Appearing in "Tempest Fugit, Part 2"
Races and Species:
- Earth (Main story and flashback)
Synopsis for "Tempest Fugit, Part 2"
Teenaged Bruce Banner watches as his classmate Carla is being harassed by Ken, the local bully. Banner decides to get involved, despite the protests of the Hulk, who warns him that he is going to regret getting involved. When Banner tries to stand up to the bully, Ken hits him across the face with a metal lunch tray and he and his friends begin beating him up. Bruce calls to the Hulk for help, but the brute can only sit back and call him a jerk...
These are the memories going through Bruce Banner's unconscious mind as he is being dragged across the beach of Monster Island by Gwen and her friend Ripley, until they run into what appears to be the Gray Hulk. This Hulk is none too happy to see these intruders, and he is about to smash them when he recognizes Bruce Banner and demands that they hand him over. Ripley blasts the Hulk with his flamethrower. It's then that Bruce Banner wakes up and finds himself apparently face-to-face with the Hulk. As they flee, Banner tries to explain how it is impossible that they are being chased by the Hulk. They come to a ravine barring their path. Banner transforms into the Hulk and downs a tree so that Gwen and Ripley can get away. When Gwen asks the Hulk to help with Ripley, her sense of humor impresses the Hulk enough to help. Before he can he is attacked by the Gray Hulk. The impostor Hulk warns the real Hulk what happens when he tries to be a hero, causing the Hulk to think back to years earlier.
Bruce is hospitalized with three broken ribs, a broken nose, two black eyes, and a tooth knocked out from the beating he received in school. His Aunt Susan is worried sick, but the doctors assure him that he will recover. Sitting in the room, unseen by everyone but Bruce, the Hulk grumbles about smashing Aunt Sue if she doesn't stop worrying over him. Later, Susan Banner pays a visit to Mr. Guiness, the school principal, to complain. However, the principal refuses to do anything because it's Bruce's word against the other students. When she insists that something get done, Mr. Guiness asks her who the Hulk is.
The Hulk fights back against the impostor demanding answers as to who he really is and where they are. As the battle rages on, a mysterious being watches from monitor screens elsewhere on the island. However, he is less interested in the battle itself than in the memories it is bringing out in the Hulk's mind and continues viewing them.
Susan Banner is pressed by Mr. Guiness to tell him who the Hulk is. She reluctantly tells the principal that the Hulk is Bruce's imaginary friend. She goes on to talk about Bruce's troubled past, his abusive household, the murder of his mother and the institutionalization of his father. The Hulk was Bruce's way of creating the father figure he didn't have, and therapists tell her that it was a coping mechanism. Mr. Guiness tells Susan that Bruce still mutters to himself as though he is talking to the Hulk. He concludes by saying that ten years is a long time to have a coping mechanism. Susan brushes it off as Bruce acting out in a strange way so the other students leave him alone. That's when Mr. Guiness pulls out Bruce's notebook that was found in the lunch room. It contains strange equations that trouble him. However, Susan refuses to change Bruce's schools and warns him about anything else bad happening to Bruce again.
The battle between the two Hulks continues. The real Hulk gets the imposter in a headlock and demands that he talk. However, the Hulk applies too much pressure and snaps his foe's neck. The Hulk then struggles to keep the voice of Banner quiet in his mind. Suddenly, the imposter Hulk reverts back to its true form, one of the Mindless Ones of the Dark Dimension. As the Hulk examines the body, he is unaware of the form of Fin Fang Foom sneaking up behind him. Elsewhere, Gwen and Ripley have set up camp, and Ripley is certain that they have died, that they didn't survive the sinking ship. Gwen doesn't buy it, but they are interrupted by the arrival of General Thaddeus Ross.
- Bruce mentions that the Gray Hulk was the "first incarnation" of the Hulk. When Bruce first turned into the Hulk back in Incredible Hulk #1 the brute had gray skin. He later turned green in the following issue.
- Susan Banner goes over Bruce's troubled childhood up to that point: His abusive upbringing (seen in Incredible Hulk #312), the murder of his mother (seen in Incredible Hulk #377) and his father being committed to an insane asylum (in Incredible Hulk #403)
A flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters:
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