- Sheesh-- --if it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all!
- -- Thing
Appearing in "Passenger 75!"
- Unnamed lady
- FBI Agents
- Captain Yomtov (Death)
- Flight 36D
Synopsis for "Passenger 75!"
Having reverted back to his human form, Ben Grimm decides to take a short trip. As he is boarding a plane in New Jersey, he finds a woman sitting in his seat and has her move over. Thanking the woman, who is less than impressed with having to move over one seat, Ben recognizes her as the woman who she shared a cab with recently when he was forced to battle the Mad Thinker's Super-Android. Since she doesn't recognize him, Ben tries to strike up conversation with her mentioning how he is flying to Chicago to visit his Aunt Petunia and about how terrible the storm outside is. The woman next to him is less than impressed, leaving their second "first impression" a bad one. Ben's conversation is cut off when another passenger, just in from the storm, putting his dripping wet bags in the overhead compartment. When Ben complains, the other passenger tells him if that is the worst thing he has to endure this day, he is getting off lucky.
As the plane is taking off and the captain makes his pre-boarding announcement the plane the cockpit is suddenly sieged by hijackers armed with procillin guns that they were able to smuggle through airport security. The lead hijacker tells the pilot to take off without alerting Air Traffic Control of the situation. Meanwhile in the cabin, Ben continues in vein to try and strike up small talk with the gorgeous red-head sitting next to him. Suddenly the hijackers make their presence known and begin intimidating the passengers. When one of them tries to ask Ben if he plans on being a hero, he tells them that has no interest in causing them trouble because he is on his "honeymoon" with his "wife", the woman next to him is grossed out by this bold face lie, but Ben tells her not to air their "personal business" in front of everybody. As the hijackers tell the passengers to remain calm and confiscate their cell phones. The woman asks Ben what they should do, while Ben considers using the device in his pocket that allows him to change back into the Thing.
Meanwhile in the cockpit, the leader of the hijackers demands the pilot fly them to Mexico City, explaining that they are international fugitives wanted by the FBI. With the situation escalating, Ben convinces one of the hostage-takers to allow him to go to the washroom. There Ben activates the device to partially transform into the Thing to give him enough strength to rip through the floor into the cargo hold below. Reverting back into Ben Grimm, he then slips through the hole and waits. When the hijackers burst down the bathroom door and find the opening in the floor and follow after him. Instead of finding Ben Grimm, they instead find the Thing who easily dispatches the hijackers. The lone remaining hijacker in the cabin then begins harassing Ben's seat mate, but Ben comes bursting through the floor. When he tries to subdue the man, he fires his gun. Although the bullet bounces off Ben's hide, it ricochets around the cabin. Realizing that any more stray shots could either depressurize the cabin or hit one of the other passengers, Ben has no choice but to let the lone hijacker join his leaders in the cockpit.
When the pilot suffers a heart attack, it distracts the lead highjacker long enough for Ben to swat his shooting arm away, the blast from his gun shatters the windshield of the cock pit and the air pressure sucks the terrorist out of the plane. Forcing everyone into the cabin and closing the cockpit door, Ben uses his skills as a test pilot and instructions from Air Traffic Control in New Jersey to safely land the plane. Once they have landed, Ben tells the FBI what happened when he is suddenly greeted by his seatmate and is thanked for saving everyone's lives with a kiss. She tells Ben that if he ever comes to Los Angeles to look her up, telling him that she has auditioned for the LA Philharmonic. As the woman leaves to catch her connecting plane, Ben realizes that he never learned her name making it impossible that he could ever find her again.
- Ben is able to change back and forth between his human and Thing form thanks to a device the Fantastic Four recovered in Fantastic Four #403-404. The device that Ben uses in this issue to allow him to do this remotely from the device is only used this issue and is never seen again. Which is just as well since Ben sacrifices the device for Mister Fantastic to use during the Onslaught crisis in Fantastic Four #416.
- The readheaded woman sitting next to Ben is the same woman he met back in Fantastic Four: Unplugged #1.
- Although the female FBI agent has blonde hair both she and her partner are drawn to resemble actors Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny. The pair played the roles of FBI agents Dana Skully and Fox Mulder on the television series the X-Files, a television series about two FBI agents who investigate unsolved cases outside of the FBI's mainstream, usually dealing with the paranormal. This is why the Thing is trying to convince them that the hijacking had nothing to do with "aliens". This joke is topical to the date of publication as this comic was published during the the height of the X-File's popularity in the early 90s.
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