Appearing in "Reed Richards & The Riddle of Bast!"
- Prince Banyan (First appearance)
- Doctor Lestrade
- Dr. Rush
- Professor Roderick Van Nuys
- Khafre (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "Reed Richards & The Riddle of Bast!"
Franklin Richards is playing with a baseball around the Fantastic Four's Pier Four headquarters. When his ball rolls into his father's closet, Franklin finds a strange wooden box. Inside he finds a number of old artefacts and what the boy thinks is a Pokéball. Before the boy can throw it he is caught by his father who stops him before it's too late. Reed scolds the boy for going through someone else's things. When Franklin points out the fact that his father is asking a rhetorical question he tells Franklin not to get smart with him. When Franklin points out that Reed is the smartest man alive and that he can't help it, Reed settles down. When Franklin asks what is in the box, Reed explains that they are momentos of his time just after he left the military. When Franklin asks if his father used to go on adventures back then like he does now, Reed explains that they weren't quite as grand as they are now and begins recalling one such expedition to the Himalayas....
Reed and his girlfriend Alyssa Moy were fleeing from the military forces of General Lao-Tse after rescuing Prince Banyan who Lao-Tse was trying to force to open the Lopnor Gateway. In order to get away from their pursuers the trio caused an avalanche in a mountain pass using Reed's specially constructed spheres that contain explosive gasses. The three managed to get away, but General Lao-Tse vows to get revenge on Reed Richards. Safely away from their pursuers, Reed sees Prince Banyan back to his people. As a gift for Reed's help, Prince Banyan gives him a jewel studded sceptre and is on his way. Alyssa is impressed by the monetary value of these gems, but Reed refuses to sell it as it would be disrespectful. Reed skims ahead of he and Alyssa's encounter with the Giant Rat of Sumatra and tells Franklin about what happened after he got back to Paris where he had been working at Demarco Laboratories. While painting a portrait of an apple with the assistance of an astronomy student, Reed is interrupted by the arrival of his colleague Doctor Lestrade who informs him that their mutual friend Professor van Nuys in the United States has fallen terrible ill.
Reed then booked the next flight back to the United States to visit his old friend. At the hospital he learns that Van Nuys is suffering from advance stage Serbert Syndrome and is confined to a wheelchair and has very little time left. Reed tries to talk to his old friend, but all Van Nuys can say is the word "cat". Assuming that the Professor was talking about the cats that he lives with, Reed then went to go and check on them and make sure they were fed. Arriving at the home he is surprised by the number of cats that actually live there and how they have torn up the place. However his concern for the felines quickly ends when he hears someone speaking Arabic refilling through Van Nuys' office. When Reed calls the intruder out he is surprised by the size of the man. The thief then attacks Reed, but pauses when he recognizes the scepter (which Reed is wearing around his neck) as the Scepter of Bast and demands to have it. Reed fights back by striking the intruder with the bag of cat food he brought with him. This causes the legion of cats to go into a feeding frenzy, swarming Reed's attacker in the process. While his foe is distracted, Reed tries to escape out one of the windows but finds that they have security bars on them. Quickly thinking, he pulls apart a lamp and uses it to electrify the door knob, so when the intruder grabs it he is stunned by a jolt of electricity. Reed then knocks him out with a single punch, then recovers the document he stole from Van Nuys office.
It turns to be an ancient parchment of Egyptian decent and so he takes it to Egyptology expert Francesca Fisher who is surprised to see a parchment written by Khafre circa 2200 BC. She is also surprised to see the Scepter of Bast worn around Reed's neck. Fisher explains that it is part of the Claw of Bast and was used in the mystical duel against Moses. Checking her historical texts she explains how the last known user of the Claw, Pharaoh Kahgre, hid it away. When Reed asks what it does, she explains that it "makes the Holy Grail look like a Dixie cup" and insists that they go looking for the other missing parts. Soon the pair are in a plane heading on the first leg of their quest. Along the way she explains that the Claw of Bast has wish granting abilities and that it had a limit of nine uses and that it had only been used seven times prior to its hiding. Reed tells her he doesn't believe in any of that superstitious stuff and that he is only going on the expedition for Professor van Nuys. When Francesca asks Reed about the man who attacked him at the Professor's home, he tells her that he watched as the man was being taken away by police and that they have nothing more to worry about him. As Reed says this he is unaware that his attacker is secretly piloting the plane.
Meanwhile in a castle far away, a butler informs his master Victor von Doom that his minion Ko-Gar will soon be in possession of the parchment and the Scepter of Bast. Von Doom is pleased by this news as he intends to use the Claw of Bast in order to restore his damaged face and gain immortality.
- Join the globe-trotting adventures of young scientist Reed Richards!
- Reed mentions how he was previously in the military. As first explained in Fantastic Four #11, Reed went into the military for a time after he finished schooling.
- The escape from General Lao-Tse was briefly glimpsed in Fantastic Four Vol 3 #18.
- Francesca states that the Claw of Bast was supposedly used in the battle against Moses. This is not accurate at all. As per Fantastic Four #212, the sorcerer who battled Moses was Anath-Na Mut who later became the Sphinx. During this battle he did not use the Claw of Bast.
- As revealed in Fantastic Four #5, Victor von Doom's face was scarred after one of his experiments blew up in his face.
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