Appearing in "Four No More"
Synopsis for "Four No More"
After Reed's decision to disband the Fantastic Four, the group struggles to come to terms with the break-up. As Johnny packs his Fantastic Four uniform, Ben enters his room to talk about recent developments. Although they are both taking it hard, Ben figures it might be for the best as it gives himself and Alicia more time together. Johnny remarks how he has been invited to participate in a drag race out west and plans on asking Frankie Raye to go with him. Ben wishes Johnny the best of luck, and admits that breaking up hurts, Johnny sadly agrees.
Meanwhile, in the lab, Reed is instructing who he thinks are SHIELD agents in the deconstruction of the various devices held there so they can be shipped off into storage. Elsewhere in the Baxter Building, Ben tries to keep back the tears. He manages when Agatha and little Franklin go see him. As Ben spends time with his godson, Agatha also expresses her remorse that the Fantastic Four are breaking up. Suddenly, Ben hears some thumping going on outside and decides to check it out...
As Reed continues overseeing the take down, Ben suddenly bursts in with Walter Collins, their soon-to-be former landlord. Ben is upset because Collins is putting up a for rent sign on their headquarters before they have even left the premises. This also upsets the normally cool-headed Reed who verbally lashes into the man who rented them the Baxter Building for years. When Collins threatens to get his lawyers involved, Ben chases him away. In another part of the Baxter Building, Sue answers the door and is happy to see their old mailman Willie Lumpkin. Lumpkin has come to deliver a telegram to her. Saddened to hear that the Fantastic Four are breaking up, he offers to join the team one more time, pointing out that he still has his "super-powers" by wiggling his ears. Sue finds the offer touching but assures Lumpkin that the group is irrecoverably splitting up. When Sue can privately open the letter delivered by Willie, she is shocked by the news she finds inside. Elsewhere in the building, Ben helps Johnny put on his suit over his injured arm. It's then that Johnny breaks down and starts to cry, with Ben comforting him.
Later, Sue goes to her husband with the news: She has been accepted in a role in an upcoming Hollywood film. She is unsure if she wants to take it, but Reed tells her that now that the Fantastic Four are disbanding, she should take the opportunity to pursue an acting career and promises to support her along the way. Ben interrupts to say his goodbyes, telling them that he has his luggage packed. Parnival, the man in charge of the lab take down, assures Reed that he can go as they can handle the rest of the job alone, but Reed insists on overseeing it until everything is packed up and turned over to SHIELD.
Down below, a swam of media reporters are waiting at the front door of the Baxter Building, where they are interviewing O'Houlahan, who has been working as a doorman to the building for sixteen years. His long winded story about an encounter with the Fantastic Four is interrupted by the arrival of Ben, Johnny, and Sue. When the media try to get answers out of them, they all decline to comment on events leading to the FF's break up. When one reporter suggests it is because the Thing wanted to be leader, Ben angrily leaves him tied up on the Baxter Building's marquee. As the press continues to speculate, the coverage is watched from afar by Thundra, who remarks how the Fantastic Four have been her only true friends since arriving in this time and is saddened by their breakup. After, Ben and Johnny say goodbye to Sue, Franklin and Agatha who leave by car. Johnny and Ben soon say their goodbyes as well, with Ben taking a taxi intending to visit Alicia.
Inside the Baxter Building, the men who claimed to be SHIELD technos blow their cover when one of them drops a crate containing a top secret Vibranium casing. When Parnival reveals that he knows what is inside the crate, Reed realizes that these men are trying to steal his valuable technology. Reed rushes to one of the storage crates and manages to get the Fantasti-Flare and fire one off into the sky before being blasted from behind by Parnival -- who reveals himself to be the villain known as the Plunderer. Each member of the Fantastic Four see the flare and come running: Ben smashing out of the cab he was picked up in, Johnny from Frankie Raye's doorstep before she can answer his knocks, and Sue from the side of the road, leaving her son Franklin in the care of Agatha Harkness. When the trio arrive at the Baxter Building they try to stop the Plunderer and his men, but they manage to incapacitate each member of the team with Reed's various inventions. While resuming their work, the Plunderer and his men fail to see Johnny breath flames at the ropes that have kept Reed tied up since his capture.
Reed then quickly rushes to a kill-switch device that renders all the devices in the lab useless. When Ben, Sue and Johnny break free they quickly make short work of the Plunderer and his goons. When Ben points out that this is a good indication that they should remain a team, Reed tells Ben that this solves nothing and the group will still be dissolved and they should get used to it. As they exit the building, the former Fantastic Four are accosted one more time by Walter Collins who is upset by the damage caused by the most recent battle in his building. In response, Ben shoves Collins into a nearby flower pot. On their way out, Ben spots the for rent sign on the front door and asks if he should tear it up, Reed tells Ben to leave it be as the Baxter Building is not their home anymore.
- Reed decided that the Fantastic Four should break up at the end of Fantastic Four #188. Since losing his powers in Fantastic Four #178, he felt like a liability on the team. The group remains split up until they are forced back together by Doctor Doom in Fantastic Four #196. Reed's powers are restored in Fantastic Four #197.
- Walter Collins has been trying to evict the group since Fantastic Four #111. It appears that he has finally succeeded in getting rid of his problem tenants, but is later forced to rent to them again in Fantastic Four #201 after the group has reunited.
- Willie Lumpkin is making what he believes is his final delivery to the Fantastic Four. His last delivery was in Marvel Two-In-One #26, but he is back on their mail beat in Marvel Two-In-One #46. Willie makes the same pitch to Sue to join the Fantastic Four as he gave to Reed in Fantastic Four #11, wiggling ears and all.
- Baxter Building Doorman Sergius O'Houlahan's full name is identified in Thing #21.
- Frankie Raye has been the object of Johnny's affections since Fantastic Four #164. However it has been a rocky relationship as she is scared of Johnny's flame due to imposed pyrophobia as revealed in Fantastic Four #238. She last appeared in Fantastic Four #181 when Johnny found her on a date with another guy. After blowing her off here, Johnny doesn't see Frankie again until Fantastic Four #204 where she has basically written off their relationship.
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