Appearing in "Of All Sad Words"
- Karen Ross (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "Of All Sad Words"
On the morning where it seemed that Bruce Banner's life was about to change for the better, his wife Betty Banner has suddenly become incredibly sick due to some mysterious illness. She begs Bruce to help because it hurts so much and she collapses into his arms. Bruce's temper begins to get the better of him and he transforms into the Hulk. He smashes out of their shared quarters within Area 102. Not far away in one of the bunkhouses is where Rick Jones and his wife Marlo are currently living. While Rick sleeps, Marlo decides to read "Field of Green", the book that Betty had written about her relationship with Bruce Banner and the Hulk. In the opening chapter, Betty talks about how her first memory was her mother looking down at her while she slept in her crib as a child. She wishes her mother could have lived to meet Bruce Banner. She recounts how she first met Bruce Banner at the gamma bomb project that her father oversaw. She fell in love with Bruce instantly, and the two soon started a romance which her father did not approve of. Meanwhile, General Ross and Colonel St. Lawrence have been woken up by the Hulk's rampage through the facility. They find the Hulk curled up in a ball outside the medical lab. General Ross demands to know what happened to Betty and the Hulk tells him that she is inside. When the two soldiers enter the medlab, they find Doc Samson observing Betty. Looking into the room, General Ross is heartbroken to see his daughter on life support, struggling for her life.
When Samson tells Ross that Betty is dying of radiation poisoning, Ross goes outside and starts beating on the Hulk, demanding that he change back into Bruce Banner and do something to save his daughter, blaming him for what is happening. The Hulk loses his temper and screams that he didn't do it. He is about to strike down Thaddeus Ross, but his hands a stayed by Doc Samson. Samson tells the Hulk that this isn't going to accomplish anything and that they need to work together to try and save Betty's life. This calms the Hulk down enough to cause him to revert back to Bruce Banner, who instantly begins to come up with ways to modify the medical technology into something that can help Betty. Meanwhile, Marlo continues to read Betty's book: She is reading the chapter where Betty talks about the night of her and Bruce's honeymoon. Back in the medical lab, Bruce examines Betty's body and wonders why her immunity to gamma radiation couldn't prevent this from happening. With a team of specialists coming to assist, Bruce takes off his wedding ring and places it in his wife's hand for good luck.
Meanwhile, Marlo continues to read Betty's book, it is a chapter on the difficulties Betty had with the Hulk and how regardless of his transformations she found she could love Bruce not in spite of the Hulk, but because of him. Back in the lab, Bruce has a device built that will siphon the gamma radiation from Betty's body and hopefully repair the damage done. It's here he admits to General Ross that it is gamma radiation that is killing his daughter and his fears about how he might be responsible. This causes Thaddeus to lash out at Banner, but they are pulled apart once again and Doc Samson has to remind them again that they need to save Betty's life. At that moment, Marlo reads the section of Betty's book where she longs for being a mother and talks about the transient nature of her romance with Bruce and her miscarriage. At that moment, Bruce activates the device he hopes will cure his wife. While to repairs the damage done to her body, she begins to flatline. Seeing that his wife is still dying causes Bruce Banner to go into hysterics. At that moment, Marlo finishes reading Betty's book and can't wait to tell Betty what she thought of it, little known that Betty Banner has died.
Back in the lab, the doctors try to resuscitate Betty. As they do so, her hand falls limp on the side of the bed causing Bruce's wedding ring to hit the floor and roll away. Unable to revive Betty Banner, the doctors then declare the date and time of her death.
- Betty's mystery illness is due to the fact that the Abomination injected her with his gamma-irradiated blood to get revenge against the Hulk. This was revealed in Incredible Hulk #473-474.
- Betty's mother had died of cancer while she was still young as revealed in Incredible Hulk #291.
- Betty first met Bruce Banner while he was working the gamma bomb project as seen in Incredible Hulk #1. Their first meeting was also expanded upon in Incredible Hulk #291.
- Betty's book mentions Bruce and Betty's honeymoon. This happened in Incredible Hulk #320.
- Bruce mentions the time Betty was transformed into the Harpy. This happened in Incredible Hulk #168-169.
- Betty's book mentions her confrontation with the Hulk in Incredible Hulk #344 where she and the gray Hulk made a certain amount of peace. Also, her first encounter with the "Professor" Hulk in Incredible Hulk #377 and how they reconciled in Incredible Hulk #400.
- Bruce utilizes similar technology as the Gamma Ray Projector that Bruce once used to control his transformations into the Hulk. He started using this device in Incredible Hulk #2.
- Betty discovered that she was pregnant in Incredible Hulk #340 but she had a miscarriage in Incredible Hulk #360. The period where the Hulk was seemingly killed in a bomb explosion and Betty left a candle lit for Hulk was the period between Incredible Hulk #440-445.
- Although Betty dies here, she is later resurrected as first seen in Incredible Hulk (Vol. 2) #62.
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