Appearing in "The Brutal Betrayal of Ben Grimm!"
- The Fantastic Four
- Frightful Four
- Mister Curtis, renting agent of the Baxter Building
- United States of America
Synopsis for "The Brutal Betrayal of Ben Grimm!"
Continued from last issue...
Having grown tired of constantly being the fall guy for the Fantastic Four, the Thing has decided to quit, brushing off the protests of his teammates as he leaves their Baxter Building headquarters. Needing a way to get out of the city, Ben stows away in the back of a pick-up truck that is heading out of Manhattan. Falling asleep in the cab of the truck, Ben accidentally rolls out as the truck drives through the New Jersey wilderness. Suddenly, a beam of anti-gravity lifts Ben off the ground and caries his sleeping body to a nearby house.
Meanwhile inside the Baxter Building, Reed goes over the damage caused by their battle with Doctor Doom with their landlord. As they begin cleaning up the mess, they are visited by Alicia Masters who has come looking for Ben. When she hears that Ben abruptly left the group she gets upset. The group consoles Alicia as she cries over the fact that Ben left without saying goodbye to her.
While in New Jersey, the Thing has been taken prisoner by the Frightful Four, who have him pasted to the floor. After the group squabbles among themselves over leadership of the group, the Wizard informs them that he has developed a means to make the Thing a member of their group. Back in New York, the Fantastic Four begin searching for clues to Ben's whereabouts until they hear a report about the truck he was seen riding in. The FF travel out to New Jersey but the search is like trying to find a needle in a hay stack. As the search goes on, the Wizard has his new ID Machine attached to Ben's head. He explains the device will alter the Thing's personality so that he is evil and loyal to the Frightful Four.
While the experiment is on going, the Trapster and Sandman come to blows, but are stopped when the Thing emerges loyal to the Wizard and breaks up the fight. As they rejoice over their victory, suddenly they notice flares being fired outside and they quickly deduce that the Fantastic Four are out looking for their wayward teammate.
When the Fantastic Four go canvassing door to door, they are attacked by the Frightful Four once they reach their foes' hideout. During the battle they are shocked to see that Ben is fighting by the side of their enemies. Unwilling to use their full strength against their friend, the Fantastic Four are quickly taken down by the Thing and the Frightful Four. The Wizard then has his minions place each member of the FF into a trap that counteracts their powers. The Human Torch is put in a harness that will douse him with water whenever he tires to flame on, the Invisible Girl in a large plastic bag that will counteract her invisibility powers, and Mister Fantastic is placed on a board covered in the Trapster's paste. With the battle over, the Wizard puts the Thing to sleep. When the Sandman and Trapster try to kill the Thing, their attempts fail. Medusa steps in and stops them and points out that they can use him to do their dirty work and recommends that the first thing they get the Thing to do is kill his former teammates.
When they awaken the Thing, they remind him that it was Reed Richards that caused his transformation into the monster that he is today. As the Thing's rage begins to grow, the Frightful Four begin enticing him to kill his best friend and leader for causing his transformation.
This story is continued next issue...
- The Thing quits the Fantastic Four after having his powers restored so he could defeat Doctor Doom last issue. Ben Grimm has always been upset that Reed was responsible for him becoming the Thing in Fantastic Four #1.
- Mister Curtis, the Baxter Building's rental agent, should not be confused with Walter Collins, the man who has owned the Baxter Building since Reed was forced to sell the building in Fantastic Four #9.
- As revealed in Fantastic Four #44 Medusa is a member of the Inhumans. She was stricken with amnesia during a battle against the Trikon a few years earlier as depicted in Inhumans Special #1. It was later revealed in X-Men First Class (Vol. 2) #15 that the Wizard kept Medusa complaint and her memories jumbled with a device that he planted on the base of her neck.
This issue represents the beginning of the first trilogy arc in the long history of the Fantastic Four. (FF Vol 1 #41-#43)