- Y'know, Johnny...we seen a lot o' weird stuff over the years. But it was always simple—black and white. Doom, Galactus, Annihilus—we knew who the bad guys were...It wus always...clean. I dunno how Vincent did what he did or even what he was—but he wasn't bad! I think he really believed that he was workin' to do something good. T'make the world a better place. I dunno...Maybe he was ill—or just lost perspective and crossed the line—maybe...
- -- Thing
Appearing in "Through a Dark Glass Paradoxically"
- Dr. Strange
- Dark Ones
- Unidentified eldritch creatures
- Mister Fantastic (Voice only)
- Invisible Woman (Voice only)
- Albert Einstein
- Jimi Hendrix (Mentioned)
- Newton (Mentioned)
- Ancient One (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- Human-Djinn Hybrids
- Unidentified Dinosaurs
- Dark Ones
- Unidentified eldritch creatures
Synopsis for "Through a Dark Glass Paradoxically"
Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Woman have gone on vacation with Franklin and Valeria, leaving the Torch and the Thing along to look after the Baxter Building. As can be expected the two spend their time binge watching movies and eating junk food, doing little to clean up after themselves. Suddenly they are awoken from their sleep by an alarm which brings them into the Reeds lab. There they find something is amiss with one of Reed's experiments with a strange ball of energy. When they activate the contingency plan, Ben thinks Johnny is pulling a prank on him when it turns out to be a seemingly innocuous looking bell. However when he rings it, it summons Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme, who has been on call in the event something went wrong with the strange other-dimensional energy that Reed had been examining.
Examining the energy, Doctor Strange determines something is going wrong and that he must venture into it. Johnny and Ben offers their assistance and they are soon transported into the energy. They find themselves at the grave of a man named Vincent that looks like something recently burst forth from the grave itself. They quickly deduce that they are somewhere in England and notice that the time is moving in reverse. Suddenly the energy from Reed's lab begins to reassemble the grave. Realizing that it is causing a rift in time and space, Doctor Strange tires to contain it and he is joined by two other mysterious mystics. However before they can do anything, there is a massive explosion of energy that send the three heroes going through time and space. Doctor Strange finds himself in a black void where a young man is the only person to be seen. The young man looks at Strange and explains that he knows he was going to come, he begs Strange to do something before everything starts all over again.
The Human Torch finds himself transported to another point in time where the young man—who is a boy in this time period—confuses Johnny's arrival by thinking he has summoned a fire elemental. Finding the "elemental" to be too big, the boy uses his powers to shrink Johnny down to insect size and trap him in a jar. He quickly learns that the boy is named Vincent and he is at Woodstock—circa 1969—with his two brothers Dominic and Albert. Domninic is tripping out of his mind due to his extra-sensitive feelings. They are suddenly interrupted by some cops who think they are all high on drugs and start beating up the two men and the boy. Trapped in the glass jar with little oxygen, there is not much the Human Torch can do. When one of the cops tries to crush the jar under his heels, Johnny finds himself transported to a strange dimension filled with demonic creatures.
The Thing finds himself in England in a time period even earlier than Johnny where an even younger Vincent has summoned him. Also thinking that Ben is an elemental, Vincent uses his powers to revert the Thing to an earlier form, thinking it makes him look "right". Deciding that he wants to time travel and needs a guardian, young Vincent sends them back in time to Ancient Rome. In danger, Vincent teleports them away, they end up somewhere during the Jurassic period. It's here that Vincent explains that his time travel powers are completely random and he has no control over where they will end up. Suddenly they find themselves in the path of stampeding dinosaurs. As the Thing gets young Vincent to safety, they witness as a demon—similar to the ones Johnny is facing—begin attacking the frightened dinosaurs.
While in the other dimension Johnny struggles against the monsters when he suddenly finds himself trapped in the bottle again on Earth. This time four years ahead of time. Vincent has been brought by his father to noted physicist Albert Einstein because the boy has been missing all this time and has suddenly appeared with strange injuries that cannot be accounted for, and the fact that he hasn't aged a single day since he went missing. As they discuss the situation, Vincent notices Johnny trying to escape from his jar and sends him away. Johnny finds himself trapped in the other dimension once again. Meanwhile, the dark void, the adult Vincent begs Doctor Strange to change things otherwise they will win. When Strange asks the youth who he is speaking of, they suddenly hear a noise out in the blackness. Strange conjures up some light and discovers that they are surrounded by demons.
Back in prehistoric times, the younger Vincent insists that the they search for clues to the strange creature's origins. They soon spot a strange temple in the middle of a lake. When they approach it, they are suddenly attacked by more creatures. Ben manages to carry Vincent to safety, and tells the boy that they need to get back to his own time. Miraculously, Vincent manages to teleport them back to his family's estate... seemingly in the present. Thanking the Thing for his help, Vincent banishes him away as well. Ben finds himself hurtled forward in time where he witnesses some skinheads beating on an adult Vincent. The Thing comes to his rescue and learns that Vincent was trying to stop them from beating a homeless man to death and failed. Filled with remorse over everything that has happened, Vincent explains that his entire life is a temporal paradox and it has to send. Deciding that its time to confront his family, Vincent teleports himself and the Thing before the ClanDestine, who are less than happy to see Vincent before them.
As Johnny continues to battle demons in the other dimension, on Earth, Vincent is tired of all the pain and misery and uses his powers to lash out against his family. He particularly focuses his powers on his father, intending to destroy him. When the Thing tries to stop Vincent, the boy attacks him as well. Meanwhile, Johnny can see what's going on from Earth and cheers Ben on. While in the dark void, Doctor Strange notices as Vincent begins to regress in age and suddenly turns into one of the demons they have been fighting, a trap it would seem. He is joined by the two mystics who tried to help him earlier. They explain that the so-called Dark Ones are trying to break free into their world. A combination of the three mystics and the powers of Johnny and Ben manage to put things right, but at the cost of losing Vincent.
The three heroes soon find themselves back in the cemetery along with the two mystics—Albert and Gracie—who explain that the battle they were in happened ten years in the past and there is nothing they can do for Vincent. When they demand answers, Gracie tells them there is not much she can tell them and they are soon teleported away. Back at the Baxter Building, the trio discover the strange energy is gone—as though it was never there at all. When they try to make sense of the situation, Johnny and Ben quickly find out that Doctor Strange has abruptly departed. Resigning to the events that happened to them this day, the Thing and Torch decide to get back to watching movies instead.
This story is continued in Daredevil Annual Vol 3 #1...
• The Thing and The Human Torch investigate a mysterious magical paradox in space and time with the help of Doctor Strange!
• What dark secrets haunt the history of the ClanDestine?
• Legendary comics creator Alan Davis kicks off a series of ClanDestine adventures, continuing in Daredevil Annual #1 in August!
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