Appearing in "Dreadface Lives!"
- Fantastic Four
- Ms. Marvel
- Wild Streak (First appearance)
- Dennis Bowden (First appearance)
- Yvonne Bowden (First appearance) (Only in flashback)
- Hydra (Main story and flashback)
- Big John Buscelli (Mentioned)
- Carrie Burke (Only appearance; dies) (possessed by Dreadface)
Synopsis for "Dreadface Lives!"
At the Florida Key resort of the King's Castle, some thugs watch Carrie Burke, the girlfriend of their employer Emmanuel King. As they are busy ogling over the bosses girlfriend, she is suddenly attacked by a strange black slick in the water. She is suddenly taken over by the murderous symbiote known as Dreadface, who kills the bodyguards when they rush at him. At that moment inside the resort, Emmanuel and his right hand man, Fisherman, discuss the problems they have been having with their rival Big John Buscelli. King believes he has the situation well under hand and turns Fisherman's attention to an article in Newsweek about the Human Torch being put on trail. Hearing a commotion outside, they spot Dreadface attacking the other guards in the building. Once Dreadface clears them all out, the alien approached King and offers to help him with his problems eliminating his enemies after King has helped him destroy enemies of his own: the Human Torch and the Thing.
Meanwhile, at the Four Freedoms Plaza in New York, the Fantastic Four have been rocked by the revelation that the recently kidnapped Franklin Richards has returned from the future as a teenager. Not believing this at face value, Reed conducts a number of tests on the boy to verify his identity. When he reveals that the tests conclude that this youth is their son, Sue refuses to believe it and demands to get her baby back. Hurt, and thinking that his mother hates him, Franklin decides to leave the room. After doffing his psi-armor, Franklin decides to check the Fantastic Four's mail and comes across a letter address to his Uncle Ben that sets off a psychic-seizure and suspects some kind of trouble. Elsewhere in the headquarters, Ms. Marvel tries to get Ben to talk to her after he has been avoiding her for days. When she asks Ben to remove his mask so she can take a look at his face, she is horrified by how infected the wounds are when the thing finally obliges. When Sharon tells Ben that he needs serious medical help, he brushes off this suggestion. As Sharon flees the room, Franklin approaches Ben with the letter telling him that both he and Johnny were offered a free vacation to the King's Castle resort. However when Ben refuses to go, Franklin uses his mental powers to convince him otherwise.
Elsewhere in the city, a new young female super-hero name Wild Streak is busting up a gang of thugs at a pool hall, using her enhanced strength and agility against her foes. After she incapacitates her attackers, she demands to know why Big John Buscelli is mobilizing so much firepower and learns about his beef with Emmanuel King down south. With the authorities on their way and her power pack nearly drained, Wild Streak makes a hasty retreat, by the time she gets to her father's van, she has weakened sufficiently enough to need to crawl. Once inside her father's van, Wild Streak is placed in a wheelchair where she tells her father that they are packing for the Florida Keys.
Sometime later, Ben and Franklin land on Limestone Island aboard a commercial airliner to begin their vacation. Ben has bandaged up his face, but is no less disappointed that there are no fans to greet him while he lands. Once they disembark from the airplane, Ben almost stumbles over a young African-American woman in a wheelchair and excuses himself. Parting ways, neither Ben nor Franklin are aware that the disabled girl and is really the heroine known as Wild Streak. As she and her father go their own way, Wild Streak can't help but wonder why a member of the Fantastic Four is also in the area at the same time as they are. When Ben and Franklin get to their chauffeur, they find him strangely silence, unaware of the fact that he is in a mental trance. When they later arrive at the King's Castle resort the place is deserted of visitors, with only the staff on hand. While Ben finds it puzzling, Franklin realizes that he cannot read anyone's minds, and suspects that there is some kind of danger present. Franklin is not too far from the truth, as Dreadface has had Emmanuel provide him with technology to create a Duplitron, that creates extensions of Dreadface's substance allowing him to enthrall many. Emmanuel is upset that this operation is becoming expensive, and Fisherman is pressuring his employer to do something about Dreadface, as he cannot trust the alien. However, Emmanuel refuses to do such a thing as he still thinks Dreadface is the best means of eliminating Big Joe.
At another hotel Tamika Bowden and her father Dennis unpacked, Tamika can't wait to go into action as Wild Streak, however her gather grimly goes over how tragic events brought them to this very moment. He recalls how he graduated in honors in Mechanical Engineering and married his wife Yvonne shortly thereafter. However he was unable to find steady work and in order to provide for his new family, he was forced to work for the terrorist organization known as Hydra. However he made enough money doing work for Hydra that he was able to retire once Tamika was born. Not long after this, Yvonne died and Dennis began raising his daughter on his own. When Big Joe sent his men to try and hire Dennis, he flat out refused. By this point Tamika was an aspiring gymnast. Sometime after his refusal to Big John, the mobsters sabotaged one of Tamika's practices, resulting in some cross beams breaking, and Tamika being paralyzed from the fall. Although doctors believed that Tamika will never walk again, Dennis used his scientific know-how to construct special leg braces for Tamika. Seeking to avenge her injury and bring those responsible for justice, Tamika developed the costumed identity of Wild Streak, a role her father reluctantly allowed her to play. With Dennis' recollection over, Wild Streak is ready to go on a recon mission of the King's Castle, after kissing her father goodnight and telling him not to worry, she leaps into action.
Meanwhile, Franklin has decided to look around the resort as well, engaging his Psi-Armor so he can fly around. Spotting two men that flew in with him and his Uncle Ben, Franklin decides to doff his Psi-Armor and follow them in secret. Also on the property is Wild Streak, and upon her arrival she runs afoul of one of Dreadface's symbiotes. Sitting alone in his room is the Thing, who is going over his recent problems when he hears the commotion from Wild Streak's battle. Putting on his helmet, Ben rushes outside to see what the ruckus is about. Ben recognizes the strange black tendrils and saves Wild Streak's life by incinerating the symbiote with an exposed electrical wire. Meanwhile, Franklin has come upon a confrontation between the men who were lurking around -- assassins for Big John -- and Emmanuel's enforcers. Much to Franklin's surprise, King's men remove their sunglasses and fire symbiote tendrils from their eyes. As they watch from the window Emmanuel is impressed by the sight. It's at this moment that Dreadface explains that he has no intention of helping them in their turf war and intends to enslave the entire world. When Fisherman tries to shoot Dreadface, the creature transfers itself from Carrie's body to his, leaving nothing but a lifeless husk behind. Furious that Dreadface killed his girl, Emmanuel tries to fight back but is violently struck and send crashing through the window outside.
Rushing on the scene are Ben and Wild Streak where they find King, who has been fatally wounded. He explains that he has a means of destroying his resort in the event that someone tries to take it from him and begins inching toward a statue of Excalibur in a stone. Meanwhile, Franklin has resumed wearing his Psi-Armor and is using its defenses to fight off Dreadface's thralls. Ben goes crashing into the resort where he catches Dreadface with his Duplicatron and the two begin fighting it out. As their fight takes them back out on the front lawn, Wild Streak carries Emmanuel to the statue. When the mobster pulls on the sword it reveals a hidden control panel that will cause the resort to self destruct. Wild Streak then flees to tell the others as King sets the place to explode. Meanwhile, Dreadface attempts to transfer himself over to the Thing's body in order to take control of him. Trying to stop this, Franklin realizes that their minds are melding together, but risks a psi-blast to separate them even though it will harm both Dreadface and Ben.
Pulling Ben away, Franklin is warned about the bomb that is about to go off. Unable to get away in time, Franklin puts back on his Psi-Armor and uses it to generate a forcefield around himself, Ben and Wild Streak as King sets the resort to explode. The three heroes are the only ones who appear to survive the blast. Surveying the damage, Ben remarks how this has been a lousy vacation and says that next time he'll make the travel arrangements.
Appearing in "The Riddle of the Celestials"
Synopsis for "The Riddle of the Celestials"
Kubik and Kosmos are continuing their investigation into the secrets of the universe which have brought them this day before one of the massive and enigmatic Celestials. Kubik explains how these architects of the cosmos alter the genetic codes of living creatures for some unexplained reason. He also points out that while both he and Kosmos have infinite power, the Celestials are vastly more powerful than they are, pointing out that there are an infinite levels of infinity and as such there are tiers of power upon tiers of power. Using a simple math equation Kubik shows the initially skeptic Kosmos realize that there are two different levels of infinity. Deciding to delve into the secrets of the Celestials, Kubik suggests reading the mind of the Celestial before them, but cautions Kosmos that to do so will attract the Celestial's attention and they will be judged and potentially obliterated if the Celestial does not deem them worthy to exist. Seeing no choice in the matter, Kosmos tells Kubik to proceed with their quest for knowledge.
Inside the Celestial mind, they come across a vision as something that Kosmos recalls as the Celestial's homeworld which she encountered in her previous incarnation of the Beyonder. However Kubik reveals that this was all a ruse perpetrated by the Celestials to test the Beyonder's power. Kubik points out that Kosmos couldn't have defeated the Celestials in combat, pointing out that Kubik was able to defeat the Beyonder in battle shortly thereafter. To prove the point that the concept home world is useless to the Celestials, Kubik calls up the time a new Celestial was born in the Black Galaxy.
They then begin to delve into the origins of the Celestials and discover that many myths and legends pertaining to their origins have been known across the galaxy. In one legend, told by the Cognitorum of Velsarus Six theorized that the Celestials came from outside of the multiverse, perhaps from the same realm as the mysterious Beyonders who spawned the both of them. This is in contradiction to the theory held by the Philosophix Ultimus of the Xch'Tul Hegemony which believes that the Celestials are the product of stars which have reached the end of their life cycles, that black holes are cocoons of Celestials about to be born. The two opposing views later led to a conflict that obliterated both races. Another group, the Overscholars of the Winding Mist theorized that the Celestials are actually survivors of the previous universe much in the same way Galactus survived and passed over. They believe that once Galactus has fulfilled his tasks in this universe he too will eventually be reborn into a Celestial. However this theory cannot be empirically tested and is often rejected. Another theory from a long dead civilization in galaxy M31 believed that the Celestials are a physical manifestation of the evolutionary process.
With their quest over for the nonce, they leave the mind of the Celestial. They then wait as it judges their existence and they are delighted when it gives the thumbs up, ensuring their continued existence as they have shown great potential. In the aftermath of their quest, Kosmos asks Kubik which origin is the truth. Kubik responds that all and none are true and that is the reality of the universe they reside in, that there is no single right or wrong answer, only what one chooses to believe. Given some thought, Kosmos decides that the Celestials are part of a game with Eternity the sum total of creation. When Kosmos asks what Kubik thinks, he tells her that he has discarded his theory, deciding that he likes hers better.
- This story takes place in between panels 3 & 4 on page 12 of Fantastic Four #377.
- Dreadface appears here following his apparent destruction battling Johnny and Ben in Fantastic Four #360.
- Johnny's court trial is mentioned, he is going to trail because he accidentally set fire to Empire State University in Fantastic Four #371. His trail is covered in the pages of Fantastic Four #376-378.
- This story happens shortly after Franklin Richards was taken into the future by his grandfather Nathaniel in Fantastic Four #376 and replaced with his teenaged self. Although Reed's tests prove that Franklin is truly their son, the young Franklin is returned to his native era in Fantastic Four #414. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #14 confirms that the teenaged Franklin and his younger counterpart are separate entities.
- Sue's temperamental personality is due to the fact that she has merged her personality with her dark half, known as Malice, in Fantastic Four #369.
- The fate Franklin is trying to save his parents from is the threat of Hyperstorm, Franklin's quest goes through a complex series of events that finally resolve themselves in Fantastic Four #414.
- Ben's face was scarred by Wolverine in Fantastic Four #374, he began wearing the metal helmet to cover his features in following issue. He continues to wear this helmet until Fantastic Four #385 and his face is ultimately healed in Fantastic Four #409.
- Although seemingly destroyed in this story, Dreadface appears again in Fantastic Force #5.
- Wild Streak and her father next appear in Thunderstrike #11.
The Riddle of the Celestials
- Kubik and Kosmos appear here following their last appearance in Fantastic Four #351 where they tested the abilities of the Fantastic Four. They appear next in Fantastic Four Annual #27.
- Kosmos mentions her previous form of the Beyonder. She assumed this form from Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #1 until she merged with the Molecule Man in Fantastic Four #319 to become a Cosmic Cube. There the Beyonder was reborn into the female form of Kosmos in Fantastic Four Annual #23.
- The battle between the Beyonder and the Celestials occurred in Secret Wars II #7.
- Kubik defeated the Beyonder in battle in Fantastic Four #319.
- The birth of a Celestial in the Black Galaxy occurred in Thor #424.
- It has been previously established in Thor #169 that Galactus was the last survivor of his universe.
- Like all annual published in 1993, this issue was polybagged and featured a trading card of the new character introduced in the annual. In the case of this issue it featured a trading card of Wild Streak.
- First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
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