Appearing in "Hide In Plain Sight"
- Pamela Grayson (First appearance)
- Dr. David Zahn (First appearance)
- Warden C.J. Johnson (First appearance)
- Barbara Cummins (Only appearance)
- Judy Laughton (Only appearance; dies)
- Charlotte (Only appearance)
- Shirley Randal (Only appearance)
- Riley (Only appearance)
- NYPD (Only in flashback)
- New York
- New Jersey
- Abandoned cemetery
- Secret Prison Facility
- Abandoned cemetery
Synopsis for "Hide In Plain Sight"
A fugitive from the law, Bruce Banner has returned to New York City to lose himself among the millions of people in the city. There he catches a news report in an electronics shop window about how Dr. David Zhan has created a new plasma field prison cell in order to contain the Absorbing Man. He turns to a woman named Judy Laughton to remark how amazing this news is, unaware that she works at the facility that is holding the Absorbing Man. She tells him that he doesn't know the half of it before she goes down into the subway. There she runs into her friend Pamela Grayson. As they wait for the train, Judy reveals that she is engaged to get married and shows off her ring. As the train comes, Judy suddenly jumps in front of the train, an apparent suicide. However, in his cell, the Absorbing Man's grins, his eyes glowing. With the report over, Bruce Banner continues on his way.
Not long after, there is a report about the apparent suicide of Judy Laughton, when the news reaches her co-workers at the secret facility holding the Absorbing Man, located beneath an abandoned cemetery, they are all devastated by the news. The reporters on the scene interview her friend Pamela, who insists that she wasn't depressed. Warden C.J. Johnson tells people to investigate Grayson's background so that he can present a report to his people in Washington. However, Dr. Zhan suspects that the Absorbing Man had something to do with Judy's death. However, Johnson doesn't believe that is possible since the Absorbing Man has been tightly locked in his cell the whole time. Meanwhile, Bruce Banner is in a diner when he happens to see Pamela Grayson. Recognizing her from the news reports he sits down to talk to her, telling her that he had bumped into Judy moments before she jumped in front of the train. After leaving the diner, they continue their conversation as they walk into Central Park. As Pamela discusses how Judy had such a bright future ahead, they are unaware that some unsavory characters have begun to follow them.
While back at the prison, Dr. Zahn and Warden Johnson go over Judy's records and confirm that she had been in contact with Creel recently, however, Johnson points out that Carl hasn't said anything since being incarcerated in the facility. Elsewhere in the facility, a staff member named Shirly uncharacteristically begins to hit on her co-worker Randal. Not noticing that her eyes are glowing, Randal allows her to seduce him into a room where they can be private. Suddenly, Shirly returns to normal and the presence that was possessing her suddenly takes control of Randal. Shirly begins to panic while the malevolent presence attempts to rape her. However, before the worst can happen, Dr. Zahn and Warden Johnson happen to view the security footage and see the attack in progress and rush out to stop it.
Meanwhile, back in New York, Bruce and Pamela are confronted by a gang of muggers. Unafraid of these men, Bruce mocks them by suggesting that they should try on Pamela's lipstick. When they begin to rough him up, the evil presence takes control of Pamela and she fights off their attackers. When he asks how she learned to fight like that, the entity possessing her punches Banner. Back at the prison, Dr. Zahn and Warden Johnson pulls Shirley off of Randal, who is suddenly dumbfounded as to why she is attacking him. They have the guards take her to the medical bay while they question Randal. Much to their surprise, he has no memory of what happened. Johnson has had enough and will confer with Dr. Zahn later after he has interviewed the two technicians. Zhan then checks the security footage of Carl Creel, and sees that he is still sitting in his cell, grinning. Pamela is now free from the control of the being possessing her and apologizes for hitting Bruce. She has no memory of what happened and is surprised that Bruce was able to deal with the muggers. When he tells Pamela she was the one who fought them off, she doesn't recall it.
Back at the prison, an interview with Randal reveals that he knows nothing about his attack either. Dr. Zahn however, shows Warden Johnson that Creel's brainwaves are flat most of the day, except for around the time Judy died, and when Randal and Shirly got into their fight. Zhan theorizes that with Creel locked up he found a way to utilize his powers so that he can send his mind outwards and control other people. Johnson finds this idea preposterous and tells Zhan to find some other explanation. While in New York, Pamela becomes angry when Bruce questions her about having mind blanks before. She thinks he is suggesting that she pushed Pamela in front of the train and hits him with her purse and storms off. Bruce watches her go, but notices that she dropped one of business cards when she hit him and pockets it. Meanwhile, Dr. Zhan pulls a gun from his desk drawer and goes to confront the Absorbing Man in his cell.
- The appearance of the Absorbing Man here is due to a distortion of the timeline by Captain Marvel. As explained in Captain Marvel Vol 5 #18, this warp created two versions of the Absorbing Man. One which tried to reform after learning that Titania contracted cancer (as seen in Thor Vol 2 #55-56) while the one seen here is still a criminal. This "duplicate" of the Absorbing Man is merged with his other following the end of Incredible Hulk Vol 2 #59.
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