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Quote1.png No one threatens my child! NO ONE! Quote2.png
Sue Richards

Appearing in "A Dragon Stalks the Skies!"

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Synopsis for "A Dragon Stalks the Skies!"

Answering an urgent call from Agatha Harkness regarding Reed and Sue's son Franklin, the Fantastic Four arrive at Whisper Hill to find that her home has been utterly destroyed. With no evidence of what might have happened, Reed quickly gives up the situation and suggests they go back to headquarters, worrying his fellow teammates about his state of mind. As the Fantasti-Car blasts off, the Fantastic Four are unaware that a strange drone has been observing their movements. Viewing their activity from a far away office, the FF's mysterious observer decides that this is a prime opportunity to strike against them. Per his command, the drone fires a beam at the flying vehicle, sending the Fantasti-Car crashing. Reed and the others just barely manage to escape without injury.

Witnessing that his targets have survived angers Gregory Gideon, and when his son Thomas enters the room he loses his temper with the boy for a brief moment. Gideon composes himself and apologizes to his son, as the two of them have not been feeling well recently. After Thomas leaves his father, Gregory begins to focus on his other targets, named Susan Richards and her son Franklin.

Since leaving her husband, Sue has been staying with her friends Robert and Carol Landers on their farm in Pennsylvania. After some horseback riding, Sue and the Landers remark over Franklin's interest in the ants and it seems almost as though he is controlling their movements, and this troubles Sue. Before they can figure it out they are suddenly attacked by the Dragon Man. Sue rushes to Franklin and she protects themselves with an invisible force field. However, this does not stop the Dragon Man from grabbing her and flying away.

At the Baxter Building, Reed gets a frantic call from the Landers about Sue's abduction and storms off to look for his wife alone. At that very moment, the Dragon Man takes Sue and Franklin to a nearby factory where they are met by armed guards. When the Dragon Man sees that they have come to harm Sue, it tries to protect her but the Android is quickly incapacitated. Sue tries to flee by turning invisible, but the soldier's infrared goggles make her all too visible and she and Franklin are gassed and taken prisoner. While en route to Pennsylvania to find his wife, Reed calls in a favor to a military Colonel he knows who tells him of a strange UFO sighting near Long Island, Reed deduces that it where Sue must have been taken and follows that lead. The colonel is not the only one who had spotted the Dragon Man, as news of a flying man reaches the news. Seeing this report, Medusa deduces this must be where Reed had gone, recognizing the description of the flying creature as belonging to the Dragon Man. She then interrupts Ben while he is reading a comic book and convinces him to join her in the search.

Meanwhile, in the Bronx, Johnny has tracked down his old girlfriend Doris Evans and has decided to pay her a visit. With a bouquet of roses, he intends to try and rekindle their old romance. But when she answers the door he is shocked to see that she has two young children. She explains to a shocked Johnny Storm that she has been married for the past two years. Totally caught off guard by this, Johnny quickly dispenses with the ensuing small talk and bids her a farewell. When he gets down the street he is suddenly attacked by one of Gideon's drones, and flames on to fight it. Instead of engaging the Torch, the drone begins to lead him toward Gideon's hideout.

Meanwhile, Ben and Medusa arrive at the scene and find the incapacitated Dragon Man on the front lawn. They approach the building unaware that the guards had just finished carrying Reed down into the complex below. The guards suddenly spring back up from a hidden door in the ground and stun both Medusa and the Thing. Wearing a strange suit of armor, Gideon surveys his captured foes and gloats about how he will soon use them to become a god among men, and the strongest man in the world.


Continuity Notes

  • Gregory Gideon and his son Thomas were last seen in Fantastic Four #34 where he tried to pit his wealth against the Fantastic Four and was defeated. At the time he promised to go straight and renounce his fortune. Why he has not is revealed next issue.
  • Sue and Franklin are seen here for the first time after Sue quit the Fantastic Four and separated from her husband in Fantastic Four #130.
  • Ben is reading Worlds Unknown #1, a then-recent sci-fi series published by Marvel Comics from 1973 to 1974. It ran for 8 issues and adapted previous works of science fiction. The cover story of that issue was "The Day After the Day the Martians Came!" adapted from the works of Frederik Pohl.
  • Here are some facts about Doris Evans:
    • Doris Evans was Johnny's previous girlfriend before he dated Crystal.
    • Johnny and Doris dated from Strange Tales #113 to 133. They ended their relationship in Fantastic Four #45 when she grew tired of Johnny's super-hero lifestyle and began dating other men. Incidentally enough this was also the same day that Johnny met Crystal for the first time.
    • Doris states that she has been married for two years. The original narrative of the story was at a time that the editorial policy at Marvel had writers write stories as though Marvel Time and Real Time were running in tandem and as such the two-year designation makes sense. Publication-wise, Johnny, and Doris broke up in 1965 and she is seen again married in 1973. Eight years had passed in between, making that time frame practical. However, time on Earth-616 operates on a Sliding Timescale. Based on the principals of this scale, the time that Johnny and Doris broke up, the Fantastic Four had been active for about two years. When Johnny meets with Doris in this story the Fantastic Four had been around for about three to four years in Marvel Time. The statement by Doris about how she had been married for two years, and the fact that she has two children still works, but on a very tight time frame.
    • Doris' ideal marriage here does not end happily as seen when she and Johnny reconnect many years later in Fantastic Four #645.

Publication Notes

  • This issue contains a letters page Fantastic Four Fan Page. Letters are published from Celeste Anne Sullin, Jim Rohn, and "The Third Eye".
  • As seen on page one, this issue is Story#1408Z.

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