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In 1951, a nuclear detonation test in Nevada left a cockroach alive but irradiated.
As the cockroach collective consciousness developed, it would take over humans as hosts.
Cockroaches swelled into the home of a middle-aged lazy layabout as he watched a report on the Fantastic Four, swarming over his skin and inside him, taking him over as the next host. Seeing the Thing on television, the Collective targeted him as the next host body.
Two weeks later, the humanoid Collective arrived disguised in a hooded cloak at the Baxter Building in New York City and infiltrated Roberta, the robot receptionist there, which then asked the Thing to come down and meet with the humanoid Collective, claiming that there was no threat. When the Thing arrived, it attacked, seeking the rocky hero as a powerful and enduring host body that would permit the cockroach collective to rule over humans. The Thing activated the alarm, which then brought the Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman into the ensuing fray. The Thing's punches went though the Collective's amorphous form and it was able to break Mr. Fantastic's elastic envelope around it. The battle was then thrown into the street. There, the Invisible Woman sought to contain it within a force field but she could not resist the mounting pressure, however, she did cause it to lose its basic human form. The Thing then pounded at the cockroaches, but was warned that as long as one cockroach survived, it could never be destroyed. More were summoned from the sewers and nearby restaurants to generate a tower of swarming cockroaches, which then sought to drown the Thing in its mass. Just then, the Human Torch arrived and immediately began incinerating the insects with fiery blasts. In unison with the Thing, the two destroyed the immense mass of cockroaches. Mr. Fantastic arrived, stating that all the cockroaches had been eliminated according to the readings from his mechanical instrument.
Powers / Abilities
The Collective was comprised of an innumerable mass of American cockroaches that could dramatically increase mass by absorbing more cockroaches into it. It was the physical manifestation of cockroach consciousness, likely the result of an initial irradiated cockroach that could then summon and direct other unaffected cockroaches, as well as control machinery through cockroach infestation. It relied on notably human hosts but needed new bodies when one deteriorated. As a mass of cockroaches, it could channel strength with a fluidic composition that could quickly disassemble back to individual creatures.