Appearing in "Crystal Blue Persuasion!"
- High Evolutionary
- Willie Lumpkin
- Aron the Watcher
- Uatu the Watcher
- Belasco (Only in flashback)
- Comet Man (Only in flashback)
- Max (Only in flashback)
- Cat People (Only in flashback)
- Moloids (Only in flashback)
- Master Pandemonium (Only in flashback)
- Punisher (Only in flashback)
- Mirage (Only in flashback)
- Speedball (Only in flashback)
- Eternals (Only in flashback)
- Karkas (Only in flashback)
- New York City
- Subterranea (Only in flashback)
- Limbo (Only in flashback)
- Land Within (Only in flashback)
- Arcturus IV (Only in flashback)
- Colombia (Only in flashback)
- Bogotá (Only in flashback)
- Olympia (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "Crystal Blue Persuasion!"
The Fantastic Four have returned to the Four Freedoms Plaza for a brief rest after their exploration into the mystery of the Beyonders. On their way in they bump into the Fantastic Four's old mail man, Willie Lumpkin, on another mail delivery. After a warm reunion, Willie departs to continue his deliveries. Ben then reports into their receptionist, Roberta to update her on the team's current mission: He explains that while they were searching for the Mole Man they discovered a series of warps where they found themselves transported into Limbo where they fought Belasco, then the Land Within of the Cat People, before ultimately being transported to the alien world of Arcturus IV. There they thought they were trapped with the villain known as Master Pandemonium until they were rescued by Comet Man and his friend Max. It turned out there was a transporter that teleported them back to Earth in the frozen wastelands of the former Savage Land. Now in order to learn how the Beyonders are all tied into it, they are heading into the Negative Zone. When Roberta asks if she should contact the Fantastic Four's former leader, Reed Richards, Ben tells her not to because they are doing fine without him on this adventure. The group then splits up to enjoy some rest and relaxation before continuing on their quest.
Drawing a hot bath, the Thing soaks in the water and reflects on how he and Sharon are finally in the relationship that he always wanted from her and that it took her transformation into a She-Thing that helped bring them closer together. When he considers recent events, Ben begins to believe that Johnny and Alicia getting married was the best thing that could have happened to him. In another bathroom, Sharon is taking a bath as well, and her feelings about the subject mirror those of Ben's. While in another shower, Johnny is deciding that after their mission in the Negative Zone he plans on quitting the Fantastic Four because of his conflicted feelings for Crystal and he need to remain faithful to his wife Alicia. Crystal's thoughts are on these issues as well, thinking of how if the Inhuman law did not protect the "sanctity of marriage" she would have been divorced from Pietro long ago. Crystal's thoughts are quickly interrupted by the arrival of her daughter Luna and her nanny Maya.
After spending time with her daughter, Crystal meets up with the rest of the Fantastic Four outside of Reed's old lab. Before they can open it up a holographic image of Medusa and Black Bolt appear before them. Medusa tells her sister that Quicksilver's mind has been healed and that she is being ordered to return to her people. She explains that Pietro recently lost his powers and has decided to forgive his wife and ask her to come back. This infuriates Crystal, who is fed up with the royal family dictating the direction of her life and refuses to go back to Attilan. With this act of defiance, Black Bolt has Medusa tell her that they will be coming down to physically return her to the moon. When the Inhuman royal family teleports down to the Four Freedoms Plaza with Lockjaw, Medusa once again demands that Crystal return with them. Crystal refuses and when her sister tries to restrain her, fights back. This leads to a clash between the Fantastic Four and the Inhumans.
Meanwhile, elsewhere on the moon, the High Evolutionary and his Gatherers have teleported onto the surface. He orders his Gatherers to attack Attilan and gather a sample of the Terrigen Mists for him to examine. As he watches his minions fly toward the city, the High Evolutionary suddenly senses a presence behind him. He turns and is surprised to see the Earth's Watcher standing before him. The Watcher informs the Evolutionary that he has come to watch and he has been watching the geneticists recent exploits: attempting to cull the Moloid population, an attempt to destroy gene altering drugs, enlisting the aid of the Eternals to get a sample of the Silver Surfer's DNA, his examination of the mutant known as Mirage. The Watcher also tells of the escalating drug war that has resulted from the Evolutionary's tampering. When the High Evolutionary asks if the Watcher intends to interfere with his plans, Uatu reiterate that his goal is only to watch. Not far away on Attilan, the Inhumans try their best to ward off the Gatherers attack. Joining them is Quicksilver, who although no longer having his speed powers, is leading the army into battle.
Back on Earth, the Fantastic Four and the Inhuman royal family are still fighting it out. Although Lockjaw is loyal to the family, this quickly changes when Karnak gets close enough to Crystal to knock her out. Lockjaw then quickly turns on everyone, protecting Crystal from anybody who tries to get too close. The battle rages on, with both sides still equally matched, prompting Black Bolt to call an end to the fighting. As they continue to argue over Crystal's place, they are interrupted by the appearance of Fantomask, an Inhuman beaming her holographic image to Earth. When Fantomask warns the royals about the attack on Attilan, Crystal decides that it is time to return home to help her people. Although Johnny protests this idea, Sharon tells him that it's ultimately her choice. The Fantastic Four agree to go along with the Inhumans back to Attilan to help fight back the Gatherers.
With the added might of the Fantastic Four and the Inhuman royal family, Quicksilver and his army are able to turn the course of the battle. No match for the added force, the Gatherers retreat to their master empty handed. After they report in, the High Evolutionary grudgingly teleports himself and his minions away, giving the Watcher a dirty look as he leaves.
Spotting the Watcher observing from above, the Fantastic Four decide to try and get answers from him. However the Watcher insists that all he does is watch. When Ben reminds him of all the times he has helped in the past, the Watcher still insists that he only watches. Suddenly the FF become aware of another Watcher who offers to tell them what was going on. However before this new Watcher can say anything, Uatu steps in and tells him that they only to observe and teleports away, telling Ben that he is forced to watch from a greater distance now.
With the battle over, Black Bolt requests a private audience with his cousin and takes her out past Attilan where the air of the Blue Area is thin. There, he is able to say one word, "stay," without the full force of his powers. This is still powerful enough to cause a massive sonic boom that sends Crystal tumbling across the lunar surface. When Crystal asks why she should stay, Black Bolt writers the word "family" in the dust. When he later brings back Crystal with the others, she announces to the team that she is leaving the Fantastic Four to return to her people and her husband and asks them to tell her how the rest of their adventure will go. While Johnny feels heartbreak for losing Crystal a second time, Ben is perplexed by the whole turn of events, while Sharon finds Crystal's decision both brave and sad.
Appearing in "Crystal"
Synopsis for "Crystal"
As the Fantastic Four teleport away, the Inhuman royal family watches on. Quicksilver tells his estranged wife that she is his once again. When Crystal asks how he could want her back after what she did and what it had done to him, Quicksilver informs her that his madness was actually the product of Maximus that made him turn against everyone he knew and loved.
Crystal then asks how he got free of the madness, he explains that he was recently possessed by the mind of a creature that was once married to Henry Pym. When she briefly possessed his mind, it created a mental block that not only prevented him from using his speed powers, but also shattered the hold Maximus had on him. After that he asked for Black Bolt's mercy and was welcomed back to Attilan with open arms.
Suddenly, Lockjaw returns from Earth with Maya and Luna, Luna -- happy to see her father -- ignores her mother's warnings to stay away. When Quicksilver reacts with warmth and love instead of insanity and evil when holding his daughter. Seeing Crystal's mind at ease that what Pietro says is true.
Medusa then pulls Crystal aside to talk to her privately, and informs her that she is required to try and repair her marriage with Quicksilver for the public's perception of the royal family. When she begins to suggest that Crystal might be reluctant to do so because she was contemplating an affair with Johnny Storm, their private discussion is interrupted when suddenly Pietro discovers that the mental block has been lifted and he can now use his powers once again.
When alone in their home together, Crystal takes the moment to ask if her husband still loves her. He tells her that he does, that any negative feeling he has toward her was the work of Maximus. This upsets her and Crystal decides that she needs to be alone for a while and leaves the room. Quicksilver then quickly rushes to the communication room he contacts Doctor Doom. Holding a grudge against Kristoff Vernard, Quicksilver reports what he knows about the Fantastic Four's current mission to Doctor Doom, hoping it is the key Doom will need to rid his kingdom of Kristoff Vernard.
Appearing in "The High Evolutionary Chapter 5: Silver and Crimson"
- Dempsey (Recap)
Synopsis for "The High Evolutionary Chapter 5: Silver and Crimson"
Herbert Wyndham is attacked by a werewolf out in the wilds of Wundagore Mountain. After a losing struggle, Wyndham is surprised when the werewolf suddenly bounds away. Confused at first, he realizes that the reason why the werewolf fled is because the sun is beginning to rise. Theorizing on what the creature's behaviors are like, Herbert heads back to his Citadel of Science.
There he is handed a note by his group of loyal Moloids. It is a letter from his colleague Jonathan Drew who informs him that with the loss of his wife Merriam, he has decided to leave and return to the United States.
While washing up and dealing with his wounds, Herbert realizes that with Jonathan gone, and his daughter in stasis within the citadel, he is literally alone up there. Realizing that he needs a means of protecting himself, Herbert begins working on a suit of armor to protect himself. On the day it is completed, Herbert puts it on when suddenly he hears a howl from the werewolf. Rushing to another part of his facility he sees that the creature has attacked and is eating one of his Moloids.
Attacking the creature, the iron of Herbert's armor appears to cause the werewolf a great deal of harm. When it tries to flee back outside, he closes the outer and inner doors trapping the creature. Determined to learn the creature's secrets, Herbert then orders the Moloids to tend to their fallen comrade's body.
- This story features pin ups of the following characters:
- The Thing
- Ms. Marvel
- Human Torch
- "Alicia Storm"
- Mister Fantastic
- the Invisible Woman
- Franklin Richards
- Both Doctor Doom's (Von Doom & Vernard)
- The Prime Mover
Crystal Blue Persuasion!
- This story follows the events of Fantastic Four #317.
- Willie Lumpkin is making a mail delivery here, he was last seen delivering mail in Thing #2 and he will later be seen in delivering mail again in Quasar #12
- Roberta appears between her appearances in Fantastic Four #311 and Fantastic Four #318.
- Ben goes over the Fantastic Four's recent events:
- They went travelling to Subterranea to try and find the Mole Man in Fantastic Four #313.
- From there they discovered a portal into Belasco's Limbo, then to the Cat People's Land Within before being trapped in Arcturus IV in Fantastic Four #314.
- How the discovered Master Pandemonium in there and were rescued by Comet Man and Max in Fantastic Four #315.
- Until finally they ended up in the ruins of the Savage Land and began figuring out the connection between the Beyonders and these portals in Fantastic Four #316–317.
- Roberta asks if she should call Reed Richards. Reed and his wife Sue took a leave of absence from the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four #307 so they could spend more time with their son Franklin. They will remain away from the team until Fantastic Four #326.
- There are some very complex romantic plots going on in this story involving Ben, Sharon, Johnny, his wife "Alicia Masters", and Crystal. They are:
- Alicia used to date the Thing for years, starting in Fantastic Four #9.
- Johnny and Crystal dated between Fantastic Four #65–105 until the outside world's pollution forced her to return home to Attilan.
- Crystal ended up rescuing Quicksilver along the way and the two fell in love as seen in Fantastic Four #131–132. Crystal and Quicksilver later got married in Fantastic Four #150. Johnny had a series of failed relationships while Ben and Alicia remained together over the years.
- 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 in Battleworld between Thing #11–22 where he eventually lost his ability to change back into Ben Grimm and returned to Earth. There his subconscious mind created Tarianna his idea of the ideal woman. When Battleworld was destroyed so was she.
- While Ben was on Battleworld, and as explained in Fantastic Four #358, Alicia was secretly replaced by the Skrull spy Lyja who was sent to infiltrate the Fantastic Four. With the Thing no longer part of the team she focused her attention on Johnny. Lyja took Alicia's place during the events of Fantastic Four #265.
- Ben eventually returned in Fantastic Four #277 and discovered Johnny's relationship with "Alicia", between this and other betrayals, Ben quit the Fantastic Four in Thing #23. Johnny and "Alicia's" relationship continued to flourish.
- Thing first met Sharon in Thing #27 when he briefly joined the Thunderriders and fell for her instantly because she resembled Tarianna. Sharon left the Thunderriders but re-entered the Thing's life in Thing #30 when he was part of the Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation. She eventually joined the league in Thing #35 but the Thing was forced to flee when he was infected with a virus by the Power Broker in Thing #36.
- Ben eventually ended up living with the Mole Man who cured him of the virus. He was eventually found by the Fantastic Four who convinced him to rejoin the team, he did so grudgingly.
- Johnny recently married "Alicia" in Fantastic Four #300.
- Meanwhile, Crystal had and affair with Norm Webster and was eventually caught during the events ofVision and the Scarlet Witch (Vol. 2) #6 through 12.
- In Fantastic Four #303 Ben realized that he still loved Alicia Masters.
- Reed elected Ben to replace him as leader of the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four #304.
- Ben then asked Crystal to join the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four #305, partially to spite the Torch.
- Johnny went so far as to accuse Crystal of trying to break up his marriage in Fantastic Four Annual #20. But the two eventually buried the hatchet.
- Sharon eventually resurfaced and was offered a spot with the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four #306 Ben's romantic pursuits were quashed quickly because while he was gone, as seen in Captain America #330–331, Sharon was raped by some of the minions of the Power Broker, making incapable of touching men.
- Sharon was later mutated into a She-Thing in Fantastic Four #310.
- In Fantastic Four #313 Johnny began to realize he still has feelings for Crystal.
- Ben and Sharon decided to follow through on their romantic interest in one another in Fantastic Four #314.
- Events occur between pages 6 & 7 of this issue that occur in other comics. These are:
- The flashback in Fantastic Four #342 where Johnny deals with yet another fan immolating himself in flames trying to imitate his hero. This leads to a fight with the Seekers alongside the flame controlling mutant Rusty Collins.
- The Thing has a brief cameo in Marvel Comics Presents #3.
- Ben later battles Mayhem in Strange Tales (Vol. 2) #19.
- Ben and Johnny battle the Exile in the basement of the Four Freedoms Plaza in Marvel Comics Presents #66–68.
- Luna appears here following the events of X-Factor Annual #2 when her father attempted to kidnap her while he was still insane. While Maya was last seen in Fantastic Four #307 shortly after she took on her nanny job.
- Ben mentions that they recently locked Reed's lab. This was in Fantastic Four #308 after Reed left Ben in charge of the team. Ben felt that the lab should be locked since none of the remaining members of the FF had any idea how to work Reed's lab or inventions.
- The members of the Inhuman royal family were last seen in X-Factor Annual #2 where they discovered that Maximus was control Pietro's mind and stopped him with the help of X-Factor.
- Two statements that Medusa makes about Quicksilver have since been revealed to be false these are:
- She refers to him as Pietro Magnus, since Vision and the Scarlet Witch #4 it was believed that Quicksilver is the son of the mutant terrorist Magneto. This was revealed as false in Uncanny Avengers (Vol. 2) #4 which revealed that Pietro's real parents were really Django and Marya Maximoff. Also at the time Magneto's last name was believed to be Magnus, however X-Men: Magneto Testament #1 revealed that Magneto's real last name is Eisenhardt.
- It is also stated here that Quicksilver is a mutant, however this was also revealed to be false in Uncanny Avengers (Vol. 2) #4. Everyone -- including Pietro -- were tricked by the High Evolutionary into thinking he was a mutant in order to cover up his experiments which were the real source of Pietro's powers.
- The High Evolutionary appears here following the events of Amazing Spider-Man Annual #22. While the Watcher was last seen observing an alternate world in What If? Special #1.
- The Watcher and High Evolutionary go over the events of his Evolutionary War up to date:
- The High Evolutionary's culling of the Moloids which was thwarted by X-Factor in X-Factor Annual #3
- His clash with the Punisher trying to destroy genetically altering drugs in Punisher Annual #1
- His attempt to get the Silver Surfer's DNA in Silver Surfer Annual #1
- His attempts to examine Mirage's mutant powers in New Mutants Annual #4
- And the drug war in New York City involving Speedball in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #22.
- Quicksilver appears here following his appearance in West Coast Avengers (Vol. 2) #36 where he was cured of his insanity and lost the use of his powers after being possessed by MODAM, the late wife of Henry Pym.
- Sharon mentions the last time the Inhumans and the Fantastic Four met in Fantastic Four #306
- Aron the Watcher appears here following his last appearance in Captain Marvel #40 when he was placed in Uatu's care. He next appears in Fantastic Four #321
- Uatu next appears in Marvel Comics Presents #17
- Following the events of this story the Inhuman royal family and Quicksilver are next seen in Marvel Graphic Novel #34 where Medusa discovers she is pregnant and gives birth to her and Black Bolt's son.
- Doctor Doom appears here following his battle with the Fantastic Four in Damage Control #2, he appears next in Fantastic Four #318.
- Quicksilver is giving information to Doom to get revenge against Kristoff Vernard. Vernard and Pietro were locked up in the Four Freedoms Plaza together in Fantastic Four #305 and Fantastic Four Annual #20. The two did not get along so well, later Kristoff broke out and took over Latveria in Doom's place. The two briefly worked together while Pietro was still mad in West Coast Avengers (Vol. 2) #35.
High Evolutionary Part 5: Silver and Crimson
- The previous chapter of this story was told in New Mutants Annual #4 and it continues in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #22.
- Between page 3 & 4 of this story the events featured in the flashback from Spider-Woman #1 occurs.