Marvel Premiere Classic: The Thing: Project Pegasus
Writers: Ralph Macchio, Mark Gruenwald
Artists: John Buscema, John Byrne, George Perez
by Avi Green
In the late 1970s, Marvel had a clever idea for a concept to
introduce – the Cosmic Cube, as part of a research center program
called Project Pegasus. And where better to do it but in a series
that wasn't considered a flagship series per se?
The story takes place in the first book the Thing (Ben Grimm) got
that was close to but not actually a solo book (that would come
later in the form of The Thing solo which succeeded MTIO), and it
began with a young alien Ben befriended, Wundarr, being taken for
experimentation at the project center. This outraged Ben so much he
broke in with the initial intention of busting him loose. Captain
America was there and convinced Ben he was on Wundarr's side as
well, and observing the tests to make sure the alien guy wans't
But as can be expected, things go awry when an infiltrator steals
the Cube for his own megalomanical schemes, a cult leader type
called the Entropic Man. After causing plenty of chaos, he flees to
the Florida Everglades swamps, with Thing and Cap in hot pursuit.
Fortunately, who should help them out in the end but the Man-Thing,
who happens to be nearby, and winds up touching the Cube in a way
that freezes the villain, rendering him more like a statue.
A number of issues later, Ben returns to the Project Pegasus
headquarters, where Wundarr's still being held for research, but
it's exceedingly difficult to do, because much of the electronic
equipment shuts down whenever in the guy's vinicity. And elsewhere,
the supervillain Solarr is trying to bust Klaw out of the prison
where he's being held in the Pegasus facility. And as if that
couldn't make things complicated enough, Thundra's been duped into
infiltrating the complex with some Femizons.
It all makes for a most exciting adventure right within a relatively
confined area, and Ben gets guests and help from Quasar and the
second Giant-Man (and former Black Goliath), Dr. William Barret,
And this is what led to the introduction of the Cosmic Cube in the
MCU. Sometimes, the best ideas come in the smaller titles, and
that's how you can really prove inventive.
So if you ever find this story, give it a try. It's a great example
of Bronze Age genius.