- You were right, Reed! And I was wrong again -- as usual. I lost my temper -- blew my cool -- gave up on you, and on Ben -- just like a spineless quitter!
- -- Johnny Storm
Appearing in "The Power of -- the Over-Mind!"
- Fantastic Four
- Overmind (First appearance)
Races and Species:
- Jet Car
- Pogo Plane MK I
Synopsis for "The Power of -- the Over-Mind!"
Reed, Johnny, and Alicia stand over the Thing, who has seemingly died in his city wide brawl with the Hulk. However, by some small miracle, Reed manages to still detect a pulse beating beneath the thick skin of his long-time friend. As the authorities and a crowd of gawkers begin to surround the heroes, Bruce Banner silently slips away, recounting how he almost killed Ben Grimm while he was the Hulk. With the mob growing unruly, the police attempt to arrest the Fantastic Four. Reed resists, because, if they were to surrender, Ben would surely die. They are rescued at the last minute by the timely arrival of Sue, who keeps the mob at bay with her invisible force field, allowing Johnny, Reed, and Alicia to carry Ben to her ship and make their escape.
As the group flies towards the Baxter Building, they notice an ominous light up in the sky as well as a mob of angry people at the doors to their headquarters. Landing on the roof, the Fantastic Four rush Ben back into Reed's lab. As Mister Fantastic is busy trying to save Ben's life, Johnny notices the light in the sky getting bigger and the crowd below becoming more frenzied with each passing moment. Getting fed up with the people protesting their group, Johnny sends down a smoke bomb to disperse them. Reed pulls Johnny back into the lab, needing the boy to use his powers to energize the device needed to save Ben's life. The operation turns out to be a success. Ben's personality is restored to normal, but he has lost the ability to change back into human form. When Reed explains that he has perfected the machine and offers to try again, Ben decides that he is comfortable being the Thing and smashes it instead.
Now back to normal, Ben decides to take Alicia out on a date, so they can patch things up. This sight upsets Johnny, who once more turns his thoughts to Crystal. When he tries to leave abruptly, he is distracted and jumps out the window without realizing he forgot to flame on. Reed just misses grabbing him, but Johnny manages to turn on his powers, allowing him to melt through the concrete sidewalk instead of splattering against it. The bright light in the sky draws closer and enters the Baxter Building. Suddenly in a flash of light, the Watcher has appeared before Reed and Sue. The Watcher has come to issue them a warning, but, unwilling to break his vow of non-interference again, the Watcher only provides a stern warning: "Beware the Over-Mind." He then teleports away.
Reed and Sue then board the Pogo-Plane to try and find Johnny and Ben. While in flight, they are telepathically contacted by Agatha Harkness, who warns them that there is a great danger coming and hints that Franklin also sensed the danger. With urgency, Reed prepares to signal the rest of the team when Sue turns on the radio. They are both shocked to hear a radio report about the mayor of New York City ordering the Fantastic Four to disband. Believing this to be an error in judgement, Reed and Sue land near city hall where they are joined by Johnny and Ben who also heard the news about the mayor's orders. There they try to warn the mayor of the danger coming to Earth, but it is dismissed and the mayor calls the police. When the Thing tries to fight back, Reed orders him to stand down and allows the Fantastic Four to be taken into policy custody. As they are being led into a police wagon, the mayor is joined by the Over-Mind, who has used his vast powers to take control of the mayor's mind.
The Thing lives! It's either prison, or a life of crime for the FF! And then - enter the Overbrain! Guest-starring the Watcher! This one's wild!
- Although once again trapped in his Thing form after destroying the device, he is forced back into human form following the events of Fantastic Four #166-167 after prolonged proximity to the Hulk's gamma-irradiated body.
- This story also implies that Franklin Richards has some kind of powers. This storyline comes to complete fruition in Fantastic Four #141 when Franklin's powers flare out of control for the first time.
- The mayor of New York City is depicted as John Lindsay, who was mayor of New York City from 1966 to 1973. Per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 this should be considered a topical reference.
- This issue features a letters page, Fantastic Four Fan Page. Letters are published from Matthew Kreps, Laurence M. Janifer, Rev. Druid, and Phillip Wadler.
- As seen on page one, this issue is Story#644-Z.
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