Appearing in "The Frightful Four -- Plus One!"
- The Fantastic Four
- Agatha Harkness
Synopsis for "The Frightful Four -- Plus One!"
Returning to the Baxter Building from their last mission, both Reed and Ben have collapsed from exhaustion. As they recover from their battle with the Mole Man, the Thing resigns to the fact that Alicia will remain blind for the time being. Johnny decides to take this as an opportunity that he intends to leave the Fantastic Four and go to the Great Refuge of the Inhumans so that he can be with his girlfriend Crystal. When Reed asks Johnny to think this idea through, he refuses to listen and flames on, almost burning Reed. Johnny then rushes to the Pogo-Plane with Reed and Ben in tow. As Johnny begins to blast off, Ben grabs the ship to try and keep it in place, but Sue steps in and turns his arms invisible. This distracts Ben long enough for Johnny to blast off and fly away. When Reed asks why Sue helped her brother escape, she explains that Johnny is an adult now and he is going after the woman he loves. When Reed questions her further, she comments on how Reed is blind to things than Alicia, leaving Ben to believe that Sue's days as the shrieking violet of the team are long over, and he begins to wonder if the Fantastic Four can endure without the Torch on the team.
Meanwhile, Johnny arrives over the Great Refuge of the Inhumans in the Himalayan mountains. When he passes in for a landing he has to pull away as there is a dome erected around the hidden city. Suddenly his ship is destroyed by a trio of flying Inhumans. Flaming on, Johnny fights back, thinking that Maximus must have taken over the Inhumans again. The Torch's battle with the three Inhumans proves short-lived as they snuff out his flame but manage to catch him before he fatally hits the ground. Taken into the Hidden Land, Johnny is shocked to find that it's not Maximus in charge of the Inhumans after all, but Black Bolt their rightful ruler.
Back at the Baxter Building, the remaining members of the Fantastic Four are brooding in silence when suddenly they receive a mystic summons from Agatha Harkness, asking Reed and Sue to pick up their son Franklin. She explains that they need to take him back because she has important business to conduct. When Reed tells Sue that she will have to pick up Franklin alone as he has work to do in his lab. Sue reacts poorly to this, and storms out, angry that Reed is once again dictating the positions they share in their marriage. This latest explosion bothers the Thing deeply and he decides to go take a walk and see what Alicia can shed on the subject.
While walking past a construction site the Thing hears a woman scream and doffs his disguise to go and investigate. This turns out to be a trap as he is ambushed by three of the original members of the Frightful Four: the Sandman, Trapster, and the Wizard. Although they have the element of surprise, they are suddenly ambushed themselves by their former teammate, Medusa of the Inhumans. As the fight rages on, the Wizard tags Ben with one of his anti-gravity discs, but Medusa pulls him back down to safety. When Ben throws a construction vehicle at his foes, it is deflected by the Frightful Four's newest member, the super-strong Amazon calling herself Thundra. Thundra has paired up with the Frightful Four because they have promised to bring her to the strongest man on Earth so that she can defeat him in combat.
Because the Thing is reluctant to fight a woman, Thundra gets the upper hand in a one-on-one battle until Medusa comes to his rescue. Thundra then flings Medusa away, but she is saved from a nasty impact by the Thing. As the Frightful Four close in, Ben is knocked out by the combined blows of both the Sandman and Thundra, while Medusa is incapacitated by the Trapsters paste gun. Thundra and Sandman almost come to blows with each other over his interference in her fight with the Thing, but the Wizard breaks it up. He reminds them that with the Thing and Medusa defeated, they will have less opposition to their grander plan of defeating the Fantastic Four.
The Human Torch quits the F.F.! The Thing embattled! Plus, the return of the Frightful Four - starring a nefarious new recruit you'll never forget!
- Johnny was dating Crystal of the Inhumans since Fantastic Four #65. She was forced to return to Attilan in Fantastic Four #105 because her body was vulnerable to pollution from the outside world.
- Johnny believes that Maximus was in command of the Inhuman throne, this is something he learned when he last visited Attilan searching for Crystal in Fantastic Four #117. At that time Maximus ruled over the Inhuman throne following the events of Amazing Adventures Vol 2 #5. Black Bolt regained the Inhuman throne during the events of Avengers #95 during the Kree-Skrull War. This issue incorrectly attributes Black Bolt regaining the Inhuman throne to Amazing Adventures Vol 2 #8, which is not correct. In that particular story, Black Bolt and the other Inhumans are in San Francisco and it occurs just prior to the Kree-Skrull War.
- Reed and Sue's marital spat here escalates next issue to the point where Sue separates from her husband.
- For no particular reason the Sandman has given up his technological costume that he began wearing in Fantastic Four #61 in favor with his the classic "thug" outfit he originally wore in Amazing Spider-Man #4. He does not return to his enhanced armor until Fantastic Four #176.
- Some facts about Medusa in this issue:
- Medusa was a founding member of the Frightful Four, joining the group when it first formed in Fantastic Four #36. As revealed in X-Men First Class Vol 2 #15 her part in the team was manipulated by the Wizard. She last was a willing member of the group in Fantastic Four #43. Since has since thwarted the group on two occasions: in Marvel Super-Heroes #15 and Fantastic Four #94 respectively.
- It is explained in Fantastic Four #131 that Medusa had come to New York to seek out Mister Fantastic's help in determining if a new invention created by Maximus had any sinister application.
- Thundra's first appearance here leaves a lot to the mystery. Here are some facts:
- Thundra comes from the 23rd Century wherein a possible future the Earth -- renamed Femezonia -- is a world where the entire world is dominated by women. Her reality was first seen in Savage Tales #1. This reality was identified as Earth-715 in Marvel Encyclopedia: Fantastic Four.
- As revealed in Fantastic Four #151, the reason why Thundra is seeking to defeat the Thing in combat because her world is merging with the world of Machaus, a future world where men are the dominant gender. Thundra believes if she defeats the world's strongest mortal male in the modern age, she will prevent this merger from happening.
- This issue is reprinted in other comics and books, see references for more info.
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