Ricardo was an inventor whose theories were mocked and ridiculed by others. He plotted to destroy the Fantastic Four, whose leader, Mister Fantastic, he hated for his fame and fortune. To that end he used his short-range, subliminal influencer to lure the Thing, who was busy bemoaning his fate, into his apartment. When the Thing arrived the man related to him as a reject and offered him a cup of coffee to warm him. The Thing took the cup, which the man had secretly laced with an unknown substance, which put the Thing to sleep.
While he was asleep, Ricardo used his duplication apparatus to turn himself into the Thing, leaving Ben Grimm in his human form. After a few days of practice with Ben’s voice and verbal mannerisms, the imposter arrived at the Baxter Building and met Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Girl. They were immediately fooled, and Ricardo slowly learned to use his new, awesome strength when Reed asked him to move his Mosen Particle-Smasher. But the real Ben Grimm showed up moments later, confronting his duplicate, renouncing him as a fake. Though his teammates believed Ricardo in the Thing’s form over Ben and he stormed out of the Baxter Building.
Afterwards, Reed explained to the imposter that he had built a machine to travel into sub-space and that he needed Ricardo-as the Thing-to hold his life-line and pull him in, in case of emergency. Thinking that Richards’ main interest was notoriety, Ricardo was surprised that he carried on such an important test in complete secrecy, and he agreed to help him. Yet once Reed had entered sub-space and found himself being pulled along with the negatively charged matter towards the positively charged Earth, Reed tugged on the cord connecting him with normal reality, but Ricardo hesitated. He found that he had the perfect chance to revenge himself upon Reed for all his success, but soon realized that his own failure was due to a lack of hard work and that Reed had earned his acclaim. Ricardo then used the Thing’s strength to try and pull Reed in, but the cable snapped, and Reed was trapped without a connection to home. The fake Thing saw his own error and leapt after Reed’s cable in an act of sudden courage, finding himself pulled in along with Reed, trapped by the same danger.
Despite facing his own death, Reed Richards praised his counterfeit friend, and regretted that his actions would cause Ricardo’s death. Seeing that Reed was such an honorable person, and looking to redeem himself, Ricardo used his stolen strength to hurl Reed through the portal home. Ricardo was condemned to a lonely death, but he had made his life worthwhile, and died knowing what true friendship was; and with his death, the Thing’s form and strength were returned to their rightful owner.