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Appearing in "Rage"

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Synopsis for "Rage"

The Wrecker is looking for his old teammate Thunderball, seeking revenge after he betraying him. He has paid a man named Weasel for information on where he is being taken. Weasel informs the Wrecker that Thunderball is being taken to a safe house at 7133 Yancey Street by Code: Blue agents. With the information he needs, the Wrecker decides to kill Weasel instead of paying him so that nobody will know what he is planning.

At that very moment a very morose Ben Grimm is walking through his old neighborhood thinking about how being a monster not only sets himself apart from the rest of humanity, but also his teammates in the Fantastic Four as well. This has led to recent thoughts about quitting the Fantastic Four. His walk takes him to the old apartment building where he used to grow up at 7135 Yancy Street and he decides to go inside and reminisce. Just as Ben enters the apartment building, an armored van pulls up next door and out emerges a heavily armed Code: Blue tactical unit along with Elliot Franklin, formally known as Thunderball. Without his powers and aware that the Wrecker is out to get him, Elliot fears that even hiding him in this secluded safe house will not keep the Wrecker away.

Inside the building next door, Ben begins reliving memories, like the time he came upon his brother Dan making out with a girl in the hallway. When he passes a specific wall he recalls how he once wrote "Yancy Street Gange 4 Ever" on the wall and was slapped by his father for it. Ben briefly wonders if his old tag is still there under all the years of new paint and plaster. Ben then decides to see if his old family apartment is occupied and goes to knock on the door, but hesitates for a moment remembering what he looks like and how the current tenants might react upon the sight of him. Before he can walk away, a woman opens the door thinking it is her son Miguel. Upon seeing the Thing she begins to scream, Ben tries to diffuse the situation when the woman's father arrives with a baseball bat ready to defend his home. It's not until the couple's child, Raul, comes to the door and recognizes who Ben is and is excited that a famous super-hero -- one that grew up on Yancy Street no less -- has come to visit their home.

Raul then convinces his parents to allow Ben to come into their home. Once inside, Ben relives memories of his mothers cooking and his brother's late night meetings with the Yancy Street Gang. He is lost in thought for a moment and is snapped back to reality when Raul convinces his parents to allow the Thing to stay over for dinner. Sitting down to the meal, Ben can't help but be humbled how these impoverished people can share what little they have with him, making him wonder if there is perhaps something special about Yancy Street after all.

Meanwhile outside, a group of youths have their stick-ball game interrupted when the Wrecker suddenly emerges from beneath a manhole cover. As he makes his way down the street, armed Code: Blue guards on the rooftops try to gun him down, but their weapons have no effect on the magically enhanced criminal. As he wades through the onslaught, the Wrecker recalls how he and his Wrecking Crew were a team, up until Thunderball betrayed him. He recalls how the group was recently defeated by the Avengers, causing all the Crew's power to transfer back to him. When the Wrecker later tried to free Elliot from prison, his former partner tried to kill him with electricity. He recalls how he would have killed Elliot had Spider-Woman not have informed the Wrecker that his mother was on her deathbed. With his mothers death and her final affairs behind him, the Wrecker is now looking to settle an old score.

Arriving at the safe house, the Wrecker fights through the last of the soldiers then strikes the building with his mystical crowbar, causing the building to topple onto the one next door. This causes the former home of Ben Grimm to collapse as well. Digging himself out of the rubble, Ben digs out as many people as he can, but he is upset to find that not everyone was going to make it out alive. While Ben continues his rescue efforts, the Wrecker breaches the hidden chamber where Elliot is being kept prisoner. Down below, Elliot has prepared for his foe and attacks him with his metal bedframe, which as been electrified by a nearby wall-outlet and a wire. This only momentarily stuns the Wrecker who then swats the frame away, removing Franklin's only form of defense. Before he can attack the former Thunderball, the Thing arrives and attacks him.

However during the initial clash, the Wrecker manages to injure Ben long enough to grab Elliot and escape. When the Wrecker is about to kill Elliot for a second time, Ben climbs out and knocks his crowbar from his hand with a piece of debris. The Wrecker recovers his weapon and the two fight it out. Although the Wrecker lands more blows, this is all a ploy by the Thing to make his foe overconfident. When the Wrecker least expects it, Ben grabs his arm holding the crowbar and then his other hand. Then after forcing the weapon out of his foe's hand yet again, the Thing knocks the Wrecker out with a single punch. Just as the battle is over a S.H.I.E.L.D. tactical team arrives on the scene to collect the Wreacker.

Looking for Raul, Ben finds the boy as he is being prepared to be taken away in an ambulance. The boy weakly tells Ben that he is proud that someone who grew up on Yancy Street grew up to be someone famous, telling Ben that he is not a monster, but a hero. The boy then dies of his injuries and this leaves Ben to reconsider his thoughts about quitting the Fantastic Four. He realizes that he has a role to inspire the children of Yancy Street that it is possible to grow out of the poverty stricken neighborhood and become something. As he walks away, Ben passes the rubble of his former home and is surprised to find his old graffiti amid the rubble, proving that it has survived all the years. Ben picks it up off the ground and carries it back home as it gives him a lot to think about.


Continuity Notes

  • The narrative of this story states that this story takes place before Thor #418, in that story the Wrecker reforms his Wrecking Crew and battles Thor and Hercules. Avengers, Thor & Captain America: Official Index to the Marvel Universe's entry on Thor #418 also states that the Wrecker and Thunderball's previous appearance was prior to that story. However, some things must be considered for continuity:
    • First and foremost is the fact that Ben Grimm is clearly in his Thing form here, given that he is begrudging the fact that he is a monster and not a normal human. Thor #418 was published at the same time as Fantastic Four #341, during a period in which Ben Grimm was enjoying a return to his human form that occurred in Fantastic Four #326 and lasted until Fantastic Four #350 when Ben sacrificed his humanity to become the Thing again.
    • The Wrecker states that the Wrecking Crew lost their powers following their defeat during the Masters of Evil's attack on Avengers Mansion which took place in Avengers #273277. That fact is confirmed in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #126 when the Wrecker later tried to break his Wrecking Crew out of prison and Thunderball betrayed him. The Wrecker states that the only reason why he didn't go back for revenge at the time was because his mother was on her deathbed.
      • However since then, Thunderball and the Wrecker have been seen in various stories thereafter that occurred prior to Thor #418, particularly Avengers: Death Trap, The Vault #1 where they both were working together with other villains in a failed break out of the Vault prison.
      • Closer in publication date are the events of Thor #426431 which featured a reunited Wrecking Crew. In that storyline Loki steals the power of all the members of the Wrecking Crew except for the Wrecker.
  • Considering all the facts presented in this story: (1) That Ben Grimm is in his mutated form and not wearing his Thing Exoskeleton and (2) A powerless Thunderball still fits in continuity post Fantastic Four #350, one possible solution is to ignore the footnote and assume that this story takes place between Fantastic Four #354 and 356. One can assume that the Wrecker has incredibly selective memory when it comes to deciding if he is angry at his former teammates or not.
  • An alternative for this story to take place prior to Thor #418, however is to assume that this story takes place shortly after Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #126, before Thing's mutation in Fantastic Four #310. This would not only fit nicely in continuity, but it also makes sense considering the story directly plays off of the event of that comic book, and was written by the same writer as a fill-in, possibly meaning it was written long time in advance.
  • The last time Ben visited his childhood home was Thing #1. At that time the apartment building was abandoned and was used as a regular hang out for the Yancy Street Gang. Per the Sliding Timescale roughly two years time had passed between these two stories.
  • The flashbacks to Ben's childhood expand on his origins as originally told in Thing #1.

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