SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for "Uncanny Avengers" #17, which is on sale now.
Things have not been easy for Rogue's squad of superheroes. After being driven from Captain America and striking out on their own as part of "Civil War II," the ex-Avengers Unity Squad has taken it upon themselves to clean up one of the biggest messes left by the epic skirmish between superheroes. Following his death in "Civil War II" #3, the evil ninja clan known as the Hand grabbed Bruce Banner's body and ran with it as part of their mission to resurrect the Hulk in their thrall.
And their plan worked.
The Hand brought the Hulk back from the dead, completely in their sway -- and Rogue's team of mutants, Inhumans and superhumans have tasked themselves with taking him down. Gerry Duggan and Pepe Larraz's "Uncanny Avengers" #17 continues the team's struggle with the mindless and even more reckless version of the Hulk, as they fight to free him from the Hand's control and let Bruce Banner rest in peace.
The issue picks up with the Hulk rampaging through Japan and the Wasp (Janet Van Dyne) attempting to distract him. Wasp's distraction plan works and lets a quartet of highly-capable individuals -- Rogue, Synapse, Elektra and Human Torch -- give Hulk the ol' one-two-three-four punch. Rogue clobbers him while Synapse and Elektra blind him and Human Torch goes supernova on him.
Of course the Hulk being the Hulk, he's still standing after all that -- and still rampaging. Fortunately for the Avengers squad, the Hulk rampages right through their teleportation portal and -- with a little shove from Synpase -- into the mystical portal to the netherworld conjured up by the team's resident sorcerer, Doctor Voodoo.
With the Hulk trapped in Voodoo's spell, the sorcerer ventures into the beyond and comes into contact with the imprisoned soul of Bruce Banner. Instead of resting peacefully, the scientist's soul is stuck with numerous Hand arrows. Voodoo begins forcefully removing the metaphorical/spiritual arrows from Banner's essence, thus summoning one of the Hand's demons.
The demon attempts to bribe Doctor Voodoo, whose brother Daniel was previously resurrected by the Hand. If Jericho Drumm wrecks the Hand's plan by freeing Bruce Banner, the Hand will in turn claim Daniel Drumm's soul. Jericho choose to save his brother, saying Bruce Banner's sacrifices have made him his brother -- even more so than Daniel. "Daniel has damned himself," says Doctor Voodoo.
Voodoo frees Bruce Banner, telling his soul to "walk in peace to the light." Then, the sorcerer physically reemerges from his spell, carrying the corpse of Bruce Banner.
With the mission concluded, Rogue offers everyone the opportunity to leave the Unity Squad -- but the team, including Rogue, all recognize that there's still work to be done since the Red Skull is still on the loose with Professor Xavier's brain.
The team then tries to figure out who they can trust with Bruce's body, now that it has been rescued from the Hand. They take it back to their former leader, Steve Rogers.
The team, still separated from Captain America, returns to their headquarters -- just as the Red Skull begins to exert mental influence over one of their own, Quicksilver.
"Uncanny Avengers" #18 arrives in stores on December 28.