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Quote1.png ... But why should I stay behind instead of you? I'm a woman, Reed. That doesn't automatically make me Sue Barton, student nurse! Quote2.png
Sue Richards

Appearing in "Death in a Dark and Lonely Place!"

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Synopsis for "Death in a Dark and Lonely Place!"

Tricked into thinking the Thing is some kind of subterranean creature, the Human Torch attacks him when he appears. Not sure why his teammates are attacking him, Ben thinks back to the events that led him to this point, namely his encounter with the Mole Man and Kala, who are planning to destroy the surface world with torrents of lava from the Earth's core. [1] Reed quickly deduces the reality of what's happening and tells Sue to help him stop Johnny before he kills Ben. Reed burns his hand trying to grab the boy, but Sue manages to contain him in a force field. But the strain proves to be too strong and Sue passes out. Johnny, having had the air snuffed out of the bubble by his flame powers also falls to the ground unconscious, leaving only Reed still standing after the battle.

Watching this from a monitor are the Mole Man and Kala. The Mole Man gloats over his victory against the Fantastic Four and then summons Tyrannus -- now his slave -- to serve him refreshments. After humiliating Tyrannus, the Mole Man allows Kala to leave with him to prepare for their upcoming wedding. When the Mole Man returns his attentions to the monitors he is angered to see that the Fantastic Four have somehow escaped and orders his Moloids to search the tunnels for the heroes. He then summons another one of his minions to assist in destroying his foes.

The Mole Man has been fooled as the Fantastic Four have not gone anywhere. Aware that they were being monitored, Reed had Sue use her invisibility powers to cloak them while they recovered from their fight. Believing the coast is clear, Reed and the others begin lugging Ben away from the scene. Reed explains how the Mole Man tricked them into thinking Ben was a monster attacking them. When Reed stops to rest he orders Sue to stay behind, leading to another argument between the couple about Sue's role on the team. Johnny interrupts to tell them that Ben is coming around. Ben tells them that they need to focus on stopping the Mole Man and they agree to split into two teams to search for him. Reed and Johnny go one way, while Ben and Sue go the other. Reed and Johnny soon come across the Moloids and they are quickly overwhelmed. Too tired to stretch, Reed tells Johnny that it's up to him to help save them.

Elsewhere in the tunnels the Thing and Sue come across a building where they find that Mole Man has been keeping a priest from the surface a prisoner in order to officiate his wedding to Kala. Unsure if he can trust the priest not to betray them, Ben frees him anyway and they continue their search. The trio soon finds themselves in an alcove off the Mole Man's throne room where they hear the Mole Man and Kala discussing the situation. Angry that the Moloids have not captured his foes, the Mole Man's mood changes when he gets a chance to show off the wedding gift he made for his wife: a magma-cruiser. Ben and Sue's cover is blown when the priest accidentally knocks over a vase, causing it to shatter on the floor and give away their position.

The pair begins to fight off the Moloids when the Mole Man summons an android he had constructed by Kala's people. Although the Android is strong it is no match for the Thing who easily defeats it. As the battle rages on, it appears that the Moloids who battled Reed and Johnny are at least partially successful when they return with the Human Torch as their prisoner. Presuming that he has won, the Mole Man is shocked when he is suddenly contained in by energy hoops. When he turns he is even more surprised to see that Tyrannus has regained his faculties. Kala explains that she could never marry a hideous man like the Mole Man and that she only strung him along long enough to free Tyrannus so that the pair could rule together. This plan backfires when Tyrannus turns on Kala as well, wanting Subterranea all to himself.

Not taking to being betrayed, the Mole Man releases the Fantastic Four to deal with those who have hurt him so deeply. Another surprise comes when one of the Moloids turns out to be Mister Fantastic in disguise. Outnumbered, Tyrannus attempts to flee in the magma-cruiser, but it suddenly self-destructs thanks to a built-in trap set by the Mole Man. With the Mole Man defeated, Reed then irreversibly alters the control so that his magma spewing doomsday machine will no longer work. After the Fantastic Four leave Subterranea, the tunnel they came in from is detonated, sealing it forever. While Ben laments that his quest to find a cure for Alicia's blindness was met with failure, it pales in comparison to the Mole Man's sense of loss having found love only to be rejected due to his appearance once again.

Appearing in "The Fabulous FF's Friends... and Foes"

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Synopsis for "The Fabulous FF's Friends... and Foes"

A four page glossy insert of friends and foes of the Fantastic Four, including a pinup of Silver Surfer (Norrin Radd).

Solicit Synopsis

The battle to the finish with the Mole Man!


Continuity Notes

  • It is specified that Sue cannot turn herself invisible while she is using her invisibility on other objects. This has been a limitation to Sue's powers since she first discovered her ability to render other objects invisible in Fantastic Four #22.
  • Reed and Sue's argument here is a precursor to marital problems that lead to Sue separating from her husband in Fantastic Four #130.
  • Tyrannus does not perish here, his survival is revealed in Nova #5.

Chronology Notes

Events in this story occur behind the scenes, affecting the chronology of the following characters:

Mister Fantastic:

Invisible Girl:



Publication Notes

  • This issue features a letters page, Fantastic Four Fan Page. Letters are published from Jeff, Adrienne Fein, Sherrell Hough, and Mitchell Bailes.
  • The John Buscema images from the Story II Four Page Glossy Insert have been reproduced and used as Marvel production art. For example, the Hulk Image was used as a prototype for the Series "A" Marvel Value Stamps. The Sub-Mariner and Doctor Doom images have also been reproduced in other publications.

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