- You're our ticket outta here, an' I've a mind to have my ticket punched!
- -- Ben Grimm
Appearing in "Mobius's Trip"
- Time Variance Authority
- Kang (Hologram)
- Cross-Time Train
Synopsis for "Mobius's Trip"
Mobius M. Mobius, Senior Executive Middle Manager of the Time Variance Authority, is cursing Mister Fantastic of the Fantastic Four after his last encounter with the group. Suddenly he's called to the office of his boss Mister Alternity. Making his way to Alternity's office, he is told that he must find data that went missing from the TVA's database recently, or else he will be demoted. As he leaves the office, Mobius recalls how the data went missing when the TVA captured the Fantastic Four who were to be put on trail for various timeline infractions. However, the group made an escape after Reed stole data from the TVA that allowed him to erase the location of their timeline from the TVA's records.
Meanwhile on Earth, the Fantastic Four are on an afternoon stroll through Central Park, enjoying the day when suddenly a cab comes speeding over the curb out of control. Quick thinking, Sue launches the cab in the air with an invisible ramp, while Johnny rescues the driver and Ben grabs the cab as it comes down from the air. With the crisis averted, the Fantastic Four try to make sense of the situation when suddenly Mobius comes out of the back seat of the cab. Surprised by this, the FF are shocked to recognize Mobius as a member of the TVA, distracting them long enough for Justice Love to exit from the trunk and blast them with his temporal transporter ray. Noticing that Scott Lang -- unaware that he is a member of the Fantastic Four now -- also disappeared, but not because of the ray, Justice Love and Mobius dismiss it and return to the TVA, unaware that Lang had shrunk down to Ant-Man size and has hitched a ride on Justice Love.
Johnny, Sue and Ben find themselves in a null-void cell, and their attempts to break free fail. Suddenly, Sue is pulled out of the room and brought into the office of Mobius who demands the missing data. Sue tells them that her husband is missing and asks for Mobius' help in finding him in order to recover the data. However Mobius can't help because he can't track Reed Richards after he erased the data. After telling Sue that he will keep the Fantastic Four for all time if necessary, Sue manages to ambush him with an invisible force blast that knocks Mobius down long enough for her to escape his office. Mobius then summons his various Justice soldiers to try and find her. Justices Truth, Might and Liberty respond, unaware that Ant-Man is still hitching a ride. Meanwhile, Mobius teleports down to the holding cell to interrogate Ben and Johnny, taking the precaution to protect himself this time.
Elsewhere, Sue is confronted by the three Justices, but with the help of Ant-Man, she knocks them all out and they steal two of their uniforms so they can travel unheeded. As Mobius continues his interrogation, Sue and Scott find the cell and pretend they captured an "invisible Sue Richards" in order to get the drop on Mobius. Holding their captor at gun point, they hear how Mobius needs this data or he will be demoted. Hearing this plight, Johnny and Ben convince Mobius to try and find a better paying job at a rival time authority. Never realizing that this was an option, Mobius decides to give a try. Soon they are taking a Cross-Time Train to Chronopolis, home of the Kang Dynasty to see if Kang can offer a better job for Mobius. As Mobius gets a private audience with Kang, Sue realizes this may be an opportunity to find out if Reed is alive and where in he may be trapped in time and space. After Mobius comes out with a rather generous job offer, the Fantastic Four storm into Kang's meeting room. There Sue convinces Kang to offer information on Reed for bringing him Mobius for a potential job. Kang tells Sue that in one timeline the Fantastic Four will eventually find Reed Richards, but refuses to confirm if they find him alive or dead. Growing bored, Kang then teleports the Fantastic Four back to Central Park in their own era.
Meanwhile, Mobius goes to Mister Alternity and informs him that the Kang Dynasty made him a better offer and suggests to Alternity that if he wants Mobius to say he should promote him, meet Kang's benefits package, and remove him from the job of finding the missing data. Alternity has no choice but to accept, and soon Mr. Tesserect is given the job once held by Mr. Mobius. Returning to his office, Mobius continues his personal log, which consists of cursing Reed Richards.
Appearing in "Molecular Psychology"
Synopsis for "Molecular Psychology"
The Living Tribunal has summoned Eternity, Master Order and Lord Chaos to discuss their own going experiments in creating Cosmic Cubes in the universe using the energies from the Beyonders dimension. With the next phase of the experiment about to begin, he tells them to turn their attentions to Earth.
There Owen Reece has retreated to solitude to hone his powers and mourn the loss of his girlfriend Marsha Rosenberg. Recalling how the Beyonder and his Secret Wars are responsible for his current situation in life, Owen gives into his grief, wishing that he could become someone else. This allows his evil persona, the Molecule Man, to take control of his body reforming it into a muscular costumed form. Blaming the Beyonder for his lot in life, the Molecule Man uses his power to pull the essence from the Beyonder out of the body of his newest incarnation, the female enlightenment seeker known as Kosmos. At that time, Kosmos is examining an ancient alien civilization with her companion Kubik. When the Beyonder is pulled from the body of Kosmos, it leaves her in a transparent near death state. Not wishing to learn if they can truly die, Kubik tracks the source to Earth and heads there with the ever weakening body of Kosmos.
The Beyonder is pulled to Earth where the Molecule Man pits his powers against the Beyonder in a battle that takes them beyond the confines of time and space. Their battle causes the planet Crypton to explode in galaxy M31, while in the Skrull galaxy a statue weeps blood, a 2 dimension realm suddenly is in chaos when another dimension is suddenly created, elsewhere in the universe a Watcher goes blind, while a plant in the 31st century gains sentience, and in New York some business men's lunch become hungry. Ultimately, the Molecule Man defeats the Beyonder, returning them to New York City. However before the Molecule Man can destroy the Beyonder he is confronted by Kubik and Kosmos. Kubik pleads to the Molecule Man to spare the Beyonder so that Kosmos may still live. This appeal reaches Owen Reece who reasserts control over his body, and apologizes for allowing the Molecule Man to be unleashed once more. He then uses his powers to return the Beyonder to the body of Kosmos, and restoring her to normal in the process. Kubik tells Owen that he is unique and more powerful than they are because he was mortal and gained omnipotence while they have always had it and have no drive to use it well, before departing. Owen returns to his apartment to think where he remarks that getting over a broken heart is terribly hard.
Meanwhile at the Time Variance Authority, Mister Mobius discovers that his new job is not all it's cracked up to be when he is ordered to gather documents relating to the recent Molecule Man/Beyonder battle only to find that there is a massive warehouse of paperwork that needs to be filed.
- Mobius recounts the Fantastic Four's last encounter with the Time Variance Authority. This is a reference to Fantastic Four #353–354. They were being tried for two infractions: the destruction of the Bubble at the Heart of Time in Fantastic Four #337–341 and Reed's battle with Dr. Doom that took them outside of linear time seen in Fantastic Four #350.
- Johnny makes a mention of being able to be out in public without being feared for the first time since he accidentally burned down Empire State University. This happened in Fantastic Four #371. Johnny eventually went to trial and was cleared of wrong doing in Fantastic Four #377–378.
- The Thing's face is scarred here after he was slashed in the face by Wolverine in Fantastic Four #374. His face scars heal in Fantastic Four #409.
- At this point in time Ant-Man recently joined the Fantastic Four back in Fantastic Four #384.
- Mention is made that Reed Richards is either dead or missing. Reed and Dr. Doom were seemingly slain in Fantastic Four #381, however as revealed in Fantastic Four #406–407 they are actually prisoners of Hyperstorm.
- Mobius mentions other temporal groups that exist. They are:
- The Congress of Realities, which is first mentioned in Fear #19 and seen in Man-Thing #1.
- The Delubric Consortium which is mentioned for the first time here, but not seen until Avengers: Forever #9
- And the Kang Dynasty of Chronopolis, which was first seen in Captain America Annual #11.
- Other temporal agencies not mentioned here are the domains of Alioth and the Empire of Revelation, both seen in mentioned in Avengers: The Terminatrix Objective #1.
- The Fantastic Four mention that they have barely had many clashes with Kang, who is a regular antagonist of the Avengers. At the time of this story, the Fantastic Four had only clashed with Kang a handful of times. They first fought his previous incarnation Rama-Tut in Fantastic Four #19, Johnny and Ben fought Kang in Strange Tales #134. The group fought him most recently during the Citizen Kang event in Fantastic Four Annual #25 and Avengers Annual #21.
- The Living Tribunal's assertion that the creation of the Cosmic Cubes is his work alongside Eternity, Order and Chaos. This is in reference to the statements in Fantastic Four #319 which state that Cosmic Cubes were created from energy from the Beyonders realm. That story also states that the creation of the Molecule Man in Fantastic Four #20 interrupted the process that created a perfect Cosmic Cube. These statements all contradict the statements made in New Avengers (Vol. 3) #33 which state that the Beyonders intentionally created the Molecule Man as a bomb to destroy the universe when they grew bored with life.
- Owen is still lamenting over his girlfriend Volcana ending their relationship in Fantastic Four Annual #24.
- Owen blames the Beyonder and his Secret Wars because Owen first met Marsha during the first Secret Wars in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #3 and began a relationship. Their relationship was constantly interrupted by the Beyonder in Secret Wars II #1–9. Then later during the so-called third Secret Wars in Fantastic Four #316–319, Owen agreed to merge with the Beyonder to create a cosmic cube. As revealed in Fantastic Four Annual #24, he did transferred some of his power to Marsha before doing so. Later Owen was rejected by the Cube in Fantastic Four Annual #23. In Fantastic Four Annual #24, he relinquished his power from Marsha, who then left him when he became drunk with power.
- Following his merging with Owen in Fantastic Four #319, the Beyonder emerged from the Cosmic Cube as Kosmos in Fantastic Four Annual #23, he/she has been exploring the universe with Kubik ever since.
- References to "Crypton" and its "one bipedal citizen" is a nod to the DC Universe's planet Krypton home of Superman.
- This story suggests that a division between Owen Reece's Id and ego was the cause of the limitations Owen placed on his powers (namely his inability to affect organic matter) which contradicts statements made in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #11 and Secret Wars II #6 which have stated that those limitations were placed upon him due to a low self-esteem brought on by an overbearing and overprotective mother.
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