Appearing in "Simetry"
- Hulk (Bruce Banner) (Main story and flashback)
- State Troopers
- Clancy (First appearance)
Races and Species:
- Missouri (Only in flashback)
- St. Louis (Only in flashback)
- St. Louis (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "Simetry"
On the run from the law, Bruce Banner hops off a train in the small town of Simetry, California. He slips into a diner and orders a coffee. The waitress gives him a free slice of pie, courtesy of the owner, who thinks he could use it, saying it must be his lucky day. A man suddenly sits in Bruce's booth, and says that it's not likely. The man knows who Bruce is, saying that he was there during the gamma bomb explosion that turned Banner into the Hulk. Bruce doesn't buy the man's story, pointing out that the only other person there that day was Rick Jones. The man also says he was there on the day in St. Louis when Bruce gave the young man named Jerome a talk about responsibility. He then informs Bruce that Jerome is a top-honor freshman at Missouri State. It's then that the stranger notices that Bruce is paying close attention to the State Troopers sitting at the lunch counter, assuring him that the officers are not interested in him...yet. The man then goes on to tell Bruce about a fated even later this evening where an abusive husband comes home and, thinking his wife was cheating on him, murders her with a knife. Bruce listens to this story, but has no interest in believing that he will intervene in such a situation. Bruce then asks the man's name, and he says he is a "clairy" named Even Matthews. He suddenly pulls a gun out on Bruce and tells him to follow him outside, saying the diner is not a place to discuss things should Banner happen to turn into the Hulk.
Outside, Even hands Bruce the gun, telling him to check if it is loaded. Bruce fires it at a tree, snapping it at the trunk. Even takes the gun back and then shockingly places it to his temple. When he pulls the trigger there is a dry click as it lands on an empty chamber. He explains that "lady fate" chooses when people live or die, and for him, his fate is to die of cancer. He explains that he once went to see a fortune-teller years ago and was told his fate and attempted to change it, but to no avail. As they are being surrounded by state troopers, Even asks Bruce what he believes in. Bruce tells the man that he believes in the school of hard knocks. As the officers converge around them, Even expresses his surprise that Bruce hasn't asked him how he will die. As Bruce changes into the Hulk, Even tells him that the woman that will be murdered can be found at 1313 Elm Street. As the Hulk fights off the officers, Even explains that he is a federal agent, and that he tried to warn the police who said they would look into it, and is sure that the Hulk can stop it from happening. The Hulk asks how he can be so sure his track record will be perfect, but Matthews says he hopes he doesn't. When Banner reverts back to human form and tries to walk away, Even Matthews pulls a gun and fires it at him.
Later, in a hotel room, Even and a trooper watch over the unconscious body of the Hulk. After higher authorities are contacted, the trooper goes out for a smoke break, leaving Matthews alone with Bruce Banner. Even revives Banner and explains that if he doesn't stop this murder, he will be taken to a California holding tank by the authorities. He arranges for Banner to escape, telling him to save the woman's life but recommends he does so without turning into the Hulk. Sneaking out of the fire escape, Bruce tries to slip past the state troopers posted outside. He is spotted by some of the officers and easily subdues them by channeling the Hulk's strength through his body. Bruce then steals a squad car and uses it to drive to Elm Street. He smashes into the house and stops the man before he can commit his crime. However, Bruce discovers that this was all a ruse. The killer "husband" is none other than Evan Matthews, and his intended "victim" is a mannequin. Bruce explains that he figured everything out and that Matthews was looking for Banner -- not the Hulk -- to come in and kill him in an act of self-defence. With his attempt at controlling fate ruined, Even asks Banner why he didn't pull the trigger. Bruce explains that no matter what kind of fate one believes, they should always have hope. With that Even, suggests that Bruce leave town and Banner takes the next train out of town.
- Banner's origins are recounted as it was originally told in Incredible Hulk #1.
- First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
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