The Return of the Beast: Part 1

Holding Hands

1 of season 1
Richard Trueblood
Bob Forward
Original airdate
September 8, 1996
New Mexico, Nevada
Followed by

The Return of the Beast: Part 1 is the premiere episode of the animated TV series The Incredible Hulk. It originally aired on September 8, 1996 on UPN.


In his makeshift laboratory, Bruce Banner prepares another experiment to rid himself of his alter-ego – the incredible Hulk. Unfortunately, the equipment overloads and the stress leads to a transformation. On a rampage against the military, Hulk only gives up and reverts to Bruce after talking to Betty Ross. Captured and held at Gamma Base, Bruce tries to convince General Ross to let him use the equipment there to cure himself. He also reflects on how the sabotage of the Gamma Reactor test and his saving Rick Jones changed so much forever. Meanwhile, the Leader – knowing of Bruce's desire for a cure – intends to destroy those chances with the Abomination.

Cast (voices)Edit


Major Glenn Talbot calls General Thunderbolt Ross at night to inform that Bruce Banner is stealing power for a hidden lab in the desert. Betty Ross, who woke up after having a nightmare about Bruce and Hulk, hears out and tells her father to leave Bruce alone. But Thunderbolt Ross believes that Banner is a menace to the world that must be stopped. Meanwhile, Bruce is trying to cure himself in his lab and seconds away from finishing his experiment, Talbot cuts down the power supply, causing the experiment to fail. Bruce loses control and turns into the Hulk, who destroys the lab equipment and leaps away. Ross and his army are waiting for him near Gamma Base. Hulk battles against heavy artillery and is trapped in a super cell. Betty shows up when Hulk is breaking the prison and asks him to calm down so the army will stop harming him. Hulk listens to her and turns into Banner. Ross locks Banner in a Gamma Base and Banner requests to let him finish his experiment so the world can be free of the Hulk. Betty, who is also a scientist, uses a sample of Banner's blood to prove that the experiment can succeed. Ross gets the concent from the White House and Banner proceeds with his experiment. But the Leader, who is spying them with a microbot fly, needs the Hulk for his own purposes. So he sends the Abomination to kidnap Banner and abort the operation. The monster gets to the base through the sewer system, easily defeats the army and enters the lab where neither Ross, or Talbot can stop him. Betty also tries to stop him and the monster grabs her, wanting to hurt her. That causes Bruce to turn into the Hulk who saves Betty and pushes the Abomination outside of the lab. Ross grabs the Omega Laser, the most powerful weapon in the base, and fires, missing. The Leader orders the Abomination to retreat. The monster escapes the same way he came in through the smoke. Now, Ross aims the Omega Laser at the Hulk who stays still, staring at the General.


  • Grey Hulk makes cameo appearance in this episode, appearing briefly in Bruce's flashback.


  • When Betty looks at Bruce through the hole in the super cell, his hair is blonde.

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