Quote1.png ... But could yuh ever ferget... The Texas Twister? Quote2.png
-- Texas Twister

Appearing in "He Who Soweth the Wind"

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Synopsis for "He Who Soweth the Wind"

Several days after the Fantastic Four's disbanding, Johnny Storm gets off a westbound jetliner in Oklahoma, where he is met by Wyatt Wingfoot and a group of Keewazi Indian children. Johnny is surprised and glad to see Wyatt there, because he was not looking forward to starting a new life for himself as a race driver alone. Wyatt explains that the children are his students, and as soon as they see that Wyatt knows the Human Torch, they ask the Torch to put on a show. Johnny does a few flame tricks, which are also observed by a sinister figure nearby. It is nice of the Torch to entertain the children, he muses, but tomorrow he and Johnny will have a "Showdown" that will leave Johnny "face down in the desert." Back in New York, the doorbell buzzes at Alicia Masters's apartment, but when she answers it, she finds only a package. Ben Grimm is busy packing a suitcase, because he has been hired by NASA to test a new space shuttle. Unfortunately, he accidentally crushes it when he loses patience trying to close it. He also destroys Alicia's antique bed. When Alicia hands Ben the package, they hear ticking sounds. Alarmed, Ben immerses it in a sink full of water, thinking it is a bomb left by a foe. But it turns out to be an ordinary pocket watch, a gift from the Yancy Street Gang, who wish Ben well in his new career. Sniffling, Ben says he will miss the perennial nuisances.

Out west, Wyatt tells Johnny about his career as a teacher, and Johnny asks how he knew he would be arriving on that plane. Wyatt replies that all the contestants in the upcoming race knew Johnny's travel plans. He himself is not a contestant, he adds, but a close friend of his is. When Wyatt mentions that his friend is a woman, Johnny can hardly wait to meet her. Seconds later, she drives up in a Ferrari and nearly runs Johnny over. As he picks himself up, she introduces herself as Rebecca Rainbow. Johnny starts to berate her for her stunt, but she ignores him and says that in tomorrow's race he is going to come in second. Not particularly interested in arguing, Johnny enters his hotel, saying only that he was racing dragsters long before he was with the Fantastic Four, and he has what it takes to win. As Wyatt and Becky depart, she explains that because she never raced Johnny before, she had to test his reflexes and his spirit. Inside the Golden Shoe Hotel, Johnny is greeted by none other than Mayor Thaddeus P. Longhorn, the organizer of tomorrow's First Annual Dade County Drag Race. Longhorn asks the clerk, Teddy, to give the celebrity the best room in the hotel, room 2H. As Johnny signs the register, the mysterious figure who followed him from the airport, stands right next to him, pleased that Johnny does not recognize him out of costume.

As night falls, Johnny begins to feel lonesome and he wistfully looks at some photographs of his teammates. A few rooms down the hall, the mystery man radios his employers, who address him as Agent T. When he says that he has established visual contact with the Human Torch, they upbraid him for not using the "target's" code name. The Torch must be in their hands tomorrow, they say and abruptly sign off, leaving him muttering about "impolite Yankees." In a New York hotel room, Reed is scouting the want ads in the Star for a job suited to his talents. He is overqualified for everything, he laments to Sue. If he took any of those jobs, he would quit in a week out of boredom. Suddenly there is a knock, and the man at the door introduces himself as Arthur Thornhill of Cynthian Associates. After commenting that Reed is a hard man to find, he says that his employer will pay 520,000 per week for Reed's services. The next day in Dade County, the Human Torch, Becky Rainbow, and the other drivers prepare for the race. A considerable crowd has gathered, and the announcer, "Bronco Bob" Smith, introduces Johnny Storm, saying he has come all the way from New York to be in their race. Johnny is wearing the Fantastic Four emblem on his racing suit at Longhorn's insistence, but Becky reminds him that costumes do not win races. Soon the cars line up, the flag is dropped, and the race begins. Johnny and Becky quickly pull ahead of the pack, and much to Johnny's surprise, she takes the lead. The helicopter crew observing the race from above say that Johnny and Rebecca both broke the world record when they passed the one-mile marker, and that the race will surely belong to one of them. Suddenly a tornado springs up directly in front of the two drivers.

Johnny and Rebecca are traveling much too fast to swerve aside, and they are sucked into the vortex. The wind rips the cars apart and hurls Rebecca through the air, but Johnny flames on and rescues her. The other drivers pull up, and as Johnny carries her to safety, the tornado dissipates to reveal the Texas Twister inside. Johnny attacks, but the Twister catches Johnny in a miniature whirlwind and blows out his flame. When Johnny uses his flame to launch chunks of the asphalt roadbed at the Twister's cyclone, they simply rebound and send everyone running for cover. Then the Twister creates a sandstorm, but the Torch melts the sand into glass to keep from suffocating and shatters the glass with superheated air. Again Johnny attacks, but the Twister lures him in between two tornadoes that blow out his flame. Then the Twister knocks him out with one punch. Rebecca is furious, and when Wyatt arrives in a truck, she says that if they don't do something fast, Johnny might be killed. She takes the wheel and drives the truck, filled with a hundred gallons of gasoline and other racing supplies, directly into the Twister's vortex. As She and Wyatt leap to safety, the vehicle explodes. This stuns the Twister, but when Wyatt tries to knock him out, the Twister retaliates with a wind-blast. When the Torch runs up, he finds the Twister and Wyatt in a fistfight. Johnny deduces that the Twister's power has been depleted and challenges him.

The wind-maker retreats within another tornado, but Johnny surrounds it with a spiral of flame that heats it up and forces the Twister out. Still spinning, the Twister plows a furrow into the desert sand and comes to rest exhausted. Admitting that his assignment was not as easy as he thought, the Twister whips up another storm as a crowd of spectators, drivers, and racing personnel approaches. He can see why his employers wanted Johnny, he says. But before Johnny can find out who those employers are, the Twister and his storm depart. Johnny's flame is too exhausted for him to follow. Mayor Longhorn soon arrives to congratulate Johnny on putting on the most sensational drag race the county has ever seen. He wants a show like that every week and he leaves with Johnny to discuss the arrangements over a beer. Rebecca tells Wyatt that Johnny seems about to become a showman. Wyatt hopes Johnny can stand the excitement.


Continuity Notes

  • The Fantastic Four broke up {{Expansion depth limit exceeded|comic| | }} due to the fact that Reed lost his powers in {{Expansion depth limit exceeded|comic| | }} and regarded himself as unfit to lead the team and chose to disband it.
  • {{Expansion depth limit exceeded|comic| | }} explains that the Texas Twister's mysterious employers here were actually S.H.I.E.L.D. agents trying to recruit Johnny into the Super Agent program.
  • The Yancy Streey Gang has had it against the Thing for quitting their gang as a youth as explained in {{Expansion depth limit exceeded|comic| | }}.
  • Cynthian Associates are revealed to be a company owned by Doctor Doom as revealed in {{Expansion depth limit exceeded|comic| | }}. It is named after his mother Cynthia von Doom.

Publication Notes

  • This issue contains a letters page, Fantastic Forum. Letters are published from Robert Sallow, John Steinhouse, Ann Nichols, and Ed Via.
  • This issue also contains a Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation.

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