Appearing in "Thunder in the Ruins!"
- Fantastic Four
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "Thunder in the Ruins!"
Johnny Storm has arrived in Terra Verde where he witnesses their local air force attacking the native peasants in the area. At first he thinks they are just practicing war games, but soon Johnny realizes the truth and comes to the citizens' aid by incapacitating the planes. One of the jets is able to sneak up behind him, but before Johnny is attacked the jet suddenly breaks apart. Johnny looks towards the cause of the destruction only to be shocked when he spots Crystal among the people down below. He rushes down to her side and kisses his long lost love. Crystal swats him away, and insists that she is the goddess Ixchel. "Ixchel" then warns him that if he hadn't aided in defeating her enemies any other would have suffered her wrath and if he should try such things again she wouldn't hesitate to make her anger known. When Johnny tries to press the issue, "Ixchel" uses her elemental powers to douse his flame then proceeds to leave with her followers.
Meanwhile, Diablo has forced Lockjaw to teleport him into the palace of Terra Verde. After dispatching the guards, he confronts the ruler of the country, General Robles. Telling Robles that he intends to take over the country for his own ends, he teleports Robles back to the Mayan temple where he is stationed. There, they are attacked by the Human Torch who has made it to the temple before Crystal. Diablo tries to fight back, but the Torch's flame powers have grown stronger since their last encounter. When Crystal arrives shortly after their confrontation Diablo orders her to attack Johnny, but realizes that the potion that keeps her under his control is slowly starting to lose its effectiveness. Diablo changes his course of action by rushing into the temple to try and get more of the potion, however when he gets to the temple's entrance he finds that it is blocked by an invisible force field. This leads him to the conclusion that the rest of the Fantastic Four have arrived and upon looking towards the sky Diablo sees that they have flown to Terra Verde in their Pogo-Plane.
Diablo orders his followers to attack, and, while the locals clash with Reed and Sue, Lockjaw teleports the Thing away. As the battle rages, Diablo is too late to reapply his potions, and the Mayan temple reverts back to its original ruined state. Crystal is freed from his control. With Diablo exposed as a fraud, the locals stop fighting. Inside the temple, Diablo attempts another potion to get revenge against his foes when he is suddenly attacked by General Robles, causing his potion to be knocked out of his hands. At that moment, Lockjaw and the Thing return, and the Fantastic Four head toward the temple. However, before they can get close, it is destroyed in a massive explosion. With Diablo seemingly dead and Crystal free, she is happily reunited with Johnny. The reunion is short-lived however as Crystal explains to Johnny that she cannot stay with him so long as Maximus rules the Inhuman throne and that she has to leave to help aid in the liberation of her homeland. Johnny is saddened by this but understands and tells Crystal that he will wait for her to return.
Appearing in "What Mad World?"
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "What Mad World?"
During the battle between the Fantastic Four and Diablo, Lockjaw ended up teleporting the Thing to another location. They emerge in what appears to be a foggy London street. Suddenly, Lockjaw is incapacitated by a ray blast by a man claiming to be Moriarty. The Thing punches out his attacker and is shocked to learn that it is a robot with the face of Reed Richards. Wanting to get to the bottom of this strange mystery, Ben smashes through a wall and finds himself in what appears to be a medieval castle. There another robot with Reed's characteristics claims to be the legendary Sheriff of Nottingham. Ben smashes these robots as well and exits outside a nearby door. Outside, he finds himself on the scene out of the American Frontier. There he is confronted by a trio of "Reed" robots claiming to be the Claytons. When the robots begin shooting at Ben, a trap door suddenly opens and he falls into a highly fortified room. In an opposite room, visible from a pane of unbreakable glass, Ben sees Lockjaw, who is still incapacitated.
Suddenly, Ben is visited by another Thing that looks identical to him aside from his clothing being that of a lab coat. This other This other Thing explains that Ben had somehow teleported across dimensions into an alternate dimension, and that he stumbled upon his own little place filled with his bitter amusements and that he has good reason for his disdain of Reed Richards. Shortly after the other Thing explains that his world is a lot like Ben's in that the accident that created the Fantastic Four happened here, only that it was just two passengers, Reed Richards and Ben Grimm. Ben assumes that this Thing is an alternate version of himself and tells that he had his own issues with Reed after the accident and that it took finding Alica for him to accept his predicament. The other Thing motions that Lockjaw is coming to and asks Ben to depart as guests are arriving and he'd rather not have him in the facility when they arrive. That's when Ben realizes that the guests are Sue and an alternate version of himself with the powers of both Mister Fantastic and the Human Torch and that's when the other Thing explains that he's this world's Reed Richards and that he lost Sue to Ben after he transformed into his rocky appearance.
Reed finishes by explaining that he created this place to brood over his losses and that he envies Ben's world. With Lockjaw now back on his feet, Reed asks Ben to go. Ben agrees to go and teleports back to his Earth, where he's asked by Reed and Sue where he was, he tells them that they would never believe it.
Diablo vs. the fabulous F.F. - in a battle that rocks the world! Plus - the ever-lovin' Thing in solo action! Don't miss it!
Thunder in the Ruins!
- Diablo is not killed here as we are led to believe. As revealed in Fantastic Four #194 Diablo cheated death by transmuting his body into gas which was disbursed in the explosion. It took a long time for Diablo to reform himself and return to human form.
- Crystal believes that Maximus is still in control of Attilan, which he took over in Amazing Adventures (Vol. 2) #5. She is unaware that Attilan was liberated by Black Bolt and the Avengers in Avengers #95.
What Mad World?
- The reality that the Thing and Lockjaw are teleported into is later referred to as "Earth-A" in Fantastic Four #162 which is short for "Earth-Alternate". It was later classified as Earth-721 in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Alternate Universes 2005.
- The Reed Richards robots are based off the following fictional characters:
- Professor Moriarty, a recurring villain of fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. Both characters were created by author Arthur Conan Doyle. Moriarity first appeared in the novel The Final Problem. To date, Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty are considered works of fiction in the Marvel Universe.
- the Sheriff of Nottingham was a primary antagonist of the thief known as Robin Hood in the legends of that character. If there is a version of the Sheriff of Nottingham is suspect. There is proof that Robin Hood exists in the Marvel Universe, but it is marred in conflicting tales. While Young Allies #7 and Knights of Pendragon #1 suggest that Robin Hood was a mortal man, Thunderstrike #18 suggests that he was the Asgardian known as Fandral the Dashing. This would suggest that the Sheriff of Nottingham also exists in one form or another.
- Lastly three of the Reed robots identified themselves as the "Clantons", which is not an entirely accurate reference but is referring to the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. The Richards robots were posing as two of the three Clanton brothers. The depiction of a third is either an error, or perhaps that there were three Clanton brothers on Earth-712. Either way, since this is based on an actual historical event, the gunfight at the O.K. Corral occurred in the Marvel Universe.
- The events of the second story in this issue takes place between Panels 1 and 2 of Page 15 of the first story.
- This issue is obviously formatted to the 25 Cent Giant format and fitted into a smaller page count, which would explain the six-page second story.
- This issue features a letters page, Fantastic Four Fan Page. Letters are published from Roger Schoolcraft, Larry Trepel and Bruce Roland.