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Quote1.png Lissen, genius. We ain't called "The Fantastic Three." Besides, I told ya, I never felt more right in my life. Quote2.png
Ben Grimm

Appearing in "Things Change"

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Synopsis for "Things Change"

Aboard the Alexandria Space Station where the final preparations of the new Baxter Building are being completed, Noah Baxter is informed that Mister Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, and the Human Torch have been teleported to Earth to recover the Thing. The team appears on the Brooklyn Bridge where the Grey Gargoyle and his mysterious benefactor have turned the Thing into stone. The Fantastic Four are too powerful for the Grey Gargoyle who is easily trounced, and discovers that his employer, Senso, had suddenly disappeared.

Elsewhere at the headquarters of the Gideon Trust, the heads of this organization have finished their preparations on the former Trapster who is going to lead their squad of N-Explorers into the Negative Zone. The General tells his colleagues that when the Fantastic Four sold their patents to the Gideon Trust they managed to recover a Negative Zone portal before the destruction of Pier Four was destroyed. They intend to use this technology so they can mine the mineral resources of that domain. When discussing the situation, the members of the Trust are determined to make Noah Baxter and the Fantastic Four pay for not following through on their contract to the letter.

Back on the Brooklyn Bridge, the Avengers have arrived to help with the clean up operation. Because the Grey Gargoyle's transformations are only temporary all of his victims revert back to normal soon enough -- all except for Ben who appears to be trapped in stone form. Hoping to fix this problem immediately, Mister Fantastic and his team teleport Ben aboard the Alexandria Space Station where Noah Baxter gives Reed access to a lab for examination. Locking himself in the lab with Ben's inert body, Reed begins running a series of simulations, all of which will prove fatal to his best friend. All the while he is unaware that the stone around Ben's body is crumbling apart. When he finally realizes what is going on he calls the others to the lab. There he reveals that Ben has been reverted back to human form.

Learning that he is aboard Noah Baxter's space station, Ben is happily reunited with Reed's old professor and former business partner. Ben offers his condolences over the loss of Baxter daughter. Noah thanks Ben but tells the group that now is a time for a reunion. He takes them aboard the newly constructed Baxter Building. In the activation room Noah gives each member a bio-disc with the Fantastic Four's emblem on it which attaches to their uniforms. These will help them interface with the Baxter Building's facilities. When they all place their hands on the special pillar initially nothing happens because Ben's hand print scanner was designed for his Thing form. Ben then surprises them all by revealing that he can change back and forth between his human and Thing forms at will. With the building activated it then releases itself from the Alexandria and plants itself in the empty lot where the original Baxter Building and Four Freedoms Plaza used to stand. Upon arrival the Fantastic Four say hello to New York City, their traditional home.

Solicit Synopsis

No joke: one of the FF's lives is majorly altered in this issue! The Fantastic Four race to rescue one of their own from the clutches of the Grey Gargoyle, but will their efforts be too little, too late?


Continuity Notes

  • The Trapster's old alias, Paste-Pot Pete, is mentioned here. He initially used that name when he started costumed villainy back in Strange Tales #104. He later changed his name to the Trapster in Fantastic Four #38 to sound more menacing. However he has never lived down his original name.
  • Two plot threads are dropped following this story: The identity of the Gideon Trust member who is communicating in a teleconference, as well as what happened to Noah Baxter's daughter.
  • This story marks the return of the Thing's ability to change between his human and Thing forms. An ability he lost years earlier back in Thing #22. Ben retains this ability until Fantastic Four (Vol. 3) #58 when he gives up this ability in order to prevent the world from being overrun by an army of Things.

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