Appearing in "One Man's Prison"
- Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S.
- Fantastic Four (Recap)
- Cheemuzwwa (Recap)
- Defenders (Recap)
Synopsis for "One Man's Prison"
At the Project PEGASUS facility, the Rhino is being loaded up into a prisoner transport in order to be taken to a new prison. While the guards are nervous that the Rhino might attempt to break free, the villain has no intention of doing so because his cooperation could finally see him get free of the costume that is bound to his skin. When he boards the transport without incident, the guards breath a sigh of relief.
Meanwhile, at the New York City Port Authority, the Thing is purchasing a ticket to take him out of the city and away from the Fantastic Four after he had a falling out with the group. As he boards a bus headed for out of town he is unaware that his old foe the Miracle Man is also boarding on the same bus. The villain recognizes the Thing almost instantly and wonders if this is merely coincidence. The Miracle Man then recalls back to his first clash with the Fantastic Four, and how years later he learned the power of mind-over-matter from the ancient Cheemuzwa tribe before losing those powers battling the Defenders. The Miracle Man is hoping to gain an ally to help him regain those lost powers. Aboard the bus, the Thing is interrupted by a hippie sitting in the seat next to him who wants to know if he'd like to play a game of Trivial Pursuit, an offer Ben declines. As the man insists that they play together, Ben reflects back on his time in the Secret Wars, extended stay on Battleworld, and how he apparently lost the ability to change back to human form forever. He also recalls how Johnny is now dating his old girlfriend Alicia Masters and Reed had been keeping secret the fact that he could change back to human form whenever he wanted.
As Ben is lost in thought he neglects to notice the attention the Miracle Man is paying him. Suddenly the bus driver is enthralled by the villain and pulls over. Miracle Man then jumps off the bus and into the middle of the road in the path of the on coming prison transport truck and uses his powers of hypnosis to force the driver to crash, freeing the Rhino from within. The Rhino manages to recover the guards and drive and gets them clear before the truth explodes. The Miracle Man then presents himself to the Rhino, explaining that he has come to liberate him. The Rhino is furious, explaining that going along peacefully to prison was his only chance of finally getting free from his costume. Seeing that the Rhino will be an unwilling ally, Miracle Man mesmerizes him and orders the Rhino to charge at the bus. Seeing the charging super-villain, everyone gets off the bus except for the Thing who is too engrossed in his newspaper to notice the rushing danger. As the bus tumbles down the cliff it is shattered into pieces, but Ben emerges from it unharmed and begins climbing up to get back at whoever attacked him.
At the top the Thing is attacked by the Rhino and the two thrash it out. Eventually the Thing's blows cause the Rhino to snap out of the Miracle Man's control. Rhino then stops telling the Thing that he wants to go straight because its his only shot at becoming human again, a plea that strikes the Thing's heart. Suddenly Ben is being swarmed by the other bus passengers, now under the Miracle Man's thrall. When the Miracle Man then tries to hypnotize the Rhino again, the villain resists. He charges at Miracle Man, but the hypnotist dodges out of the way. While everyone else is distracted the hippie from the bus suddenly appears with an automatic weapon. Shouting "Justice is Served!" he fatally shoots the Miracle Man. Recovering from his impact, the Rhino finds Miracle Man's dead body and goes berserk, screaming about being innocent he tries to plow through a forest to get away. Ben follows after him and convinces him to surrender to get the help he needs.
Soon enough Ben has taken Rhino back to Project PEGASUS where he is taken back into custody. There Ben meets with the Guardsman tells Ben that Quasar no longer works for PEGASUS and with most of the super-villains being transferred off facility they have no need for Ben's enhanced abilities. Ben thanks them for their trouble any way and before he leaves he stops to ask if anyone knows where the nearest bust station is.
Now that he's left the Fantastic Four for good, what's the Thing to do? Take the bus to Project Pegasus, of course! The bus ride there is anything but pleasant, because not only does the Thing lock horns with the rampaging Rhino — he must also square off against the Miracle Man!
- At this point in time, Ben was recently involved in the Secret Wars in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #1–12. After which he decided to stay on Battleworld because he believed that that planet allowed him to change back and forth between his human and Thing form. He was there from Thing #11–22 when he sacrificed his ability to return to human form to stop Grimm the Sorcerer. In Fantastic Four #277 and Thing #23 Ben learned that not only that his teammate Johnny Storm is now dating a woman who everyone thinks is Alicia Masters, but also that Reed Richards knew that Ben could change back and forth any time he wanted for some time prior to the Secret Wars. Some additional facts:
- Johnny isn't really dating Alicia Masters, as revealed in Fantastic Four #358 she is really Lyja, a Skrull spy who took Alicia's place circa Fantastic Four #265.
- Reed was aware that Ben could change back and forth at will in Fantastic Four #245. Although Ben thinks he's lost his humanity for good following the events of Thing #22, this is also proven as false as seen the next time Ben is restored to human form in Fantastic Four #326.
- The Miracle Man goes over some of his past history:
- The "hippie" that guns down Miracle Man in this story is secretly the first Scourge of the Underworld, a trained super-villain assassin. U.S.Agent #4 later reveals that the Scourge program was funded by Thomas Halloway, previously the World War II hero known as the Angel.
- Although Miracle Man was killed here, he and other Scourge victims are resurrected years later by the Hood, as seen in Punisher (Vol. 8) #6.
- The reason Ben was seeking out Project PEGASUS was to be reunited with his friend Quasar who he worked with on security detail at PEGASUS in Marvel Two-In-One #53–58. Quasar left PEGASUS after the events of Marvel Team-Up Annual #5.
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