Membership: Bruce Banner, Samuel J. LaRoquette, Armand Martel, Carolyn Parmenter, Craig Saunders Jr., Hideko Takata
Purpose: To capture and neutralize the Hulk
Aliases: Project: Hulkbuster
Affiliations: The Avengers (Black Knight/Dane Whitman, Captain America/Steve Rogers, Captain Marvel/Monica Rambeau, Hawkeye/Clint Barton, Hercules/Heracles, Iron Man/Tony Stark, Mockingbird/Barbara Barton, Namor/Namor McKenzie, She-Hulk/Jennifer Walters, Tigra/Greer Nelson, the Wasp/Janet Van Dyne, Wonder Man/Simon Williams), Betty Ross Banner, Rick Jones, Nevermind, Clay Quartermain, General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross, Doc Samson/Leonard Samson, X-Factor (Beast/Hank McCoy, Cyclops/Scott Summers, Iceman/Bobby Drake, Marvel Girl/Jean Grey)
Enemies: The Hulk (separated from Bruce Banner)
Base of Operations: Gamma Base, New Mexico, USA
First Appearance: Incredible Hulk II#317 (March 1986)
History: (Incredible Hulk II#315-316) - Doc Samson and his associates at Gamma Base succeeded in separating Bruce Banner from the Hulk, splitting them into two separate entities. However, in the aftermath of the separation, the Hulk was left a mindless, rampaging monster.
(Incredible Hulk II#317) - Bruce Banner decided to assemble a task force of specialists with skills to capture and neutralize the Hulk. He called together demolitions expert Craig Saunders Jr.; marine researcher Carolyn Parmenter; explorer and survivalist Samuel J. LaRoquette; xenobiologist Armand Martel and geophysicist Hideko Takata. Once assembled at Gamma Base, Bruce Banner asked them to to act as his primary assault team, the Hulkbusters. The group was very reluctant but Banner reminded them that, due to setbacks they had all suffered in their respective careers, there was little market for their talents, and they had few options other than working on his project. The group took some time to think it over and ultimately decided to accept Banner's offer, embracing the opportunity to pursue their respective disciplines in Gamma Base's state of the art facilities.
(Incredible Hulk II#318) - Over the next two weeks,
the Hulkbusters became acquainted with the new technology and weapons
at their disposal. Included in the Hulkbusters' armament was a
large armored vehicle, armed with advanced weaponry including
hypersonics and lasers and capable of splitting into separate modules
each piloted by a different group member. LaRoquette, Saunders,
Parmenter and Martel took the vehicle on a training exercise to locate
and battle a Hulk robot. However, the group found that Doc Samson
had mistaken the robot for the real Hulk and already destroyed it.
Reasoning that Samson was nearly as strong as the Hulk, the group
attacked Samson for training instead, much to his consternation. During
the battle, the group split their vehicle into its separate modules and
continued their attack. During the melee, Saunders let out a laser
blast that inadvertently struck Parmenter's module, which went down in
flames. Parmenter was killed in the ensuing fiery explosion and
LaRoquette was enraged, blaming the incident on Samson and swearing
While these events were unfolding, Takata went to exercise at Gamma Base's gym and found Betty Ross already there. Betty confided in Takata that Bruce Banner had recently asked her to marry him but she wasn't sure how to respond. Takata advised Betty to trust her heart.
(Incredible Hulk II#319) - Saunders donned a
mechanized suit of armor while LaRoquette piloted a ship and the two
of them went hunting for the Hulk again. Before long, the pair
located the Hulk and attacked. Doc Samson arrived on the scene soon
afterward to aid the pair in capturing the Hulk. LaRoquette, however,
still resented Samson for the role he played in Parmenter's death and
turned his ship's weapons against Samson instead of the Hulk.
The Hulk, meanwhile, took advantage of LaRoquette's
divided attention. First, he damaged Saunders' mechanized suit and then
leaped onto LaRoquette's ship, tearing it apart in midair. Samson
watched LaRoquette's predicament with satisfaction but after pleading
from Saunders, reluctantly went to LaRoquette's aid, permitting
LaRoquette to land safely. The Hulk then swatted Samson aside and
escaped. Samson, frustrated, knocked LaRoquette to the ground
and told the pair not to get in his way again.
Meanwhile, Takata attended the wedding of Bruce Banner and Betty Ross.
(Incredible Hulk II#320)
- The Hulkbusters
searched the desert for the Hulk in an armored buggy. After a while of
fruitless searching, the group was willing to call it quits but
LaRoquette remained more driven than ever after Parmenter's death and
insisted they make another sweep of the area. Shortly afterward,
the Hulkbusters spotted a trail of fire and destruction and followed
it to the town of Jericho, New Mexico, where they found Hulk and Samson
fighting with a media crew capturing the battle on film. The
Hulkbusters came to Samson's aid and launched an attack on the Hulk.
The Hulk, however, ripped the Hulkbusters' buggy to shreds and then
knocked Samson unconscious for good measure. LaRoquette donned a
weaponized suit of armor and renewed the attack on the Hulk but the
Hulk tore the suit apart in mere moments and escaped yet again.
(Incredible Hulk II#321) - The Hulkbusters regrouped following the destruction of their buggy and found themselves injured and disarmed as the Hulk continued to rampage through Jericho, New Mexico. LaRoquette in particular had suffered several broken bones. The Hulkbusters watched as the Hulk continued to thrash Doc Samson. LaRoquette was eager to help but was too injured to stand. Martel seized a weapon from the wreckage of their vehicle but Takata dissuaded him from using it, as the Hulk had them overmatched. Takata then bravely marched out to meet the Hulk alone. The Hulk charged at Takata but she used an akido technique to use his momentum against him, tripping him and sending him to the ground. The Hulk, enraged, prepared to charge again. However, the Hulkbusters were saved, as the Avengers arrived on the scene in the nick of time, intent on saving the town and capturing the Hulk. Takata then turned to an injured Samson, tending to his wounds.
(Incredible Hulk II#322) - As both the Avengers and the west coast Avengers battled the Hulk across the town of Jericho, Takata continued to tend to Samson's injuries. The Hulk became progressively weakened by his separation from Bruce Banner and began to lose his strength. The Hulkbusters watched as the Avengers gained the upper hand, cheering for them to finish the Hulk off for good.
(Incredible Hulk II#325) - The Hulkbusters attended Carolyn Parmenter's funeral. After the preacher's sermon, LaRoquette lashed out at Bruce Banner and Doc Samson, telling them they were to blame for Parmenter's death. LaRoquette became enraged when Samson cast the blame back in his direction and the other Hulkbusters had to hold him back as they calmed him down.
(Incredible Hulk II#327) - Although the Hulkbusters had planned on disbanding following Parmenter's funeral, SHIELD Agent Clay Quartermain asked LaRoquette to stay on board under SHIELD's management. LaRoquette agreed but resolved that after the Hulk was dealt with, Doc Samson would pay for his role in Parmenter's death.
(Incredible Hulk II#329) - Bruce Banner, for a short
time, appeared to be cured of being the Hulk. However, Rick Jones had
become gamma-irradiated and transformed into a new version of the Hulk,
although the Hulkbusters were not aware of this new Hulk's true
identity. Clay Quartermain asked the Hulkbusters to stay together to
help SHIELD catch this new Hulk.
(Incredible Hulk II#330) - LaRoquette approached
Saunders, Takata and Martel, informing them of Quartermain's offer for
the Hulkbusters to remain together under SHIELD management. Saunders
gladly accepted, embracing the challenge of defeating and killing the
Hulk. Martel agreed to remain on board as well but in the interest of
capturing the Hulk alive for research and study.
A short time later, the Hulkbusters observed as Nevermind took control of Doc Samson. LaRoquette and Saunders were among those who attacked Samson in an effort to dislodge and neutralize Nevermind but Nevermind used Samson's strength to cast them off with ease. At the battle's conclusion, the Hulkbusters witnessed General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross apparently give his life in defeating the Nevermind and mourned his loss.
(Incredible Hulk II#331) - In
the aftermath of the
destruction caused by Nevermind, LaRoquette was eager to set off after
the Rick Jones Hulk. Martel
questioned the wisdom of doing so, remarking on whether the destruction
they'd just witnessed might serve as a lesson but joined the group in
their pursuit nonetheless.
The Hulkbusters piloted ships out into the desert,
searching for the Rick Jones Hulk. During their search, Takata worried
over LaRoquette's growing obsession while Martel contemplated the
importance of capturing the Hulk alive for study. The Rick Jones Hulk
attacked the Hulkbusters' ships, latching onto Takata's plane until she
succeeded in shaking him loose. Jones then leaped towards
LaRoquette's plane, puncturing its hull and injuring LaRoquette's
leg. The Hulk disabled Saunders' ship as well and Saunders was
injured when he ejected from his plane at a low altitude. With both
LaRoquette and Saunders injured, and Takata's ship damaged, the
Hulkbusters broke off pursuit. However, during the scuffle,
LaRoquette had heard Bruce Banner refer to the new Hulk as Rick Jones
and thus learned the new Hulk's true identity. LaRoquette
resolved to hunt down Rick Jones in his human form.
(Incredible Hulk II#332) - Martel and Takata tried in
vain to dissuade LaRoquette, who was still in a leg cast from their
last battle, from his quest to hunt down and execute Rick Jones.
LaRoquette would have none of it, insisting it was the only way to wipe
the Hulk from the face of the earth. LaRoquette manned an armored tank
and set out into the desert in search of Jones. Martel and Takata
informed Samson of LaRoquette's plan, not wanting to be party to the
death of an innocent. LaRoquette located
Jones (in his human form) before long and attacked. LaRoquette, clearly
growing more and more unhinged with his obsession, spoke to the
deceased Carolyn Parmenter as he used the tank's weapons to assault
Jones. Doc Samson soon intervened, tearing the tank open and pulling
LaRoquette out, allowing Jones to escape.
(Incredible Hulk II#334) - After Bruce Banner re-absorbed Jones' gamma radiation and apparently cured Rick Jones of being the Hulk, Jones returned to Gamma Base for testing. Takata and Martel examined Jones using the facility's machines and concluded that Jones registered no abnormal radiation, and was indeed cured.
A bit later on, Samson stopped by Gamma Base's infirmary to check in on Saunders and LaRoquette. Samson shared that the other Hulkbusters were worried about LaRoquette's behavior as of late. LaRoquette bemoaned that the Hulkbusters had been a failure at every turn and stated that once they were recovered, they would both be quitting the team and leaving Gamma Base.
(Incredible Hulk II#337) - LaRoquette and Saunders,
now acting as civilian advisers to SHIELD, accompanied Clay Quartermain
and several SHIELD airships as they moved toward the town of Sparta,
where the Hulk had been captured by X-Factor after Iceman encased him
in ice. LaRoquette anxiously awaited the group's arrival, impatient to
end the Hulk once and for all. LaRoquette and Saunders, along with
X-Factor and agents of SHIELD, transported the Hulk back to Gamma Base.
LaRoquette later met with SHIELD Agent Trump to ask him when the Hulk
would be executed.
While being held captive, the Hulk informed Takata
and Martel, as well as Doc Samson, Rick Jones and X-Factor, that the
been testing gamma bombs and had only captured him to kill him, not to
help or cure him. The group demanded to speak with a SHIELD agent in
charge to learn the truth of the Hulk's claims. Agent Trump led
LaRoquette, Saunders and several armed SHIELD agents, and confronted
Takata, Martel, Samson and X-Factor, threatening them to stand down.
Realizing SHIELD was not on their side, X-Factor freed the Hulk from
his captivity and a battle soon broke out between the two sides.
During the melee, the Hulk threw a shard of ice at Saunders, injuring
him in the shoulder.
Meanwhile, SHIELD Agent Clay Quartermain decided he could not be party to the government's actions and planted explosives throughout Gamma Base. Quartermain then aided Martel and Takata, as well as the Hulk, X-Factor and Rick Jones, in making their escape. LaRoquette, Saunders and their SHIELD allies evacuated Gamma Base, moments before Quartermain triggered the explosives he had planted, leveling Gamma Base to the ground.After escaping to safety, Takata and Martel informed Bruce Banner that they would be leaving the group, having had their fill of danger and destruction. They wished Bruce Banner luck and parted as friends.
Comments: Created by John Byrne and Keith Williams.Samuel J. LaRoquette and Craig Saunders Jr. went on to become the Leader's henchmen, Rock and Redeemer. Individual profiles coming soon to an Appendix near you!
Profile by Stunner.
The Hulkbusters are a successor and/or predecessor group to, but should not be confused with:
After learning that the government was manufacturing gamma bombs and intended to execute the Hulk, Martel and his colleague Hideko Takata allied with Doc Samson, Rick Jones, Bruce Banner and X-Factor, escaping from Gamma Base shortly before it was destroyed by Clay Quartermain. Martel and Takata left the group, having experienced enough violence.
--Incredible Hulk II#317 (318, 320-322, 325, 330-332, 334, 337,
Hideko Takata was a geophysicist from Japan. Skilled in the art of akido, she briefly held off a mindless, rampaging Hulk by using his bodyweight against him. Takata, along with Armand Martel, was not inclined to violence and grew concerned as Samuel J. LaRoquette grew increasingly obsessed and more violent in his pursuit of the Hulk. After learning that the government was manufacturing gamma bombs and intended to execute the Hulk, she allied with Doc Samson, Rick Jones, Bruce Banner and X-Factor, escaping Gamma base shortly before it was destroyed by Clay Quartermain. Takata and Martel then left the group, having experienced enough violence.
--Incredible Hulk II#317 (318-322, 325, 330-332, 334,
images: (without ads)
Incredible Hulk II#317, pages 2-3 (spread, main image)
Incredible Hulk II#318, page 12 (full page, enormous multi-module armored vehicle)
Incredible Hulk II#320, page 20, panel 4 (in armored suits)
Incredible Hulk II#320, page 17, panel 1 (in armored buggy)
Incredible Hulk II#331, page 5, panel 1 (in fighter ships)
Incredible Hulk II#317, page 3 (Armand Martel, full body)
Incredible Hulk II#317, page 21, panel 2 (Martel, headshot)
Incredible Hulk II#317, page 11, panel 5 (Carolyn Parmenter)
Incredible Hulk II# (Hideko Takata)
Incredible Hulk II#317 (March, 1986) - John Byrne (writer/penciler), Keith Williams (inker), Dennis O'Neil (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#318 (April 1986) - John Byrne (writer/penciler), Keith Williams (inker), Denny O'Neil (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#319 (May 1986) - John Byrne (writer/penciler), Keith Williams (inker), Denny O'Neil (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#320 (June 1986) - Al Milgrom (writer/penciler), Dell Barras (inker), and Bob Harras (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#321 (July 1986) - Al Milgrom (writer/penciler), Dell Barras (inker), and Bob Harras (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#321 (August 1986) - Al Milgrom (writer/penciler), Dell Barras (inker), and Bob Harras (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#325 (November 1986) - Al Milgrom (writer), Steve Geiger (penciler), Bob McLeod (inker), Bob Harras (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#327 (January 1987) - Al Milgrom (writer), Steve Geiger (penciler), Sam Delarosa (inker), Bob Harras (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#329 (March 1987) - Al Milgrom (writer/penciler), Danny Bulanadi (inker), Bob Harras (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#330 (April 1987) - Al Milgrom (writer/inker), Todd McFarlane (penciler), Bob Harras (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#331 (May 1987) - Peter David (writer), Todd McFarlane (penciler), Kim Demulder (inker), Bob Harras (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#332 (June 1987) - Peter David (writer), Todd McFarlane (penciler), Fred Fredericks (inker), Bob Harras (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#334 (August 1987) - Peter David (writer), Todd McFarlane (penciler), Jim Sanders III (inker), Bob Harras (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#337 (November 1987) - Peter David (writer), Todd McFarlane (penciler), Jim Sanders III (inker), Bob Harras (editor)
First Posted: 05/29/2020
Last updated: 05/29/2020
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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