Appearing in "Enter: The Mad Thinker"
- Mad Thinker
- Monster Android
- Witches of New Salem (First appearance) (Shadow only)
Synopsis for "Enter: The Mad Thinker"
Continued from last issue...
The Thing, Human Torch, Tigra, Thundra and Impossible Man enter the Baxter Building with the inert body of the Metalloid robot, just as Reed Richards (unknown to them actually Reed's counterpart from Counter-Earth) was finished checking to see if his duplicate had died in the Negative Zone. Realizing that he will have to eliminate the Human Torch and Thing to avoid being detected, he sends Thundra, Tigra, and Impossible Man off to investigate the scene of the battle against the Metalloid. Although they find that Reed is acting strangely, the visitors to the Baxter Building comply with the request. Reed then convinces Ben and Johnny that the Metalloid came from the Negative Zone and gets them to take belt harnesses to travel into the zone. When they go through the portal, the evil Reed motions to cut the cables and trap them in the Zone along with their true leader.
While at the home of Agatha Harkness on Whisper Hill, Agatha Harkness has brought Franklin in the hopes that the boy can use his powers against some mysterious intruders that have come to her home. However, they are too late and both Franklin and Agatha are incapacitated. Having travelled to Whipser Hill in the Fantasticar, Sue and Alicia arrive just in time to see the mysterious figures teleporting Agatha and Franklin away to points unknown.
While in the Negative Zone, Ben and Johnny begin to confide in each other about how they both found that Reed has been acting strange since their battle with the Brute, and when they realize that Reed stopped using the harnesses they were now using years ago because independent mobility in the Negative Zone was safer, the begin to consider the idea that the Reed back on Earth is really the Brute posing as their leader. They eventually arrive at Annihilius' fortress and see that Reed and Annihilus are battling a giant robot creature. They help fight it off, sending it fleeing off toward the Negative Zone portal to Earth. Pulling Reed aside, they learn that he is really their leader, however what really confirms to them that their Reed was switched with his Counter-Earth doppleganger is the fact that they find their lines have been cut.
As the creature under control of the Mad Thinker heads toward the Negative Zone portal, the Mad Thinker monitors it's progress and according to his calculations initiates his plan to go to the Baxter Building and collect the creature upon it's arrival on Earth. While at the Baxter Building Sue arrives to tell Reed that their son has been kidnapped. When Reed shows lack of concern over Franklin, she is finally convinced that this Reed is really the one from Counter-Earth. With his cover blown, Richards decides that it's best to kill Sue and transforms into the Brute. Despite her efforts to defend herself, Sue cannot handle the beating she gets on her invisible force field and passes out. With the Invisible Girl helpless, the Brute then tosses her out a window, sending her plummeting to the streets below.
This story is continued next issue...
- The Brute tossed Reed into the Negative Zone and has been posing as him since Fantastic Four #178
- Agatha and Franklin are kidnapped by the Witches of New Salem, as revealed in their next appearances in Fantastic Four #185.
- Ben mentions how the Negative Zone tethers that they are using were discontinued by Reed because they were too dangerous. They were first used in Fantastic Four #51. The cables were discontinued after Triton used one to pull Reed out of the Negative Zone in Fantastic Four #62. The Fantastic Four had been using jet packs to travel in the Negative Zone since Fantastic Four Annual #6.
- Reed lost his powers in Fantastic Four #178, a natural progression since he first discovered it in Fantastic Four #157. His powers are eventually restored in Fantastic Four #197.
- The Mad Thinker here confirms that the Scavanger is actually his Invincible Android first seen in Fantastic Four #69 and was dumped into the Negative Zone in Fantastic Four #71. How it was transformed is revealed next issue.
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