- Who do you think you are, Banner? You're just like me, only the other direction. You don't feel you're passionless. Got no fire in your eyes. I'm more alive than you'll ever be. I hunger for life.
- -- Hulk
Appearing in "Quality of Mercy"
- United States Army
- Arnold the bum (Death)
- Punisher (Only in flashback)
- Jethro Prufrock (Only in flashback)
- Martha Prufock (Only in flashback)
- Rita, George's girlfriend (Only in flashback)
- Adolf Hitler (Mentioned)
- The Bard (Mentioned)
- New York City
- "Nowhere, USA"
- Abandoned theater
- Prufrock mansion (Only in flashback)
- Gamma Bomb (Mentioned)
Synopsis for "Quality of Mercy"
This story continues from Daredevil Annual #6...
From his quarantine cell, George Prufrock finally has the chance to tell someone his story. He thinks about how the Lifeform lives inside his body, always hungry, and wonders how much longer will he remain himself. He also reflects back on when he faced the Hulk....
The Hulk spots some soldiers driving past his location and thinks that they are after him again. He attacks, smashing their vehicles when suddenly one of the soldiers angrily reprimands the gamma-spawned monster. As it turns out they weren't hunting for the Hulk at all, they were just out on maneuvers. Somewhat disappointed by the entire battle, the Hulk leaps off in frustration. In the city of New York, an intoxicated homeless man named Arnold is lamented on a wasted life. Suddenly, the woman known as Mercy teleports in front of him. Telling the man that she has come to help solve his sadness, she pushes him into the path of a speeding truck. One of Arnold's homeless friends accuses Mercy of murdering the man. When Mercy says she killed him because he was depressed and wanted to die. The woman explains that depression is part of life and people don't usually mean they want to kill themselves. This is all very confusing to Mercy, especially when she considers the number of people she killed. She decides to take this advice to heart and then teleports away.
Elsewhere in the city, a man named Lemar who was infected by the Lifeform is being hauled into an ambulance after his battle with Daredevil. Reporter Ben Urich plans on climbing into the ambulance along with George in the hopes of getting his story for the Daily Bugle. While back in Nevada, the Hulk comes across an abandoned theater and decides to go inside. and poke around.
... It's at that moment that George's narrative is interrupted by someone entering the room. They threaten to call security, but the ever mutating George Prufrock attacks and kills the man. George takes a chunk of flesh to eat and sits back down to continue his story. George explains that he always wanted to be an actor, but his father insisted that he become a scientist. George followed his father's wishes. He honed his body and mind becoming a great scientist. Eventually, his father had him take a job with Advanced Idea Mechanics. Things were going well, he had a girlfriend named Rita that he loved very much and he enjoyed his work at AIM. However, that all changed when he was asked to test out the new virus being developed, that's how he got infected with the Lifeform. After his battles with the Punisher and Daredevil, George explains how, as the Lifeform, he met Mercy and the Hulk...
The Lifeform reformed after Daredevil and the ambulance left and as it shambled along it is confronted by Mercy. Lifeform pleads for her to kill him, but she isn't entirely convinced that's exactly what he wants. She is especially confused when the mind of the Lifeform battles George's own personality giving her conflicting signals. Deciding that the Lifeform needs to be cheered up, Mercy decides to take him to meet someone and teleports themselves away. They appear in the theater where the Hulk has been goofing off. The Lifeform sees the Hulk as food it attacks him immediately. Mercy gets between the two and tells them that she brought Lifeform here so the two could talk and maybe help each other. The Hulk is uninterested, telling her that maybe his alter-ego Bruce Banner would care, but he won't. Mercy then turns into a gelatinous form and slides right into the Hulk's mouth, causing him to pass out instantly.
Back in New York, Ben Urich interviews Lamar about how he got infected with the Lifeform virus. he explains that he is an AIM scientist who was bitten by a monkey infected with the virus. Urich takes down the man's story, but later admits that taking the story was hard because looking at the man was making him physically ill.
While in the abandoned theater in Nevada, Bruce Banner and the Hulk awaken to realize that Mercy has somehow managed to separate them. The two begin to argue confusing the Lifeform who is just trying to make sense of its dual identity. Banner argues that Lifeform isn't entirely responsible because its intent is not to harm something. The Hulk argues that only power make right. The two begin to argue, until the Hulk decides to kill Banner. Lifeform agrees with this as it's alien nature begins reasserting itself and it wants to feed. Bruce warns the Hulk that if he is killed it will also kill the Hulk as well. However, this causes the Hulk pause long enough for Lifeform to try and kill Banner himself. Realizing that he needs Bruce, the Hulk fights the Lifeform. The battle takes a turn when Banner is painfully electrocuted and a fire starts. The Hulk knocks the Lifeform into the flames and when he goes to get the body of Banner, but part of the roof collapses on him. Believing that he saw his death, the Hulk leaps out of the burning building.
By the time the Hulk is clear from the burning building he quickly realizes that it wasn't Banner he was interacting with, but Mercy disguised as Banner. Mercy reappears and explains to the Hulk the importancy of pushing on in the face of adversity. Pointing out that if Bruce Banner had given up there would be no Hulk as Banner would have killed himself a long time ago. She then teleports away just as the sun begins to rise triggering the Hulk's reversion back into Bruce Banner....
George finishes his tale as he is telling it to Lamar, explaining that he too survived the fire. Mercy then returned him to New York City where he came seeking Lamar. Turning into the Lifeform once again, George tells Lamar that since Mercy refused to kill him he sought out Lamar to put him out of his misery so the suffering could end for at least one of them.
The Lifeform event continues in Silver Surfer Annual #3.
Appearing in "You Can't Always Get What You What"
- Thomas "Red Tom" Dekker / Attorney Gary Redek (Death)
- Jasmine Bay
- Police Station
- Treasure map
Synopsis for "You Can't Always Get What You What"
The She-Hulk and her assistant Weezie Mason have gone on a vacation on a tropical island. As the She-Hulk swims in the ocean, she runs afoul of a shark but easily fights it off and returns to shore. There Louise is waiting for her and introduces Jen to Gary Redek, an entertainment lawyer. Unaware that Redek has a sinister plan in mind, he invites them to meet him for dinner that evening and the two women agree.
That evening at dinner Redek tells the two women that he has gone on this vacation in order to find the long lost treasure of Red Tom Dekker which was hidden somewhere nearby hundreds of years ago. She-Hulk and Weezie agree to help Redek find the lost treasure, playing into their plans. Taking a boat to sea, the She-Hulk dives into the water and swims down deep enough to find Red Tom's sunken ship and recovers the treasure.
When he brings it to the surface, Redek suddenly turns on the two women, pushing Weezie aside to get at the treasure chest. He digs around the gold but cannot find what he is looking for, a vial containing water from the Fountain of Youth. Redek explains that he is really Red Tom, which explains why he has been rapidly aging since they got out to sea. When Weezie finds the vial, Tom tries to wrest it from them, but they are knocked overboard. She-Hulk dives in after them but can only recover Weezie from the water thanks to the arrival of some sharks.
After reporting the incident the authorities, She-Hulk and Weezie begin their trek home and they question the point of the elixir, questioning who would want to live forever.
Appearing in "The Hulk's 10 Best Brawls"
- Mjolnir (Photo)
Synopsis for "The Hulk's 10 Best Brawls"
Bruce Banner flips through a scrapbook of battles with the Hulk. He sees photos of his battles with Doc Samson, the Sub-Mariner, Wolverine, the Rhino, the Absorbing Man, the Juggernaut, Madman, Thor, the Abomination, the Thing. As he looks through the photos the sun begins to set and Banner turns into the Hulk. The Hulk wonders why he is looking at these photos when he could go out into the world and pound on any of these foes whenever he feels like.
Appearing in "The Nightmare Never Ends"
- Hulk (Illusion)
- Doc Samson's bedroom
Synopsis for "The Nightmare Never Ends"
Doc Samson has gone to see a psychiatrist about his troubling dreams that he has had.
In a dream, Samson is being psychologically analyzed. However, the psychiatrist turns out to be Bruce Banner who turns into the Hulk and attacks him. Samson wakes up to discover it was all a bad dream. When he goes to make himself some coffee, he is blindsided by the Hulk whose blow sends Samson crashing out of his apartment and into the street below. Samson then fights the Hulk at a construction site and he manages to fight the Hulk into submission and contains him. It's as this point of the dream that the Hulk turns into a badly beaten Bruce Banner. Banner mocks Samson for wasting his life chasing the Hulk. He then dreams about visiting Bruce Banners' grave. There he is attacked by Bruce's corpse and other dead bodies buried in the ground.
Samson asks what he should do to his psychologist. His shrink is actually himself, as Samson has been talking to his reflection the whole time. Suddenly, the reflection turns into the Hulk and pulls him into the mirror. There, Doc Samson is pummeled by an army of Hulks. He suddenly wakes up again, discovering that it was all a dream and worries that things are starting to get out of hand.
The Quality of Mercy
The Hulk's 10 Best Brawls The battles that are recapped from other stories such as:
- His fight with Doc Samson in Incredible Hulk #314.
- The battle with the Sub-Mariner occurred from Incredible Hulk #118.
- The Hulk's battle with Wolverine is from Incredible Hulk #340.
- Hulk's battle with the Rhino was taken from in Incredible Hulk #158.
- The battle with Absorbing Man is from Incredible Hulk #348.
- The Hulk fought the Juggernaut in Incredible Hulk #172.
- His fight with Madman was from Incredible Hulk #367.
- The battle with the Abomination was in Incredible Hulk #364.
- Lastly, the battle between the Hulk and the Thing is from Fantastic Four #320/Incredible Hulk #350.
The Quality of Mercy' A flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters:
- George Prufrock (First appearance chronologically)
- This issue is reprinted in the trade paperback Incredible Hulk Visionaries: Peter David Volume 5.
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