Appearing in "Picking up the Pieces"
- Fantastic Force
- Guardsman of Chthon
Synopsis for "Picking up the Pieces"
Following the defeat of Vangaard in the realm of Elsewhen, the members of Fantastic Force are celebrated by the followers of Warlord Kargul. The members of the group are mourning the loss of Devlor when he suddenly materialized out of thin air and comes crashing into the middle of the ceremony. After theorizing that Devlor was thrust forward in time during the battle he repays the group for their help by using his chronal powers to repair Johnny's uniform. Also surviving the battle is Psi-Lord whose body was placed in a zero-chamber to heal after attempting to destroy Vangaar with anti-matter energy. Released, Franklin is reunited with his teammates and informs them that the psycho-plasmic constructs that were created from his mind have been absorbed back into his body. He then shows off the new Psycho-Armor that Kargul's minions built for him to better control his powers. Before allowing them to leave, Kargul tells Franklin that his past transgressions against his rule have been forgiven in light of the fact that he and his friends risked their lives with Elsewhen. But before leaving, Franklin and the others learn that Huntara intends on staying behind. Regardless of the mystery of her family background -- if she is Tara Richards or Mary Alvarez -- matters little to her as she is now and forever Huntara of Elsewhen. As her final task as a member of Fantastic Force, Huntara uses her Psi-Scythe to transport the others back to Earth.
After they have returned, Johnny decides to look up his new girl Laura Green. Franklin feels sorry for his uncle as he knows that Laura Green is really his estranged ex-wife Lyja in disguise but does not tell him this. However before Johnny can go, they discover that his old friend Wyatt Wingfoot has come to pay him a visit. He is shocked to see that Franklin is now a teenager, but Wyatt tells them that he originally came back to New York for Keewazi business but now is seeking Fantastic Force's help because She-Hulk is not acting like herself.
At that very moment the She-Hulk is breaking into a museum in order to steal an artifact called the Guardsman of Chthon, a mystical artifact recovered from Wundagore Mountain in Transia and put on display in New York. On her way out she is confronted by police, but she easily dispatches them. Before Jen can flee the scene, she is confronted by the members of Fantastic Force. Throughout the battle, She-Hulk's superior strength prove the better against her allies. However when Black Panther notices that she is stopping short of killing them, he manages to take the statue from her. Then without resisting her, tells She-Hulk that she will have to kill him in order to retrieve the statue. Jen tries to strike a killing blow, but despite the fact that she is under the influence of some outside force, she cannot violate her ethics and passes out. When she comes to, she seems to be free from whatever is controlling her. Johnny begins to put things together and suspects that She-Hulk has been under the influence of the Puppet Master.
They decide to pay Phillip Masters a visit at his apartment where they instantly attack him without question. It's not until Alicia Masters interrupts the fight that it stops. Knowing that her step-father is innocent of any wrongdoing, Alicia scolds Johnny and his teammates for storming into their home and causing trouble without just cause. Telling Fantastic Force that she and her step-father want to be left alone the group sheepishly departs from the apartment. Later it is unanimously agreed that She-Hulk should join their ranks, filling in for the departed Huntara, an offer She-Hulk accepts. As they celebrate, the group are unaware that they are being watched by Diablo who is the true mastermind of this recent plot. He tells the demon who he is holding council with that finally after centuries of trial, Diablo will finally reach his ultimate victory.
- The cover to this issue is a homage to Fantastic Four #265 which feature She-Hulk joining the Fantastic Four.
- The teenage Franklin seen here was delivered to the modern age by Nathaniel Richards from Earth-6311 to replace his Earth-616 counterpart. This occurred in Fantastic Four #376. Although everyone reacts as though this is Earth-616's Franklin all grown up, the young Franklin is returned in Fantastic Four #413. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #14 confirms that they are separate entities. Franklin believes that his mission was to stop the Dark Raider from destroying the Fantastic Four as explained in Fantastic Four #387, however this is part of a larger scheme to stop Hyperstorm that is not realized until Fantastic Four #414.
- Huntara mentions that there is some ambiguity on if she is Tara Richards or Mary Alvarez. In Fantastic Four #390 it is stated that Huntara is the daughter of Nathaniel Richards. However in Fantastic Force #9, reporter Paul Alvarez claims that she is really his long-lost sister Mary. The truth of the matter has never been resolved as Fantastic Force was cancelled shortly after this issue.
- Although Huntara departs from the team she briefly reunites with them during the Onslaught crisis in Fantastic Four #416.
- Johnny's romance with Laura Green is a complex one: She is really Lyja who, as explained in Fantastic Four #358, posed as Alicia Masters to for her fellow Skrulls in order to spy on the Fantastic Four (circa Fantastic Four #265. Pursuing a relationship with Johnny they eventually got married in Fantastic Four #300 however the truth was exposed in Fantastic Four #357. Lyja managed to rekindle their romance by returning to her estranged husband's side in Fantastic Four #374 claiming that she was carrying his child. In Fantastic Four #390 it turned out to be a Sha'Barri egg, prompting Johnny to end their relationship again. Lyja has since been posing as Laura Green since Fantastic Four #323 to remain close to him.
- Devlor begins acting more savage here due to his exposure to the Omnivirus in Fantastic Force #11.
- Alicia Masters has been estranged from the Fantastic Four since Fantastic Four #393 when her step-father tried to force Alicia and the Thing to rekindle their romance. Alicia had been despondent since being rescued from the Skrulls in Fantastic Four #358 and learning that not only was she "married" to Johnny Storm, but the Thing was now in a relationship with Sharon Ventura at the time.
- The demon that is working with Diablo is revealed as Mephisto in Fantastic Force #17.