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Quote1.png You have severely underestimated us, Annihilus! Our mortal bodies may seem frail and weak compared to yours-- --but the human spirit can never truly be conquered! Quote2.png
Mr. Fantastic

Appearing in "Nightmare in the Negative Zone!"

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Synopsis for "Nightmare in the Negative Zone!"

With things having grown quiet after their last clash with Doctor Doom, Reed Richards begins working on a computer based on his Heat-Image Tracer to see what Doom might be up to in the future. After he finishes calibrating the device he activates it along with Ben and Johnny, and they are shocked by the image it pulls up. Meanwhile, along the East River, the Sub-Mariner bids farewell to Sue and Crystal. When Sue asks Namor to work with the surface people, he declines telling her that he will not be found by the laws of the surface world and returns to the ocean.

While back at the Baxter Building, Reed, Johnny and Ben observe a most horrific image: A massive cosmic powered Doctor Doom towering over New York City. As Reed begins to try and determine the type of energy radiating out of his old foe, former Avengers ally Rick Jones rushes toward the Baxter Building. After getting past the building security, Rick meets with the Fantastic Four to warn them that Doctor Doom has invaded the Negative Zone.

The reason why Jones knows this is because he is bonded to the former Kree soldier known as Captain Marvel, and the pair often trade places, with one occupying the Negative Zone. At that very moment Marvel watches as Doctor Doom uses his power battle Annihilus, the Negative Zone's ruler. While outside of the building, three founding members of the Frightful Four have regrouped and now approach the Baxter Building.

With Sue and Crystal having returned, Reed, Ben Crystal and Johnny prepare to enter the Negative Zone, leaving Rick with Susan. As they enter the portal the Frightful Four attacks Rick, and Sue. While in the Negative Zone, Doctor Doom manages to overpower Annihilus and takes the prize he has sought after: the Cosmic Control Rod. With the Rod in his possession, Doctor Doom then teleports away. Back on Earth, while Sue and the others are busy defending themselves from the Frightful Four, the Sandman completes his objective: Recovering Blastaar from the Negative Zone and recruiting him into the Frightful Four.

The other members of the Fantastic Four soon arrive at the scene where Doom just vanished and find themselves caught in a battle with Annihilus and his army of Borers. They are assisted by Captain Marvel who manages to grab hold of Annihilus. Unfortunately for the heroes in the Negative Zone, Rick chooses this moment to clash together his Nega-Bands causing him to swap places with Mar-Vell. While Marvel gives Sue the upper hand she needs, he is quickly incapacitated by Blastaar, and Sue falls to the Trapster's paste. Similarly, Annihilus takes Rick prisoner and uses him as a bargaining chip to force the Fantastic Four into retrieving his Cosmic Control rod in exchange for Rick's life.

Reed is forced to agree and as they head back to the portal back to Earth, they are shocked to find it missing, unaware that the Frightful Four have closed the portal from the other side.


Continuity Notes

  • Reed's Prognastication Projector was based on designs from his previous invention the Heat-Image Tracer. Reed used this device in Fantastic Four #6667 to find Alicia Masters after she was kidnapped by the Enclave.
  • Rick Jones last saw the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four #36 when he attended Reed and Sue's engagement party. Since then he was bonded to the former Kree soldier Captain Marvel, as seen in Captain Marvel #12. Both Rick and Mar-Vell were last seen in Captain Marvel #21 where they battled the Hulk.
  • The Frightful Four were last seen together in Fantastic Four #94 during a failed revenge scheme against the Fantastic Four.
  • Blastaar appears here chronologically after he was defeated by the X-Men after a failed attempt to cross dimensions to Earth in X-Men #53.
  • The reason the Frightful Four are seeking out Blastaar is because the Sandman wished to recruit him into the group after they worked together in Fantastic Four #63.

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