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Bruce Banner (Earth-9602)

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Bruce Banner was a scientist experimenting with radiation. An experiment he was working on went horribly wrong, however, and fused him with the elemental entity known as Solomon Grundy. The fusion between Banner and Solomon Grundy became known only as the Skulk. After a confrontation with Doctor Strangefate, Strangefate showed Skulk that he could keep the Skulk in his human form with the use of magic. The Skulk agreed to work as an agent for Doctor Strangefate in return for Strangefate keeping Skulk in the form of Bruce Banner most of the time.

Doctor Strangefate, fearing that Access (Axel Asher) will break up the Amalgam Universe into its original two universes decides to capture and exterminate him. He has his servant Myx mystically teleport three agents into his Sanctum. They were Jade Nova, Skulk and the White Witch. [1]

When Jade Nova protested against teaming up with the other agents, Skulk asked why did they had to go through this same routine from her every time. While the two female agents asked more questions about questions about Access and their mission, Skulk was more interested in the plans Strangefate had for their target. He asked whether Strangefate intended to imprison Access in Arkham. His master responded that he had in mind a more "severe" solution. Skulk remained silent for the rest of the meeting with Strangefate. Myx then teleported the agents away. [1]

Skulk was the first of the three to locate and approach Access. At this point, Skulk (still in human form) approached from the shadows. He mused that Access looked lost and alone in the world. He claimed that he knew what that was like, being an outcast and being hunted. He offered to help Access with this and grabbed one of the younger man's arms. Access seemed both scared and annoyed, asking Skulk to stay away. Skulk briefly stood back. He monologued that it would have been so much easier if Access would just come along. Then it would not have come to "this", but "it always does". He then transformed to a monster-like form and attacked with brute strength. [1]

Access run from him and stumbled into Jade Nova. Skulk reached Access again and the two agents started co-operating. Skulk lifted Access up and thew him against nearby trashcans. He proclaimed "Skulk smash". Then Jade Nova used her energy powers to immobilize Access. Access teleported away, leaving the two agents behind. Skulk asked if this was not good. [1] The activities of the agents afterwards are unknown. The White Witch believed that they were still roaming New Gotham City and looking for Access. [1]

A mysterious villain started destroying the Amalgam Universe's Earth, the destruction wave going city by city. Lobo the Duck awoke in the ruins of Manhattan. He found himself the last survivor among those who attempted to rescue the city. He found remains of dead heroes, among them the Mask of Doctor Strangefate. He never found the remains of Skulk but counted him among the dead. [2] The villain responsible for the death of the heroes was revealed to be the Gold Kidney-Lady. [2]

Powers

  • All the powers of Hulk and Solomon Grundy
  • Bruce Banner can shapeshift from his regular human form to that of the Skulk at will. Unknown if his transformation back to human form is also controlled by himself.

Abilities

All the abilities of Hulk and Solomon Grundy

Strength level

Unknown

Weaknesses

None known


  • The limits and exact nature of Skulk's powers are unknown. He is partly based on Solomon Grundy. The super-strong Grundy is a re-animated corpse and has been called both one of the undead and a zombie. He is mystically connected to the swamp where he died and was reborn. Whenever he dies, the swamp gives life to a new incarnation of the character. The personality, level of intelligence, and power limits of the character varies over the decades, the explanation being that each incarnation is different. Personality-wise he has been portrayed as a serial killer, a super-villain, an antihero, and an assistant to heroes. His intellect varies from being simple-minded and child-like to having at least the average intellect of an adult. Strength-wise, he has went from being overpowered from groups of non-superhuman opponents to matching the strength of Superman.
  • Unlike most incarnations of the Hulk, where the transformation from Banner to Hulk is involuntary, Skulk seems to control his transformation. He does appear, however, to try to resolve a situation without shapeshifting and monologues that he would like to avoid the transformation.
  • In human form, Bruce Banner is a scruffy-looking figure, dressed in an overcoat. A few DC readers have suggested that this seems to resemble supernatural detective John Constantine. Constantine is almost never clean-shaven and keeps wearing a trenchcoat. He has even teamed-up with other characters who share his fashion sense in the Trenchcoat Brigade.
  • Skulk seems to have a friendly relationship with Jade Nova. This probably derives from the partnership of their DC counterparts Solomon Grundy and Jade while they served in Infinity, Inc..
  • The last appearance of Skulk so far has been his apparent death in Lobo the Duck Vol #1. However the canonicity of the story has been questioned by several websites which cover the Amalgam characters. The entire story belongs to the genre of Apocalyptic fiction, with the Amalgam Universe's major cities destroyed, its heroes dead, and planet Earth about to collide with the Moon. There are theories that the story takes place in a near-future alternate universe of Earth-9602.

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