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Appearing in "Pope Must Die!"

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Synopsis for "Pope Must Die!"

The Fantastic Four are the guests of honor in the South Bronx as the mayor of New York City gives a speech about a new initiative aimed to clean up the area and reduce crime and homelessness. Among the crowd is a woman named Verna and her adopted son Pope, who unknown to all is secretly the long lost son of Black Bolt and Medusa of the Inhumans. Verna doesn't like the idea of them being out in public but Pope insisted on coming out so he can catch a glimpse of the Fantastic Four. As Mister Fantastic is giving a speech the occasion is suddenly attacked by the Seeker and a band of Inhumans who are seeking to reclaim Pope for the Genetic Council of the Inhumans. When the Seeker scans for Pope among the crowd, he picks up the boy as he is running past the Fantastic Four's son, Franklin Richards. Thinking that Franklin is the royal child, he orders his men to grab the youth. As the Fantastic Four scramble to protect Franklin from the Inhumans, Pope and Verna manage to escape. Soon enough the Seeker realizes his error and orders his minions to cease their attack.

When Mister Fantastic demands answers, the Seeker explains how Medusa and Black Bolt had a child together despite the decrees of the Genetic Council that such a union was forbidden because they feared that the child would grow mad like his uncle. Medusa refused to terminate the pregnancy and fled to Earth with most of the family. There the child was born but later threatened by a living horror spawned of the elements which the baby destroy with it's voice. However eventually Medusa returned to Attilan with the child and turned it over to the council. Corrupt members of the council then decided to trade the child to an Earth geneticist in exchange for certain technologies. The child was lost in transit and was adopted by a family in Pottersville. There, Gorgon, Karnak and Daredevil searched for the boy and found him. Instead of taking him back to Attilan they decided to keep the boy hidden until such a time the royal family could recover him. After hearing all this, the Fantastic Four are glad the royal family left the boy on Earth instead of letting him become a test subject for the Genetic Council. The Seeker warns them that if the Fantastic Four continue to interfere with their attempts to recover the boy, it will lead to a war between Attilan and Earth. When the Fantastic Four refuse to back down, the Seeker calls his troops back to their ship.

That night in a nearby high rise, Verna and Pope tell her husband Norm what happened and Pope suggests just letting the Inhumans take him away so they are not in danger, however Verna refuses to just turn the boy over to them. Suddenly Pope senses someone approaching just as Medusa and the rest of the royal family are teleported into the room by Lockjaw. Medusa is happily reunited with her son and they both cry as they embrace each other. The happy reunion is suddenly interrupted by the arrival of the Seeker and his minions. As Karnak and Gorgon fight them off, Medusa escapes with the boy. While at the Four Freedoms Plaza, the Fantastic Four deliberate on what to do about the situation and they all agree that the Genetic Council should not get the boy. They are suddenly visited by Medusa and Pope -- or Ahura as he is actually named -- arrive seeking safe haven from the Seeker and his army. Soon Seeker and his men arrive with, Gorgon and the others as their prisoner. As the Fantastic Four prepare to face their foes, they send Franklin off with Ahura to find a place to hide. As the battle begins, Franklin and Ahura hide out in Franklin's room, but they are soon beset by a group of Inhumans called the Burrowers. With Franklin incapacitated, Ahura prepares to fight back when he is stopped by Triton who explains that his father Black Bolt has approved of the Genetic Council's demands that the boy be returned. Hearing this, Ahura willingly surrenders. When Franklin uses his mutant powers to break free from his bonds and is about to attack his is stopped by his father who tells Franklin that the battle is over for now. While this is met with protests by everyone, Reed insists that the situation must be given due process. With this, the Inhumans leave but the other members of the Fantastic Four are unhappy with Reed's final decision.

Later on Attilan, Ahura is brought before the Genetic Council who are to deliberate on the boy's fate. As the deliberations begin, the Fantastic Four arrive on Attilan and under a cloak of invisibility enter the hall where the trial is taking place. While the Council absolves the rogue members of the Royal Family of any wrong doing in keeping the boy hidden, they decree that Ahura be placed into their custody for an indeterminate period of time. This leads to protests from Medusa who can do nothing as her son is being led away. Reed sends Sue and Johnny to shadow the royal family while he and Ben keep an eye on the Genetic Council. Without Sue's invisibility to keep them covered, the two quietly sneak after the Council and watch as they put Ahura in a machine that they intend to use to modify the boy into a malleable ruler that they can then use as a puppet ruler once they have removed Black Bolt as king of the Inhumans. Just when they are about to activate their Morphotron device, the Thing and Mister Fantastic attack. Unable to free the boy under superior fire power, Ben and Reed are forced to pull back and get reinforcements. When they catch up to Sue and Johnny they have revealed themselves to Medusa and convince her to fight for her son's freedom. They race to Black Bolt and plead for him to help, but when the Genetic Council warn him against going against their decrees, Mister Fantastic explains what they are planning on doing to Ahura.

Realizing what the Council is up to, Black Bolt smashes into the tower where Ahura is being held. There he catches one of the Council members in another pod of the Morphotrop siphoning Ahura's powers for his own use. Having stolen some of Ahura's "evil eye" power, the Councilor smashes free and attacks Black Bolt, their conflict spilling out into the streets of Attilan. The rogue Councillor then unleashse his full power, with enough force that it breaks Maximus free from his cell. As the battle rages, Black Bolt unleashes his powerful voice on their foe, but succeeds only in cracking the protective dome that keeps Attilan safe from the vacuum of space. As the Fantastic Four scramble to contain the hole, Ahura is forced to use his powers to kill their enemy ending his threat. With the hole patched up and the crisis averted, Black Bolt decides to step down as ruler of the Inhumans and have his son take his place. When the surviving council members hand of the royal crown, instead of putting it on, Ahura uses his powers to destroy the crown. Having renounced the throne, Medusa decides that their family are going to return to Earth and fly back with the Fantastic Four.


Continuity Notes

  • This Seeker is not the original Kadlec the original Seeker who the Fantastic Four first encountered in Fantastic Four #46, but his brother. Kadlec died defending Maximus in Inhumans Special #1.
  • This story recaps the early life of Ahura Boltagon from his unsanctioned birth in Marvel Graphic Novel #39 to his time living in Potterville under the guise of "Pope" which took place between Daredevil #279283.
  • Franklin is utilizing his powers here because they have been returning to him after being tortured by Occulus in Fantastic Four #363365 smashed open the blocks Franklin intentionally put into place way back in Fantastic Four #245.
  • Following their renouncement of the Inhuman throne, the royal family exiles themselves to New Jersey, as seen in Namor the Sub-Mariner #45. However this exile eventually proves short lived and Black Bolt and his family retake the throne sometime prior to Quicksilver #4. Silent War #4 suggests that this was after Ahura eventually did go mad and had to be locked away.

Continuity Errors

  • The only place that this story can fit in the Fantastic Four's continuity is following the events of Fantastic Four #375, this is after Ben's face is scarred by Wolverine in the previous issue. As such, the fact that Ben's face is not scarred and the fact that he is not wearing a helmet in this story should be considered an error on the part of the artist.
  • Also in contrast is the fact that Sue is more caring in this story despite being "edgier" and more angry after being possessed by Malice in Fantastic Four #369.
  • This story also depicts Attilan as needing a protective dome to exist on the moon, despite the fact that it has been established in Fantastic Four #240 that Attilan was placed on the Blue Area of the Moon which has its own artificial environment.

Publication Notes

  • This story contains two pin-ups: A two page spread of the Fantastic Four fighting the Seeker and his Inhumans, and another of the Fantastic Four battling Annihilus and Blastaar.

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