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Quote1.png I have the power within my own body! The power to stretch -- to alter my shape! The reason they call me -- Mr. Fantastic! Quote2.png
Reed Richards

Appearing in "One from Four Leaves Three!"

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Synopsis for "One from Four Leaves Three!"

Reed is trapped in the Negative Zone between the annihilation zone and Annihilus himself. Fearful of Annihilus following him to Earth, Reed struggles to avoid his assured destruction. As the rest of the Fantastic Four watch in horror, Ben has become more increasingly unstable and begins plotting against their leader in the hopes of usurping control of the team. As Annihilus amasses a force of creatures to attack Reed, Ben admits Agatha Harkness into the Baxter Building when she arrives with baby Franklin, with Sue explaining why she was unable to pick up Franklin earlier. [1] Understanding the grave situation, Agatha agrees to take the child back. Ben begins to chastise Sue for getting emotional over Reed's impending doom, telling her that this is what they signed up for. In response, she slaps him across the face. Angered, Ben transforms into the Thing and almost attacks Sue when Johnny steps in, forcing Ben to storm off before a fight breaks out.

Sue and Johnny then try a desperate plan to try and save Reed's life. Using his flame powers, Johnny encases one of the auto-gyros in a fire ball and sends it into the Negative Zone toward Reed in the hopes he can use it to get back home. With the help of Ben, they manage to toss the fire ball into the Zone, before they narrowly avoid being sucked back into the anti-matter universe themselves.

Spotting the fire ball as it explodes, revealing the gyro-device, Reed manages to evade the forces of Annihilus and recover it. However, Reed is put on the defensive as he avoids the minions of Annihilus and fears that they might follow him back through the portal.

Realizing Reed's plight, Agatha Harkness offers to aid the Fantastic Four in rescuing their leader. The group watches in awe as Agatha draws a mystic circle on the floor and then casts a powerful incantation. The winds generated from the spell blast across the city, upsetting the desk of Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson, who curses the Fantastic Four for the constant danger they present by being in his city.

Back in the Negative Zone, Reed sees the fruits of Agatha's spell when thousands of mirror images of himself appear to throw off Annihilus and his army. With his foe significantly distracted, Reed flees through the portal and returns to Earth. There the Fantastic Four are happily reunited. However, the return is marred when Alicia arrives, and Ben shockingly announces that their relationship is now over, telling her that, now that he can return to his human form, he can have any woman he wants. When Johnny tries to defend Alicia, Ben goes on a rampage, forcing Reed to pull Johnny away. Before Ben can hurt anyone, Sue uses her powers to make his limbs invisible. Deciding that enough is enough, Ben angrily yells at his teammates that he is quitting the Fantastic Four and storms out, vowing to get back at them. Reed then informs the team that, since Ben knows their every secret and is now their enemy, he will be their most dangerous foe ever.

Solicit Synopsis

It had to happen! The F.F. couldn't go on forever! If you read no other mag this month, you must not miss "One From Four Leaves Three!" - With witchcraft, yet!


Continuity Notes

  • In this story it is confirmed that Agatha Harkness is a witch and practices sorcery, a fact that was only hinted at during her first appearance in Fantastic Four #94.
  • Jameson's hatred of super-heroes is a general byproduct of his overall dislike of Spider-Man. A hatred that Jameson has fostered since he first met the wall-crawler in Amazing Spider-Man #1. Jameson's anger might also be fueled in part by the mental influence of the Over-Mind, who attempts to take over the Earth between Fantastic Four #113116.
  • Ben's sudden evil streak is a side effect of his gaining the ability to change back and forth between human and Thing forms gained in Fantastic Four #106107.

Publication Notes

  • This issue contains a letters page, Fantastic Four Fan Page. Letters are published from Douglas V. Kuhlmann, Mike Towry, Todd Bake, Samuel P. Schraeger, and Robert Hartka.
  • As seen on page one, this issue is Story#560-Z.


This issue has a (not so rare) "Negative Zone" cover variation. The magenta and cyan printing plates were accidentally swapped, rendering hot pink FF uniforms, green fleshtones and a lime-green Thing.

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