VENGEANCE UNBOUND
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ADVENTURES OF THE THING # 2

SYNOPSIS
In the Baxter Building, headquarters of the Fantastic Four, blind sculptress Alicia Masters is shocked by a sudden earthquake that destroys many of her statues. Afraid that something may have happened to her love, Ben Grimm, Alicia races down the hall to the next room where the Thing is punching on his new hydraulic exercise machine and causing the tremors. Alicia, relieved at hearing Ben's voice, steps into the room directly in the path of the returning punching block - but is saved at the last moment by Mr. Fantastic. Upset that he almost accidentally caused Alicia's death, the Thing leaves the building in grief. Sometime later, while the rest of the Fantastic Four help to clean up her studio, Alicia can only brood on where Ben may have gone.

Elsewhere in the city on an empty rooftop, the Thing sits brooding over the curse of his appearance and power. In a fit of anger, he destroys part of the building and realizes that he's too dangerous to associate with normal people. He hops on his flying cycle and takes the sky where he hears police sirens from below. The police are in frantic pursuit of the Ghost Rider, who maniacally leads them on a harrowing chase through the city that terrifies onlookers before finally culminating with a game of "chicken" with an elevated train. Landing on a rooftop, the Ghost Rider allows Johnny Blaze to regain control, leaving the man tired and weak. Blaze is approached by the Thing, who offers him a ride by saying "us monsters have to stick together". When they land in front of the run-down motel that Blaze is staying in, Johnny thanks Ben by giving him two tickets the show he's performing in Shea Stadium. Feeling a little less alone, but still brooding, Grimm returns to the Baxter Building and reunites with Alicia, who welcomes him back with open arms.

The next day, a huge crowd has gathered at Shea Stadium to see Johnny Blaze perform cycle jump over 16 automobiles. In the crowd are two young men, who decide to steal one of the performance stock cars. Also in the crowd are Alicia and Ben, who watch in amazement as Blaze begins his show, performing seemingly impossible tricks with his bike. But as he's finishing his act, Blaze is almost run down by the two kids in the stolen car, causing him to wreck. As the kids drive off, Blaze transforms into the Ghost Rider, hungry for vengeance against them for nearly killing him. The Thing sees what's happening and heads for his sky-cycle, worried that Blaze may do something harsh to the kids.

The Ghost Rider quickly catches up to the boys and disables their car, forcing them to flee on foot. As the demon burns the boys with hellfire Ben arrives and commands him to stop - something the Rider takes as an insult. The two begin to fight, with the Thing easily gaining the upper hand due to the Rider not wanting to fight someone undeserving of vengeance. The battle continues until the Thing flies into a rage himself, beating the Ghost Rider mercilessly before he realizes what he's doing. Ghost Rider takes the advantage when Ben stops fighting, and the Thing uses a different tactic by speaking to the submerged personality of Johnny Blaze. Grimm eventually talks the Rider down and Blaze returns to his normal form and collapses in the Thing's arms, apologizing before he passes out.

Later, the Thing returns to the Baxter Building and finds Alicia, who asks him why he's so quiet. Grimm replies that even though his life is difficult he still has good things like his friends and family in the Fantastic Four and Alicia herself. Ben comments that it's not fair for him to have so much while others have nothing at all. As he says this, Johnny Blaze rides out of New York, still alone.

ANNOTATIONS
This issue is a reprint of Marvel Two-In-One # 80.

REVIEW
Read the Review of Marvel Two-In-One # 80.

Grade: B+


Adventures of the Thing # 2
Published: May 1992 Original Price: $1.25
Cover: Joe Quesada

Title: "Call Him...Monster!"
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Artist: Ron Wilson
Inker: Chic Stone
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: George Roussos
Editor: Jim Salicrup
Editor In Chief: Jim Shooter