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Appearing in "Thundra and Lightning"

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  • Sky-Cycle

Synopsis for "Thundra and Lightning"

Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm are at a haberdashery trying on new outfits, but Ben soon gives up in exasperation, saying that nothing in the store will ever improve his appearance. When the owner turns his attention to Johnny, he unfortunately makes some disparaging remarks about Ben, and an annoyed Ben brandishes his fist at the frightened man. Fortunately, Johnny calms Ben down, and a short while later, Johnny and Ben, wearing their new suits, walk back to the Baxter Building. But when Ben and Johnny approach the Baxter Building, they see that it is surrounded by a crackling glow. Alarmed, Johnny bursts into flame, reducing his new $110 suit to a cinder, and Ben flexes his muscles and tears his own $150 suit to shreds. Then Johnny flashes up to the top of the skyscraper, while Ben climbs up the wall. Johnny knows that Reed and Sue are spending the day in the country with Franklin, which means that someone is trying to invade their headquarters. Suddenly the wall next to Johnny explodes, and a powerful figure, glowing with energy, strides forth, demanding to know the whereabouts of the "she-witch," Thundra the Femizon.

Meanwhile, Medusa is walking through a park near the United Nations building, where she had gone to learn the legal status of her countrymen. After being pestered by a reporter, she meets Thundra, and the women strike up a conversation. Thundra explains that she wants to see Reed Richards, who is quite reasonable—even though he is a man. She comes from a future Earth that in a way does not yet exist. In this alternate future, women are dominant and men are reduced to slavery. Of all the Femizons, she continues, she is the strongest and the bravest. There are a thousand million alternate futures, she says, one born every time a decision is made. Thus there also exists a world called Machus, a future in which men are in power. Machus is a bestial place where women are kept as slaves and men fight eternal wars. Somehow, says Thundra, the world of Machus and the world of the Femizons have recently been drawing together, and the normally docile men of her world have begun to rebel. The Femizons have been forced to squelch the rebellion by bloody means, which is not to their liking. For this reason, Thundra was sent by the Queen of the Femizons to find and battle the Earth's most powerful male and defeat him so soundly that men will learn their lesson for all time. This, says Thundra, would eliminate the alternate future of Machus.

Meanwhile, the huge figure, who calls himself Mahkizmo, grabs Johnny's legs and pitches Johnny into a bank of machinery. But he burns himself and, howling with pain, he vows to break Johnny's neck. No one injuries Mahkizmo, he says, least of all an "effeminate" like Johnny, Johnny manages to evade Mahkizmo's blows until the Thing climbs up to where they are battling, but then a solid punch sends Johnny hurtling over Ben's head. When Mahkizmo sees Ben, he again demands to know about Thundra, saying he will not rest until she is in his hands But when he says that Ben is too weak to stop him, Ben staggers him with a powerful punch. Mahkizmo, however, retaliates with a punch of his own. He will not be mocked and have his manhood insulted, he shouts, for among the men of his world, he is the strongest, and only he has been chosen to wield the "ultimate energy." This is the power that gives him his name—Mahkizmo, the Nuclear Man. Then Mahkizmo strikes a thunderous blow into Reed's equipment, reducing it to scrap. Johnny and Ben can only look on dumbfounded.

Meanwhile, Thundra explains to Medusa that there is some kind of temporal field surrounding the Baxter Building, which brought her to the Thing rather than to the Hulk or Thor, who are both stronger. In her months on Earth, she has come to understand something of the world, and now she does not want to battle the Thing because she is no longer certain that the Femizon path is the proper path for the future. Yet, she says, neither is Machus. Thus, she says, something must be done about Mahkizmo. Meanwhile, Reed is returning from the country aboard the rebuilt Airjet Cycle. He is delighted to have his wife and son back, although he let them stay with Sue's friends for a few days. As he approaches the Baxter Building, he spots the hole in the wall and suddenly the portable Geiger counter on his '"Fantasti-Cycle" begins to register a strong reading. The area is flooded with radiated beta particles, he says, and he wonders whether Ben or Johnny accidentally set off a contained fusion reactor. They could have been killed in the explosion. When Reed stretches down into the hole, he sees Johnny lying semi-conscious on the floor with Ben beside him. Then Reed sees Mahkizmo, who renews his demand for Thundra and starts to pound Reed with his powerful fists. Reed is no match for the nuclear-powered warrior, and he is quickly knocked unconscious and starts to fall toward the street. Just then Medusa and Thundra approach, and when they follow the gaze of the horrified bystanders, they see Reed's elastic form plunging toward them.


Continuity Notes[]

  • Thundra's explanations reveal why she has been trying to defeat the Thing in battle since Fantastic Four #129. Her recollections of her home reality are taken from the pages of Savage Tales #1.

Chronology Notes[]

A flashback in this story affects the chronology of some characters:

See Also

Links and References