- There ain't no bathrooms in the Negative Zone!
- -- The Thing
Appearing in "Into the Negative Zone!"
- NYPD officer
- Grey Landers (First appearance)
- Rolf Brandis
- Blastaar (On-screen)
- Stygorr (On-screen)
- Galactus (Recap)
- Negative Zone Exploratory Module Mark I
Synopsis for "Into the Negative Zone!"
Reed is showing Ben their new Negative Zone portal, a tube that goes through dimensions from the floor in the Baxter Building, something that Reed hopes will prevent beings from the anti-matter universe from breaching the barrier and crossing over to Earth. When Ben questions why Reed would want to build a device after vowing not to open the portal ever again, Reed explains that the Negative Zone has too much potential to go unexplored. Showing Ben the vastness of the anti-matter universe on his scanners, Reed tries to demonstrate the wonder. All Ben can think of is the threat posed by Annihilus, the ruler of the Negative Zone. Reed also reminds Ben of other threats from that dimension, namely Blastaar and Stygorr, and how they once banished Galactus to the Negative Zone for a time. Regardless of the possible dangers, Reed stresses that they have a duty to explore the endless wonders of that realm. Sue interrupts their discussion to tell Reed that it's time for their first tenants meeting with the businesses that rent out the office spaces in the Baxter Building. Finding the idea of talking about rental issues a complete dull, Ben takes this opportunity to depart. Reed and Sue brace themselves for the coming meeting and after a brief moment to consider that they did not really think through the perils of owning a rental property, the couple wade into the meeting as the tenants begin making demands and complaints about their accommodations.
While on the roof of the Baxter Building, Ben takes off on a sky-cycle and is en route to visit his girlfriend Alicia Masters when he notices a snarling traffic jam on the city streets below. Deciding to check it out, Ben soon learns from an officer on the scene that the traffic jam was been caused by two cars blocking the roads. Ben decides to help out by lifting the two problematic vehicles out of the way. Elsewhere in the city the Human Torch is heading to the theater where Julie Angel is practicing for the new play she is participating in. Johnny has taken an interest in Julie and has decided to try his luck at asking her out. Before Johnny gets inside, Julie is talking to her friend and new roommate Sharon Selleck. The pair are talking about the newest edition to their group, Grey Landers, a handsome man who Julie is completely smitten by. When Johnny arrives, Julie quickly introduces him to Sharon before they enter the day's acting class. While Johnny thinks about how things are going with Julie, he is unaware that Miss D'Angelo is actually interested in someone else, and even more-so oblivious to the fact that Sharon has taken an interest in him instead.
Back at the Baxter Building, Sue decides to leave her husband to deal with the daunting task of making their tenants happy in order to check in on their son Franklin. She sneaks up on Franklin while he is playing video games while invisible and startles him when she begins rubbing his hair. Turning visible again, she comforts her son, but can't help but think about how his mutant powers may prevent him from ever being a normal child. While at Alicia's apartment, Ben is spending time with Alicia as she packs for a lengthy stay at the Baxter Building while the Fantastic Four are exploring the Negative Zone. When Ben asks why the lights are on when she is blind, Alicia explains that she turned them on for Ben's benefit. When Ben once again goes into his doubts about how Alicia could care for a monster like him, she once more reassures him that she loves him for who he is on the inside.
Finally, Reed manages to complete his tenants meeting and shows his clients to the door. Now able to focus on his current work he is happy to get working on his newest invention, the Negative Zone Exploratory Module. When the rest of the team arrives with Alicia and Frankline, Reed explains to Alicia how the portal works and demonstrates it by activating the device, the distinctly loud "KA-CHUNG!" indicating that the portal has been opened. After assuring everyone that while they'll be gone for a number of months in the Negative Zone, time actually passes slower on Earth. Soon the Fantastic Four are in the Negative Zone Exploratory Module and it is dropped into the portal tunnel. After a bumpy passage through the distortion field, the Fantastic Four safely emerge into the Negative Zone to begin the first leg of their exploratory voyage.
Sometime later, back at the Baxter Building, Alicia leaves Franklin alone to prepare a snack when she suddenly hears the "KA-CHUNG!" from the Negative Zone portal. Wondering why the Fantastic Four are back so soon, she goes to the portal to investigate. When she has entered the room, she is grabbed by Annihilus, ruler of the Negative Zone who has used the portal to cross over to Earth!
- The Fantastic Four last appeared in the second story of Marvel Tales (Vol. 2) #198 when the Thing was tricked into battling Spider-Man.
- Ben mentions that Reed vowed never to use the Negative Zone portal again. This was a declaration Reed made in Fantastic Four #216. However Reed secretly used the portal to try and obtain a cure for Ben's condition in Marvel Fanfare #2.
- Ben and Reed review the various foes that they faced in the Negative Zone in the past:
- Annihilus, who last clashed with Reed in Marvel Fanfare #2, he last battled the Fantastic Four as a team in Fantastic Four #179–183.
- Blastaar last faced the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four #215–216. He was last seen in Marvel Two-In-One #75 when he battled the Thing and the Avengers.
- Stygorr has only clashed with the Fantastic Four once in Fantastic Four #231. As of this writing he has not been seen since and was presumably destroyed in that encounter.
- Reed mentions how they once trapped Galactus in the Negative Zone. That occurred at the end of Fantastic Four #123. Galactus managed to return to the Earth dimension as seen in Thor #225, although how he managed this feat is unexplained.
- Reed and Sue lament over their ownership of the Baxter Building, which Reed purchased from the former owner Walter Collins in Fantastic Four #244.
- Julie Angel was last seen bumping into Johnny and Ben in Central Park in Fantastic Four #249. She and Sharon are next seen in Fantastic Four #253 when their attempt to call Johnny at the Baxter Building leads to an unexpected telephone conversation with Annihilus.
- Grey Landers next appears in Fantastic Four Annual #17.
- Sharon mentions that she was part of the crew that filmed Sue's interview with Barbara Walker in Fantastic Four #245.
- Sue frets over Franklin's mutant powers, which have been active since his infancy in Fantastic Four #104. They have recently gone dormant after the events of Fantastic Four #245. Sue's fears are valid as Franklin's powers being resurfacing again in Fantastic Four #282.
- Although members of the Fantastic Four have been venturing into the Negative Zone since Fantastic Four #51, this is the first time that Sue has ventured into that realm.
- This issue contains a letters page, Fantastic Four Fan Page'. Letters are published from Rod Wahowske, Brian A. Smith, Robert Sasser, Don Drescher, John A. Wilcox, Frederick McLaurin, and Stephen Gawronski.
- Fantastic Four (Volume 1)
- Fantastic Four (Volume 2)
- Fantastic Four (Volume 3)
- Fantastic Four 2099
- Ultimate Fantastic Four
- October 14, 2015
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