Appearing in "Natural Selection"
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "Natural Selection"
The military and Doc Samson have tracked down the home that Bruce Banner has been renting in Las Vegas for a time. When they hear someone at the door the soldiers come out with guns drawn, frightening the newspaper boy half to death. Samson reminds them that it is daytime and that their target will be in his human form, as such not a threat. As regroup themselves, they are unaware that Banner is watching them under the cover of bushes. Bruce considers surrendering himself to them when suddenly one of the soldiers hears something and opens fire on another bush, but it was only a squirrel. This convinces Banner that surrendering himself might not be such a great idea. Meanwhile, a train rumbles east carrying a sinister figure. Elsewhere, within a secret facility hidden in a mountain, a man named Prometheus is told that he has a target to find. Soon he takes off in a high-speed vehicle.
Back in Yucca Flats, Banner is going through a clothing bin when he is caught by a soldier. Banner manages to get the drop on him and knows the soldier out. He then takes his uniform and his gun and blends in with the other soldiers. They soon go to the nearby train yards to look for Banner. As they drive, Banner thinks about how great it felt knocking out the soldier, finally pushing back against someone who has been pursuing him. When they search a passing train, Bruce uses this opportunity to sneak into one of the cars and manages to slip away. However, he is not alone in the car, someone calls out to him from the darkness of the railcar. Bruce trains his gun in the direction of the voice and asks who this person is. The man introduces himself as Edward. When Bruce gives his name, the man instantly recognizes him as Bruce Banner, even in the darkness.
Edward talks about how he has followed Banner's career and is fascinated by the idea that he is an atomic Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. Banner thinks that he is cracking up that this man, who so idolizes his alter-ego, must be the Hulk himself. The fact that the man in the car grabs Bruce's rifle and snaps it in half. The man then begins talking about the nuances of the novel Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde, about his envy of the Mr. Hyde character. When Bruce tries to make a break for it, the man in the shadows throws a knife at him, impaling it into his calf and sending the troubled scientist sprawling on the floor. Talking about the thrill of savage man and survival of the fittest. He concludes his speech as he throws Banner against the wall, likening Bruce as Dr. Jekyl, who killed his alter ego, much like he has tried to do with the Hulk. He then decides to to kill Banner, but Bruce is not defenseless. He pulls a gun stashed in his boot and tries to shoot his opponent, but this man is far too fast. He smashes the gun and Bruce's hand and then finally reveals himself, the super-strong criminal known as Mr. Hyde.
However, by this point, the sun has begun to set and Bruce transforms into the Hulk once again. He fights back against Mr. Hyde, but he is not as his full strength as it is not full dark yet. When Mr. Hyde smashes open the top of the rail car, the remaining sunlight burns the Hulk's skin. In order to avoid his foe, the Hulk smashes through the floor and latches to the bottom of the railcar. The Hulk smashes up through the cars and the two begin fighting it out. Because the sun is still setting Mr. Hyde is able to hold his own against the Hulk. However, when it appears that the battle is an even tie, the villain tries to derail some of the end cars while they are passing over a train bridge. This fails because the sun finally goes down, giving the Hulk his full strength. The gamma-spawned man-monster tosses Mr. Hyde from the train, and then uses all his strength to pull the derailed cars back from off the edge of the bridge.
But the bridge collapses sending the Hulk and Hyde crashing into the waters below. The Hulk survives and when he recovers from the fall he spots Mr. Hyde's cape hanging from a tree branch. Finding the cape nice, the Hulk plucks it from the branch and drapes it over his shoulder and walks away.
- This issue is reprinted in the trade paperback Incredible Hulk Visionaries: Peter David Volume 5
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