Appearing in "Above and Beyond"
- Joe (bartender)
- Ethan Thurm (First appearance)
- Avengers (Only in flashback)
- X-Men (Only in flashback)
- Fantastic Four (Only in flashback)
- Hulk (Only in flashback)
- Magneto (Only in flashback)
- Spider-Man (Only in flashback)
- Tarianna (Only in flashback)
- Thunderiders (Only in flashback)
- The Ringside (bar)
Synopsis for "Above and Beyond"
Secret Wars II continues from Secret Wars II #5...
The Beyonder has become depressed over his time on Earth attempting to understand desire and finds himself at the Ringside bar in Brooklyn, drinking his sorrows and telling his life story to the apathetic bartender. As he becomes more intoxicated, the Beyonder tells his origins while some men in suits overhear the tale from the back of the bar. One of the men, is Ethan Thurm, of Thurm and Associates. Thinking that the Beyonder might be ideal to attempt to recruit into the Ultimate Class Wrestling Federation, he has two of his muscled goons attack the Beyonder, who easily bats the two men away. Impressed, Thurm offers the Beyonder a chance at wrestling, the dejected Beyonder -- drunk and completely depressed -- doesn't care and agrees to go along so long as he gets more booze. Paying for the damage caused by the fight, Thurm leads the Beyonder out of the bar.
While in Las Vegas, Ben Grimm is exercising with is side kick Vance Astro. As he jumps rope the Thing laments over his current run of bad luck. He recounts how on Battleworld he fell in love with a woman named Tarianna only for her to die and learns that she was merely the embodiment of his ideal woman . He then recounts how he met Sharon Ventura and how she had a striking resemblance to Tarianna and how he lost her as well. Finishing his workout, the Thing remarks that his problems began as soon as he encountered the Beyonder whom he blames for his problem. He is surprised when he walks past a weight lifting room and witnesses a man calling himself the Beyonder lifting a massive amount of weights that seemingly surpass even the Thing's strength. Ben finds it hard to believe that this is the same Beyonder whom he encountered on Battleworld until the Beyonder offers his sympathies for the loss of Tarianna. The Thing becomes furious and is determined to pummel the man he believes is responsible for his spate of bad luck in the ring.
Going to Ed Garner, the Thing demands that he be allowed to fight the Beyonder in the ring. Ed tells him that they cannot allow the Beyonder into the UCWF because he is just too powerful. Furious at being denied his chance at revenge, the Thing throws a temper tantrum and convinces Garner to sign the Beyonder and allow him. Getting the match he demanded, the Thing rides home hoping that this will give him the satisfaction that he needs. Meanwhile, Thurm goes to the Beyonder's hotel room and warns him of the coming match. The Beyonder, still depressed and wanting more to drink, tells Thurm he knows and to experience what he wants tells him that he will accept the match.
On Friday night, the match is about to begin and as the crowd begins streaming in, Vance Astro notices that Sharon Ventura is among the audience. When he tries to tell Ben that the girl he is smitten with is at the match, the Thing is so single minded about his bout with the Beyonder he doesn't give his young side kick the chance to explain the situation. When in the ring with the Beyonder, the Beyonder refuses to begin the match until given another beer. When the fight begins, the Thing attempts to pummel the One From Beyond, however the Beyonder manages to evade all his blows. When the Beyonder explains he's tried to understand what people desire, he learns that Thing desires nothing more than to pummel the Beyonder.
The Beyonder decides to allow him to, and the Thing begins beating on the god-like being in a complete rage. As Ben beats the Beyonder senseless, Vance realizes that Ben has snapped and will kill the Beyonder if given the chance. Realizing that showing Ben that Sharon is in the crowd might snap him out of it, Vance desperately searches for her. With the Beyonder telling the Thing that he wishes death and that two more blows should be sufficient to kill him, Vance finds Sharon and tries to get Ben's attention. For a moment, the Thing hesitates landing his next blow, wondering if killing the being he has hated more than anyone is worth becoming a killer. He decides it is and lands another punch, however before he can land the killing blow, Vance gets his attention and realizing that Sharon is in the audience snaps Ben out of his fury. Ben then helps the Beyonder out of the ring and onto a stretcher. He is ashamed of himself, but Sharon tells Ben that she has come to all his matches and that his display tonight was not the real him.
The Beyonder meanwhile has mostly recovered form his injuries and days later returns to the Ringside bar to continue his drinking binge.
Secret Wars II continues in Doctor Strange Vol 2 #74...
- The Thing blames the Beyonder for his current situation in life beacuse at this point in time, Ben was kidnapped by the Beyonder to participate 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 Beyonder's drunken mumbling recaps some of his more recent history at this point:
- Of his attempt to understand desire by starting the Secret Wars in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #1-12.
- His recent arrival on Earth in Secret Wars II #1 and assuming a perfect human form in Captain America #308 based on the form of Captain America.
- His disastrous courtships with love are a reference to Secret Wars II #4, Dazzler #40 and Secret Wars II #5. In those stories the Beyonder sought the love of Dazzler only to be rejected and later sought the companionship of Boom Boom only to be betrayed by her to the super-hero community.
- On top of his recollection of the Secret Wars and how it affected his life, the Thing also recalls learning of the existence of Sharon Ventura who resemble Tarianna on Battleworld and found her only for her to quit the Thunderiders when he tried to join that group in Thing #27.
- This issue is reprinted in comics and books, see references for more info.
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