Appearing in "Rocky Grimm Space Ranger Part VIII (of XII): Family Man"
Synopsis for "Rocky Grimm Space Ranger Part VIII (of XII): Family Man"
Following their last encounter with the Sorcerer Ben Grimm and Tarianna camp for the night. Ben feels bad for beating up on Tarianna because the Sorcerer tricked him into thinking she was an attacker, but notes that she is tougher than she looks and is healing. Ben's thoughts then turn to the nature of Battleworld, leaving him a lot of questions about how the Beyonder created this world and how it could have so many things that are familiar to him, such as a herd of live unicorns that are not far from their camp. Gazing out into the distance he sees strange men on winged creatures attacking something then hears a telepathic plea for help. Tarianna hears it as well and they both agree to go and help the person who sent that message. The pair fight off the attackers, with Ben transforming into the Thing to deal send them packing. Their victim is an old woman with a young child. Dying the elderly woman introduces herself as Tabith, a nursemaid for the child, and asks the Thing and Tarianna to get the child back home to the city of Maub. When Ben promises to help, the old woman dies and suddenly dissolves into nothingness, leaving only her cloak behind.
Needing faster transportation, Ben takes Tarianna and "Juneyar" to the grove of unicorns in the hopes that he can tame on for them to ride. All Ben succeeds in is starting a stampede, and much to both their horrors, Juneyar rushes in to help Ben. Much to their surprise, when two of the unicorns get close enough to young Juneyar they stop and allow Ben and Tarianna to ride them. Unaware that the evil Sorcerer has been spying on them through his crystal ball, Ben and Tarianna set up camp for the night. Juneyar proves to be more than a handful when he first begins playing in water with Ben's boots, then trying to cross a chasm across a log forcing Ben to come to the boy's rescue.
Setting up camp for a second night, Ben watches as both Tarianna and Juneyar sleep and remarks at how great he and Tarianna are doing looking after the boy. Realizing that he has grown attached to Juneyar, Ben considers the idea of keeping the lad instead of returning him to Maub. Suddenly the Sorcerer appears and threatens Ben and his party, telling them that the boy is his. As the Sorcerer's image disappears a tree comes to life and tries to attack them. When the tree tries to grab for Juneyar, Ben transforms into the Thing and smashes it to splinters. Meanwhile, far away, the Takers are still searching for Llrrllllnnllyyrll's dowry, to no avail. Suddenly they are visited upon by Mara, a guardian of Maub, who asks the Takers if they know anything about the missing caravan. When they explain they have heard nothing, Mara believes all may be lost and teleports away. However her dire fears prove to be unwarranted as Ben and Tarianna have just made their way to the city of Maub. However as they are closing off the distances to the gleaming city they are suddenly attacked by an army of flying creatures.
They are accosted by the creatures as they try to make off with both Tarianna and Juneyar. Ben transforms into the Thing again and has to make a choice between the woman he is growing to love or the small infant. Ben chooses to rescue Juneyar as the creatures flee the scene, vowing to make the Sorcerer pay for making him choose between the two. Soon he is attacked by some wizards riding flying beasts as he makes a run for the gates of Maub. Pounding at the gates and demanding to be let in, the Thing and Juneyear are suddenly transported inside the city. There they are greeted by Mara who orders the attackers to flee. The Sorcerer's image then appears before them, vowing to get revenge and gloating at Ben for choosing the child instead of his beloved before disappearing. Ben learns from Mara that Juneyar is the future king of Maub and that if he was gone for over a month, their kingdom would have fallen to the powers of black magic. Although Ben is hailed as a hero, he doesn't feel like one and departs in order to try and find Tarianna.
Ben Grimm ... a father! Believe it! The saga of Rocky Grimm, Space Ranger takes an even wilder course when Ben and Tarianna become the unexpected parents of an orphaned baby! And with Annihilus and his bat-winged hordes of death about to strike, can even Ben successfully protect his new son?
- This story takes place after the events of Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #1–12. In the second issue of that series Ben discovered that he could change back to human form. By the end of the series he believed it was something to do with Battleworld and decided to stay behind. In reality, as Mister Fantastic deduced in Fantastic Four #245, a mental block in Ben's mind associated with his relationship with Alicia Masters has prevented Ben from willingly being able to change back and forth. A fact that Reed keeps secret from Ben until Thing #23.
- Ben's believes that his surroundings were the product of the Beyonder creating Battleworld in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #1. However his surroundings are actually being shaped by his subconscious mind, as revealed in Thing #22.
- Also discovered in Thing #22, Tarianna is the image of Ben's ideal woman. It's later revealed in Thing #27 that Tarianna's appearance is based off of a female adventurer named Sharon Ventura.
- Ben mentions how the Invisible Girl is about to have a baby. Sue became pregnant with her second child in Fantastic Four #254 and discovered that she was pregnant in Fantastic Four #257. Unknown to Ben at the time, Sue had a miscarriage in Fantastic Four #267 (This story incorrectly attributes that story to Fantastic Four #269).