- Cosmic rays...? This man was exposed? What is his status? Exactly how many months ago... and what kind of "incident"...?
- -- Reed talking about Perry
Appearing in "Chapter 1"
- General Walter Montgomery (First appearance)
- Doctor Linda McGill
- Professor Sanford
- Professor Rutgard
- President (Mentioned)
- USAF upper heyford
Synopsis for "Chapter 1"
Part 1: There Was a Crash...
The crew aboard Reed Richard's space ship have just crash landed on Earth and discovered that they were altered by cosmic rays. Suddenly there is a military helicopter landing to meet them. General Walter Montgomery gets a late night phone call and is apprased of the situation. He soon rushes to a secret government facility where those affected by cosmic rays are kept in quarenteen. There he is met by Professors Sanford and Rutgard who appraise him of the Richards crew's unauthorized flight and subsequent exposure to cosmic rays which led to their mutation. Montgomery is brought to the monitoring room where he looks into the holding cells where the crew is being held. He is shocked to see that Susan Storm is completely invisible, Johnny Storm must be kept in a room in near subzero temperatures as he will burst into flames if in room temperature. Ben Grimm has been mutated into a horrifying thing that is furious about his transformation. Meanwhile, Reed Richards is struggling to control the sudden elasticity of his body. Montgomery tries to talk Reed in his cell, but Richards seems unresponsive.
Unknown to Montgomery, Richards is being contacted telepathically by a mysterious man who tells Richards that he and his crew have taken the next evolutionary step beyond humanity. He explains where they are being held and begins showing off some of the other less fortunate contained here, including Raymond Perry, a hapless lab assistant bombarded by cosmic rays who is confined and medically sedated. The mystery man tells Reed that all exposed to cosmic rays exhibit different abilities, and tell Reed to think about the future.
Part 2: Late-Night Creeping
That evening Johnny is awoken by his sister Sue who is still uncontrollably invisible, she has come to check how he is doing. She then pays a visit to Ben's room where she assures him that he isn't the only one who is scared. Ben complains about how they won't even let him see his girlfriend, but he notes that Sue is now gone and figures that it's typical. When Sue goes into Reed's room, she finds him as unresponsive as when Walter went to see him earlier that day.
The following morning, Walter Montgomery tries to talk to Reed again about what happened. However, Reed is still unresponsive as he is still being spoken to by the mysterious being. Reed has grown tired of the philosophy being spouted by this man and demands to know who he is and how he managed to gain access to his mind. The mystery man explains that he is a fellow scientist who was exposed to cosmic rays that were trapped in a meteor that was trapped within a meteor that crashed on Earth a number of years ago. The man makes a comparative parallel between both of their drives to face the unknown, and how only Richards feels a degree of shame of mutating his closest friends in the process.
When the man reiterates that they have evolved beyond humanity, the mystery man reveals himself as Professor Franz Stohl. He explains that thanks to his exposure to cosmic radiation, his mind can go anywhere freely while his body is trapped in this facility. While Stohl finds the transformation of Reed's crew to be a fascinating leap into the unknown, Reed is horrified that this is what he has done to his friends.
Part 3: The Afterburn
General Montgomery has gotten access for Ben Grimm's girlfriend Linda McGill. She is brought to Ben's room where she is horrified by what he has been transformed into. Unable to contain her emotions, she breaks down into tears and hopes that Ben can get the help he needs before walking out on him.
Later that evening Raymond Perry's powers flare out of control and he is rampaging through the facility. When an alert is sounded, it is heard by the member of Richards and his crew. As the situation is being reported to General Montgomery. Suddenly the locking mechanisms in all the containment rooms disengage. In his private room, Franz Stohl awakens and finds the developments to be fantastic.
For the first time, untold secrets of the FF’s earliest days are revealed!
What happened the moment after Reed Richards’ rocket crash landed?
What happened -- to Sue Storm, to Ben Grimm, to Johnny Storm -- in the days following that fateful event?
An in-depth, action-packed, psychologically thrilling exploration of the FF’s origin begins here!
- This story follows the crash landing of the Fantastic Four's ship which was first seen in Fantastic Four #1.
- The encounter between the Thing and Linda McGill contradicts the events of Marvel Fanfare #46 which states that Ben didn't encounter Linda McGill until after he returned to New York City. Since she assumed that he could be cured here, one could assume the encounter in Marvel Fanfare #46 was based on the assumption that Ben was cured.
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