Appearing in "Rocky Grimm Space Ranger Part X (of XII): The Way Things Were!"
- Ultron 's head
- New York City (Only in flashback)
- Yancy Street (Only in flashback)
- Ithaca (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "Rocky Grimm Space Ranger Part X (of XII): The Way Things Were!"
Tarianna finds herself on a stage production of the Fantastic Four's origins. On stage she is attacked by a version of the Thing as he appeared when he was first transformed. Forced to defend herself, Tarianna stabs her attacker through the stomach.
Elsewhere on Battleworld, Ben Grimm suddenly feels a sharp stabbing pain in his side. Witnessing all this from his lab is Grimm the Sorcerer who gloats over the fact that he has tricked Tarianna into possibly slaying Ben Grimm by hooking her up to a device that that has transported her into a twisted dream version of Ben Grimm's life. As he anticipates her to make the final lethal blow, and kill Ben Grimm in real life, inside the dream Tarianna continues to fight, stabbing the creature again. This causes Ben to feel pain again in the real world. When the pain subsides, Ben once more mulls over the nature of Battleworld and how the longer he is here the more it seems like it's formed by his own psyche. Deciding the pain is almost too much for Ben Grimm, he decides to try changing into the Thing and is shocked to find that he suddenly cannot do so. He remembers how this happened before when he was battling the Things, but wonders why its happening now.
Meanwhile, Tarianna has slain the fake Thing and has realized that her battle has taken them onto another set, this one looking remarkably like New York City.
While elsewhere, Ben continues to think about his current situation and has come to the terms with the fact that his time on Battleworld has made him realize that he and Alicia Masters have been drifting apart and perhaps they should break up for good. He wishes that there was some way he could talk things out with Alicia without leaving Battleworld. As he continues on, he wonders if this is the reason why he suddenly can't transform, unaware that Grimm the Sorcerer is listening in on his thoughts mocking Grimm for not being able to think of why and how he is preventing his own transformations.
While in the dream world, Tarianna comes across Yancy Street and is drawn into an slum apartment building. There she finds a young Ben Grimm crying over a broken Thing toy and asks Tarianna if she can fix it. Having had enough, Tarianna refuses to continue playing the Sorcerer's game and throws his sword at the wall. This causes the machine she is hooked up to to overload in the real world, freeing her from the dream. She is not surprised that this was yet another trick by Grimm the Sorcerer to get her to somehow hurt her beloved Ben Grimm. Grimm the Sorcerer mocks her, once again stating that she doesn't really know him. Grimm the Sorcerer removes his hood, revealing who he is, much to Tarianna's surprise.
Meanwhile, Ben Grimm struggles to climb up a mountain in the pounding wind and rain. Exhausted, Ben briefly considers just giving up and activating the device left to him by Reed Richards to return home, but decides to press on. Getting to the top of the cliff, Ben once more thinks about his situation and how Battleworld has been throwing all his fears at him and wonders who could have known him so intimately. Suddenly, he sees the Baxter Building impossibly standing off at the distance and realizes that there is only one man: Reed Richards. Not sure why his best friend could put all this into motion, but figures it's all an exercise for his "own good".
When Ben reaches the front door of the Baxter Building he begins pounding on them demanding that Reed open up and give up the charade. Watching from his lab, Grimm the Sorcerer mocks Ben Grimm for not figuring out that it's not Reed Richards, but Ben Grimm himself that is causing him all this misery. The Sorcerer should know, because he himself is also Ben Grimm!
At last, Ben Grimm comes face to face with his real enemy! Can Ben survive the confrontation and the shocking secret it reveals? And where is Tarianna? when he needs her most? All this, plus the discovery of Llrrllllnnllyyrrl's dowry.
- 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.
- The reason why the version of the Thing that Tarianna sees in the "Fantastic Four Origin" dream has dinosaur-like skin is because, as explained in Marvel Two-In-One #50, after Ben was first transformed into the Thing back in Fantastic Four #1, his body continued to mutate until it adopted his trademark brick-like form around Fantastic Four #10.
- Ultron's head has been trapped on Battleworld since his body was destroyed in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #12.
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