- Please... Don't let this happen... Please ... Give me a shred of happiness...
- -- Bruce Banner
Appearing in "He's Back"
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "He's Back"
Prometheus is closing in on his hunt for the Hulk as he speeds into the state of Connecticut. He radios into the Pantheon from their secret headquarters the Mount. He grumbles about how he should have listened to Delphi and just waited for Banner near his wife instead of tracking him halfway across the country.
In the town of Darien, Bruce Banner has discovered that his wife has become a nun at the local convent. Trying to get an audience to see her, Banner is barred by Mother Superior, who believes that Bruce is just another reporter coming to harass Betty. Undaunted, Bruce then jumps the fence into the convent, but he rips his shirt open on a fence post, revealing that the scar on his back is still there. Needing somewhere to hide, Banner rushes into the convent. Meanwhile, Father Lowery is driving to the convent to give confessions to the nuns who live there. He crosses paths with Prometheus, whose speeding car forces the Father into a crash, knocking him out in the process.
Back at the convent, Bruce slips into a confessional to hide and is surprised when his own wife enters to give her regular confession. She confesses that she lost all three men that she had loved in her life, and she lost her baby. She talks about how she has struggled to find her own identity after years of living on an air force base. After all the years and changes and losses, Betty confesses that she found a place where she can belong, here at the convent. Hearing this Bruce begins to cry. However, before she can speak any further, Mother Superior begins looking for the stranger who has trespassed on their property. Betty comes out to learn what the commotion is all about and learn about how Father Lowery had gotten into a car accident not far away. When Betty checks the confessional, she finds that it is empty.
Bruce has slipped off to a nearby park where he has come to the conclusion at that his wife hates him. He thinks about all the misery the Hulk has caused her life, he's not surprised by this. Back at the convent, Betty had decided that the life of a nun is not for her and that she is leaving to find a new life. Explaining all this to Mother Superior, she gets the elder nuns blessing. Bruce decides that he can't leave until he talks to Betty and makes his way back to the convent where he sees her getting into a cab. Rushing to a payphone, Bruce calls the convent and tricks Mother Superior into thinking he is a dispatcher for the cab company and learns that Betty is heading to the train station. Banner then jacks a car and speeds after his wife. Along the way, Prometheus finally catches up to Banner and forces his car off the road.
Unwilling to be stopped, Banner gets out of the car and makes a run for the station, just as Betty buys her ticket and board the train. He is once more impeded by Prometheus and his vehicle. Banner narrowly avoids getting captured and giving into his anger suddenly undergoes a transformation into the Hulk. However, this time Banner's skin rips open, revealing the savage green Hulk beneath. The savage Hulk then faces off against Prometheus and his vehicle, the Argo. Its advanced weapons do nothing more than annoy the Hulk. Inside the brute's mind, Banner asks the gray Hulk what's happening. The gray Hulk explains that Banner released his green counterpart earlier and now he is free again. Meanwhile, Prometheus decides that the Hulk is too powerful and unpredictable now that he is a green savage again and decides to flee the scene, promising to bring the whole Pantheon next time.
With the battle back to normal, the Hulk reverts back into Bruce Banner. Witnessing Betty boarding the train he races after it but is too late to stop it. Banner collapses and begins to beg for Betty to come back. When he looks up he sees Betty standing before him. Happy to see his wife again, he and Betty run to each other and lock in an embrace.
- Betty states that she lost the three men she loved in her life as well as her baby. She is referring to the following:
- Her father, Thaddeus Ross who seemingly died in Incredible Hulk #330. However, unknown to Betty, her father was resurrected by the Leader as revealed in Incredible Hulk #400. They won't be reunited until Incredible Hulk #455.
- She is also referring to her first husband, Glenn Talbot. The pair were married in Incredible Hulk #156 but they were later divorced in Incredible Hulk #238. Talbot later died during a battle against the Hulk in Incredible Hulk #260.
- She also believes that her current husband, Bruce Banner, died in a gamma bomb explosion in Incredible Hulk #345.
- Betty discovered that she was pregnant with Bruce Banner's child in Incredible Hulk #340. However, she suffered a miscarriage in Incredible Hulk #360.
- Betty mentions that she has been a "mad woman", she is referring to the number of mental breakdowns she has suffered over the years. Namely in Incredible Hulk #163, 166 and 185.
- Bruce recalls a number of events pertaining to his relationship with Betty:
- The letters page changes this issue from Gray Mail to Green Mail. Letters are published from A.J. Mickna, Randy Vanden Heugel, Rob "Radishes" Ramotar, Rudy Rankins, Michael Jacot, Mary and John McCool and David Gonzales.
- This issue is reprinted in the trade paperback Incredible Hulk Visionaries: Peter David Volume 5
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- 2 Images from Incredible Hulk Vol 1 372
- ↑ First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
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