Ben Grimm, transformed back to a human! There’s an imposter Thing amidst the Fantastic Four, and Grimm is struggling to alert his teammates! What has caused the Thing to lose his rock-like form? And what does this mean for his future with Alicia Masters? Plus, Reed Richards enters the Negative Zone!
The story begins with The Thing wandering around town in the rain. He is depressed over his appearance and decides to take a walk. Passing by a house, a strange man calls to Thing and invites him inside for some coffee. The man(who isn't given a name) tells Ben to tell him his problems, Ben does and the man reveals himself to be a mocked and ridiculed scientist, who wishes to be like Reed Richards. Ben decides to leave but the scientist insists that Ben rest on his sofa and rest. Its revealed the coffee was drugged and Ben is asleep.
The scientist removes a machine from a closet, and in a monologue, reveals how envious he is of Reed Richards. The machine is a duplication device and he hooks it up to Ben and he takes on the form (and voice) of The Thing. Ben is back to his human form, but is still drugged. The man leaves Ben there and sets out to destroy the Fantastic Four.
At the Baxter Building , Reed is discussing going into sub-space (what will later be dubbed the Negative Zone) to Sue. when The scientist (as The Thing ) walks in. Reed has him move some machinery around to get ready. The real Ben Grimm shows up to warn Sue and Reed that the "Ben" in front of them is fake. They view him as a imposter, and tell him to leave, and Ben storms off angrily. Reed sets up the portal to enter sub-space and has The doc hold a safety line should anything happen he can pull him back home. Reed is amazed at what he sees but finds due to instabilities in this dimension, he will be drawn to earth's atmosphere and explode (negative matter meeting positive matter, and the kind) he calls out to "Ben" to draw him back. The scientist leaves him to die, until Sue talks to him As Ben Grimm and tells him to save Reed. The scientist realizes that he must do the right thing and pulls the line, it snaps leaving Reed on his collision course! The scientist jumps into the portal and throws Reed back through the portal and home safe. The scientist sits and awaits death knowing he did one last decent act . Reed and Sue mourn their friend, as Ben is about to tell Alicia Masters that he is normal, when at the exact moment The scientist dies, and Ben is reverted back to The Thing. Excited he runs back home and Sue and Reed apologize for not believe Ben the first time and wonder who was the imposter and why did he sacrifice himself like that. They group hug and put the matter behind them.