- The Fantastic Four has never given up hope before ... We're not stopping now. If there's a way out of this, so help me - - I'll find it.
Appearing in "The Death of... the Fantastic Four!"
- Skrull Imperial Starfleet
- Champions of Xandar
- Nova Corps
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "The Death of... the Fantastic Four!"
Aboard the Skrull flagship, Emperor Dorrek gloats in victory at the three captive members of the Fantastic Four, and promises them they will face the full brunt of Skrull justice for their continued defiance of the race’s plans for universal conquest. Transported to the Skrull homeworld the Fantastic Four stand trial before Judge Hagar. Reed pleads for leniency towards the people of Xandar but Hagar is unmoved, and any thoughts of a fair trial are quickly dispelled as he orders the Fantastic Four's death at the hands of Jaketch, a junior executioner. As Jaketch guns down Reed and Ben in succession, he reveals his ambition to become Lord High Executioner, from which position of authority he will be able to execute Hagar himself. Next in line for the sanction, Sue turns invisible in the hope of evading certain death, but Jaketch’s visor allows him to target body heat and Sue meets the same fate as her colleagues. All the while, the slaughter is being relayed back to Dorrek, who watches with satisfaction aboard his flagship. His joy is cut short when a lackey arrives with news that a Terran spaceship has destroyed all the Skrull forces that were sent in pursuit. This failure attracts the interest of Empress R’klll who chides Dorrek for his failures. Enraged the Emperor orders a final assault on Xandar’s four worlds.
On Xandar, Queen Adora keeps vigil at the bedside of her stricken lover Tanak. Prime Thoran insists that Xandar itself, not Tanak is in greater need of the Suzerain’s attention. Adora gives Thoran leave to handle the situation as best he sees fit, and he leaves to consult the Living Computer. Pleading with the collective consciousness of generations of Xandarians for guidance, he is subsumed into the computer itself and begins to undergo a strange transformation. Meanwhile, the Skrull attack grows, even more, savage, with their forces now murdering innocent civilians at will. The Fantastic Four wake up in a holding cell on the Skrull home world. Their jailer explains that the weapon used on them at their trial was, in fact, a metabolic booster designed to age the heroes at an increased rate, essentially giving the heroes only seventy-two hours to live before they succumb to old age. Although using their powers is now a tremendous effort, the three are still able to overpower the guard and break free of the cell. Battling hordes of Skrull warriors they manage to steal a small ship with which to make their escape. As Dorrek looks on his monitor, he notes that the ship is damaged and will explode shortly after use. Again Dorrek has to suffer the taunts of R’klll, who is secretly plotting against her husband and plans to take the throne for herself. On board the stolen Skrull ship, Ben notices that its engine doesn’t sound as though it’s in full working order.
As they head towards Xandar, Reed discovers the fault in the engine. Sue worries that the three of them will die in space, but Ben assures her that he will pilot the ship to safety. They successfully see a Skrull attack but the monitors show more ships blocking the way to their destination. On Xandar, Queen Adora looks on in despair at the devastation of her world. Her mood is lifted as Tanak finally rises from his sickbed and the two lovers embrace. Meanwhile, a Terran spaceship approaches Xandar bearing Nova and his comrades. Sensing the presence of the Living Computers the robot Dr. Sun orders the ship to land so that he might drain them of their knowledge. The mysterious Sphinx also has designs on the computers ("At last, my ages-long quest is at an end. The answers I have long sought are here!") and suddenly disappears from the ship’s bridge. As Powerhouse worries about the fate of his family on the world below Skrull ship approaches, and the Xandarian member of the team vows to destroy it, not realizing that the ship contains not the hated invaders but the Fantastic Four. On board the Skrull ship, Reed attempts to have the attack called off by impersonating a Skrull officer over the communication system, but Nova’s ship responds by apparently blowing the Skrull ship apart.
- Emperor Dorrek puts on a mock trial against the Fantastic Four for their interference in his attempted conquests of Earth. By this point in time the Fantastic Four already have a pretty long history with the Skrulls:
- Reed first encountered, exposed, and neutralized a Skrull spy years before the birth of the Fantastic Four, as seen in Marvel: The Lost Generation #11
- The Fantastic Four first clashed with the Skrulls very early in their career as seen in Fantastic Four #2
- Since then the Fantastic Four have clashed with the Skrulls in Fantastic Four #18, 32, 37, Fantastic Four #89-93, 173-175.
- Also, unknown to the rest of the team, Reed and the clandestine Illuminati group confronted the Skrulls in the aftermath of the Kree-Skrull War in New Avengers: Illuminati Vol 2 #1.
- Nova, the Champions, Sphinx and Doctor Sun appear here following the events of Nova #23-25 where they began their flight to Xandar. In the latter story they fought off Skrull invaders that were sent against them last issue.
- Shooter is credited as consulting editor.
- Starting with this issue, the cover price increases form 35 cents to 40 cents.
- Johnny Storm does not appear in this issue.
- This isssue does not contain a letters page, but does have a one page ad for Tomb of Dracula #70.
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