Fact is, I never heard of the Liberty Legion before... Thing
Races and Species:
1942: When a giant Nazi ship in the shape of a Swastika strikes at buildings in New York City, the Thing strikes out at the ship to prevent it from wrecking the city further. Climbing on top, he is shocked to find that it is piloted by one being; the disembodied brain of a Nazi scientist calling himself "Brain Drain". Hypnotizing Ben, he forces the hero to explain that he has traveled back into the past to prevent the Nazi's from taking advantage of a chunk of Vibranium that was accidentally sent back in time. With Ben's tale explained, Brain Drain is shocked to find that Ben has shaken off the effects of his hypnosis. The Thing then tries to trash the ship, forcing Brain Drain to stop his attack and return to the Nazi's hidden ship off the coast of upstate New York.
Ben is about to finish his handiwork when he is suddenly surrounded by Nazi operatives Skyshark, Master Man, and U-Man who gang up and easily over power the hero, or so it seems. Waiting for their guard to lower when Brain Drain identifies that Ben is really wearing an exoskeleton that might give the Nazi's more secrets, Ben reveals that he was only playing possum and attacks. However, Ben's efforts are ineffective and he is easily over powered again. Before the Nazi's can kill him, the Liberty Legion arrives and attacks the super-villains. As Jack Frost, Red Raven, Patriot, Thinman, and Blue Diamond dispatches U-Man; Red Raven, Whizzer, and Miss Marvel deal with U-Man. When Ben attempts to smash Brain Drain, the villain launches himself on a rocket, escaping the fight.
Also escaping is Skyshark who manages to secure his escape by ejecting Slicer out of his Stukka and leaves him to be captured by the Liberty Legion. Recovering the other half of the Vibranium cylinder, the Thing notices that the Watcher has appeared again, signaling that his mission is over. Returning to New York City with the Liberty Legion, Ben bids them farewell and returns to his own time in his time machine.
Arriving in the present just as the Fantastic Four burst through the doors he forced closed on them, Reed wants to know how Ben recovered the missing half of the cylinder. Exhausted after his ordeal, Ben walks away telling them he'll relate the story another time because all he wants to do is see if Alicia is still awake.
- Any references to Ben serving in World War II, and references to the modern era of this story being in the year 1976 should be considered topical references relative to the date of publication due to Earth-616's Sliding Timescale. Modern stories still state that Ben served in the military, however they no longer reference any specific conflicts he may have participated so as not to prematurely age the character.
- The Thing is in human form in this story following the events of Fantastic Four #167. Reed constructed his exoskeleton in Fantastic Four #169 to replicate his lost powers. Ben wears this suit until Fantastic Four #175 when he is forcibly mutated again by Galactus.
- Ben recaps the events of Fantastic Four Annual #11 and Marvel Two-In-One Annual #1 wherein the Fantastic Four went back in time to World War II to prevent the Nazis from obtaining Vibranium, and later Ben ventures back to 1941 where he encounters the Liberty Legion. The events during World War II that happened in the Fantastic Four Annual are said to have happened in an alternate time line and thus why Sub-Mariner and Captain America in the modern era do not recall meeting the Fantastic Four back in the past during the war. Both men met the Fantastic Four in the Modern Age in Fantastic Four #4 and Fantastic Four #26 respectively. This created an alternate reality, however, Marvel has yet to officially index it. As such it has been designated Earth-TRN558 on the Marvel Comics Wiki. However, the events in the Two-In-One Annual and this story that takes place during World War II did happen in the Earth-616 universe as specified in Official Marvel Index to Fantastic Four #10 and Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Golden Age 2004.
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