Appearing in "The Mesozoic Mambo!"
- Fantastic Four
- US Army troops
- Lieutenant Glazer
Races and Species:
- Earth (Main story and flashback)
Synopsis for "The Mesozoic Mambo!"
The Fantastic Four are traveling through the timestream in their Time-Sled on their way back home after a mission in time and space. However instead of reappearing at the Four Freedoms Plaza like they intended they are transported to a remote Pacific Island where they are forced to crash land. Recovering from the crash the group notices that Ms. Marvel has been knocked out. Upon closer examination they notice that Sharon's hair is growing back, suggesting that her powers are somehow fading away and she is returning to human form. Suddenly they are surrounded by American soldiers who surround them and order the group to stand down. When Reed, Johnny and Sue try to defend themselves they realize that their powers are also gone. They try to identify themselves, but the commanding officer -- Lieutenant Glazer -- isn't entirely convinced who they are. While Reed tries to explain himself, he also notes he's not sure if they are even on the right world right now.
Before they can discuss things further they are suddenly attacked by a massive dinosaur. Quick thinking, Reed grabs one of the soldiers guns during the panic and orders them to fire in the monster's mouth in order to strike its brain and kill it. When this doesn't work, Ben goes to his briefcase of advanced weapons and puts together a blaster that blows the dinosaur's head off. Confused as to how US soldiers and dinosaurs could exist in the same period, Reed asks what is going on. Lt. Glazer explains how they were out on a mission out of Fort Bragg to Guam when they were suddenly attacked by a pterodactyl. With their plane damaged they were forced to parachute out and landed on this island besieged with dinosaurs and have been trapped on the island ever since. While this story is being told, Sharon wakes up and is surprised to see that she is a normal woman again.
Still unsure if the heroes are the real Fantastic Four or not, a tentative truce is made and they all agree to work together, although Glazer warns his men to keep an eye on Ben Grimm and his weapon for the time being. They all hike to the summit of a nearby volcano to get a better look of the land, confirming they are trapped on an island with no other land in sight. Spotting a herd of Sauropods being attacked by a pack of Deinoychus, they decide to pull back so their scents are not picked up. Back in the jungles, they make their way back to the ruins of the Time-Sled, but a massive dinosaur is blocking their path. Instead, Glazer suggests that they pull back and set up some lean-tos on higher ground where they can be safe for the night.
They finish setting up camp around dusk, as Ben and Reed assess the situation, Grimm decides to spend some time alone with Sharon. Before he goes he leaves his gun in Reed's care, pointing out that the soldiers are pretty twitchy right now. Given some privacy, Sharon admits that she is enjoying being a real woman again after so long of being afraid of her femininity and since she was transformed into a She-Thing. However she tells him that she is afraid to lose her new found humanity and him in the process. Ben reassures her that he will love her no matter how she appears and the pair share a kiss.
The following morning, the camp is disturbed by the arrival of a triceratops that charges into camp. Acting quickly, Reed uses his uniform like a bullfighters cape to lure the giant dinosaur out of their camp. They are far from safe however as they are soon attacked by a pack of velocoraptors. Everyone grabs a gun to fend the creatures off, while Johnny tries to use a burning log from the fire to stop the creatures. Sue meanwhile is given Ben's gun, but it too soon runs out of ammunition rending it useless. When it seems that the battle is lost, Ben suddenly comes crashing in wearing his Thing exo-skeleton and easily sends the creatures packing. Even though Ben shows them that his Thing form is really a suit of armor, Glazer and his men are convinced that they are really the Fantastic Four.
After Reed borrows a spare uniform from the soldiers they begin to make their way back to the ruins of the Time-Sled. However they are surprised when they suddenly find that part of the island simply vanished over night. Reed comes to the horrible truth: that the island is comprised of various different pre-historic eras and that each section of the island will eventually disappear, and unless they find a way off, they too will fade away another time period.
- Unknown to all the Fantastic Four and the soldiers were purposely trapped on the island by the Time Variance Authority, as revealed next issue. The TVA is also responsible for the loss of the Fantastic Four's powers.
- This is the first time Sharon has been reverted to human form since she was first mutated by Cosmic Rays in Fantastic Four #310.
- Sharon's insecurities about being human again are based on the following:
- Much earlier, Sharon was raped by minions of Karl Malus in Captain America #330–331. This caused her to be afraid of men, which caused problems when she initially joined the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four #307.
- Eventually she was mutated into a She-Thing by cosmic rays in Fantastic Four #310
- Although she was suicidal at first in Fantastic Four #311, Sharon eventually came to terms with her transformation in Fantastic Four #312. Later she and Ben formed a relationship in Fantastic Four #317, due to the fact that they were both Things.
- Ben was restored to human form in Fantastic Four #326, leading to some tension between the two over Ben's comfort being human again, and Sharon's desire to remain a She-Thing.
- Some facts about Ben Grimm in this issue:
- Ben lost his powers some time prior to their arrival on this island in Fantastic Four #326, they remain lost until he purposely transforms himself again in Fantastic Four #350.
- Later on in this story he wears an exoskeleton based on his Thing form. This is based off the original that was constructed for Ben back in Fantastic Four #168 that he wore until it was destroyed in Fantastic Four #175 when Galactus forced Ben to resume his Thing form.
- Ben recently started wearing the exo-skeleton in battle on occasion beginning in Fantastic Four Annual #22.
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