Appearing in "Brain Dead"
Synopsis for "Brain Dead"
When the Absorbing Man mastered the ability to possess the minds of others, he takes control of a little girl and murders her family and then threatens to harm the child if Bruce Banner doesn't assist in breaking him out of prison. Surrounded by the New York Police Department, Bruce has no other choice but to comply. The officers shoot the knife that Creel thrust into Banner's hand. He then approaches the officers and demands to be allowed to take a police car and leave, threatening to turn into the Hulk and warning them that their bullets will put the child in danger. With ten seconds to make their decision, the officers stand down and give Banner what he wants. He then uses the radio to try and call Pamela on her cell phone to let her know where he is going. At the home of her friend Judy Grayon, one of Creel's victims, Pamela is just hung up on by the prison where the Absorbing Man's body is being contained as they do not believe her story that Creel is now able to possess bodies. Bruce gets through and tells her his plan and to contact the prison before abruptly hanging up. Since she has already tried this, and knowing Bruce's general location, she takes Judy's car out to try and find him.
Before Bruce can leave, one of the officers gets over eager and tries to shoot Banner. He wings the rogue scientist's shoulder, prompting a transformation into the Hulk. The Hulk scatters the officers before reverting back into Banner and leaving with the little girl that Creel is possessing. They flee the scene just as Pamela arrives and goes to higher ground. She spots them as they are fleeing the scene and continues on their trail. Back at the prison, Dr. David Zhan is confined to quarters by Warden Johnson who has heard enough about the Absorbing Man taking possession of human bodies. To prove this theory ridiculous, Johnson is going to inspect Creel himself, despite warnings from Dr. Zhan. While back in New York, Creel leads Banner to a train station where he has him purchase a ticket to Vicksburg, New Jersey, the location of the secret holding facility. After slipping past train security unrecognized their cover is almost blown when another child almost recognizes Bruce. However, they are joined by Pamela, who managed to get on the train as well. They relocate to the meal car, where Creel learns that Pamela is coming to avenge the death of her friend Judy. However, Creel is confident that he will use the Hulk to break him out of prison. Soon they arrive in Vicksburg, where not far way, Carl Creel's body is being contained.
- 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.
- Cover art: credits give special thanks to Michael O'Connor.
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