Bruce Banner was doused with an immense amount of gamma radiation, but caused him to transform into a giant, green-skinned, muscle-bound titan with incredible strength. As an enraged and nearly mindless creature, Banner destroyed his lab, injuring Betty Ross, killing two scientists and an army officer, and also crushing General Ross' arm. After Ross admitted to Banner that he did not allow his monstrous form to be used as a weapon in combat, he then his troops would come after him, leading Banner into becoming a fugitive.
Now in hiding, Banner lived in Rio de Janeiro as a mechanic in a soda-bottling company. Once he was done working for the day, Banner prepared to go home, only to witness Martina being harassed by a Tough Guy Leader. Banner eventually intervened and tried to warn him but got his language wrong and claimed he would not like him when he was hungry, not angry, before then leaving.
Once the news of a drop of Banner's blood fell into a soda and was ingested by a customer in Milwaukee, Kathleen Sparr told Ross while he was in the Pentagon about a man in the hospital suffering from Gamma Radiation poisoning. Ross assembled a team to capture Banner, while Joe Greller recruited Emil Blonsky to lead the team.
- "Target's on the move."
- ―Emil Blonsky
Thaddeus Ross and the Strategic Operations Command Center located Bruce Banner's house and burst in to shoot him with tranquilizer ammo, but Banner fled through the window and momentarily hid with Martina at her house, in order to deceive the military. As Emil Blonsky and the other soldiers looked for Banner, they assumed he had run into the streets of Rocinha, allowing Banner a moment of relief.
Despite Banner attempting to hide his face with his hood, Blonsky had managed to caught up to him, beginning to chase him down. Blonsky and the other soldiers pursued Banner through the streets and rooftops of Rocinha, while Banner tried to slow down his heart rate to prevent his transformation. Continuing to flee from the United States Armed Forces unit, Banner came across General Ross himself, realizing that he was the man behind the chase. Banner continued to desperately run for his life, only to accidentally crash into the Tough Guy Leader who attempted to start a fight with him. Banner used his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to defend himself against the men away before running from both them and the soldiers.
Battle at the Pingo Doce Factory
- "Leave me alone."
While fleeing, Bruce Banner ran away for safety, only for the Tough Guy Leader and his friends followed Banner inside the Pingo Doce factory in order to assault him, with Emil Blonsky and his men not far behind. Attempting to hide from all those chasing him, Banner had attempted to control his heart rate to ensure that he did not transform again, only for the tough guy and his friends to locate Banner and throw him against the wall.
Banner attempted to defend himself but the men ignored Banner's warnings that something really bad was about to happen, with the leader punching Banner in the stomach and raising his heart rate. Blonsky located Banner in the factory and approached to witness the appearance of Hulk, as the transformation was triggered by the men beating Banner.
Hulk threw the tough guy leader into two windows and incapacitated the other thug while the third escaped. Hulk took the attention of the soldiers firing their tranquilizer darts, which merely bounced off the green giant's skin. As the soldiers continued firing, Hulk asked them to leave him alone before furiously fighting back against the soldiers, using his own incredible strength to his advantage.
With only Blonsky remaining, who had watched in astonishment, he loaded his weapon and fired bullets at the Hulk, which continued to have no effect on him. Enraged, Hulk picked up a forklift and launched it at Blonsky, who had barely avoided the attack. Having Blonsky being spared by Hulk, he then proceeded to escape the factory and fled into the jungle.
- "Excuse me, sir? Does anyone not want to talk about what just happened in there? Because he didn't lose us. And he was not alone, sir. We had him, and then something hit us, something... something BIG hit us. It threw a forklift truck like it was a softball! It was the most powerful thing I've ever seen."
- ―Emil Blonsky to Thaddeus Ross
Having escaped from the Pingo Doce factory and reverting back to normal, Bruce Banner awoke in the jungle the morning after the incident. Spotting an oncoming car, Banner asked for help, only to learn that he is now in Guatemala. The trucker gave Banner a ride through Chiapas, Mexico, where he became a beggar and received some money to help pay for his travels. Within seventeen days, Banner made enough money and managed to return to the United States of America, heading to Culver University where he knew his research was being kept.
General Thaddeus Ross told Emil Blonsky the truth about the Hulk, explaining that the monster was Banner, although he refused to give any more details at this time. Blonsky later met with General Thaddeus Ross where Ross then explained that Hulk was created accidentally during an experiment in radiation-resistance that was inspired by World War II, the Super Soldier Serum. After talking about the classified information, Blonsky was intrigued enough to volunteer as a test subject to compete with Banner.