Appearing in "Snake Eyes: Part 2"
- Brian Banner (Only in flashback)
- Various Inert Hulk Personas
Synopsis for "Snake Eyes: Part 2"
Having traveled deep into his mind with the assistance of Angela Lipscombe, a brilliant psychologist and Bruce's old university girlfriend, there he is trying to tame the Hulk so that the creature doesn't take over after a degenerative brain disease destroys the mind of Bruce Banner. There he has found himself in a mindscape resembling the Crossroads dimension with his Professor and Joe Fixit personas who have been restrained by the massive and demonic looking Guilt Hulk. With the Guilt Hulk waiting for Banner to make a move, he decides to deal with Joe Fixit. He agrees to free Joe under a few conditions: He also frees the Professor. He also gives Joe control of his body at night while the Professor controls it during the day, but warns them that they will both be answerable to him. When Joe tries to play hard to get, Banner calls his bluff and the gray Hulk agrees to his terms. After he frees Joe, the Guilt Hulk attacks causing the two to scatter.
In the real world, Angela Lipscombe continues monitoring her patient and believes that she has rushed him into this treatment too quickly and has tried in vain to revive him from his hypnotic state. With Banner being the only one to get himself out of this situation, Angela hopes that he finds an exit, and finds it soon. Meanwhile, inside Banner's mind, Joe Fixit tries to attack the Guilt Hulk despite Bruce's protests and is easily swatted aside. Needing more help, Joe Fixit frees the Professor and the two fight it out with the Guilt Hulk. Banner flees the scene and enters a cave where he discovers countless fragmented personas trapped within its walls. He is horrified by this sight, wondering if they are all reflections of himself. As if reading his mind, Banner is told that they are by a reptilian version of the Hulk who introduces itself as the equivalent to the devil. Shackled up, the Devil Hulk mocks Banner for coming to him and tries to entice Bruce into setting him free. The Devil Hulk tries to convince Banner that only he can defeat the embodiment of guilt that Joe Fixit and the Professor are fighting outside. He then turns to mocking Bruce over his childhood abuses and the loss of his wife Betty. When Bruce refuses to unleash the Devil, this evil persona vows that it will continues to struggle until he is free. As Bruce Banner flees the cave, the Devil shouts at Banner, telling Bruce that he will need him.
He returns to the two Hulks who are losing the battle against the embodiment of guilt. The Professor tells them that they need more help. Bruce then decides to go looking for the Savage Hulk and finds him sulking not far away. When he tries to talk to the Savage he screams at Banner to leave him alone. This makes Bruce think back to his childhood and how he hated his parents for abandoning him alone all the time, and how he grew to prefer being left alone. Remembering this and what his desires were at the time, he tells the Hulk that he needs him. This convinces the Savage Hulk to leap into the battle and help his two counterparts battle the guilt. With the three Hulks pounding on the guilt in tandem the creature is vanquish and Banner breaks free from his hypnotic trance, much to the relief of Angela. The following day, Bruce tells Angela what happened and that he made a pact with the Hulks to take over when his disease becomes too strong and hopes that they honor his request for some control. The two get into a car and drive away and in his mind Bruce hears the tauntings of the Devil Hulk, who is biding his time until he can be released.
- There are numerous mentions to the fact that Bruce's wife, Betty Ross, had just recently died. She died of radiation poisoning in Incredible Hulk #466. She will be eventually resurrected, as seen in Incredible Hulk Vol 2 #62.
- Bruce Banner recounts his abusive childhood, which was first explored in Incredible Hulk #312.
- Bruce Banner states that he has Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Since this story has been published there have been advances in treating the illness and with the advent of and innovations in stem cell research could potentially lead to a cure. As such any references to what disease Bruce is suffering from should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
A flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters:
- This issue is reprinted in other comics and books, see references for more info.
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