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Essential Series Vol 1 Fantastic Four 7


Appearing in "Madness Is... the Miracle Man!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #138.

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Synopsis for "Madness Is... the Miracle Man!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #138.

The Fantastic Four have returned home to their Baxter Building headquarters where they find Johnny's old school friend Wyatt Wingfoot waiting for them. He has come to tell them that he is graduating from Metro College and has asked that they attend, then return with him to his people's tribe in Oklahoma. When Reed asks if anything is wrong, Wyatt says he isn't sure but has a feeling that the Fantastic Four might be needed. As the rest of the FF prepare to go to the graduation ceremony, Reed declines to go, wanting to wait behind in case Sue decides to return to him. Medusa's attempts to get Reed to go out anyway fail. Elsewhere in the headquarters, Johnny tries to figure out what sort of suit to wear and notices his hairstyle is totally dated and decides to do something about it. Ben then begins to muse over the situation, then begins reminiscing about the old days as a pilot. Deciding to call Alicia, he is five minutes late as she had just left her apartment on a trip that may very well change her life forever. Shortly thereafter the Fantastic Four prepare to leave, taking off in the Pogo-Plane, leaving Reed alone with his thoughts. As Wyatt and Medusa get to know each other, Johnny enters the cockpit with his new hairstyle and is met with teasing and laughter over his new look.

Meanwhile, in the mountains of Oklahoma near the land owned by Wyatt's people the Keewazi, a man tries to flee for his life when he is suddenly attacked by a massive thing. When Silent Fox's people go out to investigate the screams, they are horrified when the mountains suddenly come to life, forming a giant creature that chases them away.

Back in New York City, Ben, Johnny and Medusa are in the crowd to watch Wyatt obtain his diploma. After the festivities Johnny is briefly reunited with Coach Throne, who muses how he never got Wyatt to join the school football team. Suddenly one of the administrators tells Wyatt that he got an emergency call back home, and soon he and the Fantastic Four are heading to Oklahoma to see what danger Silent Fox was speaking of. When they arrive they learn that there has been some strange happenings in the hills and that refugees from other reservations have come to the Keewazi for shelter. Before the Fantastic Four can learn anymore about the incident they are suddenly confronted by their old foe the Miracle Man, who claims responsibility and threatens to destroy them all. Johnny and Ben laugh at this, remembering from their last encounter that the Miracle Man only had hypnotic powers and could not create any real miracles. However they realize how wrong they are when the Miracle Man is able to cause the ground to crack up and stone hands to grab at them, as well as a massive stone monster to fight the Thing. Johnny and Medusa manage to get to safety, and when Johnny disrupts the energy matrix between the Miracle Man's hands, it causes the stone creature fighting the Thing to crumble as well.

Confused, Johnny recounts the group's previous encounter with the Miracle Man early on in their career and how he was merely a stage magician with hypnotic powers who was defeated when Johnny managed to blind him with his flame. [2] The Miracle Man explains that after he was put in prison, he became obsessed with the phenomenon of mind-over-matter and heavily researched the subject in prison. After his release from prison, he sought out the Dark Hills of Oklahoma, where he read of legends of the three thousand year old Cheemuzwa tribe who had master the very craft he sought to learn. He found the cave where they reportedly existed unseen by anyone for centuries. There he was greeted by the specters of these individuals and convinced them to teach him the power of mind-over-matter. After long months of training, the Miracle Man mastered this ability. Eventually, the Cheemuzwa confronted him, revealing that they knew he had less than noble intentions for the powers that they had taught him. The Miracle Man then turned this power against the Cheemuzwa, seemingly burying them alive.

With his tale over, the Miracle Man uses his powers to open up the ground, sending the Fantastic Four, Wyatt, and all of his people falling deep into the ground to their doom. With the Fantastic Four seemingly destroyed, the Miracle Man is now poised to rule over humanity for all time.

Appearing in "Target: Tomorrow!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #139.

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Synopsis for "Target: Tomorrow!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #139.

The Fantastic Four and members of the Keewazi tribe have just been sent falling into a chasm created by the Miracle Man. To avoid falling to their doom, the heroes act quickly to brace themselves as Johnny melts the walls of the pit to create a makeshift bottom for the Keewazi to safely land on. When regaining their bearings, Johnny points out that the way out has been sealed by the Miracle Man above.

Assuming his foes are dead, the Miracle Man gloats over his victory and then begins the next phase of his plan. Using his mind-over-mater powers he creates a massive futuristic city to rule over. Moments after the massive city is built, the Thing smashed through the ground to free those trapped below. Unphased by the return of his enemy, the Miracle Man then uses his power to create an army of android creatures to battle Ben. As the Thing battles the creatures, he is joined by Medusa and the Human Torch who make short work of the Miracle Man's army as the Keewazi people climb out of the pit. Furious at this turn of events, the Miracle Man then uses his power to summon a massive whirlwind to spirit his enemies away from his city.

Meanwhile, at the Baxter Building, Reed Richards works away at a new experiment although his heart is not much into it as his mind keeps on drawing back to his wife and child who recently left him. As he laments, he is unaware that a warning light over the Negative Zone portal has begun to blink. While back at the Pennsylvania ranch of Bob and Carol Landers, Sue is putting one of the horses away when she suddenly hears Franklin begin to scream. She rushes out of the barn calling to Carol to call a doctor. When Carol arrives, Franklin has finally stopped screaming and has fallen asleep, but Sue is still concerned.

While back in Oklahoma, the Fantastic Four, Wyatt and his people recover from the whirlwind to find that they have been carried miles away from Keewazi land. Finding themselves at the Kichuma River, they begin making a makeshift raft in order to sail back to the Miracle Man's city. There, the Miracle Man begins the next step of his plan by using his powers to create a race of people to lord over, including a woman that is his ideal of perfection. However, when he tries to touch the woman, she shirks back in fear, angering him. Elsewhere at a high priority military meeting, a scientist informs the military brass gathered that something is causing all nuclear material on the planet to become unstable and if it continues the entire world may be eradicated in the process. The brass thank the scientist for his report and begin planning what to do next.

At that moment, the Fantastic Four and Wyatt return to the Miracle Man's city. They attack the Miracle Man who sends his slaves against the Fantastic Four, but they send them fleeing. Facing his foes alone, the Miracle Man uses his powers to increase his size and strength so he can go toe-to-toe against the Thing. The more the Miracle Man uses his powers the more the nuclear stockpiles around the world grow unstable. Despite his increased strength, the Miracle Man is no match for the Thing who knocks out his foe with a single powerful blow. Still, the Miracle Man manages to pick himself up from the ground, but before he can attack further he has suddenly teleported away against his will. Suddenly, the spirits of the Cheemuzwa appear in the sky and tell the FF and Wyatt that they have spirited the Miracle Man away to teach him the errors of his ways in the hopes that he will never abuse his new-found powers again. As they vanish, the Thing muses about how the Miracle Man claimed to have killed the Cheemuzwa, and spooks himself upon realizing that they were talking to ghosts.

While back at the Baxter Building, the warning light over the Negative Zone portal continues to blink, warning of a danger yet to come.

Appearing in "Annihilus Revealed!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #140.

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Synopsis for "Annihilus Revealed!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #140.

Flying through the Negative Zone is Annihilus, its ruler, as he grows closer to the portal to Earth while he gloats over how he will finally get revenge against his foes the Fantastic Four. As he reaches the distortion area, he is stopped by the words of his prisoner. When that prisoner begs to know when they will be released, Annihilus states that their fate is in his hands.

Meanwhile, at the Baxter Building on Earth, Reed's experiment ends in failure when he uses too much lead in the solder he is using to put together his latest invention. Walking away from the experiment he feels that it doesn't matter anyway without his wife and son living at the building anymore. Soon the rest of the Fantastic Four and their friend Wyatt Wingfoot return to New York after their mission in Oklahoma. When they arrive, Ben has little patience for Reed's depressed mood and reams him out for being so useless when they were almost killed by the Miracle Man. Before the argument can go on any further there is a sudden alarm prompting Reed to rush to the monitors. It's a panicked call from Sue, who tells Reed that there is something seriously wrong with Franklin and that she is returning home for her husband to look at him. Before Reed can get anymore details, the image cuts out. When Reed tries to rush off and see his wife, the rest of the team tries to slow him down so they can all go together. When Reed resists, Medusa unthinkingly smacks him in the head with a wrench, knocking Reed out.

At that moment in Pennsylvania, Sue wonders why the connection cut out and decides to drive out to the Baxter Building with Franklin anyway, bidding farewell to her friends Bob and Carol Landers. As she drives on a deserted country road, Sue suddenly loses control of her car as it veers off into the woods. There she is confronted by Agatha Harkness, who tells Sue that she must come with her as Franklin is in grave danger. Sue agrees to go with the elderly witch, and soon they teleport away.

Several hours later, the Fantastic Four are heading to Pennsylvania after an unforeseen interruption by the Sub-Mariner, [3] and when they arrive at the Landers home they learned that Sue had left hours ago. Using a tracking device, Reed is able to track down her car but finds no trace of Sue or Franklin. Using a scanning device he confirms his worse fears, some anti-matter radiation has saturated the area, prompting Reed to order his team to head back into back and return to the Negative Zone.

When they arrive they find that the doorway to the portal had been broken open from the inside and that their foe Annihilus has breached the barrier and now stands in their headquarters. The Fantastic Four try to fight Annihilus, but he is too strong for them and they are all knocked out. When Wyatt regains consciousness, Annihilus binds him and decides to amuse the Native American with his origins.

Annihilus explains that his world came to life over a thousand years ago. When life sprang on the planet, he was the only creature to emerge from the mire with intelligence. Because of this he was feared and shunned by all the other living creatures on his world. Growing to hate them all, the insect that would become Annihilus ventured across the planet until he came across the long dead crew of a ship from the planet Tayanna. Inside the ship Annihilus found a helmet that filled his mind with all the secrets of Tayanna as well as what became of the crew: The Tayannans had mastered technology on their world and sent a crew out to spread the seed of life across the Negative Zone. However their ship was struck with a meteor and crashed on the world that would eventually give birth to Annihilus. Dying of starvation, the Tayannans then unleashed the life seeds from the rods that they brought with them, hoping that at least one world would grow teeming with life. With this knowledge, Annihilus pledged to become an immortal ruler of the Negative Zone, using the Tayannan technology to create his Cosmic Control Rod.

With his story complete, Annihilus then tosses the Fantastic Four and Wyatt into the Negative Zone portal, intent on finally getting his final revenge against his hated foes.

Appearing in "The End of the Fantastic Four!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #141.

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Synopsis for "The End of the Fantastic Four!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #141.

Annihilus has defeated the Fantastic Four and their ally Wyatt Wingfoot and dumped them into his domain, the Negative Zone. Gloating over his victory and his final revenge, he lowers his enemies unconscious bodies toward an alien world where he imprisons them in a complex beneath the planet's surface. Not long after the defeated heroes revive they are greeted by Annihilus who reveals that he has Sue, Franklin and Agatha Harkness as his prisoners. Angered at the sight of his wife and son in danger, Reed tries to lash out, but his teammates hold him back. Reed relents realizing plunging in headlong will not solve the problem and Annihilus gloats at their weakness. He then begins explaining his intents: He reminds them of the accident that created the Fantastic Four, [4] and how the romance between Reed and Sue led to their marriage, [5] and Sue's eventually pregnancy with Franklin. Annihilus also reminds them how the pregnancy was a complicated one which required Reed to venture into the Negative Zone where he tricked Annihilus into allowing him to siphon energy from the Cosmic Control Rod in order to save the life his wife and unborn child. [6] But he posits that Reed and Sue's biggest fears were that instead of being born a prodigy, their son would become a monster. Annihilus then assures them that young Franklin has become a monster.

This angers Reed, but when he attacks he is easily knocked out by Annihilus. Likewise, when the rest of the Fantastic Four try to fight the Negative Zone ruler, he easily buffets their attacks. He then continues to explain his schemes: Annihilus explains that after his last attempt to conquer Earth, [7] he began observing Franklin, and seeing a threat in the witch Agatha Harkness, he began seeing to removing her from the game. When Franklin was away from the witch's home, [8] he attacked Agatha after she contacted the Fantastic Four with a warning, spiriting her way before she could tell them what she knew. [9] He then explains that he used the old witch in order to kidnap both Sue and Franklin for his schemes. Having told them enough, Annihilus tells them that they must be refreshed before he begins his "transformation" and soon the Fantastic Four and Wyatt are bound up in coils and carried off into another room while Annihilus laughs.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Alicia Masters is on a flight to a Bavarian country in Europe. There she is greeted by Doctor Hans Stutgart, the man who has been corresponding with her about the medical procedure that may restore her eyesight. Picking her up at the airport, Stutgart shows her to his car...

While back in the Negative Zone, the Fantastic Four and Wyatt find themselves trapped in a tower with walls so strong even the Thing can't pound through them. Quickly thinking, Medusa uses her hair to lower her teammates out the window and down to the ground. Slipping away from the lair of Annihilus, the heroes set up camp and try to figure out their next move. Suddenly they are attacked by a group of creatures and make short work of them. Discovering that the creatures communicate telepathically, they learn from their leader that Annihilus has been losing energy since their first battle with him, making Reed realize why the creature has targeted his son and that he will begin working on the boy soon.

Inside the fortress, Annihilus has taken Franken from his cells. Sue asks Agatha to cast a spell to try and stop them, but the old witch informs her that her arcane powers are only half as strong in this universe. Annihilus then places Franklin into a machine and explains that it is a Gene Transmuter that will restore the power that was stolen from his Cosmic Control Rod by leeching the energies from Franklin's body. Annihilus begins activating the device, which charges the infant's body, unleashing the energies that will bring the boy to a most tragic fate. While outside, the Human Torch begins using his flame powers to melt a hole through the thick rock outside of Annihilus' lair. They catch Annihilus off guard, and while the team is fighting the creature, Agatha manages to cast a spell so that they can communicate with their friends outside of their glass enclosure. Sue warns Reed of the machine that Franklin is hooked up to.

Turning away from Annihilus to rescue his son, Reed notices his son's eyes are glowing with a weird energy. Suddenly he can feel the boy's thoughts and see entire galaxies swirling in his mind like play things. As Reed pulls his son from the device, Johnny, Ben, and Medusa knock Annihilus into unconsciousness. They then free Agatha and Sue from the glass tube they were contained in. Acting quickly, Agatha casts a spell that transports the Fantastic Four, Sue, Wyatt and Franklin back to the Baxter Building on Earth. Meanwhile, the energies growing in Franklin begin hitting critical mass. Quickly, Reed hands the boy over to Sue and then rushes to his lab to get the device he has been working on. Even though it is not fully functional, Reed is still forced to use it on his son. Firing a blast at the boy just before his body explodes, Reed succeeds in shutting down Franklin's mind, making his powers dormant once more and saving the world. However, this comes at a terrible cost now that Franklin is now in a comatose state. Not fully understanding why Reed did what he did, Sue is horrified that her son is now basically brain dead. This revelation shocks everyone else and the Thing angrily announces that because of Reed's actions, the Fantastic Four are no more. As Reed bows his head in shame, Sue leaves with Franklin with Wyatt, Johnny, and Ben taking their leave as well.

Appearing in "No Friend Beside Him!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #142.

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  • Fantastic Four's Jet-Cycle

Synopsis for "No Friend Beside Him!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #142.

The fact that Mr. Fantastic just turned his son into a vegetable is just too much to bear. Reed stands as a shattered leader, husband and father as the rest of the team walks out. Only Medusa remains with Mr. Fantastic. But before Ben leaves the Baxter Building, he comes across an unopened letter from Alicia. In no time, he is aboard a transatlantic flight to catch up with his gal.

When Ben finally does meet up with Alicia, he discovers she is about to have a very special operation to restore her sight. But the real complication comes from a local superstition about a demon prowling about at night. It doesn't take long for the Thing to find out there is truth behind the fears, as he is attacked by Darkoth the Death-Demon while walking the night streets alone. The fight ends abruptly, leaving more questions than answers for the Thing to ponder.

Meanwhile, the Human Torch and Wyatt Wingfoot make an unexpected visit to Metro College to talk with one of Reed's old colleagues and Sue takes Franklin back to the Linder's farm in the country. Alicia's impending operation holds Ben's full attention. Once her sight is restored he is certain she will no longer love him as the Thing.

After pacing outside the operating room, Ben bursts in to check on his girlfriend's condition, but the room is completely empty. Suddenly Darkoth is upon him once again and the ensuing brawl leads to an underground lab. Darkoth eventually scratches the Thing, drugging him and rendering him helpless. Back in the U.S. Reed and Medusa show up for an alumni meeting of Reed's old college class. This is no ordinary alumni dinner, though. The host is none other than Dr. Doom!

Appearing in "The Terrible Triumph of Doctor Doom!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #143.

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  • Fantastic Four Jet-Cycle

Synopsis for "The Terrible Triumph of Doctor Doom!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #143.

As Doom and the coach's wife descend to the gallery floor, they see two guards carrying Reed Richards. Belle remarks that Reed is awake and Doom instructs Gort to set Reed on his feet. Reed tells Doom that his plan will fall, but Doom replies that Reed and his friends are completely in his power. Then Doom tells how he trapped the Thing by luring him after Alicia and tricking him into battling Darkoth. Doom gloats that Reed never suspected that the alumni meeting was a sham, even though the townhouse was decorated with paintings from the Latverian, not Latvian, Embassy. Then Doom says he is tired of warfare and intrigue. By right, the Earth should be his to command, he says, but time and again he has been defeated by the power of misguided patriotism. Now he will reverse his former failures with yet another device—a vibration bomb—which will replace people's patriotism with loyalty to himself.

Then Doom sets up a demonstration. His spies have uncovered two traitors, he says as he summons the two guards who are carrying Medusa out of the room. The men, Gort and Harrison, realize that they have been found out and try to flee, but Doom knocks them unconscious with a finger-blast. Then he orders the two men placed beneath the vibration bomb, and when they are properly positioned, Doom turns it on. Gort and Harrison are bathed in waves of sound as their thoughts of betraying Doom are erased. Their minds blank, they are easily hypnotized by Doom into being perfectly loyal subjects. Then Doom orders them to prove their loyalty, and he hands each a weapon. As Doom's harsh laughter echoes through the gallery, Gort and Harrison aim their guns at each other and fire. Wyatt Wingfoot, mounted on the Airjet-Cycle, flies after the Human Torch as they head toward upstate New York, Wyatt knows Johnny is still angry at Reed, and he tries to calm him down, but Johnny knocks him off the cycle. Wyatt falls onto a roof, and Johnny, regretting the accident that he caused, flies down to help.

Fortunately, Wyatt is unhurt, and he is pleased to see that Johnny has finally calmed down. But then a policeman arrives with the remains of the Airjet-Cycle stuck through his patrol car's windshield. Perhaps in New York City, they put up with this, sort of thing, he says angrily, but in Buffalo, they're under arrest. As Carol Landers helps Sue Richards tend her son, Franklin, in Pennsylvania, back in Manhattan Dr. Doom begins the next phase of his operation. The Vibro-Bomb is carefully loaded into the nose of a missile in a special launch silo. All of a sudden, a monitoring device reports a disturbance in Core Control Chamber 12. No doubt his guests are attempting to escape, says Doom as he heads for the chamber. Once the Vibro-Bomb is in orbit around the Earth, he gloats, he can detonate it at will, and the resulting radiation will destroy the personalities of every thinking creature on the planet—excluding himself and a few select aides. Soon all the world will swear allegiance to a gypsy's son.

When Doom arrives at the chamber, he finds pandemonium. Darkoth has broken free of his restraining cell, and the guards are shooting wildly, trying to keep him from wreaking havoc. Darkoth shouts that he will be caged by no one and answers to none but his "master." Then Doom commands Darkoth to stop. Darkoth is incredulous that Doom, who summoned him from the "depths," is also the one who imprisoned him. But, as the one whose spell brought him from the darkness of the underworld, Doom does have the right to restrain him, says the demon. Doom declares that he is more than Darkoth's master: he is his creator.

Then Doom explains how Darkoth came to be. Sometime later, an aircraft carrying the Latverian monarch and some of his guards head out of Manhattan toward the Buffalo jail where the Human Torch and Wyatt Wingfoot are incarcerated. Suddenly an energy bolt melts a hole in the jail wall, and Doom's guards rush in and cover Johnny and Wyatt, who are stunned by flying debris. Doom enters and advises them to come quietly, but Johnny flames on and attacks the guards.

But as Wyatt starts to battle them, a finger-blast from Dr. Doom knocks him out, and another blast does the same to Johnny. Back in Doom's Manhattan headquarters, Darkoth strides through the Central Core Chamber ordering the guards out. He tells them that the "master" has given this task to him. Then he throws a switch that releases Reed, Medusa, and the Thing from the cells they are imprisoned in. He needs their help, he says, for he has been wronged and wants revenge. Reed asks him to explain, and he begins by saying that in the legends of a certain small Balkan country, there is a myth of Darkoth the Death-Demon, who may be summoned by a master of mysticism and used to crush the conjurer's enemies.

Three weeks ago, he continues, he became conscious, and believing himself to be Darkoth, the demon of the legends, he thought Doom was his master. However, he was wrong. He is simply one of Doom's former aides, converted through chemistry and the vibration bomb into the hideous creature that stands before them. Reed, Medusa, and the Thing offer to help, and Darkoth exhorts them to hurry, for Doom will return within the hour. Ben asks Reed whether Darkoth can be trusted, and Reed replies that they have little choice. Doom still holds Alicia and the Thornes captive, and there is still the menace of the vibration bomb to consider. Then Reed begins to get the glimmering of an idea as to how Doom might be stopped.

Appearing in "Attack!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #144.

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Synopsis for "Attack!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #144.

Reed Richards, the Thing, Medusa, and Darkoth escape from Dr. Doom's headquarters and head through the sewers of Manhattan toward the Baxter Building. As Medusa holds a lantern with her hair, Reed stretches himself across a gap to allow his companions to cross. Ben still does not trust Darkoth, but so far Darkoth has remained on their side. Unfortunately, it is not long before they become lost. This annoys Ben even more, and he angrily puts his fist through a wall, only to be deluged by a stream of water. Reed realizes that Ben is under considerable strain, because Doom still holds Alicia hostage, and he tries to calm him down. Also, Ben is still angry over what Reed did to Franklin. When it appears as if Ben is about to desert them, Reed tells him that they will not be able to make it out of there without him. Just then, an Android calling itself the Seeker smashes through a wall and attacks Ben. It knocks him over, but Reed wraps it up with his arm. This attempt to bind the android's arms fails, however, because in place of hands the creature has nuclear discharge prods with which it sends a jolt of energy through Reed's body. Then, as Reed lies stunned on the floor, Darkoth leaps onto the Seeker, but the Android shrugs him off. Medusa slams the Seeker with a rock, setting it up for Ben, who punches it with all his strength. This deactivates the Android, and it falls into the sewer water. Then Reed fishes it out, but instead of destroying it, he decides to bring it to the Baxter Building with him. The Seeker may just possibly provide a way to defeat Doom.

When Doom returns to his headquarters and finds his prisoners escaped, he vents his rage on his guards. Sam Thorne, Belle Thorne, and Alicia Masters listen to Doom's tantrum, and Thorne asks him sarcastically whether anything is wrong. Doom assures them that the setback is only temporary, but Wyatt Wingfoot and the Human Torch, imprisoned in twin transparent cylinders, contradict him. Wyatt exhorts Johnny to try to flame on, but a gas in the cylinder inhibits Johnny's flame, and no matter how much he concentrates nothing happens. Doom points out Johnny's helplessness and declares that neither Thorne nor his wife nor Alicia Masters's beloved Ben Grimm can do anything to stop him.

In the basement of the Baxter Building, a janitor's musings about the fate that condemned him to his boring job are suddenly interrupted when Ben grabs him by the shirt. Reed tells Ben to put him down because they have no time for fooling around. Then Darkoth cautions Reed to be careful lest he jar the Seeker awake before they can bring it upstairs. The janitor comments that he has seen Ben on television, so Ben twists a pipe into a pretzel and hands it to the janitor as a souvenir, saying he'll autograph it later. Meanwhile, several blocks east of the Baxter Building, the missile carrying Doom's vibration bomb thunders into the sky. Ben sees the launch from the window and alerts Reed, who is busy reprogramming the Android. Just because the weapon has been launched does not mean Doom has won, says Reed. Reed tells Darkoth they will need his help, but Ben, still distrusting the demon, says Reed is crazy. Insulted, Darkoth swats Ben with his tail. Ben starts to brawl with him, and it is all Reed and Medusa can do to break up the fight. Reed declares that he is fed up with Ben's childishness.

The Vibro-Bomb enters an orbit 2200 miles above the Earth. Soon the bomb's first energy wavefront spreads across the Earth's surface, draining the minds of the people and readying them for the controlling voice of Dr. Doom. In two hours, gloats Doom, all of humanity will become an extension of his ego, and together he and they will become powerful enough to rule the entire cosmos. But within the hour the Seeker enters Doom's headquarters, unnoticed by the security system, which is programmed to accept the Seeker as a friend. The Seeker shatters the cylinders holding the Torch and Wyatt Wingfoot, and Johnny flames on and head for Doom. The guards can do little against the heat shield that Johnny forms around himself, but Doom creates a concussion vacuum that extinguishes Johnny's flame. Then the Seeker attacks Doom, but Doom shatters it with a finger-blast, calling it a "traitor." Just then Darkoth enters, followed by the Thing. Seeing little point in battling two powerful foes at once, Doom flees down a corridor. With Darkoth in pursuit, Doom enters his central control chamber and begins rapidly pushing buttons. Since the Vibro-Bomb is still in orbit, he thinks, he has only to rendezvous with it above the Earth and turn on its full beam, and the world will be his.

Then the building begins to shake. Johnny tells Sam and Belle Thorne and Alicia to follow him out as fast as possible, and seconds after the Thing, Wyatt, the Torch, and the others safely reach a nearby rooftop, an entire tower of Doom's building blasts off into outer space, carrying Doom with it. Now, gloats Doom, he is safe from any attacker. Unfortunately, Darkoth is in the spaceship with him, and he attacks just as the rocket approaches the Vibro-Bomb. Having to fend off Darkoth's attack, Doom loses control of the spacecraft, and it collides with the orbiting weapon. Reed and Medusa, watching on a monitor, see both bomb and ship vanish in the ensuing explosion. For now, says Reed, they are safe. Outside, on the rooftop, Johnny, Ben, Wyatt, the Thornes, and Alicia gladly welcome the start of a peaceful snowfall. But Ben is still disappointed because the promise to have Alicia's eyesight restored was a sham.

Appearing in "Nightmare in the Snow!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #145.

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Synopsis for "Nightmare in the Snow!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #145.

After the pogo plane crash-lands in the Himalayas, the Human Torch and Medusa emerge into the snow to take stock of their situation. Although Medusa wears a parka, it is scant protection against the cold and wind. The Torch discovers a mountain pass some distance away, but it is too far for him to fly there with Medusa, and he will not leave her there alone. Medusa cannot believe that she is about to die in the Himalayas scarcely fifty miles from the Great Refuge. When she senses someone watching her, she dismisses the feeling as impossible, and then she asks Johnny how long his flame will last in the cold. About fifteen minutes replies Johnny—which means they are in trouble.

Just as Medusa asks Johnny to check the radio in the pogo plane, a group of apelike humanoids attacks her. She fends them off with her hair, noting that their skin is freezing cold and that their language is unlike any tongue she has ever heard. Then the Torch chases them away with fireballs after he realizes that their frigid metabolism cannot tolerate heat. But as Johnny flies in pursuit, a giant snow creature leaps out from under the snow and grabs Johnny's leg. The creature's cold extinguishes the flame where he touches Johnny, who hurls fireballs at him in desperation. Amazingly enough, the creature speaks English, and he introduces himself as Ternak and demands to know what they are doing there. He asks what they know about the "cannon," and he declares that they will regret interfering. When Ternak admits to destroying the pogo plane, Medusa slams him with a chunk of metal. The distraction allows Johnny to break free and strike Ternak in the face with a white-heat blast. Temporarily blinded, the snow giant flees, but Johnny falls into the snow, which extinguishes the last of his flame. Medusa carefully picks Johnny up with her hair, hoping to get him someplace warm, but their situation looks even more hopeless to her now than when they first crashed.

Ten hours before, recalls Medusa, she and Johnny were at the Baxter Building working out. Ben was lifting weights and boasting about how much stronger he was getting. Irritated, Johnny melted one of Ben's weights, and Ben retaliated by pulling out a fire hose. Before Ben could use it, Johnny burned a hole in it, so Ben chased him and slammed him into a wall. Then, annoyed at being used as Johnny's "personal doormat," Ben stamped out of the room. Medusa helped Johnny to his feet, saying that he had it coming. When she asked him why he had been acting so strangely recently, he replied that it was difficult getting used to Crystal and Quicksilver being engaged. Just then, Reed interrupted to tell Medusa that he received a message on the sub-space radio from Black Bolt, who wanted her to return temporarily to the Great Refuge to assist with "Project Revival." When Reed asked Medusa what that meant, Medusa replied that it was a classified Inhumans secret. Medusa persuaded Johnny to join her, and soon he and she were over the Himalayas in the pogo plane. But then, just as Johnny was asking Medusa why she wanted to have him along, the pogo plane was struck by an energy beam in mid-air. Johnny flamed on and grabbed Medusa's hair, which saved them both, but the plane was a wreck. Johnny handed Medusa a thermo-parka and flew into the sky to look around, and then they were attacked by the snow-creatures.

Medusa finishes reminiscing sheltered by a rock, as she and Johnny warm themselves with what remains of Johnny's weakened flame. Johnny too wears a parka to keep warm and preserve his flame. Suddenly, a faint noise alerts them to someone watching them, and Johnny flushes him out with a heat flare. With her hair, Medusa reels in the watcher, who turns out to be an aged snow-creature who speaks English. Begging Medusa to keep the Human Torch away, he says that he owes no allegiance to Ternak and came there to warn them of the danger they face, a danger that threatens all "outsiders." Then he briefly outlines the origin and history of the strange snow-creature race. Five hundred years ago, begins the snowman, there was a monastery in the mountains to the east.

Every two years, the monks sent an expedition to the villages below for food. They were vegetarians, forbidden to eat the flesh of the goats that lived in the mountains, so they had to buy rice from the farmers in the distant valleys. These journeys were very strenuous, but one particular journey was much more strenuous than usual. All of the monks save one were killed by the adverse elements. The survivor, whom the snow-creatures now call the Master, sought shelter in a cavern but soon became lost. In that cavern, he discovered the brutish race that were the ancestors of the present-day snow-creatures. At first, they attacked him, but he was skilled in martial arts and defended himself with his staff. But at last, he was defeated by the sheer number of his attackers. Then he produced an object from his pouch—a mirror. The snow-creatures had never seen a mirror before, and when they saw themselves they were frightened. Soon they bowed down before the Master and acknowledged him their leader. The Master stayed with them for many years, teaching them to build buildings and bringing them civilization. Slowly, they learned the languages and sciences of the outside world. Then, after sixty years, the Master died. He was mourned for weeks, but the snow-creatures continued to build on what they learned, and they lived peacefully in isolation through the centuries until Ternak came to power. He is the first of their leaders to crave conquest of the outside world.

The elderly snowman's words are cut short by a ray blast which vaporizes him. Shocked, Johnny and Medusa turn to see Ternak and his minions, who leap down and quickly subdue them. Johnny and Medusa are carried unconscious into a dungeon, where Johnny soon revives to find himself chained to the floor. Standing over him is Ternak, who intends to summon Johnny to the central chamber to tell how he learned of the snow-creatures' plans. As Ternak departs, Johnny realizes that he will never convince the paranoid tyrant that he and Medusa were there by accident. He tries to flame on, and after a strenuous effort, he manages to create enough of a flame to melt his shackles. Once he frees himself, he ignites his whole body. Then he melts through his cell door, finds Medusa—who happens to be picking her lock with her hair—and melts her door as well. As they head upstairs, Johnny quickly defeats a group of snow-creature guards by melting their weapons and chasing them off with fireballs. Then he melts through a wall, hoping to escape to the Great Refuge to obtain the assistance of the other Inhumans. But that wall leads instead into the central chamber, and when Johnny and Medusa enter, they find Ternak at the controls of a huge weapon that he calls the Climate Cannon. Ternak explains that he and his people are forced to live in the Himalayas because of their body temperature, which is several dozen degrees lower than that of humans. The Climate Canon will lower the mean average temperature of the entire planet, says Ternak, which will destroy the outsiders and will allow him and his people to rule the world.

Appearing in "Doomsday: 200° Below!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #146.

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Synopsis for "Doomsday: 200° Below!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #146.

Ternak switches on the Climate Cannon, coating the Human Torch and Medusa with ice. Virtually helpless, Medusa urges Johnny to turn on his flame, but he cannot. Ternak gloats that within hours he will focus the cannon on the Earth's equator, dropping the world's temperature and initiating a new ice age. Humans consider themselves the supreme pinnacle of creation, says Ternak, but the snow-creatures, also known as abominable snowmen, existed before humanity and shall soon inherit the Earth. Enraged by Ternak's threats, Johnny finally manages to flame on and starts to melt the snow-creatures' weapons, dodging their energy beams as he battles. But when he passes over Ternak, the leader of the snow-creatures swats him out of the air toward an ice wall. Fortunately, Medusa catches him with her hair before he impacts, which saves his life. Then she enters the battle, bowling the snow-creatures over with her hair. She and Johnny were simply passing by, she says, when they were attacked without provocation. She had received an urgent message to return to her people in the Great Refuge, and every moment she spends fighting the snow-creatures represents an unnecessary delay. Then she knocks the Climate Cannon off its pedestal with a large boulder. Ternak falls from his perch, stunned, and by the time he regroups with his minions, Medusa and Johnny flee and hide. Ternak orders the snow-creatures to find them, and Johnny and Medusa know that it is only a matter of time before they are caught.

But a different snow-creature—a female—finds them, and she motions for them to be quiet. They follow her through a maze of icy caverns, silently enjoying the breathtaking scenery. Lost in thought, Johnny comes to realize that his anger with Reed over what happened to Franklin is misdirected. He has.. been unfair to his brother-in-law, he tells Medusa, and Medusa agrees. Reed had no choice, she says, just as they have no choice but to follow the snowgirl into the cave. After a while, Johnny and Medusa are brought to a large machinery-filled gallery, in the center of which, beneath a transparent dome, is seated a wizened figure. Meanwhile, three snow-creatures are exploring the remains of the pogo plane, which was downed by Ternak's laser cannon when Johnny and Medusa passed over the region. As they examine the weapons, one of them accidentally fires the Fantastic Four signal flare gun, and a bright figure "4" illuminates the darkened peaks. As they watch, bewildered, a large figure suddenly appears and asks about Johnny and Medusa. But before they can reply, the figure attacks them, and after a brief skirmish, he leaves them lying unconscious on the snow.

Johnny, Medusa, and the snowgirl approach the seated man, and Johnny is surprised when the man introduces himself as the Master, the monk who found the snow-creatures five centuries ago. He gave them the rudiments of science, he says, but he tried in vain to teach them wisdom as well. Four hundred forty years ago, he explains, he died, but several of his loyal students brought his lifeless body into the Entropy Globe, where he was reanimated and his brain was restored. The Master remained in the Entropy Globe, tended by the descendants of the original students, watching with sadness the rise of warmongers within the once gentle snow-creature race. When the Master finishes, he indicates a device with which Johnny and Medusa will be able to crush Ternak's rebellion and save the world. Johnny is puzzled when the Master asks the gods for forgiveness for showing Johnny the machine, but the Master explains that no one has the right to inflict his will on others, even to save the world. Thus, continues the Master, what they have to do is a sin, but it is less grave than Ternak's, and hence it is justified though not sanctified. Then Medusa picks up the device with her hair, and she and Johnny leave the snowgirl and the Master and head toward where Ternak has doubtless finished repairing the Climate Cannon.

The Human Torch flies into the chamber just as Ternak is about to set the cannon on "maximum dispersal." He attacks with fireballs, dodging the snow-creatures' laser beams, and suddenly the Thing joins the fray. Johnny is surprised that Ben—who is the one who battled the snow-creatures by the pogo plane—is there in the middle of the Himalayas, but Ben has no time to explain. When Ternak runs to the cannon, Ben follows and starts to battle him. The Torch, meanwhile, keeps Ternak's minions at bay as Medusa sets up the Master's machine. Using her hair, she easily fends off the occasional snow-creature who attacks her. When Ternak punches the Thing and aims a laser pistol at him, Ben slams Ternak directly into the Climate Cannon, causing an explosion. Simultaneously, Medusa turns on the device, and the cavern fills with a green light that bathes the snow-creatures and starts to transform them. As Johnny, Ben, and Medusa watch in astonishment, the snow-creatures become more and more humanoid, until they change at last into normal-looking people. Then the snowgirl enters and conveys the Master's thanks for their aid. Now her people need never threaten the world again, she says, for they no longer need the Climate Cannon to live outside the Himalayas. Ben asks why the Master did not do this before, and the girl replies that he had hoped that her people would learn their error by themselves and not have this fate forced upon them. Were it not for Ternak's ambition, she continues, they very well might have. Then the Thing, Johnny, and Medusa leave the grateful snow-people and prepare for their journey home.

Appearing in "The Sub-Mariner Strikes!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #147.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

  • Underwater Breathing Pills
  • Underwater "Heat Frame" (For Johnny Storm)

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "The Sub-Mariner Strikes!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #147.

The Thing, Medusa, and the Human Torch enter Reed's laboratory and find him despondent. A summons in his hand indicates that Sue has started divorce proceedings against him. Reed says that Sue is within her rights and that if this is what she wants, then he will not stand in her way. Ben becomes angry because it seems to him that no one wants to do anything about this, but when he flies from the Baxter Building on the Airjet-Cycle, the Torch goes with him. As Ben and Johnny head for Pennsylvania, Johnny says that he does not think Sue is right to file for divorce, though she seems to have a good reason. Then he flames on and flies ahead, leaving Ben to his thoughts.

Many miles pass by unnoticed beneath the Airjet-Cycle, but suddenly, as Ben soars over a Pennsylvania lake, Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner, flies out of the water and attacks. Ben plummets onto a rock and his vehicle is destroyed. He is totally baffled when Namor says that although he has no quarrel with him, he must strike because honor demands it. Namor tells Ben to surrender, explaining that he does not wish to harm him unless he persists in his chosen course of action. When Ben tries to defend himself, Namor carries him underwater. Ben realizes that he will have a difficult fight, because the water increases Namor's strength, but before he can do anything a sudden blow knocks him unconscious. As Namor hauls Ben onto the shore, the Human Torch attacks him with fireballs. He builds a wall of flame to keep Namor away from the water, but Namor traps Johnny with an asbestos net. Johnny realizes that Namor had been expecting them and has for some reason betrayed them. Namor says that his reason is valid, but when Johnny replies that there is no valid reason for betrayal, Namor knocks Johnny, still enmeshed in the net, into the lake. Then the Thing revives and grabs Namor by the ankle, barraging him with punches.

A powerful blow hurls Namor through the air. As Ben helps Johnny out of the water, Namor returns and warns them to make no attempt to find Sue Richards or her child. From this moment, says Namor, Sue and Franklin are under his protection, and Sue belongs to him. Ben and Johnny stand dumbfounded as Namor flies away. Soon Ben and Johnny arrive at the Landers farm, where they learn that the Sub-Mariner has indeed kidnapped Sue. Although Namor abducted only Sue, Franklin is gone as well, and the Landers assume that the Sub-Mariner took him as well. Carol says that Sue would not listen to them when they advised against suing for divorce, and now she blames herself and her husband for what has happened. Three hours and 25 minutes later, Ben and Johnny arrive at the Baxter Building, having been given a ride by a friendly New Jersey state trooper. Ben elects to tell Reed the distressing news, and he walks into the lab where Reed is working. Medusa whispers to Ben that it took her four hours to get Reed's mind off Sue, but Ben replies that what he has to say cannot wait. The shock of what happened to Sue galvanizes Reed into action.

In less than five hours, he devises a plan to determine the Sub-Mariner's whereabouts. Using a mento-scan device, Reed monitors the radiation band that surrounds the Earth, tuning into the special frequency emitted by Namor's costume. Reed reminds Ben that it was he who designed Namor's protective uniform, and he knows how to trace it. So, in just a few minutes, Reed locates Namor in the South Atlantic Ocean, six hundred miles off the African coast, and he tells his teammates that he shall be there tomorrow morning, with or without them. At 1:55 a.m., the Fantasticar, carrying Reed, Medusa, Ben, and Johnny, heads out across the ocean, and by 11:41 a.m. they arrive at their destination. Reed tells his teammates to take their oxy-pills, which will provide oxygen to their bloodstream underwater for an hour. In addition, Johnny wears a heat frame that will allow him to flame on beneath the surface. Then the Fantasti-Car dives, and the modules with Ben and Johnny detach. Reed's calculations were absolutely accurate, and within seconds, Ben and Johnny find the Sub-Mariner, ensconced in a fortress-like underwater building waiting for them, is puzzled that none of Namor's subjects is in evidence, because he does not know that many of them were felled by the nerve gas that made it necessary for Namor to wear Reed's life-support costume.

Johnny leaps from his segment of the Fantasticar and crashes it into the transparent dome housing Namor. Namor easily evades the missile and turns to face him as he flames on. But then Ben attacks from another direction, and Namor stuns him with a powerful punch. Reed can see that Ben is disoriented and that Johnny is having difficulty managing his flame underwater, so he signals them to back off and attacks Namor himself. Reed slams Namor through the wall of his fortress, but Namor remains unhurt and taunts Reed about Sue. Namor nearly drives Reed crazy when he reminds him about Franklin. Meanwhile, as Reed and Namor battle, the Thing enters the fortress, and he soon finds some rooms filled with air, not water. Curious, he starts to look around, but then a green-scaled fist shatters through the wall next to him, and one of Namor's android guards emerges. Ben puts it out of commission with a single punch, and then he enters an airlock. He finds Sue on the other side watching the battle between Reed and Namor with tear-filled eyes. Ben offers to take her away, but she tells him to stop the battle because they have all made a terrible mistake. Johnny can see that he, Medusa, and Reed cannot mount a coordinated attack against Namor because they are hampered by the water and cannot communicate. Thus it is not long before Reed lies stunned on the ocean floor. Namor knocks Johnny nearly unconscious, but before he can finish off his three antagonists, Ben and Sue, wearing an oxygen helmet, emerge. Sue tells Reed and the others that Namor did not kidnap her. He asked her to go with him, and she did. Then she declares that she is in love with the Sub-Mariner and that she will stay with him forever.

Appearing in "War on the Thirty-Sixth Floor!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #148.

Featured Characters:

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Antagonists:

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Locations:

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Synopsis for "War on the Thirty-Sixth Floor!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #148.

Returning to the Baxter Building following the revelation that Sue is willingly staying with Namor, the downtrodden Fantastic Four soon find that they are not alone in the Baxter Building. Reed is attacked first by the Sandman who is hiding out in Reed's lab. Freeing the rest of the FF who were trapped in an elevator, they begin searching out the rest of their headquarters for the other members of the Frightful Four.

The Sandman reunites with the Wizard and Trapster and they begin their hunt for each of the members of the Fantastic Four. The Trapster finds the Human Torch first and manages to immobilize him with his super-paste. The Wizard tracks down both Reed and Medusa and is able to defeat them by placing anti-gravity discs on their backs. Finally, the Thing is attacked by the Sandman, however he avoids defeat when their fight is interrupted by Thundra, who has come to make good her previous warning to her former teammates in the Frightful Four about attacking the Fantastic Four ever again.

Meanwhile, Johnny manages to break free of the Trapster's paste-trap and easily defeats his old foe. He then finds the Wizard and uses the Trapster's paste gun to immobilize him. Freeing Reed and Medusa, the FF reunite and contain the villains they have defeated. When Reed asks Thundra how she knew they were in trouble, the possible answer is interrupted when they all become aware that Namor has risen sea monsters from the sea and intends to renew his aggressions towards the surface world.

Appearing in "To Love, Honor, and Destroy!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #149.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "To Love, Honor, and Destroy!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #149.

As Namor, Sue Richards, and an Atlantean warrior stand on the back of a giant sea monster, Namor angrily declares that he will invade the surface world. He wants revenge for the evil that Reed Richards has done to Sue and her son, he continues. Ben Grimm watches the Sub-Mariner and his monsters swim upriver, and he declares that Namor "means business." Reed is furious, for not only has Namor stolen his wife, he is flaunting it in Reed's face. Medusa suggests that perhaps there is some other explanation for Namor's actions, but Reed tells her to stay out of his affairs. Johnny and Ben decide to take Reed's side against Namor, but Medusa says that something is bothering her about the way Namor is acting, and she walks away. Soon Reed, Ben, Johnny, and Thundra take the Fantasticar and head off to battle Namor. At the same time, Namor commands the Atlantean warrior to drive the sea monster onto the shore. As the lumbering creature crushes a dock, a group of riot control police opens fire. Just as Sue erects a force field to protect herself and Namor from the bullets. The Fantasticar flies up and Reed stretches out toward Namor, angrily declaring that he is still Sue's husband and will not let anyone take her from him. Namor retorts that Reed lost Sue when he put Franklin into a coma. Then, as another sea monster rises behind him. Namor punches Reed and nearly knocks him out of the Fantasticar.

Ben pulls Reed back into the vehicle, but Namor continues his tirade, and Thundra points out Namor's advancing sea beasts. Then the Torch takes his turn at Namor, but Namor quickly knocks him into the water. Sue asks Johnny not to anger Namor, because she does not want Johnny hurt, but Namor leaps into the harbor and catapults Johnny out of the water with a double-fisted punch. Thundra snags him with her chain and she and Reed pull him into the Fantasticar. Then Ben starts to pummel Namor and Namor falls onto the back of his sea beast. Now Sue is alarmed that Namor might be injured, so she erects a force-field barrier in front of the Fantasticar, and the vehicle smashes to bits. Thundra, Reed, Ben, and Johnny fall into the water, and Namor declares that he and Sue have defeated the Fantastic Four. As Ben bobs in the water, he recalls how the Fantastic Four first met the Sub-Mariner, when Johnny found him in a flophouse with his memory gone. Johnny then dropped him into the Atlantic Ocean, and his memory was restored. Namor soon discovered that a catastrophe had befallen his people, and he blamed mankind But when Namor returned for his revenge, he met Sue Storm and fell in love with her. When Sue turned him down he declared war on the human race and used his Proteus Horn to summon a huge monster to devastate New York. Fortunately, Ben was able to carry an atomic bomb into the creature's belly, and the explosion killed it. Namor halted his battle, but he promised to return at a later date and win. As Ben concludes his reminiscence, he notes that Namor tried to invade the surface world a number of times, but each time he was stopped by the Fantastic Four.

Namor then commands his sea creatures, including the child of Giganto—the creature that Ben, killed with the bomb—to destroy the surface world. To Ben, it seems as if Namor has gone berserk and he swims to the shore and starts hauling the creatures back into the river. Then Namor leaps onto the dock, and Thundra challenges him to battle. Reed warns that Namor is too powerful for her, but she replies that she fears no male. Then she and Namor collide, wrecking the dock with the force of their impact, and Namor hurls her away. Meanwhile, the Thing is being strangled by the tentacles of a sea beast, but he flexes his muscles and tears the creatures away. The Atlantean warrior then informs Sue that Ben is approaching, so she tells Ben that she never meant to hurt anyone. As Ben talks to Sue, Thundra charges Namor, saying that all men are cruel: but Namor, in coming between two lovers, is the cruelest of all. Sue asks Ben to try to convince Reed that further battle is useless because Namor will not rest until they have all surrendered or been destroyed but Ben says that since Namor is her sweetheart, she should call him off.

He tells her that she has put Reed through enough already without asking him to surrender to the person who has robbed him of everything that makes life worth living. Sue does not believe Reed loves her, but Ben says he does. Reed was always so distant, muses Sue, yet the look on Reed's face as he was battling Namor makes her think she might be wrong after all. Thundra then smashes Namor into a wall, but as she advances toward him, Reed tells her to stop. He cannot let her carry his fight any longer, he says, because battling the Sub-Mariner is his responsibility. Ben tells Sue to ponder Reed's words, and after some agonizing soul-searching, Sue realizes that she loves Reed and always has loved him. Then she runs to Namor and Reed and tells them to stop battling because she was wrong to idealize love excessively. When her relationship with Reed did not meet her expectations, she continues, she thought their love was over. Namor held out the offer of romantic love to her once, so she went back to him when he offered it again.

Then Sue embraces Reed. Ben then informs Namor that he is not wanted there anymore. Surprisingly enough, Namor flies back to his sea monsters, saying that he will gladly leave. As he lands on his sea beast, he tells the warrior that Project Revival was a complete success. None of the Fantastic Four suspected that the whole thing was an act and that he never intended to actually invade the surface world. Then the warrior removes his cowl and reveals himself as Triton, the Inhuman. He remarks that Black Bolt will be pleased that they have brought their friends together, even if they had to use a little deception. Then he radios the Baxter Building to tell Medusa of their success, and she comments that although Namor may be persona non grata with the Fantastic Four until they are told the truth, in this case, the end seems to justify the means.

Appearing in "Ultron-7: He'll Rule the World!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #150.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

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Synopsis for "Ultron-7: He'll Rule the World!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #150.

Story continued from Avengers #127...

The Fantastic Four, Avengers and Inhuman royal family have an uninvited guest to the wedding of Crystal and Quicksilver: the robot known as Ultron-7, who has somehow taken control of the body of the inert android known as Omega. After Ultron gloats over his invasion, the Thing tries to attack, only to be repelled back. The killer robot continues to boast about his superiority, pointing out that he is nothing like the Omega Android that the Fantastic Four fought previously. [10] As the Thing recovers, Black Bolt -- leader of the Inhumans -- begins to ponder over the situation since Ultron has Crystal as his prisoner. As the king of the Inhumans ponders the situation, Agatha Harkness teleports onto the scene carrying the comatose body of Franklin Richards in her arms.

As Ultron stands before them, Mister Fantastic demands that the robot explains his presence in Attilan. The boastful robot decides to indulge the leader of the Fantastic Four because it is confident that it will destroy them all. Ultron explains that following its last defeat at the hands of the Avengers, [11] the robot's severed head was located by Maximus, Black Bolt's mad brother. Using devices that Bolt foolishly gave his brother while in captivity, Maximus then drew Ultron's head to Attilan in the hopes of using it to destroy his enemies. Ultron was revived in the body of Omega, but he quickly dispatched his would-be ally in order to get his own revenge as well as initiate his own schemes. With its explanation over, Ultron vows to destroy all humans. This prompts the heroes to prepare to attack, but before they can they are suddenly assaulted with a mental projection that will reduce their minds to blank slates.

While the heroes reel in this mental assault, the beams have an unforeseen side effect: They begin stimulating the dormant mind of Franklin Richards. Coming out of his long-standing coma, Franklin unleashes a powerful mental counterattack that not only catches Ultron off guard but seemingly destroys him. As the vengeful robot's inert body falls to the ground, the gathered heroes recover from the attack. In the aftermath of the battle, the Fantastic Four are delighted to see that not only has Franklin been snapped out of his coma, but the powers that threatened to destroy everything have been seemingly wiped out. Happily reunited with their son, Reed and Sue embrace him in a family hug.

Appearing in "Thundra and Lightning"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #151.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:


Vehicles:

  • Sky-Cycle

Synopsis for "Thundra and Lightning"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #151.

Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm are at a haberdashery trying on new outfits, but Ben soon gives up in exasperation, saying that nothing in the store will ever improve his appearance. When the owner turns his attention to Johnny, he unfortunately makes some disparaging remarks about Ben, and an annoyed Ben brandishes his fist at the frightened man. Fortunately, Johnny calms Ben down, and a short while later, Johnny and Ben, wearing their new suits, walk back to the Baxter Building. But when Ben and Johnny approach the Baxter Building, they see that it is surrounded by a crackling glow. Alarmed, Johnny bursts into flame, reducing his new $110 suit to a cinder, and Ben flexes his muscles and tears his own $150 suit to shreds. Then Johnny flashes up to the top of the skyscraper, while Ben climbs up the wall. Johnny knows that Reed and Sue are spending the day in the country with Franklin, which means that someone is trying to invade their headquarters. Suddenly the wall next to Johnny explodes, and a powerful figure, glowing with energy, strides forth, demanding to know the whereabouts of the "she-witch," Thundra the Femizon.

Meanwhile, Medusa is walking through a park near the United Nations building, where she had gone to learn the legal status of her countrymen. After being pestered by a reporter, she meets Thundra, and the women strike up a conversation. Thundra explains that she wants to see Reed Richards, who is quite reasonable—even though he is a man. She comes from a future Earth that in a way does not yet exist. In this alternate future, women are dominant and men are reduced to slavery. Of all the Femizons, she continues, she is the strongest and the bravest. There are a thousand million alternate futures, she says, one born every time a decision is made. Thus there also exists a world called Machus, a future in which men are in power. Machus is a bestial place where women are kept as slaves and men fight eternal wars. Somehow, says Thundra, the world of Machus and the world of the Femizons have recently been drawing together, and the normally docile men of her world have begun to rebel. The Femizons have been forced to squelch the rebellion by bloody means, which is not to their liking. For this reason, Thundra was sent by the Queen of the Femizons to find and battle the Earth's most powerful male and defeat him so soundly that men will learn their lesson for all time. This, says Thundra, would eliminate the alternate future of Machus.

Meanwhile, the huge figure, who calls himself Mahkizmo, grabs Johnny's legs and pitches Johnny into a bank of machinery. But he burns himself and, howling with pain, he vows to break Johnny's neck. No one injuries Mahkizmo, he says, least of all an "effeminate" like Johnny, Johnny manages to evade Mahkizmo's blows until the Thing climbs up to where they are battling, but then a solid punch sends Johnny hurtling over Ben's head. When Mahkizmo sees Ben, he again demands to know about Thundra, saying he will not rest until she is in his hands But when he says that Ben is too weak to stop him, Ben staggers him with a powerful punch. Mahkizmo, however, retaliates with a punch of his own. He will not be mocked and have his manhood insulted, he shouts, for among the men of his world, he is the strongest, and only he has been chosen to wield the "ultimate energy." This is the power that gives him his name—Mahkizmo, the Nuclear Man. Then Mahkizmo strikes a thunderous blow into Reed's equipment, reducing it to scrap. Johnny and Ben can only look on dumbfounded.

Meanwhile, Thundra explains to Medusa that there is some kind of temporal field surrounding the Baxter Building, which brought her to the Thing rather than to the Hulk or Thor, who are both stronger. In her months on Earth, she has come to understand something of the world, and now she does not want to battle the Thing because she is no longer certain that the Femizon path is the proper path for the future. Yet, she says, neither is Machus. Thus, she says, something must be done about Mahkizmo. Meanwhile, Reed is returning from the country aboard the rebuilt Airjet Cycle. He is delighted to have his wife and son back, although he let them stay with Sue's friends for a few days. As he approaches the Baxter Building, he spots the hole in the wall and suddenly the portable Geiger counter on his '"Fantasti-Cycle" begins to register a strong reading. The area is flooded with radiated beta particles, he says. and he wonders whether Ben or Johnny accidentally set off a contained fusion reactor. They could have been killed in the explosion. When Reed stretches down into the hole, he sees Johnny lying semi-conscious on the floor with Ben beside him. Then Reed sees Mahkizmo, who renews his demand for Thundra and starts to pound Reed with his powerful fists. Reed is no match for the nuclear-powered warrior, and he is quickly knocked unconscious and starts to fall toward the street. Just then Medusa and Thundra approach, and when they follow the gaze of the horrified bystanders, they see Reed's elastic form plunging toward them.

Appearing in "A World of Madness Made!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #152.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

  • Warriors of Machus

Locations:

Items:

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Synopsis for "A World of Madness Made!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #152.

Reed plummets from the 36th floor of the Baxter Building, but fortunately, Thundra catches him in her powerful arms, to the amazement of the bystanders. Reed has had the wind knocked out of him, but he is still alive, and Thundra asks Medusa to help him while she climbs the Baxter Building to battle Mahkizmo. When she finds the warrior in Reed's laboratory, standing over the downed figures of the Human Torch and the Thing, his exhibition of male egoism nauseates her. Mahkizmo commands her to beg for mercy, but she asserts that no male alive can defeat her. Then Mahkizmo exclaims that he likes a woman with spirit, and the two figures slam into each other with explosive power. The energy of their collision revives the Human Torch and the Thing, but before the teammates can enter the fray, Thundra and Mahkizmo vanish in a flash of light.

As Ben and Johnny try to figure out what happened, Medusa and Reed enter the room. Ben becomes annoyed when Medusa seems more concerned about Thundra than himself and Johnny, but Reed calms him down and reminds him that Thundra probably saved their lives. When Reed wonders how Thundra is involved with the giant, Medusa repeats Thundra's story about the world of Machus and the world of the Femizons. Thundra was sent to defeat the Earth's most powerful male, says Medusa, and Mahkizmo was sent to stop her. Somehow the world of Machus has begun to "slip over" into Thundra's world, and now Mahkizmo has taken Thundra back with him to Machus. Seven hours later, Reed is busy working on a modification to Dr. Doom's time machine. Sue has returned from her country vacation to assist him. Reed explains that Thundra allowed herself to be captured because a battle between herself and Mahkizmo could have destroyed the Earth. Three hours later, as dawn breaks over New York, the Human Torch enters through the window, and Reed announces that the machine is ready for testing. Reed hopes that the time machine will now be able to travel "sideways through time" as well as backward and forward. Ben has been holding up a piece of heavy equipment for the better part of an hour, and Reed, at last, tells him that he doesn't need it after all. Ben splutters in irritation, but Reed orders him, Johnny, and Medusa onto the circular platform of the time machine, and he tells Sue that they are all depending on her to pull them back to the present if anything goes wrong. Then he flicks a switch on the master control board and stands next to his teammates, and as Sue and Franklin watch, Reed and his companions fade away in a blaze of light.

The four time travelers are amazed to see the world around them change as Reed works the controls. When they time traveled before, they were never able to view the effect of their passage. Reed says that this is due to the modifications he made. As the centuries rapidly pass by, they see New York City Sink into the sea. It's buildings crumbling into dust. When Reed decides he has traveled far enough, he sets the machine to move sideways through the alternate futures, passing in turn through Earth's own timeline, the future of the Femizons, and finally the future of Machus. Their journey finally ends on a rocky plain outside one of that world's major cities. Johnny immediately flames on and flashes toward the city, saying he has a score to settle with Mahkizmo. Reed cautions him to be careful, but no sooner does Johnny go that he spots a group of men brutalizing some women. Johnny flashes down to break up the melee, but one man, Gagnor, fires at Johnny with an energy pistol. Johnny dodges the bolts as Reed, Ben, and Medusa attack. Just as the tide of battle turns in the Fantastic Four's favor, Mahkizmo himself appears. Ben rushes to attack him, but Mahkizmo shoves Ben aside as though he were weightless. If Ben were a woman, shouts Mahkizmo, he could understand his brainless stupidity, but Ben is a man, and that makes him simply a fool. Seeing his teammate in trouble, Johnny soars to attack, but Mahkizmo drops him with a single punch. Then Mahkizmo attacks Reed. Medusa tries to warn him, but a stun blast hits her from behind and knocks her unconscious. This enrages Ben, and he bowls Mahkizmo's men over. But Mahkizmo threatens to kill Reed unless Ben surrenders, and the four companions are taken, prisoner.

The Fantastic Four are brought to Machus's city, where they are shown a totally subservient Thundra being whipped like a slave. Again Ben is enraged, and he breaks his chains and attacks. Unfortunately, Mahkizmo stops him with one punch Reed tells Ben that resistance is useless because the men of Machus have some kind of ray that saps the will and makes it impossible to act. Mahkizmo then orders the three male teammates placed in a stasis cage to be disposed of later in the "arena." But Medusa, he gloats, will stay with him tonight. When evening falls, Medusa is forced to entertain Mahkizmo in his palace chamber, but soon she sees the opportunity to shatter a wine bottle over his head. Feeling disgusted by what she had to endure, she leaves the warrior unconscious. As she passes by the stasis-cage, Reed asks her to release them, but Medusa says that she cannot. There is no time to explain, she says apologetically as she hurries out of the castle and back to the time machine. Having seen Reed control it, she hopes she can do likewise, and she turns the machine on and fades away. Ben, Johnny, and Reed can hardly believe that Medusa has betrayed them.

Appearing in "Worlds in Collision!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #153.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

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Other Characters:

  • Femizons
  • Warriors of Machus

Locations:

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Synopsis for "Worlds in Collision!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #153.

Ben angrily accuses Medusa of betraying them, but Reed tries to calm him down, saying that he does not understand. As Ben starts hammering the bars on the stasis-cage, a bolt of energy knocks him to the floor. Reed explains that inside the stasis-cage their breathing, their circulation, and even their talking are much slower than usual. Thus the force of Ben's blow traveled through the bars so slowly that the cage's automatic defenses were activated. As Reed, Johnny, and Ben hang suspended in the cage, Reed further explains that the world of Machus and the world of the Femizons are "moving together," and the resulting collision could destroy all the alternate worlds, including Earth. Reed also says that Medusa probably figured they could escape themselves, and she could not take the time to free them. Taking that as his cue, Johnny flames on and tries to melt the bars, but the cage sucks out all his energy, leaving him weak and his flame extinguished.

Reed then suggests that Johnny concentrates his heat on the bolt that is holding the cage up. Even though the heat will travel slowly, the temperature will eventually rise. So Johnny holds one of the bars with his hand. To an external observer, it would appear as if Johnny applied his heat for only a few minutes, but because Johnny is in the cage, it seems like hours. But finally the bolt melts and the cage falls to the ground in the palace courtyard. No sooner does the cage crash down than guards appear and begin peppering the trio with energy bolts. Johnny is too exhausted to battle, and when the men flood the courtyard with gas, Reed, Ben, and Johnny are overcome. A few hours later, they revive in Mahkizmo's throne room, where Mahkizmo himself is seated on an elevated platform with Thundra chained alongside. Medusa's escape has alarmed the Council of Machus and Mahkizmo's advisors because if women have reached that degree of competence on their Earth, says Mahkizmo, it is because the men have been weak. Weak men are killed here, he continues. Ben becomes angry, but Reed whispers that eons of unthinking domination have reduced the men of Machus to fanaticism. Lacking opposing viewpoints, continues Reed, they have stagnated mentally.

Mahkizmo then says that by probing Thundra's mind, they have learned that the world of Machus and the world of the Femizons will soon merge. The men of Machus will welcome the new blood into their breeding stables and sculleries, he says, and then Machus will rule over all. Just then Reed lashes out, but he is too slow because the effect of the stasis-cage has not yet worn off. Mahkizmo then orders the domina-ray turned on the three of them, and after their will to fight is suppressed, Mahkizmo orders them taken to the arena. Reed guesses that the domina-ray allowed Mahkizmo to defeat them before. When Mahkizmo tells Thundra that she will join them in the arena unless she joins him in his bedchamber, she spits out an insult, and seconds later she is shoved down a chute into the arena. Mahkizmo quickly pronounces his sentence—death by combat—and orders the release of the "Three-Who-Wait," and soon three grotesque monsters advance toward the four companions. They realize that this battle will be strenuous, for their will to fight has been sapped and they are still slightly slowed down from being in the stasis-cage. Nevertheless, they know that they shall battle to save an infinite number of alternate worlds. Ben grabs one of the creatures by its tentacles and slams it into the second one. The third one leaps onto Reed, but Reed wraps it in his arms and holds it for Thundra to punch. In a matter of minutes, the three creatures are unconscious. Mahkizmo, however, releases a fourth creature, the Rampager, the deadliest in his menagerie, who stuns Ben with a powerful punch.

But Johnny holds the monster at bay with his flame, and on Reed's orders, he destroys it with his nova-blast. Seeing his monsters defeated, Mahkizmo leaps into the arena himself, saying that in centuries no one has ever escaped justice, and they shall not be the first. The domina-ray is turned on once more, and Mahkizmo's nuclear power punch sends the four companions hurtling away in pain. Then a brilliant glow appears in the arena, and Medusa and the Femizons emerge. Unfortunately, the domina-ray soon renders the Femizons helpless, and Mahkizmo leaps at them, spreading havoc. Ben tries to attack, but the domina-ray stops him. Then Johnny sees an army of guards heading toward them, but Medusa tells him to conserve his strength for a far more important mission than battling lackeys. Reed then indicates a nearby tower that seems to be the source of the domina-ray, and he asks Medusa to hold off the guards. Fortunately, the domina-ray does not affect Medusa, because she is an Inhuman, which is why she was able to escape earlier. Johnny then flies up and destroys the domina-ray machine.

Meanwhile, Ben renews his attack and knocks Mahkizmo down with a single punch. Thundra also attacks, but Mahkizmo suddenly surrounds himself with a glowing field of energy. Reed warns Ben to stay back, but Thundra and Ben hit Mahkizmo simultaneously from opposite sides, and much to everyone's surprise, Mahkizmo explodes. Reed then explains that the contained nuclear explosion created enough energy to merge Machus and the world of the Femizons without disrupting the other alternate worlds. Thundra replies that the two worlds will be at war forever, but Reed says no, because Femizon characteristics have now been taken on by the formerly docile Machus slave women, and the men of Machus have become gentler. Where there were two opposite worlds, continues Reed, now there is only one, with two equal sexes. Just then Medusa notices that the four of them and Thundra are starting to fade away. Anything that doesn't belong to this new world, says Reed, is being drawn back to its own world.

Suddenly the Fantastic Four and Thundra, find themselves back on Earth. Reed cannot explain why Thundra is there, but Medusa suggests that the natural forces "decided" that Thundra belonged in a world where the sexes are equal by choice. Ben wonders about this, but he says that he's glad the "big lady" will be around. At this, Thundra kisses Ben, and his four companions chuckle at his embarrassment.

Appearing in "The Man in the Mystery Mask!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #154.

Featured Characters:

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Locations:

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Synopsis for "The Man in the Mystery Mask!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #154.

On their way back from the Baxter Building, Reed, Ben, and Johnny are attacked by the Mystery Villain. This is an impossible sight for them to believe at first because Reed himself was the Mystery Villain in the past.

Johnny begins recalling the time that Reed had tricked them.

It was a few years back, [12] when Reed, Johnny, and Ben were racing each other. Johnny got distracted and crashed into the nearby water, having to be rescued by Reed. Sore about the whole thing, Johnny then expressed that he was tired of Reed being the leader of the Fantastic Four, and is upset about being viewed as a "junior member" of the group. He points out how he was able to defeat the Wizard, [13] and Paste-Pot Pete on his own, [14] while he and the Thing went up against the Sub-Mariner recently by themselves. [15] Reed then tells Johnny that the Fantastic Four isn't a prison and that Johnny is free to leave anytime he wants, before he departs.

Johnny and Ben go back to Johnny's house to talk things over when their mailman Willie Lumpkin drops off a telegram for Johnny inviting him to an automobile race down in Salt Flats, offering him the chance to drive a race car that can travel over 400 mph. Johnny and Ben agree to appear and before a televised audience, they race against each other in two of the race cars. When they enter a nearby tunnel, they are suddenly trapped inside by a strange villain who wears a question mark on his mask. This villain is able to douse Johnny's flame with liquid asbestos and easily dodge the Thing's attacks. Eventually, Johnny is able to flame on again and trap their foe in a flame cage. Ben adds to the containment by burying their foe in boulders. When they try to break free, the pair finds themselves trapped, when suddenly the trap door opens revealing their mystery foe on the other side. Somehow their foe has escaped, and Johnny ends up picking up on who it is when he notices there was a small gap their enemy could have squeezed out of. Their mystery foe turns out to be Reed, who had put this who mock battle to prove a point. As the trio fly back to headquarters, Reed explains that he was able to outsmart them in battle, proving that he has what it takes to be their leader, and why their unwavering obedience to his orders are important.

... With his recollection over, Johnny watches and Reed and Ben scramble to get the Fantasti-Car back under control, and they just narrowly avoid a crash landing. Their mystery foe comes bearing down on them on his hover device. Johnny races up to meet him but has his flames doused by the mystery enemy's weapon. Not willing to go down alone, Johnny still manages to blast the hover platform with his flame powers, sending his unknown attacker falling as well. Both are caught by Reed, who gets blasted by the enemy. When Ben steps up to fight their foe, the man in the question mark mask unleashes massive balls with spikes that grow in size. While Ben manages to smash one of them, Reed uses his body like a slingshot to launch the second one back. forcing their foe to use his gun to blow his weapon to pieces. Johnny then blasts his gun, but when their foe tries to escape in a smoke screen, Reed melds his body into a net to capture their foe.

With their enemy tied up, Reed unmasks him, revealing their foe to be none other than Nick Fury, Director of SHIELD. Fury explains that SHIELD needed to test out some new weapons and this was the only way he could do so, offering to pay for all damages done. The Thing is unhappy at being used as a guinea pig and tries to strike Fury, but Nick teleports away. Reed tells Ben to calm down suggesting that they might look back on the situation and agree with Fury's standpoint, but as Reed surveys the damage, he admits that he doubts it.

Appearing in "Battle Royal!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #155.

Featured Characters:

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Synopsis for "Battle Royal!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #155.

Brief Summary:
While walking through Central Park, the Fantastic Four is attacked by the Silver Surfer. The Surfer explains that he recently discovered that his true love, Shalla-Bal, is still on Earth. However, Doctor Doom has erased her memories and she is now devoted to the villain. Doom has ordered the Surfer to destroy the Fantastic Four or Shalla-Bal will never know the Surfer again. Apologizing for his actions, the Surfer prepares to destroy the cornered heroes.

Fantastic Four Vol 1 155 001

Detailed Summary:
On a walk through a New York City park, Reed Richards, Johnny Storm, Ben Grimm, and Medusa are suddenly accosted by a trio of young hoodlums. Ben is wearing an overcoat and hat, so they do not recognize him. The leader, Angie, pulls out a knife, but when he recognizes Ben he has second thoughts. Ben rips a lamppost out of the ground and bends it into a pretzel as the hoodlums cower in awe, but Reed cautions him not to use his power lest he kill the boy. So Ben simply drops the lamppost and, as the four teammates leave, he tells the hoodlums that the day they can untie his knot is the day they can call themselves tough.

As the teammates walk by a winged statue, Ben sees someone flash through the sky. A second later the Silver Surfer, mounted on his surfboard, appears before them. After all these months, shouts Johnny, the Surfer has returned. But the Surfer says that he has not come as a friend and he shatters the statue with his fist. Ben quickly grasps the Surfer's meaning and attacks and Johnny flames on as well, but Reed cautions Johnny that the Surfer is too powerful for him. As the Surfer evades Johnny's attack, he asks them to forgive him for what he must do for he has no other choice. Regardless of their struggles, he says in the end he will certainly triumph. But Johnny attacks again and the Surfer hits him with a blast of cosmic power that extinguishes his flame. Reed catches Johnny, saying that if the Surfer has harmed him nothing will stop their retribution. But the Surfer circles around and heads directly for them. If the one thing that makes his life bearable is to survive, he says, the Fantastic Four will have to die. As the Surfer envelops the teammates in cosmic energy, they feel their souls begin to drain away. But just as the Surfer is about to kill them, he regrets what he has been forced to do and he stops. The foursome pick themselves up. The Thing brandishes his fists, but Reed restrains him saying that there is clearly a reason for what the Surfer has done. The Surfer confirms this and he starts to tell them his story.

A few months ago, shortly after he left the Defenders, he flew to the top of Mt. Everest to meditate. He remained there for many weeks, entranced and unmoving until he decided to try once more to break free of the barrier that Galactus placed around the Earth to imprison him. The Surfer flashed around the world faster and faster, his concentration strengthening with each orbit until the world itself seemed no longer to exist. Then, gathering all his cosmic energy, the Surfer struck the barrier and passed through it. Unfortunately, as soon as he penetrated the barrier, his cosmic power left him, because Galactus's control over the Surfer extends far beyond the barrier. The Surfer's body began to shrivel and weaken, forcing him to return to Earth. The barrier sealed itself behind him. Helpless, he plummeted toward the ground as his power slowly returned to him. He impacted like a meteor in a village square, and although he did not know it, he was in Latveria near Dr. Doom's castle. As the Latverian townsfolk rushed towards him, he emerges from the crater and happens to see a poster of Latveria's new queen—his beloved Shalla-Bal herself. He can hardly believe his eyes, for he believed that she was forever banished to Zenn-La by Mephisto.

The thought that she had been so near all these months nearly drove him crazy and he quickly forced the townsfolk to tell where their queen resided. Soon he flashed to the castle on his surfboard, but when he flew over the battlements he could hardly believe his eyes. There, battling armed and armored guards, were the Fantastic Four themselves. He hesitated, not knowing what to do, and as he watched more guards arrived armed with energy weapons who destroyed the Fantastic Four. But as he continued to watch, he learned that what he saw were robots in a routine training exercise not the real Fantastic Four. Then he glanced into a window and saw Shalla-Bal in person and he approached her, happy to be with her again. But she failed to recognize him and asked him to leave before she summoned the guards. When he again asked her whether she recognized him, his question was answered by Dr. Doom himself. If she no longer knows him, gloated Doom, it is because she no longer desires to know him. The Surfer's once beloved now belongs to him, said Doom triumphantly. Shalla Bal is Doom's wife.

The Surfer concludes his narrative by saying that Doom swore to release Shalla-Bal from her vows and return her memory if the Surfer would slay the Fantastic Four. It seemed as if he had no other choice for there is nothing that he would not do, nothing that he would not sacrifice, to regain Shalla-Bal's love. Then, begging his friends' forgiveness, he bathes them with his cosmic power.

Appearing in "Middle Game!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #156.

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Races and Species:

Locations:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "Middle Game!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #156.
Fantastic Four Vol 1 156 001

Detailed Summary:
On a viewscreen in his castle, Dr. Doom observes the Silver Surfer battling Reed, Ben, Johnny, and Medusa. As the Surfer fights, Doom gloats that soon the entire world will serve him. But when it becomes apparent that the Surfer cannot bring himself to destroy the Fantastic Four, Doom starts to rage. He wants the Surfer to cause them pain, to match the pain that they have so long caused him. Then he walks by a chessboard with pieces carved into the images of the Surfer and the Fantastic Four. The Surfer is but a pawn, he muses as he picks up the Surfer-piece, as are all men in his hands. For years, he says, Richards and his companions have thwarted his plans, but never again after today. Although he stole the Surfer's power once before, he has since learned that controlling that power is preferable to actually wielding it, and this is what he is doing now. Then Doom sees that the Surfer is explaining his attack to the Fantastic Four.

Furious, Doom crushes the Silver Surfer figurine in his fist and shatters his viewscreen, not wanting to listen to any more of the Surfer's "self-lamenting diatribes." Doom then recalls how the Sub-Mariner rescued him after his fall from space, which gave him the idea of gaining control of the Surfer. After monitoring the Surfer for several weeks, Doom watched his attempt to escape from Earth, and then he guided the Surfer's fall to Latveria. When the Surfer discovered that Latveria's queen was none other than his beloved Shalla Sal, Doom had him in his power. Saying that he would restore Shalla's memory, Doom forced the Surfer to swear that he would destroy the Fantastic Four. However, this the Surfer has so far failed to do. A few seconds later, the Surfer appears in the sky above Doom's castle with a gleaming four-seated air-car in tow. Within the craft sit the Fantastic Four, placed into a hypnotic trance by the Surfer. He tells Doom that he could not destroy them, so he brought them to Latveria to leave their disposal to him. Doom examines the prisoners to see whether this might be a trap, but his sensors inform him that the Fantastic Four are helpless.

Then he turns to the Surfer, astounded that he would not take four "paltry lives" to regain the woman he loves. The Surfer replies that he knows not whether to be ashamed or proud, but Doom interprets this as weakness and slaps the Surfer's face with his glove. Power, roars Doom, is the image of a boot stamping endlessly upon the upturned face of a cringing humanity, or an armored hand across a quivering lip. Angered, the Surfer tells Doom that he is mistaking restraint for weakness, and he demonstrates his cosmic power by ripping the stones out from under Doom's feet and by shattering a suit of armor. Doom, however, is not impressed, and he activates several energy sources within his armor that quickly restore the stones and rebuild the armor. Just like the Silver Surfer, says Doom, he can also be a builder and a restorer. Then Doom indicates Shalla Bal, saying that until he releases her willingly, the Surfer, and his cosmic power, belong to Doom. Then he orders the Surfer to release the Fantastic Four from their trance—all but Reed Richards. Acting under Doom's orders, the Surfer levitates the teammates into a specially prepared room. The Human Torch is placed into a flameproof cage, the Thing is bound in an electro-rack that tightens whenever he moves, Medusa is bound with her hair in a transparent bubble, and Mr. Fantastic, comatose, is placed inside a transparent cylinder. Doom says he will enjoy watching their vain attempts to escape before finally putting them out of their misery. The Surfer wonders what Doom could have done to Shalla Bal to make her so insensitive to this cruelty, and he wonders what the world has done to Doom to make him such a tyrant. Doom replies that Richards is a "lionized incompetent." while Doom's genius goes ignored and he is forced to hide behind a mask. As Doom departs, Shalla Bal for some reason tightly rests her hand on the Surfer's shoulder.

Back in Doom's dungeon, the Torch, the Thing, and Medusa awaken but find their escape thwarted by Doom's devices. Johnny quickly learns,that everything in the room is fireproof and Medusa is unable to work her hair free to pick the electronic lock that holds her. Doom watches them through a porthole, and then he orders Daedalus, one of his servants, to escort the Silver Surfer to a special chair. Daedalus covers the Surfer with a pistol, but the Surfer remarks that the real reason for his compliance is the woman Shalla Bal. All Earth-made firearms are quite useless against him. As Shalla Bal stands next to the Surfer, Doom watches on his viewscreen as the Surfer's frustration builds. Doom muses that he will put this emotion to far better use than the Surfer. Meanwhile, the Thing tells Johnny to set his prison-cage swinging toward him, and soon Johnny comes within Ben's reach. Ben shatters the cage, which frees Johnny, but Ben's movements make his own bonds tighter. Reed's cylinder is fireproof, so Johnny picks up a bar from his broken cage and smashes the container. This brings Reed out of his trance, and after he clears his head, he stretches his arm and turns off the mechanism that is slowly strangling Ben. Finally, Medusa is freed. Reed comments that this was much too simple a trap, but Ben replies that it was Reed who allowed the Silver Surfer to put them into a trance, gambling that Doom's ego would not let him simply do away with them. Now they are free to attack.

As the four companions head toward Doom's chambers, a door opens, and Doom, along with several robot guards, confronts them. Doom declares that the guards are his latest experiment in death-dealing humanoids. Ben's pounding fists quickly bowl the guards over, and as Johnny and Reed enter the fray, Johnny remarks that the androids seem no different from Doom's old ones. It does not matter, says Medusa, because the androids still outnumber them three to one. As the Thing bulldozes the creatures into a pile, he notes that if Doom were really serious about destroying them, he would have made the odds twenty to one. Doom remarks that this observation is correct. The androids were already marked for demolition, and he simply had them do it for him. Then Ben attacks Doom as his teammates finish off the androids. With one punch, Ben smashes the figure of Dr. Doom, revealing it to be a robot. The real Doom, watching on his viewscreen, declares that his robot attack gave him time to maneuver the unsuspecting Silver Surfer into the special chair, where his emotional energy is being siphoned away for analysis. This, he gloats, will allow him to duplicate the energy in a creature of his own creation by simply pressing a button. As Doom presses the button, he says that although the Surfer himself would not execute the Fantastic Four, soon another shall do it—with the Surfer's own Power Cosmic.

Appearing in "The Endgame Cometh!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #157.

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Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:


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Synopsis for "The Endgame Cometh!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #157.

Disgusted at having done nothing more than shattering a Dr. Doom robot, Ben tells his teammates to fight Doom themselves. Reed tries to persuade Ben to remain with them, saying that they've got Doom on the run. Ben does not believe him, however, and he declares that Doom is probably spying on them at this very moment. And indeed, Doom turns away from his view-screen, satisfied that he will soon be waging his final battle against them. He recalls how the Silver Surfer delivered them to Latveria, where Doom imprisoned them and lured the Silver Surfer into a harmless looking chair. The chair is actually a device that duplicates the Surfer's Power Cosmic within a giant android that Doom created. Then Doom peers through a window at his Doomsman II—named after the original Doomsman—and commands it to rise. Crackling with cosmic energy, the Doomsman flexes his limbs and shatters the platform to which he is attached. Then he tears through a stone wall and stands before Doom awaiting instructions, utterly subservient to the evildoer. The Doomsman muses Doom, has all the Surfer's strengths and none of his "insipid" weaknesses. No longer needing the Silver Surfer's energy, Doom presses a button, and at that moment, the Surfer's feeling of faintness lifts. Addressing him as "wanderer," Shalla Bal says that she is not certain that she is truly the woman that the Surfer loved because she has no memory of anything before she became Doom's Bride. It is a marriage in name only, she continues, but Doom will not release her to go with the Surfer until the Fantastic Four are destroyed. Because the Surfer had been confined to Earth by Galactus, he had been tormented by the thought that Shalla Bal was separated from him forever, exiled to his distant home world. Now, having against all odds found her on Earth, he is glad that he never managed to escape.

Then she addresses him by his real name, Norrin Radd. She could not know his true name unless she was indeed Shalla Bal, says the Surfer joyfully. Her suppressed memories must be closer to the surface of her mind than Doom supposes. Perhaps when she touched him, he says, a portion of the bond between them was restored. Then she embraces and kisses him, saying that this should restore much more of her memory. Meanwhile, the Fantastic Four enter a tunnel in Doom's castle. Using the Torch's flame for illumination, they walk down it until they come to a stone wall. Ben tries to break the wall down, but it is impervious, and suddenly another wall slams down behind them and starts to close in on them. Ben tries to hold it back while Johnny attempts to melt out of the trap, but all the walls are fireproof. Then Reed finds a thin crevice between the stones through which he squeezes his elastic body and escapes. As the wall closes in, Reed's three companions wait anxiously for him to stop the mechanism, which he does. Then a side wall slides up, and they find him in an adjoining chamber holding two guards wrapped up in his arm. When Ben asks what kept him, Reed replies that he had a little trouble getting his shape back. Ben wants to force the two guards to tell them Doom's plan, but Reed says that would be futile because Doom never tells his underlings his stratagems. Suddenly the wall next to Johnny starts to glow, and the second Doomsman crashes through.

Reed remarks that the creature's voice sounds like the Silver Surfer's, only more sinister. Ben tells Reed to stand aside and attacks, but the Doomsman knocks Ben aside like a toy. The Doomsman says that he does indeed possess the power of the Sliver Surfer, but his body is larger, so he has more force than the Surfer. The Surfer would not strike to kill, continues the android, but he has no such qualms. Raising his fist, he tells them to prepare to perish. Shalla Bal suddenly shrinks away from the Silver Surfer after kissing him, saying that she is not who he thinks she is. Her lost memory has returned, she says, and she now knows that she is not Shalla Bal but a Latverian peasant girl named Helena, who has lived her entire life in obscurity until a few days ago, when Doom discovered her. Doom ordered her to his castle, placed her under a machine, and altered her memory. This was all part of Doom's scheme to compel the Silver Surfer to kill the Fantastic Four. Just then, Doom's henchman, Daedalus, enters, his pistol leveled at the Surfer and the woman. Daedalus fires, but the Surfer easily absorbs the bullets, and with a small blast of cosmic power, he knocks Daedalus unconscious. The Surfer does not know how Shalla—or Helena—learned his real name, but he cannot stop to think about it when the lives of the Fantastic Four are in danger.

Summoning up his surfboard, he flashes away. The battle between the Fantastic Four and the second Doomsman continues, and it is all they can do to keep from being killed. Johnny attacks with flame-bolts, but the Doomsman knocks him to the ground with eye-beams. Just as things look bleakest, the Surfer soars into the chamber. The Android commands the Surfer to leave, but the Surfer replies with a bolt of cosmic power. The combined onslaught of the Surfer and the Fantastic Four forces the Doomsman against a wall, and then he crashes through and falls to the floor, inert. Behind the wall, however, is Doom's control chamber, and when Ben sees the Latverian monarch, he prepares to charge. Johnny flies too close to Doom, and a finger-blast knocks him out of the air. As Shalla Bal runs into the room, Ben starts pounding on Doom's armor, but Doom gloats that he has made many improvements in his costume, and it would now take an atomic bomb to break through the force field that surrounds him. The Surfer agrees to halt the battle as they must not allow the destruction of a nation's legacy, even though Doom himself might not care. Ben remarks that the castle had been destroyed and was rebuilt, but Shalla replies that artifacts from all over the kingdom were brought there afterward—paintings, statuary, and other irreplaceable things. Reed asks Doom to call it a stalemate, and Doom agrees. Now that his Doomsman is irrevocably demolished, the game is ruined for him. As the Fantastic Four, the Silver Surfer, and Shalla-Bal depart, Doom walks away feeling cheated as if he had somehow lost control of events.

He was never in control, gloats a figure in an alien dimension observing Doom's discomfiture. How can a mere mortal ever hope to govern events, he asks, while Mephisto sits on his throne in the netherworld, playing with men like marionettes? Then Mephisto explains to his sycophantic minions that he hates the Silver Surfer more than anyone else. This day, he continues proudly, he has wreaked a most terrible revenge on him. When one of Mephisto's demons points out that the Surfer seems to be leaving the scene of battle unharmed, Mephisto replies that that is the ultimate beauty of his deviltry. The woman in Latveria, whom the Surfer first thought to be Shalla Bal, and who he learned is a peasant girl, really is Shalla Bal after all, although she herself does not know it. When Mephisto banished her, he did not send her back to her native planet, Zenn-La, but to Latveria, where he gave her a new memory. Thus the Surfer will strive desperately to rejoin his love, not suspecting that she is on the Earth after all. When the Surfer removed the girl's memory of being Shalla Bal, he simply peeled away one false layer to encounter a second, but he never reached the third, of which not even Doom knows. Mephisto says that he allowed her to speak the Surfer's real name to tantalize him and increase his agony. And thus the Surfer, Shalla Bal, and the Fantastic Four all go their separate ways, quite ignorant of who was really behind it all.

Appearing in "Invasion From the 5th (Count It, 5th!) Dimension"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #158.

Featured Characters:

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Antagonists:

  • Xemu
  • soldiers of the 5th dimension (Only in flashback)

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Locations:

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Synopsis for "Invasion From the 5th (Count It, 5th!) Dimension"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #158.

Ben Grimm and Alicia Masters are leaving the Metropolitan Opera House after a performance of Puccini's Madame Butterfly, but they walk only a short way before Ben is besieged by autograph hunters. Ben signs a few autographs, but when a small boy becomes frightened by his appearance, Ben and Alicia quickly depart. Alicia asks him not to hurry, because she cannot see, and Ben apologizes, adding a few self-deprecatory remarks. When Alicia accuses him of fishing for compliments, Ben replies that he cannot understand why she is in love with him.

At about the same time, Johnny Storm, dressed in a new suit, enters a tavern called "Your Mother's Moustache," When he sees a girl apparently unescorted, he approaches her, but her boyfriend appears and roughly tells Johnny to move along. Johnny becomes angry and bursts into flame, much to the astonishment of the boyfriend, and soon he melts his way out of the place, annoyed at having lost control. Elsewhere, Reed and Sue are taking a walk and discussing the possibility of Sue's returning to the Fantastic Four full time. Sue has thought of becoming a private detective, and Reed asserts that the Invisible Girl would be very good at the job. Sue says that it is difficult to find oneself, and sometimes she wishes she had never learned that she was lost. As Medusa leaves the public library, the Torch flies back to the Baxter Building, and at 12:32 a.m. he descends toward the roof and enters. A minute before, a wind whipped through the streets surrounding the headquarters, strong enough to knock over ex-Marine Barney Slocum, now a derelict living in the building's shadow. The wind arose from the passage of the mutant Quicksilver as he sped toward the Baxter Building.

As Quicksilver comes to a halt, he uses a communi-disc to contact the Great Refuge, and the face in the disc asks whether he has put Plan "M" into operation yet. Quicksilver replies that he has not, because the teleportation device set him down too far from the city, and he requests more reconnaissance time. But his request is denied, so he begins the assault phase of his mission by speeding into an uncompleted subway tunnel to the secret entrance to the Baxter Building. A massive door opens when Quicksilver touches certain bricks in a pre-set order, and he enters. Meanwhile, Johnny heads for the shower, a bit disappointed that he has to spend Friday night alone. When he finishes and starts putting on his uniform, he is surprised to find Quicksilver in the room with him. Quicksilver tells Johnny to sit down, because he has some questions to ask, but Johnny is in no mood to be ordered around. Quicksilver then grabs Johnny's wrist, but Johnny flames on, burns the speedy mutant, and melts his communi-disc. Johnny is furious. He worked hard at playing the good loser at Quicksilver's wedding, he shouts, but he doesn't have to put up with him "on his own time." Then Johnny chases Quicksilver out of his room with fireballs, and Quicksilver heads for Reed's laboratory. Johnny is less likely to use his flame there because of damage to the equipment. Johnny then calls Quicksilver a coward, and the battle begins. Quicksilver knocks Johnny toward the elevator just as Reed, Ben, Medusa, Sue, and Alicia step out. Ben grabs hold of Quicksilver, but before Ben can punch him, Reed stops him to find out why Quicksilver is there. He came to bring Medusa back, he says, because Black Bolt needs her. He also mentions that he has been made an Inhuman by special decree. Then he explains what just happened in the Great Refuge.


Quicksilver's marriage to Crystal was the first time that an Inhuman ever married an outsider. After the wedding, Maximus was jailed for attempting to disrupt the ceremony, and the revelry in Attilan went far into the night. The weeks after the honeymoon passed peacefully, but two nights ago, an army of strange soldiers suddenly materialized within the Palace Royal and began killing guardsmen, until they ran into Black Bolt, Karnak, and Gorgon in the Hall of Heroes. This was the invasion force of Xemu, master of the Fifth Dimension, and they had planned their raid well. Karnak was felled with a special weapon that wrapped him up in cables, while Gorgon was knocked out with a blaster. Then there was a tremendous shock wave that knocked out virtually all the other Inhumans, including Quicksilver. Only Triton, in his special watery living quarters, man• aged to escape by diving into the bottomless fountain at the center of the city. Legend has it that the water in the fountain descends without end, and not even Triton had ever plumbed its depths. Later, Xemu ordered the royal family brought before him in chains. He offered to set Quicksilver free, because he was not an Inhuman, if he would dive after Triton and bring him back. But Quicksilver replied that he became an Inhuman by marriage and will remain an Inhuman till he dies. Then die he shall, said Xemu. Xemu then proclaimed himself sovereign of Attilan. When Gorgon protested, Xemu ordered him placed under an anestho-ray. He did not come unprepared, he told them, indicating the metal clasp that prevented Black Bolt from uttering a word and drained off whatever electron power he could absorb from the air. Then, as Xemu began to explain why he attacked their kingdom, he gestured, and a large, cylindrical device, the Thunder Horn, materialized.

The Inhumans soon remembered where they had heard of Xemu before—he was once one of the Human Torch's antagonists, a madman with the ambition to rule "worlds beyond worlds." Xemu asserted that it is not mad to wish to conquer a universe of dimensions when it is within one's power to do so, and he offered to demonstrate the Thunder Horn to his captives. As he shouted into one end of it, a powerful shock wave emerged from the other end and shattered a nearby mountaintop. The Thunder Horn, a saser weapon (Sound Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation), magnifies sound as a laser does light. At this point Quicksilver asked Black Bolt for permission to attack, even though they might all perish in the attempt. But Black Bolt declined, and Xemu declared that Black Bolt now knew why their hidden land was chosen for the invasion. If the Thunder Horn can destroy a mountaintop when powered by Xemu's voice, asked the conqueror, what would it not do when activated by the voice of Black Bolt? Xemu then tried to force Black Bolt to swear to serve him, but he refused. Xemu's lieutenant noted that their psychic probes indicated that ordinary threats would have no effect on Black Bolt, who would allow thousands of Inhumans to die to prevent billions of outsiders from being subjugated. But, said Xemu, Black Bolt might be persuaded to change his mind if his beloved Medusa were threatened. Then Xemu ordered Quicksilver to travel to the United States and bring back Medusa. Should Quicksilver defy him, he continued, then Crystal would die.

Soon a helpless Quicksilver entered Xemu's dimensional transporter and was carried to a swampy area in Long Island. Then he raced as fast as he could to New York. As Quicksilver finishes his narrative, Reed comments that Xemu's D-machine must have a built-in affinity for that area of Long Island, for that is where Xemu materialized when he battled the Human Torch years ago. Medusa remarks that Quicksilver would do anything to protect Crystal, even lie. Then Ben, Johnny, and Reed decide to take Quicksilver and Medusa back to the Great Refuge themselves. Quicksilver says they must not, for Xemu will kill Crystal, but Medusa says that Crystal would want it this way. Surely, says Sue, Xemu must have foreseen this, and Reed replies that they probably are heading into a trap. But there is little else they can do, and after Reed asks Sue to remain behind with Franklin, the companions strap themselves into the passenger ICBM and launch themselves toward the Himalayas.

Appearing in "Havoc in the Hidden Land!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #159.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Xemu (Last appearance)
  • soldiers from the 5th dimension

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Synopsis for "Havoc in the Hidden Land!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #159.

The Fantastic Four travel with Quicksilver to the Hidden Land, which has been taken over by Xemu of the 5th Dimension. When the FF lands in the area, they are easily taken prisoner by Xemu's forces, and Xemu warns them that if they continue to take aggression towards him they will use the Thunder Horn on the world.

Breaking free, the FF fight off more of Xemu's men and when Xemu threatens to use the Thunder Horn once more, it appears as though the Fantastic Four retreat so as not to trigger an attack. However, the Invisible Girl has been their ace in the hole the whole time. Having secreted aboard the FF's pogo plane, she would use her invisibility powers to help free the Inhuman royal family including Black Bolt (The "ammunition" to the Thunder Horn.) The FF reappear and with the help of the Inhumans crush Xemu's invasion of Earth's dimension and smash his Thunder Horn.

Afterwords, Xemu and his men are returned to the 5th Dimension and taken into custody by the authorities there. With Sue back in action, the group contemplates changing their name to the Fantastic Five, until Medusa explains that she can no longer be away from the Great Refuge any longer and decides to stay with Black Bolt. To celebrate Sue's return to the Fantastic Four, Johnny decides to discard his orange and yellow costume in favor of the more traditional blue FF uniform, as a symbol of the team's reunification.

Appearing in "The Mind of the Monster!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Giant-Size Super-Stars #1.

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  • Psi-Amplifier

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Synopsis for "The Mind of the Monster!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Giant-Size Super-Stars #1.

The Hulk is bounding through New York, wondering why he came to New York again when he didn't really want to go. Falling asleep in an alley, the Hulk changes back into Bruce Banner. When Banner awakens, he finds that he's near the Baxter Building and decides to pay a visit to Reed Richards to see if he can cure him of being the Hulk.

When Banner is admitted into the Baxter Building, the only FF member he finds there is the Thing. While talking with Ben, he learns that Reed has been developing a psi-amplifier device, and Bruce suddenly has an inspiration of how to cure not only himself of ever turning into the Hulk again, but also cure Ben of being the Thing as well.

While rigging Ben up to the machine, Bruce begins its cycle when he suddenly begins to change into the Hulk. The Hulk tries to smash the machine which causes a large explosion. Although the two power-houses survive the blast, it did have one unforeseen side-effect: The Thing and Hulk's minds have swapped bodies. This, however, doesn't stop the Hulk from picking a fight with the Thing.

As the other members of the FF rush to the Baxter Building, the Thing, and Hulk's battle rages on. As their battle takes to the streets, they also run into Thundra, who also joins the fight. Unaware that the Thing and the Hulk have switched bodies, Thundra tries to help the "Thing" only to get clobbered for her trouble. The Thing and Hulk's fight takes them to a wrestling arena, where they duke it out in the ring.

As the fight rages on, Reed deduces what has happened and finds a solution: Getting a large amount of tranquilizer, Reed injects it into the Hulk's body. This causes the Hulk to pass out and revert back into Bruce Banner, and it also reverses the mind swap. Ben's happy to be back in his body, however, Thundra revives and returns the blow that the "Thing" delivered to her earlier before walking off.

Appearing in "Cataclysm!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Giant-Size Fantastic Four #2.

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Synopsis for "Cataclysm!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Giant-Size Fantastic Four #2.

While in orbit above the Earth testing out a new space shuttle for NASA, the Fantastic Four witnesses a bright flash of light that envelops the entire planet. This causes Ben to be blinded and they crash land back on Earth. However, they find that the entire planet has regressed into a prehistoric jungle. They are confronted by the Watcher who explains that someone had accessed Dr. Doom's time machine within the Baxter Building and altered history in such ways that it caused all of humanity to never develop into the society it's in today. The FF agree to being sent back in time to prevent these things from happening.

The Watcher sends Reed and Johnny back in time to the days of the Revolutionary War, disguising themselves as locals from that era, the two quickly learn where history changed in this reality: George Washington has been captured by the British army, and the Americans are at risk of winning the war. Attacking the British military base, Mr. Fantastic and the Human Torch easily free Washington from his prison. After getting Washington to safety, they learn that he was captured due to the appearance of a man who appeared in a bright flash of light. This event spooked his horse enough to buck him off and be captured by the British. With Washington free, Reed and Johnny are transported out of that time, leaving Washington to resume his proper role in history.

Medusa and Thing are transported to the 1930's prior to the depression, where Ben is amazed to find that he's been changed back into his human form. Stealing some clothing, they begin to look for point where history has changed. They find it in a speak-easy where they find Willy Lumpkin, the FF's mailman sitting with some gangsters. Realizing that Willy may tell them about the financial future of the world during this time and thereby give organized crime another edge during the depression, Ben and Medusa grab Lumpkin and run. The mobsters chase after them as Ben steals a car and tries to drive away. However he crashes the vehicle, but then changes back into the Thing and makes short work of the mobsters tailing them. With Willy secure, the trio are transported out of that point in history.

The FF and Willy are not returned to their own time however, they are brought to the timeless realm of Tempus. Tempus tells them all he had manipulated events in the hopes that all the time paradoxes created by Willy would cause all reality to crumble apart and thus end his millennial long existence. Desiring to destroy the Fantastic Four, they find that Tempus' control over time can cause them to rapidly age. However, they manage to defeat him by tripping him up causing him to shatter. Soon after the world of Tempus crumbles as well, however the Fantastic Four and Willy are transported back to their own time, everything seemingly restored back to normal. The Watcher then erases Willy's memories of the whole situation before departing.

Appearing in "Where Lurks Death... Ride the Four Horsemen!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Giant-Size Fantastic Four #3.

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Synopsis for "Where Lurks Death... Ride the Four Horsemen!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Giant-Size Fantastic Four #3.

After centuries away from the planet Earth, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have returned to wreak havoc on the planet once more. Pestilence attacks New York City, bringing the attention of the Fantastic Four, who confront the winged creature. Pestilence explains that they ruled over the Earth centuries past until they were driven away by some unknown force. After attacking Ben, the Thing marshals up all his strength and hits Pestilence as hard as he can, making the creature disappear. Reed rallies everyone together to go searching for the other three horsemen, Reed and Ben taking one part of the Fantasticar and Johnny and Medusa taking the other.

Johnny and Medusa end up in a war-torn country in Africa where the local combatants turn their firepower upon the two heroes, shooting them out of the sky. Johnny and Medusa are quickly overpowered and taken prisoner by an army of black rebel fighters. Medusa frees them with her hair and they fight off the army. They are confronted by War, who injures Medusa. In a fit of rage, Johnny attacks and overpowers War. When he takes off the creature's mask, he finds that the "true face" of War is humanity, before War disappears just as Pestilence did earlier.

Reed and Ben find themselves in Cambodia where Famine is starving everyone there to death. Reed forces one man under Famine's influence to eat before the two heroes attack Famine directly. Reed wraps his body around Famine, and eventually, Famine is defeated like the other two horsemen. The FF then reunite to take on Death on the peaks of Mount Everest. Death splits off into death-faced versions of the FF and takes them all on one-on-one. The battle ends in a victory for the FF who manage to defeat all their opponents, Death disappearing as well after the battle. The whole episode has Ben upset because the whole time they were fighting he never got the chance to shout "It's Clobberin' Time!"

Appearing in "Madrox the Multiple Man"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Giant-Size Fantastic Four #4.

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Locations:

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  • Xavier's helicopter

Synopsis for "Madrox the Multiple Man"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Giant-Size Fantastic Four #4.

While taking the subway to a football game with Alicia, the Thing's plans are ruined when Ben has to deal with somebody in a strange costume standing on the tracks. Surprisingly when Ben strikes this man, he turns into two more, and multiplies with each blow. Ben is eventually overpowered and knocked out in a battle. The rest of the FF arrive and revive Ben, but the "Multiple Man" is nowhere to be seen.

The Multiple Man turns out to be Jamie Madrox, a mutant who had the power to create duplicates of himself. However, he had no control over these abilities and so his parents built a suit that would contain and allow him to control his powers. However, his parents died six years ago and after living that time in solitude, Madrox has found that his suit has begun to malfunction and this is what has brought him to New York City.

The FF track down Madrox and battle him, however his duplicates prove to be too powerful for them to deal with. It's not until the intervention of Charles Xavier (A colleague of Jamie's father) arrives to lend a hand. Xavier explains to Reed Richards of the situation, and while the FF Battle Madrox and his doubles again, Charles uses his mental powers to stun them all. Reed then uses his stretching powers to get close enough to the real Jamie Madrox and correct the problem with his containment suit. The process leaves Madrox unconscious, Charles then tells the FF that he will take Jamie into his care and cure him of his madness.

Appearing in "Bride and Doom!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #127.

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Synopsis for "Bride and Doom!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #127.

While sitting down to supper at Avengers Mansion, the Avengers are startled by the arrival of Gorgon of the Inhumans, who has come to take them to the wedding of Quicksilver and Crystal, and is infuriated with the speedster mutant when he realizes that the Avengers were not made aware of the wedding. However, the Avengers do drop everything to attend the wedding.

While the Avengers, Fantastic Four and Inhumans prepare to celebrate the upcoming wedding, Maximus and an unknown benefactor are plotting to crash the wedding and attack everyone involved by stirring up dissent among the Alpha Primitives.
Before the wedding can begin, the Alphas attack the Inhumans, and Crystal is captured by what appears to be a revived Omega. However, it is soon revealed that it is not Omega, but a resurrected Ultron, who has come to get revenge against the Avengers. This story is continued in Fantastic Four #150...

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