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Quote1.png I will help get your mommy back Doctor Doom! Quote2.png
Franklin Richards

Appearing in "Double Double"

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Synopsis for "Double Double"

Doctor Doom has come to the Four Freedoms Plaza to seek out the aid of Franklin Richards. Fearing that Doom will take his son by force, Reed has Johnny to fly up to the upper floors to check and see if the boy is still okay. When Johnny confirms that Franklin is safe, Reed and the others hear how Doctor Doom has learned that Franklin recently used his powers to seemingly destroy Mephisto and has come to ask the Fantastic Four to allow him to use their son to help free Doom's mother, Cynthia von Doom. After how Doctor Doom manipulated the mind of Kirstoff Vernard, Reed refuses to allow Doom to have access to his son or his powers. After hearing the refusal, Doom leaves with any apparent incident.

No sooner is Doom gone is the Four Freedoms Plaza suddenly surrounded by an army of robotic drones. Reed, Sue, Ben and Crystal then rush upstairs to help Johnny fight off the swarm of invaders. Although Reed is able to erect an energy shield around their headquarters, the drones manage to overload it and blow it wide open. Combining their powers the five members of the Fantastic Four are able to seemingly destroy all the drones. However unseen by them, two of the seemingly destroyed drones merge together to form a larger robot and while the FF's guard is down, it nabs Franklin and flies away. Johnny chases after the robot, but it is able to catch up to Doctor Doom who is in a ship over the Atlantic. Once Doom has the boy as a prisoner, he speeds off, leaving Johnny incapable of keeping up. Believing the robot might be of some use, Johnny recovers it before the deactivated device can be lost in the ocean. When he takes it back to the Four Freedoms Plaza, Reed tosses it aside as useless. Reed and Ben and Johnny then get into an argument over Ben's recently becoming leader of the group and Johnny's upset over Crystal being asked to join again. Sue interrupts them to say that they can be in Latveria right now trying to save her son if they could only stop arguing and so they are off.

Elsewhere over the Atlantic, Franklin tries to use his dream form to leave Doom's ship and contact his parents but finds some kind of barrier preventing him from doing so. When Doom explains why he has the boy, he manages to convince the naive youth to help him on his quest. Unable to fully appreciate how evil Doctor Doom can be, young Franklin agrees to help Doom save his mother's soul.

Meanwhile, the Fantastic Four blast off in their plane to follow after Doom and Franklin. While back at base, Kristoff Vernard -- still believing himself to be the true Doctor Doom -- builds a small device that causes the inert robot to reactivate and free him from his cell. As he leaves, the mad Quicksilver calls out to him, but Vernard refuses to free him due to Pietro refusing his previous call for an alliance. Soon, Kristoff is flying off to Latveria himself to reclaim "his" throne.

At that moment, the Doctor Doom are arriving in Latveria with Franklin, unaware that the Fantastic Four are observing Kristoff's escape, part of Reed's covert strike to rescue the boy. As Doom continues to convince the boy to aid him, Kristoff's robot crash lands in the Latverian countryside. There the youth goes to a seemingly abandoned farm where there is a secret passage containing a Doombot and a new suit of armor. Vernard puts on the armor, and intends to destroy the "impostor" posing as him. As Kristoff begins traversing a secret tunnel into Castle Doom along with is Doombot, the Fantastic Four are secretly following behind. However they are discovered when Kristoff forgets to reactivate the tunnel security and activates it on them.

Meanwhile, Doom and Boris prepare the midsummer solstice ritual to summon Mephisto in Doom's annual bid to rescue his mother, with Franklin at their side to help. When Mephisto is summoned, Doom surprises Franklin by offering his soul in exchange for that of Cynthia von Doom. Suddenly, Kristoff and an army of Doombots comes crashing in leading to a clash between the two men claiming the title of Doctor Doom. As Doom is busy with his "successor", Mephisto tries to take advantage of the situation by taking Franklin's soul and keeping Cynthia's as well. However before he can abduct the boy the Fantastic Four come crashing into the room. As the battle rages on Mephisto grabs Franklin and begins to teleport away. Seeing this, Reed follows after, just barely making it through the portal into Mephisto's realm. There Reed fights for the life of his son. But when Reed's no match for Mephisto's might, Franklin is able to channel the full extent of his powers, threatening to destroy Mephisto again. With no other choice, Mephisto is forced to return them to Earth, less he perish at Franklin's hands again.

By the time they return to Earth the battle is over and both Doom and Kristoff are in a stalemate, with the Doombots still confused as to whom to accept as their true master. When Doom admits the errors he made in this recent scheme, the Doombots conclude that Kristoff must be the true Doctor Doom, having been programmed to believe that their master would not admit to a moment of weakness. When the Doombots turn on the real Victor von Doom, he fights back but is forced to retreat, vowing to get revenge and reclaim his kingdom. With the fight over, Kristoff tells the Fantastic Four that he will allow them to leave "his" kingdom with their lives if they do so immediately. As the Fantastic Four head back to their ship, Reed and Sue can now take their leave from the team now that they have Franklin back, telling Ben that no matter what the Fantastic Four will continue on with the Thing as their leader.

Solicit Synopsis

Franklin Richards becomes the key element in Dr. Doom's greatest attempt to free his mother's soul. But before Dr. Doom can initiate his plan, he must first battle— Dr. Doom!


Continuity Notes

  • Doctor Doom mentions a few of the instances where Franklin used his mutant powers to help people he mentions:
  • They also mention when Doom took Kristoff as a heir and how the boy now believes he is the real Doctor Doom. The events leading to this are as follows:
  • The Animosity between the Thing and the Torch and the drama between the Torch and Crystal have a long, long history. It is as follows:
    • The Thing used to date sculptress Alicia Masters since Fantastic Four #9 and they had a long standing relationship for years.
    • Johnny and Crystal used to date, and dated between Fantastic Four #65105 until the outside world's pollution forced her to return home to Attilan.
    • Eventually, She ended up rescuing Quicksilver along the way and the two fell in love as seen in Fantastic Four #131132. Crystal and Quicksilver later got married in Fantastic Four #150.
    • In Fantastic Four #245 Reed had realized that Ben could change back and forth between his human and Thing forms at will, but his belief that Alicia only loved him as the Thing subconsciously prevented Ben from doing so. Reed kept this a secret.
    • When most of the Fantastic Four were among those kidnapped by the Beyonder to battle in the first Secret Wars on Battleworld, Ben discovered he could change back and forth and believed it was because of Battleworld itself. He decided to stay there in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #12.
    • Ben remained on Battleworld between Thing #1122 where he eventually lost his ability to change back into Ben Grimm and returned to Earth.
    • Unknown to all at this time, Alicia was replaced by Lyja, a Skrull spy. This was revealed in Fantastic Four #358 and occurred during the events of Fantastic Four #265. Because the Thing was absent from the Fantastic Four at the time, "Alicia" pursued a relationship with the Torch in order to maintain a close connection to the Fantastic Four.
    • When Ben returned from Battleworld in Fantastic Four #277 he discovered that Johnny was now in a relationship with "Alicia."
    • In Thing #23 the truth of what Reed had known came out and the Thing quit the Fantastic Four.
    • Ben ended up joining the Mole Man's society Fantastic Four #296, where he still held a grudge against Reed and the Fantastic Four for everything that happened to him. Despite this he grudgingly rejoined the team when they later came looking for him.
    • Meanwhile, Crystal -- having begun to feel neglect from Pietro over the years -- started an affair with real estate agent Norm Webster in Vision and the Scarlet Witch (Vol. 2) #6. They were caught in the act in issue Vol 1 12 of that series.
    • Johnny recently married "Alicia" in Fantastic Four #300
    • In Fantastic Four #303 Ben realized that he still loved Alicia Masters.
    • Reed, deciding that he and Sue needed time away from the team to raise Franklin, elected Ben to replace him as leader of the Fantastic Four Fantastic Four #304. Ben had chosen Crystal as a replacement in Fantastic Four #305 causing tension between the trio.
  • One of Doom's peasants mentions "Fraulein Mueller," a school teacher who is mountain climbing in this issue. This the woman who began tutoring Kristoff Vernard in Fantastic Four #258 until he was reprogrammed with the mind of Doctor Doom in Fantastic Four #278.
  • Doom's boasts include that he has "conquered" both the Sub-Mariner and the Silver Surfer. He is referring to:
    • Doom is likely talking about the time he stole the powers of the Silver Surfer in Fantastic Four #5760.
    • Whereas when Doom actually "conquered" the Sub-Mariner is a little more difficult to quantify given the number of times the two worked with and fought against each other. He is likely referring to when he forced Namor to work with him between Giant-Size Super-Villain Team-Up #12 and Super-Villain Team-Up #113.
  • This story states that the events of this story happen before the Mephisto Vs... series. However this cannot be possible given the sudden changes in the Fantastic Four's line up that are occurring at this time.
  • Following his defeat here Mephisto next appears in Daredevil #266 where he spends Christmas Eve tormenting Daredevil.
  • Following their departures here, both Doctor Doom's are seen again in Fantastic Four #311 and 312 respectively, when the real Doom seeks out the aid of the Fantastic Four to free Latveria, leading to a battle in New York against Kristoff.

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