Appearing in "Possibilities"
- Mrs. Nussbaum
- Ms. Cunnane
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "Possibilities"
Having signed a contract with Nick Cloot of the Maggia, Glorian discusses his plans to make the Hulk see the light over a game of pool. Cloot is impressed with the plan, but Glorian is through talking and tells Cloot to find an opponent that is a sufficient challenge for the Hulk, as part of the plan. With Glorian gone, Nick Cloot drops all pretenses that he is trying to help the dream-maker help. Activating a secret panel, a wall opens up revealing a pentagram on the floor. Cloot then uses it take him down somewhere very, very, deep.
Meanwhile, the Hulk has retreated into his own mind and tears down the mental brick wall he built around Bruce Banner, suspecting that his alter-ego has been somehow involved with his current problems. When the Hulk threatens to kill Banner, Bruce doesn't even flinch. He explains that he is tired of running from the Hulk, but calls his bluff, pointing out that the Hulk might end also kill the Hulk's ability to reason. Furious and frustrated the Hulk decides to chance it and punches out Banner. However, it is Bruce who wakes up on the floor of the Hulk's apartment. He suddenly hears a knock at the door. It turns out to be Marlo Chandler who demands to see both Bruce and Joe Fixit together. Bruce tells her that he is not feeling himself and that Joe is not around. Fed up of the mystery behind the two men in her life, Marlo leaves, telling Bruce that she doesn't want to see either of them again. After Marlo has left, Bruce sneaks out of the Coliseum Casino to get some food and get some new clothes so he can return those that he took earlier. Thinking how easily he rationalized stealing the clothes he is wearing, Bruce hopes this isn't going to become a habit.
At that moment, Nick Cloot arrives in the deepest pits of Hell where he searches for the ideal opponent to pit against the Hulk. In a pool of lava he finds the tortured body of Denis "The Menace" Malloy, one of the most notorious hitmen in the United States before his death. Re-Christening him the Ghoul, Cloot offers Malloy a chance to leave. He tells the Ghoul that his only way out is up the flight of stairs behind him, but warns that there is a terrible monster that will stop him every step of the way. Willing to risk it, the man formally known as Dennis Malloy makes a break for it, sprinting up the stairs. Meanwhile, Glorian pays a visit to Joe Fixit's employer, mobster Michael Berengetti, who is annoyed at the interruption. Glorian explains that he has come to warn him of the possibility that Fixit might go on a rampage through Las Vegas. Berengetti doesn't buy it until suddenly it appears that the Fixit comes tearing through his office, furious about the temperature of his bath water. Berengetti cowers under his desk, but the rampage suddenly stops. When he looks up from his desk there is no sign of Glorian, Fixit or any of the damage caused by the rampage. Michael dismisses this as a bad dream, but it has shaken his confidence that he can keep Fixit under control.
Meanwhile, with some of the Hulk's money, Bruce Banner goes to a men's clothing store to buy a new outfit. He passes up the opportunity to buy durable purple clothing, opting for something more expensive and less tacky outfit. He then goes looking to a ride to take him out to a nuclear research facility out in Yucca Flats. Back down in Hell, the Ghoul is still climbing the stairs. As he wonders how high they go he is suddenly attacked by what appears to be the Hulk. The Ghoul is then attacked, the fake Hulk crushes his hands, turning them into misshapen talons. While at a gym, Marlo Chandler is playing tennis with one of her clients when she is approached by Glorian. He warns her to stay away from Joe Fixit and when she concurs with his suggestion it appears that the Hulk has come tearing through the wall and threatens to hurt her. This too is an illusion that convinces Marlo to question her relationship with Joe Fixit. While at the nuclear research plant, Bruce using his "Bancroft" alias and a fake mustache manages to convince the facility to hire him on as a janitor.
Back in Hell, the Ghoul continues his climb when he is attacked by the fake Hulk again. This time, the apparition tears into his back, pulling skin off the bone. This skin turns into bat-like wings. Furious over being horribly mutilated the man once known as Dennis Malloy vows to kill the man he thinks is responsible. That night, Bruce Banner returns to the Coliseum before his nightly transformation into the Hulk. The Hulk then calls Michael Berengetti and asks to talk to him right away. Michael abruptly cuts him off telling he can't talk that night and hangs up on him. This leaves the Hulk wondering what's eating his boss. While in Hell, the Ghoul is almost at the end of the stairs when he is attacked by the "Hulk" once more. This time his attacker mutilates his foot and deforms his face. The Hulk then tries to pay a visit to Marlo, who is frightened to see him and flees back up to her apartment. He forces his way in and stops her roommate Mona from calling the cops. When he confronts Marlo, she tells him her life is hers, not his, not "Bruce Bancroft's" nobody's. After a moment of silence between the two torn lovers, the Hulk turns around and leaves.
Finally, at the Kudos Casino, the Ghoul emerges from the flaming portal in the floor. When he arrives he screams out, demanding to know where the person who horribly mutilated him can be found.
- Banner's warnings that killing his mentality could leave the Hulk a savage brute incapable of reasoning is not an idle threat. That's exactly what happened when Banner attempted "psychic suicide" back in Incredible Hulk #299 reducing the Hulk to a savage state until Incredible Hulk #312.
- Banner mentions how he "borrowed" the clothing he wore. He stole them from a hotel in Incredible Hulk #354.
- This issue is reprinted in the trade paperback Incredible Hulk Visionaries: Peter David Volume 4
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