Appearing in "The Melancholy of Susan Richards"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


  • Nas Next (First appearance)

Other Characters:




Synopsis for "The Melancholy of Susan Richards"

The Fantastic Four are in the middle of a battle against a Throngite, Mister Fantastic notices that the Invisible Woman is distracted by something. Sue feels as though something is off, but she can't quite put her finger on it. Sue feels depressed, and figures it will pass. Soon the battle is over and the Fantastic Four go back to their regular day-to-day activities. Back at the Baxter Building, Sue tries to read but can't focus because Johnny and Ben are fighting with each other again. Going out in the rain, Sue thinks about getting a new book, but decides against it the moment she gets to the front of a bookshop.

Meanwhile across various works of fiction, characters such as Tarzan, ghost stories by M.R. James, and Rikki-Tikki Tavi, the heroes of these stories are swept up in a sensation of fear. In the real world, Sue is getting Valeria ready for bed and is trying to figure out what story to read her. However, Valeria is frightened about being read a story. Sue also realises that she is afraid to read herself. Suspecting that something is up, she goes to tell Reed and the others that she suspects that someone is attacking stories. Reed tests this theory out by watching his favourite movie and finds that he cannot bring himself to watch it either. Realising that Sue is onto something, the Reed tells the others to give him a few days to figure things out.

A few days later the Fantastic Four pay a visit to their longtime mail man Willie Lumpkin. Reed explains they have come to him because he is one of the most well read individuals they know and they need him to help them bridge the gap from their reality and into the world of fiction. Using a special headsets the Fantastic Four project themselves into Willie's mind and into the world of literature, where a ship -- which they dub the Jasper -- is waiting for them to travel through this world and find out what is causing people to be afraid of fiction. While the Fantastic Four venture into this strange new adventure, Willie's niece Billie returns home to find everyone in a trance. Deciding that she wants to watch television, she drags Johnny's chair over to the TV so she can rest her head in his lap.

In the world of literature, the Fantastic Four cross paths with Dante, who offers himself as a guide, and warns them that this world is malleable to what they say. For example, when the Invisible Woman asks if their quest will be difficult, Dante points out that it will be now that she has said so. As they travel through the world of fiction they find that all newer fiction has been swallowed up in darkness. Deciding that they need to go to a part in literary history that hasn't been tainted yet, Sue suggests they go to the year 1811. They soon land in the world of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, and arrive just as the Dashwood sisters are being swarmed by an army of nightmarish creatures.

Solicit Synopsis

A threat to the minds of the whole human race sends the FF somewhere they've never been before: into the realm of fiction itself! Where Ben finds himself clobbering a demonic army to save the cast of Sense and Sensibility. No, really. And it gets weirder from there. Dante (not the one from Clerks)! Willie Lumpkin! Behold, the Fictocraft! And it's actually kind of smart and serious too!


Continuity Notes

  • Willie has jokingly asked to be a member of the Fantastic Four since he first started delivering mail to them back in Fantastic Four #11.
  • Reed mentions that comic books are published about them. The Fantastic Four licensed out their adventures to Marvel Comics as seen in Fantastic Four #10.

See Also


  1. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks

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