Outcasts Behind Hulk

"The Return of the Beast, Part Two" is the second episode of The Incredible Hulk, originally airing September 15, 1996. It was written by Bob Forward and was directed by Leo Sullivan. The episode introduces the Outcasts, gamma-mutated animals, who appear frequently throughout the series while in the comics they only made one appearance.

Immediately following the first episode, Hulk (Lou Ferrigno) faces off with General Ross (John Vernon) who is using the experimental Omega Laser. Betty (Genie Francis) tries to stop the fight but Major Talbot (Kevin Schon) holds her back. Ross shoots Hulk with the laser but the weapon overheats hurting his hands. However, Hulk survives so Talbot brings in reinforcements. The military bombard Hulk and he flees to the desert. The attack helicopters force him into a canyon where Hulk meets a group of enormous animals. When the helicopters spot him, the animals attack forcing the military away. Hulk decides to go with them.

At Gamma Base, Talbot tells Ross about losing Hulk. The general worries about his career and threatens to have Bruce (Neal McDonough) eliminated. Betty overhears and sneaks out. Leader (Matt Frewer) watches on his monitors. He decides to get to Hulk before the military and has Abomination (Schon) track him down. The following day, Betty's car runs out of gas when she runs into Rick Jones (Luke Perry). She explains what happened and they use gas from his motorcycle to power the car. Just then, an enormous scorpion emerges and grabs them. Ross contacts the Pentagon and explains what happened and that he needs a highly specialized team to take down Hulk. The officials there approve his proposal for a group called the Hulkbusters.

The scorpion drops off Rick and Betty in a cave where they find that Bruce has befriended the "Outcasts" since they were all mutated in the same gamma accident. Abomination attacks and knocks out Bruce. The Outcasts protect Rick and Betty but Bruce is kidnapped. Bruce wakes finding himself strapped in a device. Gargoyle (Mark Hamill) explains he wants to learn why Bruce transforms while he is stuck. Leader enters saying that he intends to get Bruce to transform so he can steal his strength for himself, angering Gargoyle as Bruce will be killed. Leader begins torturing Bruce when Betty, Rick, and the Outcasts attack. Abomination threatens Betty and Bruce transforms. However, Leader's machine siphons the strength into him. Hulk's power is too much for the machine and it explodes while Hulk frees himself. Hulk defeats Abomination while Gargoyle escapes with all the databanks. The heroes escape before the base explodes. The explosion brings Ross and his forces. The Outcasts flee and Hulk goes to follow. Ross sees Hulk vowing to make him pay.

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