Appearing in "Job Security"
- Titania (Only in flashback)
Races and Species:
- Earth (Main story and flashback)
Synopsis for "Job Security"
Although he has found a way to prevent his reversions to Bruce Banner during the daytime hours, the Hulk discovers that sunlight now starts to burn him. When the Colosseum's cook comes with his morning breakfast he takes out his frustrations on the man. Meanwhile, rival mobster Anthony Gold has hired the Absorbing Man to get revenge against Michael Berengetti for blocking his attempts to set up operations in Las Vegas. Asking the Absorbing Man if he is up for the job, the super-villain shows that he is by absorbing the properties of a nearby fire hydrant. Seeing this display of power makes Gold wonder why the Absorbing Man hires himself out when he could be his own boss.
This causes the Absorbing Man to think back to his last defeat at the hands of Thor which left him banished to another dimension. While trying to survive in this realm, Creel killed a creature and tried to cook it when, suddenly, the creature came back to life and sprinted away. Realizing that time flows differently in this realm, the Absorbing Man decided to wait for time to roll back the moment of his arrival. When the dimensional portal opened, the Absorbing Man leaped through, escaping at the same time his past self was being banished to this world. Since his return to Earth, the Absorbing Man decided to abandon his desire for revenge and try to live the life he and Titania wanted for each other before her apparent death. He tells Gold that his reasons for being for-hire is none of his business. Anthony Gold tells the Absorbing Man that Mr. Fixit can be found at the Colosseum Casino.
Back at the Colosseum, Michael Berengetti learns that Mr. Fixit is in a foul mood and decides to see what's up. Talking in the darkened room, Berengetti reminds the Hulk how he found him in Yucca Flats and hired him on as his enforcer in exchange for everything he could want out of Las Vegas. The Hulk admits that the mobster was true to his word and hasn't betrayed him, at least not yet. Berengetti tells the Hulk that he doesn't plan on it and tells him that if there is anything that is bothering him they can talk about it. Michael later gets another phone call from Anthony Gold and hangs up on him. Gold believes that Michael is going to regret that decision very soon. While at her apartment, Marlo Chandler tells her friend Mona about her date with Joe Fixit. However, Mona wants all the dirty details, but Marlo is candid about their encounter. She does, however, mention that Mr. Fixit has some strange skin tone that she can't really identify.
Meanwhile, at the casino, the Absorbing Man turns himself into concrete and begins running amok on the main floor. When regular security proves to be ineffective, the Hulk is called in to help. The Hulk is reluctant to get into a fight during the day for fear he might change back into Bruce Banner and be promptly killed. By this time, the Absorbing Man has made short work of Berengetti's men and is about to confront the mobster when Mr. Fixit finally arrives. Even though he is mostly covered in clothing, the sun is still burning the Hulk's skin and affecting his strength. Not recognizing the Hulk for who he is, the Absorbing Man piles into him. Their fight takes them outside where Creel manages to fight off the Hulk and more of Berengetti's men. Deciding to take the fight elsewhere, the Hulk leaps off with the Absorbing Man following not far behind. Fixit lures him to Hoover Dam, but the Absorbing Man still manages to get the drop on him. He pummels into Fixit until he realises that he's actually facing the Hulk and tries to absorb his powers. This works against Creel as he also absorbs the Hulk's weakness to sunlight, giving the Hulk a change to turn the tables. As they continue to pound on each other, they end up falling into one of the dynamos inside the dam.
As Marlo tries to call Joe Fixit to make another date, the Hulk now has to face the Absorbing Man after he has adopted the properties of electricity. The Hulk tricks his foe to toss his electrified ball-and-chain into some nearby water shorting himself out. The Absorbing Man then changes into concrete to dull the pain. Furious at the idea of having his cover compromised, the Hulk smashes the Absorbing Man into pieces and then tosses the remains into the water in the hopes of remaining anyonymous for as long as possible.
- The Absorbing Man recounts what happened to him after Thor banished him to another dimension in Thor #376. He believes that Titania was killed during the fight with Thor, this was actually an impostor created by Loki. The real Titania is actually alive and well. They are eventually reunited in Thor #436.
- The appearance of the Dune Casino in one of the city shots should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 as it was closed in 1993.
- Michael Berengetti mentions how he found the Hulk in Yucca Flats prior to his coming into their employ. The Hulk also mentions how he, at least for the time being, is in full control of his body. These event leading to this current status quo are depicted in Incredible Hulk #351–352.
The Flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters: