Synopsis for “And Now, the Absorbing Man”
As the Hulk wanders, he tries to remember what he was doing, having vague recollections of his alter ego’s near-marriage Betty Ross. However, the memories cause him great emotional pain, sending Hulk on a rampage, scaring off some beach-goers before passing out and reverting back into Bruce Banner.
Meanwhile, at a California Air Force base, Major Talbot is called in, receiving word that a highly radioactive comet is heading toward Earth. He reports this to General Ross, recuperating in the hospital after an injury from the Hulk. Glenn tells General Ross and Betty of the impending danger. Ross orders Talbot to call in all available troops.
Miles away, Bruce revives, overhearing on an abandoned radio of the danger and rushes towards the base. Surrendering to the military and offering his aid, Talbot agrees to let Banner pilot the new X-890 nuclear warhead to destroy the comet. Succeeding, Bruce takes aboard an unknown stowaway: The Absorbing Man, exiled to the comet some time after his last battle against Thor. As the rocket returns to Earth, the Absorbing Man tries to attack Banner in the cockpit. Seeing the Absorbing Man in the rear monitor, Bruce is upset enough to transform into the Hulk. The two fight on the rocket until it crashes into the Earth.
The crash doesn’t phase the two combatants, the Absorbing Man relying on his powers to best the Hulk in combat. During the fight, the Absorbing Man continues to absorb the Hulk’s strength, turning it against him. Knocking him out, the Absorbing Man is about to crush the Hulk with a portion of mountainside. However, the Hulk reverts back to Banner, causing the Absorbing Man to instead absorb Banner’s lesser strength. Unable to support the weight, the stone begins to crumble as Absorbing Man frantically reapplies properties. Reacting too late, he breaks into pieces. Getting away but knocked unconscious by the shockwaves, Bruce Banner is safe from danger… except, who are these people watching from the shadows?