Appearing in "The Coming of... the Dragon Lord!"
- Skagerackrakor (Only appearance; dies)
- Dragon Riders (Only appearance)
- Houdaks (First appearance)
- Professor Gilbert (Only in flashback)
- Diablo (Only in flashback)
- New York
- Mine shaft
- Rammatpolen (First appearance)
- Dragon Staff
Synopsis for "The Coming of... the Dragon Lord!"
In the middle of the night, a man named Ral Dorn flees from the Dragon Riders, who have accused him of murdering a dragon, the worst crime to ever commit in their home realm of Ramatopolen. Surrounded on all sides, Ral decides to defend himself with his Dragon Staff. However he does not anticipate that one of his pursuers would have a pistol and shoot him from behind.
Meanwhile, not far away, the Fantastic Four's Thing is having a drink with a number of alumni's at the local tavern near his old alma matter, State University. During the revelry, Ben recalls the last time that he and the Fantastic Four were on campus was when Doctor Gregson accidentally unleashed the android Dragon Man upon the world. He recalls how they battled the creature, but it was ultimately it's infatuation with the Invisible Girl that led to their ultimate victory. The recollection is suddenly cut short when Ral Dorn stumbles into the bar and collapses on the floor. Realizing the stranger has been shot, Ben rushes outside to see who is responsible, but finds nobody around. Without his teammates with him, the best Ben can do is find a phone and call for an ambulance.
Several days later the incident is all but forgotten as Ben sits down to lunch with Reed, Sue, Johnny and Franklin in New York City. Their meal is suddenly interrupted when Reed's intruder alarm goes off, warning them that someone has broken into their Baxter Building headquarters. Johnny, Reed and Sue rush off to see what the danger is, leaving Ben to grudgingly pay the bill for his teammates. Johnny arrives on the roof of the Baxter Building and spots Ral Dorn on the roof. Telling him to stand down, Ral refuses, ready to use his Dragon Staff to defend himself and avoid capture from his pursuers. Ral uses the staff to absorb Johnny's flame, sending him falling down the side of the building. He is rescued by a strange creature calling himself Laique who assures Johnny the situation is under control. Above, the Dragon Riders pounce on Ral, but he is aided by the Invisible Girl and Mister Fantastic who are seeking answers for the battle raging on the roof of their headquarters. With his foes distracted, Ral tries to flee inside the building and runs into the Thing. Remembering him as the boy who was shot earlier, Ben believes his story that he is innocent of the crimes the Dragon Riders accuse him of and ushers the lad inside before entering the fray himself. While down below, Johnny's flame returns and he sends Laique fleeing while the rest of his team fights off the rest of the Dragon Riders.
Later, the Fantastic Four sit down and demand answers from Ral Dorn about why he is being pursued. Ral explains that he lives in another dimension called Ramatopolen where the Dragon Riders are the most prestegious warriors of the land, being carefully selected to be mentally linked to the dragons they ride as mounts. Wishing to become a Dragon Rider himself, Ral worked with the Houdaks, the race of beings that were in charge of raising the next generation of dragons. After years of hard work, the Dragon Lord Skagerackakor began the ceremony that would pair each new Dragon Rider with a compatible mount. The Houdak's however had some tragic news: that this generation of Dragon Rider's will be so in name only as there will be no dragons to ride. Disappointed by this news, Ral Dorn stormed off, and when he later went to get a dragon for himself was horrified to see that they had all been killed by some unseen hand. Caught among the dead dragons, Ral was accused of murdering them. Fleeing with his only friend Lalique, Ral was confronted by Skagerackakor who tried to stop him from using a portal to reach Earth. Despite this opposition, Ral managed to escape through the portal with Lalique to the Earth dimension, home of Ral's father. There Ral had hopped to locate the Dragon Man, whom he believes is mighty enough of the dragons from his land. After some discussion, and despite Johnny's reservations, the Fantastic Four agree to help Ral find the Dragon Man and clear his name.
At that very moment, the Dragon Man itself is hiding out in an abandoned mine located in Pennsylvania where it sleeps after its recent venture outside. The Fantastic Four soon begin tracking the Dragon Man's brain patterns, leading them to the mine shaft, but unaware that the Dragon Riders are secretly following them. Inside the tight tunnels the Fantastic Four and Ral are attacked by the Dragon Riders. As the battle rages, it awakens the Dragon Man who goes to see what the commotion is. In the heat of the battle, Dragon Man recognizes Sue and reaches out to her. At that very moment, Ral jumps onto Dragon Man's back and activates a device that teleports himself, Sue and Dragon Man to another dimension. Left with the Dragon Riders, Reed convinces them to make a truce and in exchange for allowing them to learn Ral Dorn's innocence they agree to work together. Returning to the Baxter Building, Reed constructs a polygraph machine that will prove Ral's innocence no matter what. They then use a device to pull Sue, Ral and Dragon Man back from the dimension they are hiding out in.
Brought back to Ramatopolen, Ral challenges Skagerackakor to a duel to fight for his life. The battle rages on, and although Skagerackakor gains the upper hand, ultimately Ral and Dragon Man begin gaining the upper hand thanks to the fact that Skagerackakor's been drugging his dragon as his growing insanity had begun to break down the symbiosis between rider and dragon. With Skagerackakor defeated, they are shocked to learn that Skagerackakor had drugged all the dragons in order to prevent the Dragon Riders from being able to stop his attempted invasion of Earth by unleashing untrained dragons upon that world. Quickly, the Fantastic Four, Ral Dorn and Dragon Man teleport to Earth. There Ral and Dragon Man manage to herd the wild dragons and return them to Ramatopolen. Now the new Dragon Lord, Ral thanks the Fantastic Four for all their help before returning to his home dimension.
- Reed, Sue, Ben and Franklin were last seen in the second story of Marvel Two-In-One #86 when Franklin is visited by the Impossible Man.
- Johnny last appeared in Marvel Two-In-One #83 trying to cheer the Thing up while Giant-Man under goes cancer treatment.
- Ben recalls the origins and the Fantastic Four's first battle with the Dragon Man, which occurred in Fantastic Four #35.
- The Dragon Man was last seen in Captain America #247-249 when he was used as a pawn by the Machinesmith to destroy Captain America. He is next seen in Incredible Hulk #292 in the possession of the Circus of Crime. How he got back to Earth's dimension and into their possession remains unexplained.
- Ben, Reed, Sue and Franklin all next appear in the second story of Fantastic Four #238, while Johnny appears next in Fantastic Four #239.
- Cover art: drawn from colour sketch by Hannigan.
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- Images from Fantastic Four Annual Vol 1 16
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