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Appearing in "Starquest!"

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Synopsis for "Starquest!"

With the 24-hour time period to find a new suitable world for Galactus to consume running out and members of the Fantastic Four captured two different alien worlds, the High Evolutionary has become desperate to prevent Galactus from consuming his Counter-Earth that he has decided to take matters into his own hands and battle Galactus himself. Sue, wanting to save her teammates tries to convince the High Evolutionary to save them from capture first, however he refuses to do so. Sue then turns invisible and tries to teleport herself to one of the worlds the other FF members have gone too, but instead finds herself transported to the third world that the Evolutionary presumed to be a dead world. Trapped there with almost no air, Sue realizes that unless someone rescues her she is going to suffocate on the planet once her air runs out.

While on the planet Mekka, Reed and Ben are prisoners of Torgo who does not wish for them to leave because he believes that they will reveal the location of their planet to Galactus. He explains to them that he and his mechanical race were invented by humanoid creatures that once inhabited their planet to be their workers. When a plague wiped out their inventors, Torgo and the other Mekkans took over their world and converted it into a mechanical world for them to live out their sentient lives. Retiring to the Tower of Life, Torgo goes to prepare Reed and Ben for the Ultimate Resolution: Having been programmed never to harm an organic being he will soon change them both into Mekkans in order to protect his world.

Left alone, Reed deduces that the Elektro-Clamps they are stuck too are attuned to magnetize Ben's exo-suit and not his human form inside. Telling him of a release mechanism inside his gloves, Reed instructs Ben how to get free from his suit so he can shut off the Elektro-Clamp. Their escape is soon discovered and they are forced to fight off Mekkan guards. During the fight Reed realizes that he can no longer stretch his right arm and has to confide in Ben that he is slowly losing his powers. Fighting their way into the Tower of Life they have to face off against Torgo, who tells them that he has different programming that allows him to take a human life, something he is willing to do if the two humans do not surrender to being turned into Mekkans. While Ben and Torgo battle it out, Reed rushes off to the main control room and turns off the Mekkans power source, causing them all to deactivate. With the battle over the duo do not feel right having deactivated an entire planet of living beings and Ben reactivates the Mekkans power source. Restored to life once more Torgo realizes why the two humans are noble enough to keep the location of his planet safe and agrees to let them go free. With no means of getting off the planet Mekka, Reed and Ben realize that despite their newfound freedom they are trapped on Mekka.

While on the medieval planet, Johnny and Gorr find themselves locked in a dungeon awaiting their fate. When the king of the realm comes to mock them, Gorr suggests that he pit himself against his greatest challenger in combat. If Gorr wins, he and Johnny are to be set free, if he loses they forfeit their lives. Decked out in a suit of armor and given a horse and javelin, Gorr goes up against their best knight and easily defeats him in battle. The king then orders a new competition: Gorr is to battle the dragon that they faced earlier in a battle to the death. When the dragon suddenly breaks free, the king orders it killed and much to Johnny and Gorr's surprise the kingsmen pull out laser weapons and shoot the creature dead. The supposedly medieval people then reveal that they are merely just shape-shifting Skrulls living out another Earth inspired fantasy and now that the planets entire population of dragons have been wiped out they have no need to continue the charade and they leave Gorr and Johnny on the planet in the same problem that Reed and Ben have: They cannot leave this world without being rescued.

Back on Counter-Earth, the 24-hour period has elapsed and Galactus has appeared over New York City to consume the world, sending the entire planet into a panic. The military sends the air force to try and stop Galactus but it has no avail. Before Galactus can proceed further, the High Evolutionary -- having increased his size to match Galactus -- has arrived to fight for Counter-Earth to the death.


Continuity Notes[]

  • The dead world that the High Evolutionary has detected is not really dead, but the planet Poppup in disguise as seen next issue.
  • Ben, Torgo and Johnny make reference to the Fantastic Four's encounter with the Skrulls of Kral IV who adopted a gangster motif (much like the Skrulls in this story adopted a medieval theme) for their own amusement. The FF experienced this world in Fantastic Four #9093.
  • Reed admits to Ben that he is losing his powers, a fact that Reed has been aware of since Fantastic Four #157. In this story he states that he can no longer stretch his right arm. Although this is the first time Reed mentions it, he has been depicted only stretching his left arm since Fantastic Four #171.

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