The Incredible Hulk Presents was launched on 30 September 1989, with issue #1 bearing a cover date of 7 October 1989, and lasted twelve issues, costing 40p for the entirety of its run. The original intention was for the new comic strips to also be reprinted in Doctor Who Magazine, as Marvel UK did not believe the two audiences would overlap, as The Incredible Hulk Presents was aimed at an audience of younger readers. Doctor Who Magazine editor John Freeman was opposed as he believed this would interfere with his own attempts to give the DWM strip direction. In the event, only one story was printed in both titles, Hunger from the Ends of Time!. One unpublished strip, Doctor Conkerer! was produced for the unprinted issue #13. It later saw print in Doctor Who Magazine #162.
|The Incredible Hulk Presents Issues|
The Doctor is sitting on a park bench in Solar City on Galactica Minor when he is rudely disturbed by Miff, a reporter for the Universal Herald. He thrusts a microphone under the Doctor's nose and demands to know about the TARDIS. He points out that it wasn't there five minutes earlier and suggests that it is an undercover police operation or a nuclear weapon. The Doctor reluctantly agrees to give Miff some information and leads him to a seedy alleyway where he says the answers can be found in the Metebelis Bar. Miff enters and asks if any of the patrons are friends of the Doctor's. The response is alarming. Guns are produced by angry drinkers who threaten to kill Miff. He flees back to the park, chased by hoodlums, just in time to dash into the TARDIS before the Doctor closes the door and dematerialises. Miff is suitably impressed by the bigger-on-the-inside nature of the TARDIS, let alone the time-space aspects. When the Doctor lets him out at the park again, Miff says that his report in the Herald will be a massive scoop. The Doctor wryly tells him that he is twenty years in the future and that the Herald has been out of business for ten years. As the TARDIS dematerialises again Miff is left hammering impotently on the doors. Reprinted in Doctor Who Classic Comics #21
A space warp draws the TARDIS to the library world Catalog, where the librarians have recently modernised the storage systems, converting their data to energy patterns and storing them in the past, present and future. An FHD team has been called to the library to clear out an infestation of quantum bookworms which have been consuming the information, but when they try to draw one out of the systems to destroy it their weapons only cause it to grow larger. The Doctor reverses the trap, draining energy out of the creature and killing it, and then uses the TARDIS to analyse the damage to the library. He discovers that the "bookworms" are in fact elemental forces of chaos, drawn back from the edges of Time by the chronal field generated by the library's new filing system. To prevent the bugs from destabilising the structure of Time, the Doctor and the FHD team retranslate the surviving data back into hard copies, and close down the new filing system. Reprinted in Doctor Who Magazine #157-158
When the TARDIS lands on Bellus IV the Space Time Locator has failed. He steps out, wondering if the natives are friendly, only to find himself at gunpoint. A squad of soldiers accuse him of being the enemy until their officer, Commander Deldran, reminds them that the enemy are ruthless robots. As if on cue, a squad of robots launches an attack and the Doctor flees with the soldiers. The Doctor asks how long the war has lasted. Deldran tells him it has been going on for centuries. The other side have lost all of their humanity. He leads the Doctor to a garden full of statues and says that the robots would destroy all of it just because they don't understand. The Doctor offers to help. The Commander leads him to a laboratory where a scientist lies dead beneath a robot. Deldran says that a machine in there was the ultimate weapon - a neuron scrambler that would kill all of the robots. The Doctor examines it and realises that the machine is almost complete. As he works on it the robots arrive and he presses the last switch. The robots die, as do the humans. When the Doctor looks at Deldran, the Commander's face has ripped off to reveal his mechanical skull. With his last words the Commander says that the humans left the Guardians behind. They wanted to destroy themselves to finish the war but weren't able. The Doctor says that there should have been another way but Deldran dies saying that peace would have been hell. Reprinted in Doctor Who Classic Comics #21
The TARDIS lands in a pleasant garden where a man is sitting by a pool. The man is overjoyed to see the Doctor and asks him to play games. He says it has been so long since the others went away. The Doctor is puzzled by all of this and looks around him. He sees some circuitry in the grass. When he picks it up there is a flash and both the Doctor and the TARDIS are revealed to be aboard a space ship. The man is seated beside him, attached by wires to a console. The Doctor speaks to the System Control that tells him they are on the Deep Probe Da Gama in the thirteenth year of the mission. It says that the man is Admiral Vayle, the commander of the mission. He is experiencing consensual hallucinations of Earth-style surroundings and companions to overcome the boredom. The Doctor says that the program running the companions and the Admiral has been alone in his fantasy for so long that he has gone insane. The System Control tells the Doctor that the fault has been fixed. As the Doctor leaves in the TARDIS Vayle is back in the garden, surrounded by adult friends who rush over to play a game with him. Reprinted in Doctor Who Classic Comics #24
As the Doctor is fixing the Dimensional Interphase aboard the TARDIS he is blasted by a surge of power. The TARDIS materialises on its side in a park. The Doctor emerges as a strange alien (big eyes, trunk like an elephant) hops up and greets him as 'Professor'. The creature, Thyron, is delighted that the Professor's saucer crashed there but the Doctor barely has time to introduce himself than the Gherax finds them. This is a large, fanged alien with a ray gun and a shoot-first policy. As he opens fire the Doctor leaps aside and lands in a snowy waste. Beside him is a natural history presenter describing the mating habits of the Gherax. An even larger version of the Gherax erupts from beneath the snow, crushes the presenter and tries to squash the Doctor. He finds himself back in the park with the original Gherax and Thyron. The latter is upset that the Professor hasn't brought a sub-atomic particle accelerator with him. Perplexed, the Doctor asks why he should have done that. The two creatures show him a script and then argue that the scene was bound to be a disaster once a human was brought in. As they begin to fight the Doctor leaps back into the TARDIS. He watches the two of them chasing each other and then dematerialises, none the wiser. Elsewhere, two other unlikely looking aliens watch the scene with delight and decide to re-watch it after 'Galactic Hospital' has finished. Reprinted in Doctor Who Classic Comics #25
The TARDIS hits a 'temporal Rubicon' and materialises. The Doctor thinks that any race capable of such technology must be very advanced but when he opens the doors he is faced by some very primitive humanoids. He wakes up after 'being out for hours'. He seems to be in a glade in a forest beside a huge monument. He wonders if it is sentient. As he touches it, claiming that a temporal Rubicon is illegal under Galliyfreyan law, a man calling himself the Seneschal appears, reminding him that stealing a TARDIS is also illegal. The Doctor wonders who this creature is. The Seneschal says he is of the race that seeded the galaxy with life. He shows the Doctor the process of evolution that saw bacteria grow into the mighty dinosaurs. He then points with disappointment at the men that have arisen recently. The Doctor says that men will prove themselves ingenious enough but the Seneschal is bored. He says that he scanned the TARDIS data banks and thinks that the Doctor is the man to help him speed things up. The Doctor says that meddling in the evolutionary process is arrogance itself. This angers the Seneschal who tells the Doctor to be gone. The Doctor leaps into the TARDIS and dematerialises, only to find that the Seneschal has stolen a piece of skin from his forehead. Meanwhile, the Seneschal is adding the Doctor's DNA to that of the men in order to start the race of Time Lords.
Delegates from many worlds gather on the planet Okul to try to avoid all-out war. Among them is Prince Luj. His advisers tell him that it is not safe for him to go unaccompanied through the castle; there are many representatives from the contested Kollian dimension who would rather see him dead. Luj refutes this. He thinks that the ambassadors of these planets would prefer him to live. Besides, he wishes to greet his old friend the Doctor alone. As the TARDIS materialises, Luj says that he would like to have a few drinks with the Doctor. He is, therefore, more than surprised when a beautiful young woman steps out of the TARDIS (albeit wearing the Seventh Doctor's clothes). She says that her last regeneration did not go as planned. Luj pretends to be nonplussed at first before slapping her heartily on the back and saying that he would be interested in making their friendship more intimate. He bursts into laughter and introduces the Doctor to some of the other delegates. It is apparent that none of them trust Luj or his Frovian people: they think he intends to use the conference to lull them into a false sense of security before he launches an attack. The 'Doctor' says that the aim of the conference is to align the Kollian timelines which will speed up travel for everyone. She therefore gives the Time Lord's guarantee that the Frovians will be monitored from Gallifrey. A masked assassin pulls a gun on Luj and pulls the trigger. The 'Doctor' throws herself on him, forcing his shot wide of the target. She then knocks him unconscious. Luj thanks the Doctor for saving his life. Later, she is berated by the Fusian delegate, Ux, for saving the prince's life. She replies that she couldn't let the prince be killed in cold blood, not when Ux is paying her good money to do it herself. The pair of them step into the TARDIS where the Doctor is tied to the console. His impersonator says that soon Luj will be dead, the Doctor will be a wanted man and several billion people will be at war. The girl struts around the Doctor, taunting him. He accuses her of being a cheap hired killer but she replies that, not only is she expensive, she has right on her side. She says that Prince Luj wants to enslave the Kollian system. Ux calls her by her real name, Kasgi, and tells her that it is time for her to earn her money. The two of them leave the Doctor fixed by magnetic clamps to the console. Fortunately he is able to remove his shoe and reach into the console with his toes. He reverses the polarity and the clamps disengage. He runs through a secret passage that Luj showed him in the past. On the way he passes the prince's rooms and overhears Luj bragging that the Kollians will soon be his slaves. The Doctor bursts into the treaty room just as Luj is about to add his signature and seal the deal. He tells the gathered delegates that the Time Lords have withdrawn their support for the Frovians. The delegates are angry, Luj is furious and the conference disintegrates in uproar. Ux turns to Kasgi to say that she is no longer needed but she has already gone. As the Doctor returns sadly to his TARDIS she watches him from above. She pities him for losing his friend but respects him for saving the situation without bloodshed. Then she considers that Luj may require her services.
The holy man, Ly-Chee, has spent thirty years fasting in the mountains of Tora. One day he sees the Doctor being waylaid by some robbers outside the TARDIS. Ly-Chee leaps into action and knocks out the bandits with his martial arts skills. The Doctor introduces himself and offers the wise man a jelly baby. In turn, Ly-Chee takes the Doctor to his cave for a bowl of nettle tea. While there he shows the Doctor his life's work: he is trying to solve the riddle of the Holy Number. He shows the Doctor scrolls where the sacred numbers are revealed. The Doctor works on the puzzle for many days and then declares that the Holy Number is seven. He looks from the cave and says how the mountain of Kabuki is renowned throughout the Crab Nebula for its peace and tranquillity. Ly-Chee assumes that the Doctor wants to take his mountain and asks the Doctor to set him a puzzle that he can solve in return. The Doctor asks him why the chicken crossed the road. After a week's contemplation (standing under a waterfall) the answer still has not come to him. The Doctor tells him it was to get to the other side. This simple answer enlightens the old man that he needs to give up his hermitage and get a job. The Doctor offers him a lift in the TARDIS but, the navigation systems being less than reliable, it means a lengthy journey with many adventures. When they eventually reach the town Ly-Chee promptly enters a bar and orders a large drink.
The Doctor lands the TARDIS at the gates of the Weight-Away Slimming Club, intent on solving the disappearance of several visitors. He tells the receptionist ( a large, ugly alien) that he has come for his 950 year check-up. She says that the club is closing for refurbishment but there is time for an assessment. As the Doctor pedals an exercise bicycle he is watched on a screen by someone who comments that he looks tasty. Meanwhile, another guest, Mr Bouillabaisse is being forced into the Jacuzzi. The Doctor watches in horror as the Jacuzzi swallows him alive. The Doctor is frogmarched to the feeding pit where an enormously fat alien in an "I ate the world (twice) t-shirt introduces himself as Gromungus the Gastronome (or 'Slim'). He says that the Doctor looks appetising. However, the Doctor offers to link his TARDIS to the feeding pit so that Gromungus can eat delicacies from the universe. The giant epicure agrees. As the Doctor watches from space he sees the effects of his generosity: Gromungus eats so much that he turns into a black hole.
The Doctor opens the TARDIS doors and looks out on a fractured landscape. A giant head looks back at him and says that it is his death. The Doctor steps out to investigate. The entire world seems to be covered in wreckage and artefacts. He realises that they are all TARDISes. As he ruminates on this graveyard the creature who spoke to him before welcomes him to the Zone of Silence where dreams die unfulfilled. The Doctor runs back to his TARDIS but the Keeper of Nineveh follows him in (through the wall). He intones one of the poems from the muses of Rassilon: "Twelve rejuvenations all and not a season more..." but the Doctor launches a furious assault on him, and wins. He takes the TARDIS away from Nineveh, more aware than ever that he will one day, at the end of his lives, meet the Watcher.