Fantastic Four #12
Dan Slott – Writer
Sean Izaakse – Artist
Reed runs a test on the Thing to confirm that his annual transmutation back into his human alter ego is on schedule. The Thing is ecstatic at this news as he and his new wife Alicia Masters Grimm are headed on their honeymoon. Reed gives the Thing a chronometer watch for an accurate countdown of when the process will happen. As the Richards family wishes the two well on their holiday, Sue asks for Ben’s FF communicator, so he won’t be disturbed by any emergencies. Ben protests but relents after Sue tells him if the need arises, Luke Cage will be called for backup.
Ben and Sue reach the resort Koma Koi and are happy with their accommodations. A cabana boy named Ray tells them if they need anything he will take care of it immediately. As Ray leaves the bungalow, he places a call to an unknown individual letting them know The Thing has made it to the island.
In the ocean, a boat containing fisherman is destroyed by an unidentified object which is seen heading towards the island. As the Thing and Alicia walk on the beach, Alicia gives her husband a small wedding band he can wear when he becomes human. As the two lovers embrace, an earthquake rocks the island and the unidentified object hits the shoreline: it’s the Immortal Hulk!
The Hulk goads the Thing into a fight, but Ben tells him he won’t be pressured into it. Ben tells the Hulk that the Jade Giant is the strongest there is and walks away. The Hulk sucker punches Ben and the two behemoths start to tussle. The Hulk trash talks Ben as he pummels the Thing repeatedly. It’s revealed that the Hulk is under the control of the Puppet Master, who is trying to destroy Ben for marrying his daughter, Alicia. Ben asks Ray to get Alicia to safety away from the fight. With Ben distracted, the Hulk picks up the Thing and hurls him into the side of a nearby mountain. Ray hightails it out of there just as a rockslide heads toward the resort. Alicia and the other guests are trapped underneath the debris. Before the Thing can rescue them, the Hulk knocks Ben to the ground. Ben gets up and checks his chronometer- there are only 52 seconds left before he transforms into his human persona. The Thing is going to have to make quick work of the Hulk.
If you ask comic fans for their Top Ten Rivalries in all of comicbookdom; the Thing vs Hulk would rank in the top five. The first fight between the Thing and the Hulk took place way back in Fantastic Four #12 in 1963. How apropos that another tussle between these two titans would take place in Fantastic Four #12 56 years later. The Devil Hulk seen in Immortal Hulk is smarter and stronger than any version The Thing has encountered before and with time running out before the Thing becomes human again, can the Thing secure victory from the jaws of defeat? Will the Hulk find out he was under the control of the Puppet Master and will it come back to bite the villain in the butt?
Next Issue – The clock is ticking down. The moment is almost at hand. That do-or-die instant where Ben Grimm will either find the will to win – or be annihilated by the fighting-mad Immortal Hulk! In stores August 14th, 2019.