- And that's just One of the reasons he's called Mr. Fantastic!
- -- Sue Storm
Appearing in "Quest"
- Negative Zone
- Kestor's Hope (Kestoran Interstellar ark)
- Kestor (First appearance)
- New York City
- Negative Zone Exploratory Module
Synopsis for "Quest"
Deep in the heart of the Negative Zone a massive and ancient starship known as Kestor's Hope detects an on coming craft. Their leader, known only as the Captain, orders the vessel pulled aboard with their tractor beam. As the ship is pulled aboard a security team goes to meet it. Inside the cargo hold, the Fantastic Four emerge from their Exploratory Module and are shocked by the decrepit age of the ship that they have been pulled aboard, Reed estimates that it must be over ten thousand years old. When the Kestorians enter the cargo hold they assume they are besieged by monsters when they see the Thing and attack. The Fantastic Four easily disarm the security team with their powers, but the Captain orders a halt to the hostilities. He chastises his men for blindly attacking and then welcomes the Fantastic Four aboard their vessel. The Fantastic Four are then taken to a dining hall where they are given a massive feast, it is during the meal that Reed asks the Captain how their people came to be voyaging in the vastness of the Negative Zone.
The Captain tells the FF that his people come from the planet Kestor. Millions of years ago, they had a technological utopia until one day the very planet revolted against them. With their planet doomed, the leader of the Kestorians ordered the construction of a massive ship so they could relocate to a new world. They soon blasted off aboard their massive ship the Kestor's Hope just moments before their homeworld exploded. Their ship was damage in the resulting destruction severely damaged their navigational computers forcing them to spend countless centuries searching for a suitable home. In order to preserve their people, the Kestorians put the majority of their population into suspended animation, leaving only a small crew to pilot the vessel. The Captain finishes his tale by telling their visitors that they are the descendants of the original crew.
Believing that he can help, Reed asks to see their computer core to see if repairs can be done. After some examination, Reed confirms that the primary systems have been destroyed, but the back-up systems can be restored with some work.
As the Fantastic Four get to work repairing Kestor's Hope, back on Earth in the apartment shared by Julie Angel and Sharon Selleck, Sharon convinces her roommate to give Johnny Storm a call to see what he is up to. Not sure why Sharon wants to see Johnny so soon after they last saw him, she puts in a call to the Baxter Building. The person who answers abruptly tells her that the Fantastic Four are not present and rudely hangs up on them. When Julie explains the conversation, she can only describe it as "spooky". She is unaware that the person who answered the call was Annihilus, the ruler of the Negative Zone and a long time foe of the Fantastic Four. Flying through the Fantastic Four's headquarters he begins plotting to destroy the universe of his most hated foes when he suddenly crumples in weakness. Forced to wear an exo-skeleton based on his actual form, Annihilus is forced to remove his mask in order to prevent suffocating. With his own death immanent, Annihilus vows to not only destroy the Earth's dimension, but his own home realm of the Negative Zone in one fell swoop.
Back in the Negative Zone, the repairs to Kestor's Hope are complete and the Fantastic Four are able to pilot the massive vessel to what appears to be a suitable an unpopulated world. When the ship lands, the Captain and one of his men exit the ship to survey the world. But after moments outside of their ship, the Kestorians suddenly flee back inside the vessel. Reed is confused because the world was deemed appropriate enough, but the Captain refuses to disembark his people there. Thinking the situation over, Reed realizes what the problem is: after five hundred generations aboard the Kestor's Hope the Kestorians have evolved so that living on a starship is their natural habitat. The Captain refuses to believe this and more determined than ever to find a new world for his people orders the Kestor's Hope to take off again.
Not willing to condemn those in stasis to an endless fate in suspended animation, Reed tries to stop the Captain, and this leads to a battle between the Kestorians and the Fantastic Four. As the Fantastic Four fight the crew, the Captain slips away. When in the control room with his subordinate, Number One, the Captain is told the horrifying truth about his people and is shocked by what he is told. Suddenly, Number One commands everyone to stand down and the fighting quickly stops. When the Fantastic Four enter the control room they find that the Captain has committed suicide. Number One then reveals to them the secret of Kestor's Hope: That the explosion of Kestor not only damaged the navigational computers, but also killed all 20,000 of the Kestorians left in suspended animation except for the 500 who became the crew. This was kept secret from the majority of the surviving Kestorians in order to prevent them from being consumed by despair. With his life mate dead, Number One takes on the role as the new Captain and sees the Fantastic Four off on their continued exploration of the Negative Zone. As the Fantastic Four leave, the Kestor's Hope continues on it's unending quest.
- Julie and Shanon appear here following their appearance in Fantastic Four #251 at an acting class. They are next seen in Fantastic Four #256 where they investigate the strange phone call.
- As revealed in Fantastic Four #255, Annihilus is rapidly aging and is near death after his Cosmic Control Rod was stolen by Blastaar in Marvel Two-In-One #75.
- This issue contains a letters page, Fantastic Four Fan Page. Letters are published from, Jim Fucinari , phil Jones, Mark Waldman, Marc Christensen, and Daniel Pei.
- This issue also contains a Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation.
- The character "Howling Mad" Murdock in the television series "The A-Team" is briefly seen reading this issue in the first-season episode "A Small and Deadly War," which aired in February 1983.
- First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
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