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Appearing in "This Evil Returning...!"

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Synopsis for "This Evil Returning...!"

With the Pogo Plane getting wrecked while battling the Sphinx in Egypt, the Thing is forced to take a commercial flight back home to the United States. After dealing with the aggravation of checking in and passing airport security, the Thing is about to board his flight home when suddenly a group of terrorists charge the plane with machine guns blasting, but the Thing quickly stops them by slamming his fist into the ground causing the jeep to upturn and then boards his flight as though this sort of display was a regular occurrence.

While in New York City, a woman garbed in a trench coat and hat has sought refuge in an ally as she is wracked with pain. Her cries for help and being needed attract the attention of three street hoods who are seeking to take advantage of a vulnerable woman such as this. However, when they try to rape her there is a powerful blast of energy which sends them all flying out of the alley. This outburst gives the woman a temporary reprieve until the pain starts to build up again. While at the Baxter Building, Mister Fantastic informs Alicia that Ben just called from London and that he should be home soon. Alicia then asks Reed about why he hasn't been trying to cure Ben after his last attempt was a failure. Reed is caught because he is not sure if he wants to tell Alicia that Ben's inability to return to human form is due to a psychological belief that Alicia only loves him as the Thing. Before Reed can be pressed for an answer the guest scanner goes off and Reed is shocked when he sees who has paid a visit to the home of the Fantastic Four.

Meanwhile, Ben's plane touches down at JFK International Airport and he is soon picked up by Johnny who arrives in the Fantasti-Car to give him a lift home. When they return to the Baxter Building, Ben is happily reunited with Alicia. Soon Ben and Johnny are introduced to Reed's guest, the robot woman known as Jocasta. When Reed mentions her affiliation with the Avengers, she tells them that they merely used her and discarded her. She explains how she was created by the evil robot known as Ultron to be his bride but she was rescued by the Avengers. She tried to find a new life with the Avengers until they were forced to reduce their numbers. When her hopes of remaining on the team were quashed she ran away from Avengers Mansion. However, she found that the people outside were not as accepting of her. Soon she was reduced to living in alleys away from the eyes of society. It was then that her cybernetics began to malfunction causing her a great deal of pain. Needing help she decided to seek the aid of Mister Fantastic to repair her damaged components. Agreeing to do what he can to help, Reed has Alicia prepare Jocasta a guest room. As Ben and Alicia are about to leave, Reed reminds Ben that there is the matter of the destroyed Pogo Plane to deal with and tells Ben to report the damage to their insurance company in the morning. Ready to try and solve the problem at hand, Reed retires to his lab where he contacts Captain America at Avengers Mansion and has him relay all the information the Avengers have on Jocasta's designs. While elsewhere in the Baxter Building, Jocasta tries to sleep but her dreams are haunted by the image of Ultron. While miles away on the site of a heavy metal plant in Neville Island, Ultron still remains trapped in a chunk of Adamantium, eager to be free once more.

The following morning the Thing drops by the offices of the Delmar Insurance Company in order to file a claim for the damaged Pogo Plane. In the building, Aaron Stack turns down another questionable business deal suggested by his co-worker Eddie Harris. Stack is informed by his secretary Pamela Quinn that his appointment in, and Stack pauses for a moment to lament how a romance between he and Pamela could never be because he is secretly a robot. While Aaron Stack meets with the Thing, Alicia has taken Jocasta to one of her galleries. There Jocasta begins to malfunction again, smashing some of the sculptures and suddenly flees the scene. Alicia quickly calls the Baxter Building for help but there is nobody to answer the phone. Instead, it relays to Ben's belt buckle and abruptly leaves telling Stack that he has a lady robot to deal with. Intrigued by the prospect of a female robot, Aaron decides to follow after the Thing to learn more, changing into his true identity of X-51, the Machine Man. Meanwhile, Jocasta has traveled to the factory where Ultron's body has been trapped and using a molecular re-arranger and fresh Adamantium, she manages to free Ultron, creating him a brand new body.

Ultron reveals that he had placed a program within Jocasta's mind that forced her to resurrect him. Now free from his influence Jocasta rejects his desire to make her his bride. She is soon defended by Machine Man who comes to the scene first, but he is quickly subdued when Ultron breaks one of his legs. Just then the Thing comes crashing in and begins duking it out with Ultron. Ultimately, the evil robot succeeds by hypnotizing the Thing and putting him in his thrall. Ultron then orders his slave to destroy the Machine Man.


Continuity Notes

  • Jocasta was created by Ultron in Avengers #162 she became an associate of the Avengers from Avengers #170211 when the group went through a reorganization and Jocasta was not chosen.
  • Alicia mentions the last time Reed attempted to cure Ben. This was in Fantastic Four #238, it failed in that it didn't restore Ben to normal but transformed him to an earlier state in his Thing evolution (the dinosaur skinned form he had from Fantastic Four #110) Ben was eventually restored to his trademark brick-like form in Fantastic Four #245 by Franklin Richards' mutant powers. At the time Reed came to the realization that Ben's inability to return to human form was psychological in nature. Ben does not learn this truth until Thing #23.

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