Appearing in "Counter-Earth Must Die--At the Hand of Galactus!"
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Synopsis for "Counter-Earth Must Die--At the Hand of Galactus!"
The Fantastic Four have been brought to Counter-Earth by Gorr, a New Man created by the High Evolutionary so that they may assist his master in preventing his Counter-Earth from being consumed by Galactus. The Thing having just defeated the Destroyer armor. As Reed and the others watch from the High Evolutionary's artificial asteroid base, the Thing learns that he didn't defeat the Destroyer as he had thought, in reality Galactus removed the portion of his life force that controlled the Asgardian made armor as he found continued battle against the Thing useless.
The Thing decides to take on Galactus directly, initially knocked back by the beings force field, and his second attack leading to him being blasted by cosmic energy from Galactus' eyes. With his air supply running low, Ben decides to dig through the asteroid into the High Evolutionary's base before he suffocates, but passes out just as he breaches the outer layer of rock. Acting quickly, Reed Richards stretches his arm out to pull Ben's unconscious body back aboard the ship before he suffocates, causing him pain due to his waning powers. With Ben aboard the ship and safe, Galactus informs them that he intends on consuming Counter-Earth. Recounting his past experiences with the Fantastic Four and various sentient Heralds, he explains that Thor had given him the Destroyer armor which he infused with a portion of his life force. Sending the Destroyer back to his ship, Galactus refuses to entertain any of Reed Richard's arguments on why Counter-Earth is to be spared. The High Evolutionary then offers to find Galactus a suitable alternative in order to spare Counter-Earth. Galactus accepts this offer on the condition that they must find a nearby planet that is equally populated who's entire population would agree to giving themselves up for sacrifice to him. He gives them 24 hours to complete this task before he will consume Counter-Earth.
Boarding the High Evolutionary's asteroid base, the Fantastic Four are brought before him. The Evolutionary identifies that there are three worlds in proximity that they can try, however as one of them appears to be a dead world, he assumes that his computers have malfunctioned. Deciding that Sue should stay behind to be dispatched to any of the two other planets should they find trouble, they split up into two groups: Reed and Ben going to one world, and Gorr and Johnny going to the other with the High Evolutionary and Sue to monitor their progress.
Reed and Ben end up on the planet Mekka, a world of sentient machines, much to Ben's surprise he learns that since the Fantastic Four freed Torgo from the Skrulls that enslaved him he was appointed ruler of his home world. When they ask Torgo if he will sacrifice his world, he naturally refuses making Reed and Ben realize that if the roles were reversed they would not wish to sacrifice their own world either. When they try to leave, Torgo cannot allow it, being unable to trust them to not reveal the location of his world to Galactus anyway and orders them captured. Although they put up a good fight, the two heroes are easily over-powered when faced with an army of living robots and bound on specially built Elektro-Clamps, devices that act like magnets to any substance they are attuned to attract.
While on the other world, Gorr and the Human Torch find themselves on what appears to be a medieval world. Spotting a damsel being chased by a dragon, the Torch and Gorr decide to help the knight trying to stop the creature with the Torch scaring it off with his flame powers, however they are knocked out by the knight who hits them from behind with his joust and taken prisoner.
While back aboard the High Evolutionary's asteroid base Sue begs the High Evolutionary to help her save her teammates. With time running out the High Evolutionary refuses and decides that the only option now is to battle Galactus himself.
- The Thing is wearing an exosuit that imitates the powers he lost in Fantastic Four #167, he has been wearing it since Fantastic Four #169. His powers are restored to normal in Fantastic Four #175.
- Galactus references a number of his past exploits:
- He refers to the first time he faced and was defeated by the Fantastic Four, in which he exiled his herald the Silver Surfer on Earth. This occurred in Fantastic Four #48-50.
- He mentions Gabriel, his robot herald who was active as a herald of Galactus in Fantastic Four #120-123 when he was destroyed battling the Silver Surfer. This robot was based on a real man named Gabriel Lan, who briefly acted as a herald of Galactus until he died in battle, as seen in Thor #306
- Lastly he mentions Firelord, whom served as a herald of Galactus from Thor #225-228. When Galactus freed Firelord from bondage, he took the Destroyer armor as his new herald.
- The Fantastic Four last saw Torgo when the Thing was trapped on the Skrull world of Kral IV in Fantastic Four #90-93.
- The knights seen here are revealed as Skrulls next issue.
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