Appearing in "Doomsday: 200° Below!"
- Ternak (Death)
- Climate Cannon
Synopsis for "Doomsday: 200° Below!"
Ternak switches on the Climate Cannon, coating the Human Torch and Medusa with ice. Virtually helpless, Medusa urges Johnny to turn on his flame, but he cannot. Ternak gloats that within hours he will focus the cannon on the Earth's equator, dropping the world's temperature and initiating a new ice age. Humans consider themselves the supreme pinnacle of creation, says Ternak, but the snow-creatures, also known as abominable snowmen, existed before humanity and shall soon inherit the Earth. Enraged by Ternak's threats, Johnny finally manages to flame on and starts to melt the snow-creatures' weapons, dodging their energy beams as he battles. But when he passes over Ternak, the leader of the snow-creatures swats him out of the air toward an ice wall. Fortunately, Medusa catches him with her hair before he impacts, which saves his life. Then she enters the battle, bowling the snow-creatures over with her hair. She and Johnny were simply passing by, she says, when they were attacked without provocation. She had received an urgent message to return to her people in the Great Refuge, and every moment she spends fighting the snow-creatures represents an unnecessary delay. Then she knocks the Climate Cannon off its pedestal with a large boulder. Ternak falls from his perch, stunned, and by the time he regroups with his minions, Medusa and Johnny flee and hide. Ternak orders the snow-creatures to find them, and Johnny and Medusa know that it is only a matter of time before they are caught.
But a different snow-creature—a female—finds them, and she motions for them to be quiet. They follow her through a maze of icy caverns, silently enjoying the breathtaking scenery. Lost in thought, Johnny comes to realize that his anger with Reed over what happened to Franklin is misdirected. He has.. been unfair to his brother-in-law, he tells Medusa, and Medusa agrees. Reed had no choice, she says, just as they have no choice but to follow the snowgirl into the cave. After a while, Johnny and Medusa are brought to a large machinery-filled gallery, in the center of which, beneath a transparent dome, is seated a wizened figure. Meanwhile, three snow-creatures are exploring the remains of the pogo plane, which was downed by Ternak's laser cannon when Johnny and Medusa passed over the region. As they examine the weapons, one of them accidentally fires the Fantastic Four signal flare gun, and a bright figure "4" illuminates the darkened peaks. As they watch, bewildered, a large figure suddenly appears and asks about Johnny and Medusa. But before they can reply, the figure attacks them, and after a brief skirmish, he leaves them lying unconscious on the snow.
Johnny, Medusa, and the snowgirl approach the seated man, and Johnny is surprised when the man introduces himself as the Master, the monk who found the snow-creatures five centuries ago. He gave them the rudiments of science, he says, but he tried in vain to teach them wisdom as well. Four hundred forty years ago, he explains, he died, but several of his loyal students brought his lifeless body into the Entropy Globe, where he was reanimated and his brain was restored. The Master remained in the Entropy Globe, tended by the descendants of the original students, watching with sadness the rise of warmongers within the once gentle snow-creature race. When the Master finishes, he indicates a device with which Johnny and Medusa will be able to crush Ternak's rebellion and save the world. Johnny is puzzled when the Master asks the gods for forgiveness for showing Johnny the machine, but the Master explains that no one has the right to inflict his will on others, even to save the world. Thus, continues the Master, what they have to do is a sin, but it is less grave than Ternak's, and hence it is justified though not sanctified. Then Medusa picks up the device with her hair, and she and Johnny leave the snowgirl and the Master and head toward where Ternak has doubtless finished repairing the Climate Cannon.
The Human Torch flies into the chamber just as Ternak is about to set the cannon on "maximum dispersal." He attacks with fireballs, dodging the snow-creatures' laser beams, and suddenly the Thing joins the fray. Johnny is surprised that Ben—who is the one who battled the snow-creatures by the pogo plane—is there in the middle of the Himalayas, but Ben has no time to explain. When Ternak runs to the cannon, Ben follows and starts to battle him. The Torch, meanwhile, keeps Ternak's minions at bay as Medusa sets up the Master's machine. Using her hair, she easily fends off the occasional snow-creature who attacks her. When Ternak punches the Thing and aims a laser pistol at him, Ben slams Ternak directly into the Climate Cannon, causing an explosion. Simultaneously, Medusa turns on the device, and the cavern fills with a green light that bathes the snow-creatures and starts to transform them. As Johnny, Ben, and Medusa watch in astonishment, the snow-creatures become more and more humanoid, until they change at last into normal-looking people. Then the snowgirl enters and conveys the Master's thanks for their aid. Now her people need never threaten the world again, she says, for they no longer need the Climate Cannon to live outside the Himalayas. Ben asks why the Master did not do this before, and the girl replies that he had hoped that her people would learn their error by themselves and not have this fate forced upon them. Were it not for Ternak's ambition, she continues, they very well might have. Then the Thing, Johnny, and Medusa leave the grateful snow-people and prepare for their journey home.
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