the creature, and surprisingly saves the metal based life form’s life. In thanks, the creature replaces the chains that they are shackled together with a power enhancing umbilicus that connects the two men together. At first furious that the creature has permanently fused them together, they soon realize that this new “chain” actually has given them superior powers. They decide to put aside their racial differences and work together in a life of crime, when they turn to thank the alien who gifted them with these powers they find that the creature disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. The then rush off into the night to get revenge.
The next morning Crackerjack Johnson takes the Hulk out and teaches him how to fish, while telling Hulk about his musical career and how he is on the road to go and visit his son. Later that evening Crackerjack teaches Hulk how to write his own name, much to the creatures delight and the two form a strong bond.
While at Hulkbuster Base, preparations are being made for a presidential visit to congratulate Glenn Talbot for being able to escape from behind enemy lines. However, Colonel Armbruster is convinced that something is wrong with Talbot and hires one of his men to try and figure out what the issue is.
While back out on the road, the Hulk hides off the side of a road while Crackerjack approaches a police barricade in the road. However, when they will not let Crackerjack pass, the Hulk intervenes smashing their way through and carrying Crackerjack where he intends to go: The nearby prison. Crackerjack embarrassingly explains that his son is a prisoner there for over five years. Nonjudgmental of his new friend, the Hulk carries Crackerjack over the prison wall to meet his son. They land in the middle of securities fight with Hammer and Anvil, who are getting revenge on their former keepers. As it turns out, Hammer is Crackerjack’s son and he is less that exstatic to see his father, whom he accuses of abandoning him as a child.
Reaching out for his son, Crackerjack touches the coil that attaches Hammer and Anvil together, the resulting jolt kills Crackerjack on the spot. Furious that the son of his only friend had just murdered his own father, the Hulk savagely attacks Hammer and Anvil. Although the Hulk can withstand the jolts from the coil, it’s strength keeps him off guard until he gets angry enough to resist the pain. As they battle on the Hulk ultimately rips the coil in half, the pain caused by this causes both Hammer and Anvil to pass out. As prison security surrounds them the Hulk grabs up the body of Crackerjack Jackson and bounds away. Far off into the wilderness, the Hulk buries his dead friend and, with his crude writing skills writes a tomb stone marking the final resting place of someone who called Hulk his friend.