Appearing in "A Mind of His Own"
- New York
- New Jersey
- Abandoned cemetery
- Secret Prison Facility
- Abandoned cemetery
Synopsis for "A Mind of His Own"
On the George Washington Bridge, Bruce Banner is forced to turn into the Hulk in order to save the life of Pamela Grayson from a speeding truck. However, this has made him vulnerable to the Absorbing Man, who has been able to take over people's minds while he is incarcerated in a secret prison beneath a cemetery in New Jersey. Creel, possessing Hulk's body, grabs Pamela just as police arrive and order the Hulk to drop the woman. Pamela warns the Absorbing Man that his scheme won't work because he is trying to take control of two minds: that of Bruce Banner and the Hulk. However, as he attacks the police, Carl Creel is confident that he can maintain control of this body. Pamela tries to reach the mind of Bruce Banner, which doesn't work until she is winged by an officer's bullet, causing Banner's mind to come to the fore. While back at the prison Dr. David Zahn tries to convince Warden Johnson that Creel is possessing people's minds, that he did so to make David shoot a guard, and then have the Warden cover it up. However, Johnson doesn't believe the story because Creel's possession causes his victims to have memory blanks, but it leaves Zahn to wonder whose mind the Absorbing Man is possessing now.
Meanwhile, Bruce Banner finds himself trapped deep inside his mind. Creel begins to talk to him, telling him to flee through a door in his mind. With no other choice and seeking to escape the black void in which he is trapped, he enters the doorway to find himself in a long hallway. Banner crosses the hall to find the other door locked. As Creel mocks him, the room begins filling up with water. Bruce suddenly realizes that Creel has made him jump into the Hudson River and his only chance to avoid drowning is to fight free of Creel's mind control. The ploy works and Bruce manages to get to the surface before he drowns. Bruce realizes that Creel saved his life because he isn't finished with the Hulk yet. While on the bridge, Pamela explains what happened to the officers who arrived on the scene. Instead of being taken home, Pamela has the officers take her to the home of Judy Laughton, her best friend who worked at the prison where Creel is being contained, who was forced to jump in front of a subway train. She convinces the landlord to let her into Judy's apartment so she can snoop around for clues to the location of the secret prison where Creel is being held. She finds a confidential file and a phone number to the prison. Pamela uses it to call Dr. Zahn who is about to be taken away by the guards for some rest, on order from Warden Johnson. When Pamela insists that she talk to David, he tells the guards to wait a moment.
At that moment, Bruce Banner is running along the warehouse district when he comes across a car. The passengers are dead, their throats cut, and he is horrified to see that Creel has taken possession of a little girl and forced her to murder her parents. Meanwhile, Pamela tries to warn Dr. Zahn about the danger Carl Creel possesses, but Warden Johnson has had enough and ends the phone call. Creel forces Banner to follow his orders by threatening to cut the little girl's throat if he doesn't comply. When the police arrive on the scene, Creel thrusts the knife into Banner's hands, making the officers think that he is threatening the little girl.
- 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.
- Carl Creel mentions how Banner killed Ricky Myers. The general public has believed that the Hulk was responsible for killing the boy in Chicago since Incredible Hulk Vol 2 #34. However, this was a hoax perpetrated by Home Base as revealed in Incredible Hulk Vol 2 #47.
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