Brian Banner is an alcoholic who married his college sweetheart: Rebecca Banner, and had a son named Bruce. Brian is known to have a violent past. He and his mother were physically and emotionally abused by his father. He believed he inherited a "monster gene" from his father, as he later passes the "gene" to Bruce.
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For years, Brian hated both his son and wife because of the fact that Rebecca had showed more love to Bruce then himself when Bruce was a baby. Though he promised himself never to have children despite the fact he accidentally impregnated Rebecca. Thus, she gives birth to Bruce.
When Bruce reached his middle childhood, Brian went insane and killed Rebecca. Knowing Bruce had seen him do it. Brian warned his son strictly that if they went to court, he must lie in order to get out of this situation. Bruce is threatened that if he tells the truth, he would go to Hell. When the father-son duo visit court Bruce did what his father told him to do so Brian could slip out. It wasn't long before police officers had Bruce tell the truth. Soon enough, Brian is sent to a mental institution as he lashes out at his son in fury thanks to Bruce telling the truth.
Brian later returns to visit Bruce after spending 15 years in the institution, but he isn't aware that his son became the rampaging monster known as the Hulk. However, the visit becomes short-lived as Bruce engages in a fight with his father in a cemetery. Bruce knocks Brian out, causing him to fall on the tombstone of the recently-deceased Rebecca Banner and the force of the tombstone cracks his head open, killing him instantly.
Sometime later, Bruce's alter ego, the Hulk, is haunted by the ghost of Brian who is currently a member of the population of people gone to Hell. However, when Bruce visits Hell, he had enough of his father haunting him and the Hulk. So he stands up to his father by beating him up before getting back to the normal world.
Much later, Bruce reveals that he could have easily avoided killing his father with the blow that knocked him toward the tombstone, but didn't. During The Chaos War, Brian came back from the dead as a servant of The Chaos King, who had given him the power to transform into The Guilt Hulk at will, and captured both his ressurrected wife Rebecca and their son's gamma-irradiated alter ego, The Hulk.
Though Brian has no powers and he is a mere human, when he was Resurrection in chaos war, he became a creature that resembled the guilt/beast hulk, and since the dead gain powers according to how the living feel about them, he was gaining strength form his sons Bruce Banners hatred.
Brian Banner (renamed "David") appears as the main antagonist in Ang Lee's 2003 Hulk film, played by Oscar-winner Nick Nolte for most of the movie and by Paul Kersey as a young man in flashbacks. In the film, David was once a brilliant geneticist who performed unauthorized experiments on himself in order to unlock mankind's true potential, and the changes to his DNA were later passed on to his son, Bruce. Enraged over having his research project shut down by Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross, David destroyed his research and attempted to kill Bruce, realizing that the boy was not normal. The incident instead led to the accidental death of David's wife, which resulted in Bruce being sent to a foster family and David being imprisoned in a mental institution.
Decades later, David is released from the institution, and begins stalking his now-adult son, who has now been mutated even further by an accident involving gamma rays. Believing Bruce's new Hulk persona to be his "true son," David sets out to test him, and eventually tries to recreate the accident that created the creature. Instead of becoming a Hulk, the experiment grants David the ability to absorb and assimilate various forms of matter, in effect making him this continuity's version of the Absorbing Man (though that name is never once used in the film; Ang Lee later referred to David as The Partaking Man in the audio commentary for the DVD release, though that name is not used in the movie either). David uses his new powers to battle the Hulk, but is ultimately destroyed after absorbing too much of the creature's gamma radiation.
- An action figure of David Banner in his Absorbing Man-inspired form was included in ToyBiz's line for the 2003 Hulk movie.