Although Marvel is going ahead with Fear Itself #7.1, 7.2 and 7.3 to tie up loose ends from this week’s big finale to the crossover event, there’s one scene in particular that I feel as if we were robbed of. And so, begging your kind indulgences, may I present a short script I call Fear Itself #7.4:
INT, BAXTER BUILDING
In the foreground, THE THING enters wearing his FF costume while REED RICHARDS and CAPTAIN AMERICA look on, surprised.
THING: Hey, guys. What did I miss?
An ecstatic REED stretches his arm around THING’s shoulder, while CAP looks skeptical.
CAP: Ben, we thought you were DEAD after your fight with Thor –!
THING: Uh, yeah…
REED: You’re back to your pre-hammer form, which must have meant that, when the Serpent fell, your hammer was also mysteriously pulled into the sky and you transformed back to your true self with all physical damage undone. FASCINATING!
THING: Well, not exactly, Stretcho…
As panel two, but now REED looks as upset as CAP.
THING: Y’see, I was kinda dyin’, but then FRANKLIN used his powers and just changed me back…
REED: Franklin’s powers are BACK?
CAP: Franklin could UNDO the Serpent’s TRANSFORMATIONS? Why didn’t anyone TELL me this?
THING: Don’t blame me, I was kinda… Actually, I dunno where I disappeared to for the last couple’a issues.
Dramatic shot of CAP. He’s orating, which is what he does all the time.
CAP: We had a way of CHANGING the Worthy BACK? And no-one knew anything about it?
REED (Off-panel): Well, I didn’t think he had POWERS again, no-one’s mentioned it to ME even in my OWN BOOK…
CAP: So, you’re meaning to say that it was POINTED OUT that we had a way to STOP the Worthy ALL ALONG? Thor didn’t have to DIE? Tony didn’t have to start DRINKING AGAIN? I didn’t have to start shooting rifles at flying Nazi robots? FRANKLIN COULD HAVE MAGICKED IT ALL AWAY ALL ALONG?
THING, shrugging his shoulders, winking at the reader.
THING: Well, sure. But THEN what would we have done with the last couple issues? Explained what the whole thing has to do with FEAR in the first place?
CAPTION: The Ever-Lovin’ End, True Believers!