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Appearing in "Visiting Hours!"

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Synopsis for "Visiting Hours!"

Following his battles against both the Shi'ar's Gladiator and the Champion of the Universe, the Thing has been hospitalized for his injuries. There, he is visited by his girlfriend, Alicia Masters, his teammates in the Fantastic Four, his godson Franklin, and both Captain America and Iron Man of the Avengers. As he gripes over not having anything good to watch on television and not being allowed to smoke any cigars, he is also visited by his pal Bill Foster and his girlfriend, Celia Jackson.

Suddenly, the visit is interrupted by Ben's nurse, who tells those gathered that visiting hours are over and that her patient needs his rest. As they leave the room, the Invisible Girl asks her husband what he seems so grim about, and Mister Fantastic points out that Ben's admission to the hospital is public knowledge, causing him to fear that one of their many foes may attack him here.

Just as Reed expresses these fears, the Mad Thinker is plotting the demise of the Thing from his secret lair. By running data through his computers, he has determined that one of the Thing's foes will manage to get into his hospital room; however, there is insufficient data to determine who that person might be, much to his frustration. Regardless, the Mad Thinker is convinced that at least one super-villain will be successful in destroying the Thing.

Meanwhile, Spider-Man has gotten some flowers and decides to pay a visit to the Thing at the hospital. His arrival coincides with an attack by the Mecho Marauder. Jamming the villain's weapon systems with his webbing, Spider-Man causes the Marauder's armor to implode and leaves the villain defenseless while he webs him up for the authorities. Spider-Man joins the others, who have regathered in Ben's room. When the nurse enters, she is upset that someone has given Ben a cigar and orders everyone out, confiscating the stogie as well.

Not long after this, the villain known as Mirage enters the hospital, content that he will get past whatever security may stop him thanks to the multiple illusions of himself. However, he does not account for Daredevil being on the scene, who is able to easily detect the real Mirage with his radar sense and knock the villain out. While up in his room, the Thing is unaware of the attack. Trying to catch the baseball game, he is upset to hear reports that it has been canceled due to rain.

Down below, Doctor Donald Blake has come into the hospital to oversee the Thing's recovery. Coming back from examining x-rays, he is to witness the Mole Man and an army of his Moloids bursting through the floor. Tapping his cane twice on the floor, Blake transform into the mighty Thor, who then uses Mjolnir to summon a storm in the basement of the hospital to drive the Mole Man and his minions back.

While Ben fusses over getting his temperature taken, Shellshock attacks the hospital, only to be ambushed and knocked out by Ant-Man. The Grapplers also arrive on the scene and try to gain access, but they are repelled by Captain America with an assist from the X-Men. Then, Hijacker tries to ram the hospital in his massive tank,but his vehicle is incapacitated by Iron Man.

While the Thing struggles to fight boredom, his condition becomes privy to Doctor Doom in Latveria, and he begins plotting a fitting response to this news. Meanwhile, the waiting room of the hospital is filled with Ben's friends within the super-hero community. The Human Torch then warns everyone that an army of super-villains have amassed and are heading toward the hospital. This leads to a massive brawl between the heroes and those seeking to harm Ben.

While back at his hideout, the Mad Thinker gloats that that brawl is the distraction that will allow one of the Thing's enemies to slip by and is convinced that his death will soon follow. What the Mad Thinker doesn't realize is that villain is the recently reformed Sandman, who has sneaked into Ben's room to thank him for giving him a second chance and has come to see how he is doing. Seeing that the Sandman has brought a six pack of beer and some cigars, Ben believes that this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


Continuity Notes

  • The Mechano Marauder mentions how he has always been humiliated by the Avengers in the past. He has been trying to prove himself by defeating the Avengers since Avengers #217. At the time of this story, he had recently failed at defeating them in Avengers #221.
  • Some facts about Thor at the time of this story:
    • At the time of this story, Thor could switch to the mortal guise of Donald Blake. This transformation was imposed on Thor by his father Odin to teach him humility as first seen in Thor #159. Thor (Vol. 3) #1 clarifies that Blake is a mystical construct of Odin that lives a symbiotic life with Thor. At the time, Thor kept his double identities a secret.
    • Donald Blake is actually visiting from Chicago. After he lost his job in New York City,[1] Blake moved to Chicago in Thor #319.

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