Quote1.png Reed's gone and got himself done up like the Wizard of Oz! Quote2.png
-- Ben Grimm

Appearing in "Trapped!"

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Synopsis for "Trapped!"

On the island of Manhattan, Daredevil swings through the city when suddenly he slams into an invisible barrier that even his much vaunted radar-sense could not detect. But thanks to his keen training and fast reflexes, he manages to save himself from a fatal fall some twelve stories down. Going to investigate the barrier, Daredevil is able to find it by touch, but is shocked when his radar sense can detect nothing but thin air. The cause of this barrier is Annihilus, ruler of the Negative Zone who has erected it using the equipment from within the Fantastic Four's Baxter Building headquarters.

Annihilus gloats over his impending victory, he explains to his prisoners Alicia Masters and Franklin Richards that he plots to expand a second null field within the first one in order to cause the Negative Zone and Earth's positive matter universe to merge, thus destroying both. When Alicia asks why he is planning to snuff out the lives of two universes, Annihilus grabs the girl and removes his mask, showing his horrifyingly old and decaying face. He explains that he has been rapidly aging thanks to the recent removal of his Cosmic Control Rod, [1] and that rather than face death alone, he plans to destroy two universes instead. When Annihilus realizes that Alicia is blind and cannot see his ravage fate, he becomes furious and tosses her aside. Lunging at the defenseless woman, Annihilus promises to bring her the terrible death that he promised.

Meanwhile, deep in the Negative Zone on the planet Mantracora, the Fantastic Four are horrified to find the alien known as Taranith Gestal has siphoned the mind of their leader, Mister Fantastic, in order to use his mental energies to power his ship and escape the world he has been trapped on for thirty years. When the Fantastic Four try to attack their diminutive foe, the alien has a tactical advantage of being able to crawl all over the ship due to his unique physiology and escape the chamber where he drained the minds of all his victims. Taranith then activates his ship, blasting off from the primitive world he was trapped on for decades, taking himself and the Fantastic Four out into Nega-Space. Deep within the ships computers, Reed's intellect has remained in tact and through sheer force of will manages to prevent itself from being dissipated from within, forming a simulacrum of his physical body within in the process.

As the ship rockets its way through Nega-Space, the Fantastic Four try to fight their way into the control room, by Gestal uses the ships gravitational systems to send them sprawling. But before he can slay the three remaining members of the group, Reed's intellect takes control of the vessel. Reed explains that Gestal became far too greedy in collecting his mental energies, which were beyond what was needed to power the ship, thus his intellect remained intact and capable to taking control of the ship. Reed then uses the ship's gravity controls against Gestal and allows the Fantastic Four to get into the control room. While Johnny is shocked to see Reed's visage on the control monitor, Taranith manages to slip away in an escape pod. Although the alien manages to escape, he quickly realizes that the escape pod was damaged when his ship originally crashed landed and a malfunction causes it to explode, seemingly killing their foe in the process.

Reed explains to the team that he has taken full control of the alien ship and has piloted a course back to the distortion barrier so that they can return back to their dimension. The trip takes about two weeks of Negative Zone time, and in that period Reed constructs a Cyber-Helmet that allows him to link his intellect with his physical body, a temporary solution to the problem at hand. When they arrive in the distortion area, Reed is shocked to find the shattered fragments of his Negative Zone tunnel. With their safest means to return home destroyed, Reed tells his crew that the only way they can make it back home is to travel through the dimensional interface between the positive and anti-matter universes, and travelling through that space could mean their utter destruction.


Continuity Notes

Publication Notes

  • This issue contains a letters page, Fantastic Four Fan Page. Letters are published from Christina Johnson, Marc D. Christiansen, Paul Mose, Eric Marcotto, Mark Morris, and Stephen Noonan.

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