Appearing in "Hide in Plain Sight Part 5"
- Prison Guards
- United States of America
- Somewhere in Asia
Synopsis for "Hide in Plain Sight Part 5"
Having mastered the ability to possess the bodies of others, the Absorbing Man is forcing Bruce Banner and his ally Pamela Grayson to break him out of a secret prison facility by threatening the life of a little girl. Their travels take them to an abandoned cemetery in the town of Vicksburg, New Jersey, where the facility is secretly hidden. Once they arrive, Creel explains that after digging around in the mind of Dr. David Zahn, he has learned the weakness of the plasma energy field that the doctor invented to contain him. Creel explains that its weakness is at the top and it will shut down if the Hulk were to dig down and land on top of it. However, Banner points out that he can't just turn the Hulk on and off. With no other way to get out of this situation, Bruce has the Absorbing Man agree to let Pamela go when he is back in his own body. However, instead of using the Hulk, Banner channels the brute's strength through his own body to dig the hole needed to get down to Creek's cell. As the perimeter alarm begins to go off, Banner comes crashing in through the ceiling and into Creel's cell. During the confusion, Dr. Zahn manages to break out of confinement in his quarters to see what's going on.
Instead of pulling the Absorbing Man's body out of his cell, Bruce begins beating on it. This forces the Absorbing Man to let go of his possession of the little girl. This happens just as the warden orders the plasma field turned off. With Creel back in his body, Banner turns into the Hulk. In response, the Absorbing Man absorbs the mass of equipment in order to increase his size and strength. As the two battle to the surface, Warden Johnson notices that Dr. Zahn is mortally wounded. Unable to speak, Zahn touches his forehead before dying. When Pamela and the little girl jump into the facility to get away from the Hulk and Absorbing Man, they find Warden Johnson. When he tells Pamela Zahn's dying message she comes up with a means of defeating the Absorbing Man. They haul David's body up to the surface and there, Pamela tricks the Absorbing Man into thinking that there are plasma fields all around the facility and that nobody knows how to navigate or shut them off other than Dr. Zahn. With the Hulk knocked out and reverted back to Bruce Banner, the Absorbing Man sees no harm in plucking the information from the mind of the scientist. However, when he tries to possess Zahn's body, he discovers to his horror, that Zahn is dead. With no mind to control, the Absorbing Man becomes trapped in Zahn's decaying mine while is body dissolves to nothing. With the battle over, Bruce Banner says his goodbyes to Pamela before heading back into the city before the authorities can find him.
Although everyone believes the Absorbing Man to be dead, this is not the case, as somewhere in Asia a couple celebrate the arrival of their newborn child. Unknown to them, the childs eyes are glowing, a telltale sign that he has been possessed by the Absorbing Man.
- 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 this issue.
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