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Agatha Harkness (Earth-616) from Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 2 17 0001.jpg
Agatha Harkness
Calm yourself Mr. Grimm -- Ebony was just being affectionate.
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Benjamin Grimm (Earth-616).jpg
Ben Grimm
Well, why don'cha put some combat boots on 'im so a fella can hear'im comin'! Us Super-Hero types are sensitive about bein' sneaked up on!
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Appearing in "The Flame and the Quest!"

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Synopsis for "The Flame and the Quest!"

The Human Torch has decided to reunite with his girlfriend Crystal and has flown to the Great Refuge of the Inhumans to find her. As he flies there, he recalls how she was forced to return home in order to protect herself from the pollution of the city. As he approaches the home of the Inhumans, the Torch is suddenly attacked by a trio of Inhumans seeking to prevent him from entering the kingdom. Fighting back, Johnny soon learns that the kingdom of the Inhumans is once again back under the control of Maximus the Mad and that Crystal has not been seen in these parts since she last left it with the Fantastic Four. Uninterested in the current political climate of Attilan, the Torch leaves to continue his search for Crystal elsewhere.

Meanwhile, in Whisper Hill, Agatha Harkness is entertaining Reed, Sue, Ben, and Alicia Masters. As Ben and Alicia take a tour of the mansion, Ben is frightened when he almost trips over Agatha's cat Ebony. Suddenly, Ben is called outside where he sees that the Torch has arrived and that after an exhausting trip back to the United States, has passed out and is falling from the sky. Reed and Ben quickly grab Johnny and save him from a fatal fall. Recovering enough to get to his feet, Johnny goes to see Agatha to petition her to use her magic to try and find out what happened to Crystal after she left the company of the Fantastic Four. While Agatha manages to summon an image of Crystal and Lockjaw from her crystal ball, the image is brief and quickly vanishes before it can reveal anything to Johnny. Agatha tells Johnny that Crystal's whereabouts are beyond her ability to detect, and she leaves Johnny to mourn over his lost love.

What they didn't know is that, after she left the Fantastic Four, Crystal was teleported by Lockjaw to a distant future where humanity had long ago wiped itself out in a great war. There they were knocked out by the alchemist known as Diablo, who has been trapped in the distant future following a failed alliance with Doctor Doom. [1] That evening at Whisper Hill, Johnny cannot sleep and finds himself pacing the house. He is suddenly drawn to Agatha's crystal ball which begins showing him images of Crystal at an ancient Mayan pyramid wearing strange garb and standing beside Lockjaw and Diablo. Johnny rushes out and flies off to rescue her, waking up Ben as he departs.

In the nation of Terra Verde, Diablo has led the oppressed people to believe that Crystal is the Mayan god known as Ixchel, using his alchemical powers to restore their ancient temple and enslaving her. After Crystal uses her elemental powers to "prove" Diablo's claims, the people agree to join forces with him and rise up against General Robles, who rules over them with an iron fist. With the people disbursed, Diablo retreats into the temple where he gloats over cowing the locals in the hopes of taking control of Terra Verde and using its rich supply of alchemical minerals to found his own rival nation against Doctor Doom. Needing to constantly apply the same drug to keep Crystal under his control, he orders her to drink another dose.

Meanwhile, at the royal palace of Terra Verde, General Robles is informed about the arrival of Diablo and the woman claiming to be Ixchel. With the people heading towards his palace, Robles orders the air force to be deployed to crush the uprising. As the fighter planes begin bombing the dissidents, the Human Torch arrives over the horizon. Dismissing the attack as nothing more than war games, the Torch continues on his path to find and rescue Crystal.

Solicit Synopsis

Crystal's back - and Diablo's got her! The Human Torch lashes out! This one we don't have to hard sell!


Continuity Notes

Publication Notes

  • Cover: Crystal figure by Romita.
  • No letters page is published this issue.

See Also

Links and References


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