Some time later, it was revealed that Banner had once again been captured. When Doc Samson and She-Hulk took a reluctant Ben Urich and Peter Parker into a false military base to serve as witnesses, they saw a traitorous General Ross working side-by-side with MODOK and Advanced Idea Mechanics (A.I.M.) in developing some sort of gamma super soldier program. They also saw Bruce, unconscious, in a liquid suspension pod, and A-Bomb, strapped to a table, about to be experimented on.
Before they could decide what to do about this startling revelation, Doc Samson suddenly underwent a transformation as a result of an earlier modification experiment conducted on him (by MODOK and the Leader) and he became a more violent, evil version who only referred to himself as 'Samson'. She-Hulk and Samson fought, revealing their presence to M.O.D.O.K. and Gen. Ross. Ben decided that it was best for he and Peter to escape, but the Red Hulk appeared from out of nowhere. He reached for Ben, but Peter, now dressed as Spider-Man, distracted him and tried to battle both the Red Hulk and M.O.D.O.K.
Spider-Man was surprised when the Red Hulk was able to burn his webbing from his face, allowing him to gain the upper hand against the wall-crawler. The battle has awakened Banner, and seeing Spider-Man in trouble, he transformed into the Hulk and intervened. Eventually, the Red Hulk got frustrated at the constant battling with the Hulk and he manifested a previously unrevealed ability to drain energy. He drained the Hulk's power until he turned back into Banner, declaring that he didn't deserve to be the Hulk. He also claimed that Banner would never be able to transform into the Hulk again. Due to an impending gamma core meltdown, Red Hulk and M.O.D.O.K. escaped. Now awake, A-Bomb shielded Banner from the explosion. Ben and Peter escaped virtually unharmed. Ben was later prevented from writing the story when the Red Hulk threatened him with the lives of everyone at Front Line.
After an unknown amount of time, Banner was contemplating on what to do with his life now that he seemingly could not become the Hulk anymore. He thought on whether or not the Hulk side of him was really dead. When Norman Osborn heard of what happened to Banner, he sent Ares to confirm that a "major player" had been removed from the field. Ares caught Banner talking to A-Bomb in his old vault, where they used to imprison the Hulk during the time when he had involuntary nighttime transformations. Ares harassed Banner, trying to see if he could cause him to transform. A-Bomb, now with Rick's personality being completely dominant, tried to defend his friend, but Ares eventually got him in a vulnerable position. Ares then threatened to cut off A-Bomb's head if Banner didn't manifest the Hulk. Still unable to transform, Banner taunted Ares, and tricked him into the Hulk-proof vault, which Banner then sealed. Being significantly weaker than the Hulk, Ares was unable to escape until the timer released him in the morning. Meanwhile, Banner bid goodbye to Rick and took a bus to places unknown.
Banner, now unable to transform into the Hulk, decided that he must locate his son and train/tame him. Banner believed that sooner or later, the Hulk would find a way to manifest again, and when this happened, Skaar stood the only chance of stopping him. Banner lured Skaar to his location with a gamma-absorbing armored suit which Skaar homed in on and attacked, thinking that it was indeed the Hulk.
Skaar soon found out that Banner had lured him in and used his Old-Power to disable/destroy the armor. Banner then convinced him that if Skaar ever wanted a shot at the Hulk he'd need to be trained by Banner. Banner accomplished this by pitting Skaar against some heavy hitters in the Marvel Universe... first being the Juggernaut. Banner destroyed a trailer where the Juggernaut was staying - inciting a brief fight with Skaar and Juggernaut. After learning a direct attack was useless, Skaar ended up sending Juggernaut into orbit. The two quickly discovered that the X-Men, who had been monitoring The Juggernaut, were not pleased by this turn of events.
Wolverine soon found Skaar and Banner in a comic shop, reading old Conan comics. Skaar made quick work of Wolverine and picked up the scent of Daken. Banner (who had created an Old-Power taser) gave several blasts to Wolverine to keep him off of his son's trail temporarily. After a rather brief encounter with Daken and after nearly being killed, Skaar was saved by Banner, just as Daken was about to make the killing stroke. The pairs parted ways with Banner supporting wounded Skaar and Daken supporting a beaten Wolverine.
Bruce Banner, a member of Norman Osborn's 'List', was soon seen rescuing Kate Waynesboro from an Old-Power harvesting factory under the control of Victoria Hand and Norman Osborn. Using 'Banner-tech' devices Bruce easily overpowered the security systems and brought in Skaar to take out the armored guards keeping Waynesboro in custody. After the three escaped the factory they headed to what Banner believed to be another Old-Power facility, in order to destroy it. They ran into the Dark Ms. Marvel and Victoria Hand who'd been sent to intercept them. The four fought, with Ms. Marvel taking on Skaar and Hand taking on Banner. Ms. Marvel made a whispered deal with Skaar who grabbed Banner and retreated with him into the distance. Skaar revealed what Ms. Marvel had told him: The facility that Banner had just sabotaged was a gamma plant, and Osborn had secretly exposed Banner to immense gamma radiation... which was quickly bonding to his cellular structure again... hastening the re-emergence of the Hulk.