Quote1 I keep seeing this green creature - a huge, great, muscled monstrosity that's just screaming and screaming with pain. I get the feeling... it's chasing after me, trying to kill me. Quote2
-- Bruce Banner

Appearing in "Past Perfect"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:


  • Bruce Banner's Mind

Synopsis for "Past Perfect"

Bruce Banner dreams about his wife, Betty, dead and kept in stasis. How he turned into the Hulk and battled the Abomination nearly to death. He wakes up with a scream and finds himself at home, it was all a dream, but it felt so real. He gets out of bed and opens the curtains to let daylight in. Going into the bathroom he checks himself out of the mirror thinking he might be coming down with something, but he looks okay. Banner then goes downstairs into the kitchen where he is shocked to see his wife, Betty Banner, making him breakfast. Bruce is surprised to see her, which confuses her because she has always been there. She then sits her husband down for breakfast and he tells her that he had another nightmare, she fears that he has been working too hard. They are soon interrupted when their children, Katie and Kathy and the family dog, a ratty mutt named Slimey. After Bruce struggles with Slimey to get the morning paper out of his mouth, Betty sends the kids off to get ready for school, then reminds her husband that he has a family outing to get to.

Soon, Bruce is out at sea in a boat with his father, Brian Banner. After some small talk, Bruce manages to catch a massive fish. Bruce then confides in his father, telling him about the dreams he has where a giant green monster chases him and how vivid they are. Brian tells his son that they are merely a product of anxiety and tells his son that he used to get them all the time after he first got married. Brian tells his Bruce that he has worked hard to get what he wants and that he is proud of what he has accomplished. When Bruce catches another fish, Brian Banner is amazed by his son's unbelievable luck, making a quip about how if he didn't know any better, Bruce sold his soul to the devil. Bruce doesn't find this too funny, but agrees none the less. That night Bruce has another nightmare, this time of a bomb blast and turning into a green monster and being hunted by military. Worse of all, Betty is dead in this dream. Bruce wakes up again and finds his wife sleeping peacefully next to him. Still when he goes to the bathroom to get a glass of water, the thoughts in his head insist that Betty is dead and she is not coming back. When Bruce wonders what is happening to him, he hears a voice call out to him, telling him it will give him all he wants and more. Seeing red glowing eyes reflecting back at him in the mirror, Bruce is horrified when the creature reveals itself to be a strange reptilian monstrosity. Quickly switching on the lights, Bruce finds himself alone in the bathroom.

The following morning, Bruce tells Betty about his dream and about the strange creature he thought he saw in the bathroom after. This all troubles Betty, but before they can talk about it further, the phone begins to ring. When Bruce answers it, the voice on the other end of the line tells Bruce that they are old friends. When he begins asking Bruce questions about the date and time, Bruce finds that he cannot really answer these questions. The man on the other end of the line explains that he and the Professor have been trying to send him a message, but the Professor wandered off and hasn't been seen since. Banner thinks this is some kind of prank and is about to hang up, but the man on the other end of the line begs him to listen, telling him that this is their last chance. The man says something startling to Bruce: That this is not real, it's all a dream. Bruce hangs up on the phone.

Later that day, Bruce is out golfing with his father-in-law Thaddeus Ross and their golf buddies. As they all complain about how Bruce has been winning, Bruce can't help but point out that he never knew how to play golf before. As they walk off the green, Bruce fails to see the lizard-creature from the night before sitting on a nearby deck watching them go by. Bruce continues to go about his daily life, going to work, spending time with his family, going to church. However, the dreams, the creature, and the words of the man on the phone all loom over his mind. Eventually, he can't take it anymore and goes to motel on the bad side of town one night. There he is greeted by Doc Samson, and Angela Lipscombe, who tell him that their boss is waiting for him. Bruce goes upstairs and into the room 403. There he is shocked to find his Joe Fixit persona, however, Joe has seen better days. Emaciated and sickly, Fixit grimly laughs about how Banner can never forget about his old pal Joe.


Continuity Notes

  • 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 dreams about the accident that turned him into the Hulk, that happened in Incredible Hulk #1.

See Also


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