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Appearing in "The Light of Other Worlds!"

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Synopsis for "The Light of Other Worlds!"

With the Crusader on the loose seeking revenge on those who he believes have wronged him in the past, Reed Richards heads toward Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village to search for clues. There he finds the wife of Calvin McClaren. Seeing McClaren being pulled away in an ambulance alive but seriously injured, Reed questions his wife. He learns that her husband is the owner of the Franklin Pierce National Bank chain. She tells him that the Crusader's voice resembled that of an old friend of Calvin's, a scientist named Horace Grayson, who during the outbreak of World War II came to Calvin for a loan to complete a rocket ship he was seeking to build in order to leave Earth. The loan was declined, however the steadfast scientist disappeared weeks late with his infant son and were never heard from again.

With this bit of evidence, Reed goes back to the Fantastic Four to search for the Crusader as a group. Over the coming days the Crusader begins wrecking various Manhattan branches of the Franklin Pierce National Bank, always leaving before the Fantastic Four can arrive to stop him. Eventually Reed develops a device to track the solar radiation emitted from the Crusaders wristbands, and realizes that the Crusader only comes out on sunny days making Reed realize that his bands are solar powered. When they detect he is attacking the Grover Cleveland Bank located in the Bronx, Reed sends Sue, Johnny and the Thing after him while he works in his lab. Along the way, Sue worries about how preoccupied Reed has been since their last battle against Dr. Doom, and wonders if everything is all right with her husband.

When the Crusader attacks the bank he finds the three members of the Fantastic Four waiting for him. When he tries to blind them with his wrist bands, he finds that it is ineffectual thanks to special contact lenses that Reed developed to protect their eyes. Needing more sunlight, the Crusader goes to the roof with the Human Torch following after him. Goading him by mentioning Horace Grayson's name the Crusader tells the Torch his origins: He explains that he is the son of Horace Grayson, a man who built a rocket to fly to Uranus to escape the horrors of the coming World War. There they found the planet populated and were welcomed in by the Uranians. He would grow up to become the champion known as Marvel Boy and briefly become a crime fighter on the planet Earth during the 1950's. He would ultimately return home to Uranus until the people of his adopted world would suddenly fall ill. Returning to Earth to attempt to get a loan for medical supplied to help the people of Uranus, Marvel Boy would seek one from Clarence McClaren and once more be rejected. He would return to Uranus empty handed to find that the protected city had been destroyed and everyone he loved dead. Wanting revenge he would rush back to Earth in his ship, however it would pass through the tail of the comet Kohoutek and Marvel Boy would be put into a state of suspended animation and his ship thrown on a random course until it eventually crash landed on Earth in modern times. Alive and still youthful and dubbing himself the Crusader, Marvel Boy went about his mission of revenge against those he held responsible for the death of his people.

This explanation proves distraction enough for Sue and Ben to make it to the roof to attack the Crusader. When the Crusader tries to counter attack, Johnny points out an artificially created cloud that Reed has made to block the Crusader's power. Furious that they realized his weakness, the Crusader flies back into the bank in order to finish the job before his power runs out. The Thing jumps down and battles him draining his powers further. Managing to defeat the Thing, the Crusader rushes outside hoping to escape only to find Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Girl and the Human Torch waiting for him. Deciding enough is enough the Crusader turns up his power bands to full power to compensate for the cloud cover and realizes to his horror that the fake clouds have already been disbursed and that his wrist bands are absorbing the full power of the sun. With his wristbands quickly overloading the Crusader screams out that he did it all for his father before being incinerated by the overflow of solar energy. In the Crusaders ashes, Reed finds his wristbands, which are seemingly broken.

When the bank manager comes out demanding that they capture the man responsible for terrorizing his bank, the Thing loses his temper and buries the man up to his neck in the banks money and tells the security guard not to let him out until after closing time. Back outside, Johnny asks Reed if they will ever see the Crusader again and for once Reed isn't sure. All Ben wants to do is get back to the Baxter Building so that he can mark this day on his calendar so he can pretend it never happened.


Continuity Notes

  • Horace Grayson and his son Robert left Earth in their rocket in the late 1930s. This creates some narrative problems with the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. While the Grayson's have achieved longer lives thanks to the technologies of the Uranian Eternals, as the time scale slides forward it will become increasingly difficult for Calvin McClary to have had business dealings with Grayson in the late 1930s and still be alive and running his bank in the modern age. No explanation for this has been given by Marvel as of this writing, but one could assume that instead of going after THE Calvin McClary, it could be assumed that this is an immediate family member, or simply the owner of the bank that Calvin McClary originally owned in the 1930s.
  • When going to the Bronx, Ben thinks about how he used to go there to watch the New York Giants baseball team play there before they moved to San Francisco. The move from New York to San Francisco happened in 1958. Ben's recollections should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. Because as the timescale of Earth-616 slides forward, it will become impossible for Ben to have seen the Giants play baseball when they were in New York.
  • Here are some facts concerning the Crusader in this story:
    • He claims to be Robert Grayson, the 1950s hero who called himself Marvel Boy, a champion of the Uranian Eternals on Uranus. The original Marvel Boy came to Earth to become a hero in Marvel Boy #1. His solo adventures were seen in Marvel Boy #12 and Astonishing #36.
    • Ultimately the Uranian Eternals sought to replace Marvel Boy, engineering an Eternal named Thelius to take his place as seen in Marvel Boy: The Uranian #3. As a result, the Uranians who allowed the Eternals to live on their world saw this as a violation of their agreement and slaughtered the Eternals. As seen in Agents of Atlas #3, Marvel Boy returned to Uranus and joined with the Uranians, while Thelius was awoken, but his memories were altered in such a way he thought himself to be the true Marvel Boy. It is Thelius who appears as the Crusader here.
    • Thelius was killed here, his spirit is seen in the Arena of Tainted Souls in Thunderbolts Annual #2000.
    • Thanos later created a bio-duplicate of Thelius in Quasar #26.
    • The true Marvel Boy -- Robert Grayson -- finally resurfaced in the modern age in Agents of Atlas #1.
    • Crusader's "Light Bands" were turned over to SHIELD who in turn gave them to one of their costumed agent Wendell Vaughn who became the next Marvel Boy.
  • Frankie Raye's fear of Johnny is because at this moment she suffers from pyrophobia as explained in Fantastic Four #238. It stemmed from the fact that her stepfather Phineas Horton -- creator of the original Android Human Torch -- accidentally doused her in chemicals that endowed her with flame powers of her own. Horrified by what he had done, Horton used hypnosis to suppress those memories and give her a fear of fire.

Chronology Notes

Flashbacks in this story affect the chronology of the following characters:


Bob Grayson:

Horace Grayson:

See Also

Links and References


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