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|“||You see, I became bored with hunting animals. That's why I prefer to hunt men. You have an intellect. That's what makes you a challenge. Oh and David, if it helps think of chess. Like in chess, think twice about everything you do because unlike chess, when this game is over, the board can't be set up again.||„|
|~ Michael Sutton to David Banner about his "game"|
Michael Sutton is the main antagonist of the Incredible Hulk episode "The Snare".
He was portrayed by the late Bradford Dillman.
Michael Sutton was a rich and retired game hunter who owned his own private island, where he kept other animals he had imported to kill for himself. He seemed to be motivated out of sadism, given that he had decided at one point, he was bored with hunting animals and had preferred to hunt men instead. He would follow whatever man he could and seems to pick them based on their intellect, due to the fact that they make it a challenge for him. He'd test their intellect by playing chess with them and then appear to them as a friendly individual simply inviting them over for the night. Once they'd get there, he'd take a picture of them to hang it on his wall. After having dinner with them, he'd drug their drinks, causing them to fall asleep, and then take them to the hole he'd bury them in once he killed them. After waiting a while to get ready and for them to wake up, he'd begin hunting them and put them through several deadly obstacles and traps as he does so. Through each obstacle, he'd give them a recording machine of him giving hints as to how they can survive each obstacle. He had succeeded at least 5 times, and buried them in his own personal graveyard. Although he'd supply them with food and weapons in preparation for his "game", he did not play fair, and this trait of his hinted to have been the reason as to why he'd always "win".
Michael intends to continue his game with David Banner once he meets him at an airport. Sutton seems impressed with David's chess skills and sees the challenge in him. Therefore, he invites him over to his island after David's flight has been cancelled. Once they get there, he repeats the first process of the game, by drugging him over dinner and putting him in his future grave hole, next to the graves of all of his other victims. David manages to survive the first obstacle, and even avoids getting caught in Michael's net. However, this turns out to only be a decoy and he falls into his real trap, a pit. As he tries to get out, he gets stung by a scorpion and this causes him to Hulk out. He then gets out of the hole, and overpowers Michael (who is in great awe of the beast) enough to escape. When he reforms back, Michael cuts the motor to his boat so David can't get away. David watches him do so from a cliff and heads over to Michael's house in search of more food, only to discover that Michael had prepared for this and trapped him in his living room. Each of the doors and windows are blocked, and David has to find a key to one of them, while avoiding several other deadly traps in doing so. He's also given a time limit of 5 minutes to find it before Michael comes in and kills him. Michael waits for the time limit to reach as he watches David searching through the door's peephole, laughing as he does so. While listening to the recording Michael had placed in the room, he is given a hint as the where to key is: "When it comes to chess, I could write the book". David searches in a chess piece for the key, but to no avail. He then concludes that the key is inside a fake book of chess. He manages to find it to get out, avoiding any traps, just before Michael comes in. Michael then yells for David, telling him how impressed he was with the monster he turned into, and demands that he bring it back to fight him.
Once Michael arms himself with poisoned arrows and more equipment to get the job done easier, he tracks David down, only to find one of his recording machines. David had left it there, with his own recording of how Michael is not a true hunter, but a coward, given how a real hunter plays fair. He concludes that Michael only cares about winning, and is afraid of a fair game. Michael nearly tracks David down, but is caught in one of his own traps. However, he escapes it and chases him up to a cliff. David insists that the game is over, but Michael refuses to let him go until he's transformed into the beast, so he can kill it. David refuses to do so. Michael concludes that pain is what causes him to transform, so he whips David with the intent of making him change. He succeeds in doing so, but not before David trips and yanks the whip, only to make Michael fall and get struck in the leg by one of his poisoned darts. He attempts to kill the Hulk, but is slowly dying from his wound. He then dies, falls off the cliff, and into the river. The Hulk jumps in and carries him out.
Once he changes back, David buries Michael in the hole that was left for him. He crosses his name of the cardboard gravestone and puts Michael's above it. He then arrives at the rescue boat, and plays the last recording machine Michael had left for him on the dock. Fortunately, he suspects something suspicious of it, and sails off in the boat as it's playing on the dock, in just enough time to get away from it before it stops recording and explodes.
- Michael Sutton's character is inspired by General Zaroff- who was also a rich game hunter who would lure men to island where he would put them through deadly obstacles before he'd kill them.
- Some fans have speculated that Sutton is based on Kraven the Hunter given he is another Marvel Comics character who also happens to be inspired by General Zaroff. Whether or not this was the creators' intention remains unknown.
- He is one of the few villains on the show to have been killed by David Banner/the Hulk, even if it was by accident.