Appearing in "Marking Time"
- Alicia Masters
- Fantastic Four
- Sergius O'Hoolihan
- Beyonder (Behind the scenes)
- Belt buckle solenoid actuator for FF private lift door
Synopsis for "Marking Time"
Alicia Masters has finally been released from Mercy General Hospital. Ben and she take a long walk through Central Park. Some children come along and they want to see the Thing do something extraordinary, so he grabs a nearby statue and crushes it into a ball.
The two then return to the Baxter Building where they have a heart-to-heart discussion. Ben has been re-evaluating their relationship lately, and it appears as if he is on the verge of breaking up with her because, although he loves her, he feels that he can't give her the life she deserves.
Ben falls into a reverie and there is an origin flashback to the Fantastic Four's crash-landing after their first fateful space flight. This sequence concentrates on Ben's initial reaction to becoming the Thing and his realization that even his friends consider him to be a monster (although this may rather be his perception than how the other members of the FF actually felt).
Suddenly, Reed Richards bursts into the room and tells Ben that they must investigate strange energy readings he’s picking up from Central Park. The Thing, the Human Torch and Mister Fantastic leave the pregnant Sue Richards behind and take the Fantasti-Car to Central Park. Arriving in Sheep's Meadow, they find a large metallic arena nestled in the middle of the park. They enter the arena portico when suddenly a beam of yellow light surrounds them and they disappear.
The never-before revealed story about what happened to Benjamin J. Grimm after he became the Thing. It's the story that happened between Fantastic Four #1 and 2. If that isn't enough to whet your appetite, wait until you see what new peril awaits when Alicia is released from the hospital! Plus, a mysterious disappearance at the end!
- This is the last time Sergius O'Hoolihan is seen working as a door man for the Baxter Building. It's later revealed in Fantastic Four Annual #23 that he had retired.
- Reed mentions how Alicia was recently released from the hospital after she was tortured by Annihilus between Fantastic Four #251–256.
- Sue is visibly pregnant with her and Reed's second child. The child was conceived in Fantastic Four #254. Although Sue tragically has a miscarriage in Fantastic Four #267 the baby is brought back to life much later in Fantastic Four (Vol. 3) #50.
- Reed mentions some strange energy signatures he detected in Central Park. He first detected them in Fantastic Four #263–264.
- During Ben's heart-to-heart with Alicia he makes the following references:
- Ben mentions the first time he and Alicia met. This was back in Fantastic Four #9.
- He talks about "coming to terms with who he is", Ben's done this many times but he is specifically mentioning during his battle with the Puppet Master in Thing #6.
- He recalls what happened to the Fantastic Four following their origin in Fantastic Four #1. In this flashback the Thing is depicted as having dinosaur-like skin. As explained in Marvel Two-In-One #50 the Thing's body continued to mutate until it adopted his trademark brick-like form circa Fantastic Four #10.