Appearing in "Firefrost and the Ebon Seeker"
- Carl Sagan (Mentioned)
- New York City
- Island in the Atlantic Ocean
- Negative Zone
- Xanth and Shareen's future (First appearance)
- Fantastic Four's Jet-Cycle
- Voyager 2
Synopsis for "Firefrost and the Ebon Seeker"
Trapped in a black void, the Fantastic Four are confronted by a brightly glowing woman who calls herself Fireforst, lover of the creature called the Ebon Seeker, who now may bring about the destruction of the planet Earth. She explains to the group how she has witnessed the Ebon Seeker as he has been drawn across the universe to planets teeming with life. Upon his arrival on these worlds both the planet and the Seeker are destroyed due to the antimatter in his body, only for the Seeker to be reborn and seek out yet another world. She goes on to tell them that the Ebon Seeker was drawn to Earth thanks to Reed's signal-pulse that he was using to find a missing NASA space probe. After comparing notes on the Fantastic Four's failed battle against the Ebon Seeker, the group demands to know what Firefrost's connection to the Ebon Seeker is and how they might be able to defeat him.
Firefrost explains that she and the Ebon Seeker come from another world in a distant future. The people of that world had exhausted all means of evolution and determined that they only way they could continue to advance as a society was to reach out to the stars and share their knowledge with other sentient beings in space. To facilitate this mission they found two young members of their race who still had a sense of adventure, Xanth and his lover Shareen. The pair were then sent out in a ship to spread the knowledge of their race across the known universe. They traveled through space for forty years until they came across the ruins of an ancient space satellite that was about to be sucked into a black hole. While Shareen believed they should be cautious, Xanth refused as the collection of this satellite might assist in their mission. Instead of recovering the derelict space probe, they found themselves sucked into the black hole as well and were completely atomized. Their life forces endured and were exposed to the strange energies that existed in the black hole. While Shareen was recreated into Firefrost, a being of light, Xanth was consumed by darkness and became the antimatter based Ebon Seeker. They both found themselves hurtled back centuries into the past. The Ebon Seeker, dimly remembering his mission then sought out intelligent life and destroyed all those who crossed paths. Completely insane, the Seeker did not fully understand what was happening, blaming those worlds for his destruction and rebirth when he himself was actually responsible. Firefrost had spent the ensuing years following after the Ebon Seeker trying to talk sense into him, only to be ignored and unseen this whole time.
As Firefrost finishes her tale, the black void around the Fantastic Four disappears as they see the Ebon Seeker heading back to ward New York City. As the Fantastic Four and Firefrost fly there to combat him, the menace of the Ebon Seeker is spotted by Iron Man who decides to gather his fellow Avengers to deal with the problem as well. As the FF and Firefrost speed into the city, the mystery woman explains how the Seeker could eventually cause the universe to collapse in on itself and explode. When they realize that the Seeker's body is much like the energies of the Negative Zone, Reed suddenly deduces a means of defeating the Ebon Seeker without killing him. While he, Sue and Firefrost enter his lab within the Baxter Building, Reed sends Johnny and Ben to keep the Ebon Seeker occupied while they work on a plan. As the pair keep the Ebon Seeker distracted, Reed and Sue complete gathering energies from the Negative Zone and erect an energy barrier around a block of the city in a hope of plunging it into the Negative Zone will stop the Seeker once and for all. With their lives at risk, Sue asks for a chance to call Franklin and say goodbye in the event that they die while completing this dangerous task.
As the battle between Johnny, Ben and the Ebon Seeker rages on, the Avengers arrive on the scene to deal with the matter. However before they can enter the fray, the Human Torch stops them, leading into an argument over jurisdiction in dealing with the threat. Ultimately, Thor steps in and tells the Torch that as the Avengers leader, he will give the Fantastic Four a chance to stop the Ebon Seeker in their own way and they depart. As Sue talks to Franklin on the phone, giving what she hopes is not her parting words to her son, Reed sends Firefrost out to confront the Ebon Seeker. While she has distracted her lover, Reed activates the Negative Zone portal shunting the entire block to the antimatter universe. When this happens, all the negative matter energy that was being siphoned from the Ebon Seeker returns to him and his sanity is restored. With the two lovers finally reunited, they thank the Fantastic Four for their help and fly off into the Negative Zone to forge a new life together.
Later, the Fantastic Four meet with Reed who has been reading Murmurs of Earth by Carl Sagan. Reed tells his team that Xanth and Shareen must have found the remains of the Voyager II space probe which was launched into space carrying information about Earth should it be found by intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. After this is explained, Ben asks Reed why they haven't returned home from the Negative Zone after defeating the Ebon Seeker. The group is shocked when Reed tells them that for whatever reason, he cannot and they are perhaps trapped in the Negative Zone forever.
- The future reality that Xanth and Shareen hale from was index as Earth-81049, their homeworld is identified as Moensien and their people as the Moensiens in FF Fifty Fantastic Years #1.
- Some facts about the various Avengers seen here:
- Iron Man, the Vision, Scarlet Witch, and Captain America were last seen in Avengers #207-208 where they battled the Berserker.
- Thor was last seen in Thor #310 where he battled for the release of souls taken by the demon Mephisto.
- The Beast had a brief cameo in Uncanny X-Men #145 when he provided his former teammates the X-Men information on the assassin known as Arcade and Doctor Doom.
- Captain America, Iron Man, and the Vision all previously interacted with the Fantastic Four in Marvel Two-In-One #69 when they were assisting the Guardians of the Galaxy recover their leader Vance Astro.
- Thor last interacted with the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four #225 when he assisted them in taming the mad Harek Korgon.
- The last time the Beast interacted with the Thing was when the Avengers teamed up with Ben to battle Annihilus and Blastaar in the Negative Zone in Marvel Two-In-One #75. He last interacted with the Fantastic Four as a team back in his days with the X-Men when both groups worked together to battle the Z'Nox in X-Men: The Hidden Years #8-9.
- Iron Man and Thor next appear in Avengers Annual #10 where they and the Avengers avenge the defeat of Ms. Marvel at the hands of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
- The Vision and the Scarlet Witch are next seen in Avengers #209 when they help the Beast recover the Resurrection Stone to save the life of his former girlfriend Vera Cantor.
- Captain America next appears in Captain America #258 where he battles the Blockbuster
- The Beast next makes a cameo appearance in Captain America #259.
- Firefrost and the Ebon Seeker are seen again in Operation S.I.N #3-5 where Firefrost flees the Seeker back in tme to the 1950s. There the Seeker ia stopped with the help of Howard Stark and his associates.
- Statements regarding the Voyager space probe in this story that are made in the future tense should be considered topical references per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. Particularly the statement regarding the space probe completing it's original mission in 1986, as this event has already happened in real life.
- This issue contains a letters page, Fantastic Four Fan Page. Letters are published from Steve Gauronski, Gary Miller, Paul Hunker, Phil Jones, and Karen Cheung.
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- 4 Images from Fantastic Four Vol 1 230
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