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Quote1.png He's gone Susan. Vanished without a trace! Quote2.png
Wanda Maximoff (Earth-616)

Appearing in "The Search for Reed Richards"

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Synopsis for "The Search for Reed Richards"

The Sub-Mariner sees the Invisible Girl off with a kiss after he and Marrina drop her off at the Baxter Building following their adventure together on the North Pole. Thanking Sue for her help, Namor picks up Marrina and flies away, intent on showing her the splendors of Atlantis. Going inside, Sue recalls how hectic the past 24 hours have been between their battle with Doctor Doom,[1] and her adventure with Marrina and Namor. [2] Checking to see if her husband is home, Sue finds no trace of Reed Richards in the Baxter Building. She then decides to call Avengers Mansion to see if he is still there working on the Vision. When the Avengers butler Jarvis answers the phone he tells her that the Avengers have gone off to investigate a strange energy beam that breached the mansion earlier, but does not know if her husband went along with them. Overhearing the phone conversation is the Silver Surfer, who has recovered from their battle with Tyros. When Sue mentions the beam that the Avengers are investigating, the Surfer recalls that it was the same beam that drew him to Earth prior to the battle.

Deciding to investigate this mystery further, the Surfer summons his board from the wreckage of his battle in Queens. Both the Surfer and Sue go to Avengers mansion and fly through the hole blasted through the wall from the beam. Inside the Mansion they find the Scarlet Witch presiding over the inert body of her husband. The Witch explains to them that one moment Reed was there, the next he was gone and the hole was in the wall. With none of the equipment in the Mansion able to detect where Reed has gone, the Surfer uses his Power Cosmic to peer back into the past. He calls up the past events, revealing that the beam teleported Reed Richards away. The Surfer then gravely informs Sue that her husband was abducted and taken somewhere off the planet.

Sue returns to the Baxter Building where she fires off the Fantasti-Flare calling Johnny and Ben back to headquarters. There she begins planning a mission to search for her husband. When the others tell her she should stay behind because she is pregnant, Sue refuses to stand back while her husband is missing. Soon the three remaining members of the Fantastic Four are blasting off in their rocket into space. Along the way, the Thing recollects how it was a space flight that led to the accident that gave them their powers. [3] Soon they reach the Blue Area of the Moon where they rocket past the Inhumans home of Attilan and head for the citadel of the Watcher. Exiting their ship, the group then walk inside and begin searching for the Watcher in the hopes that he will help them find Reed. Johnny speeds ahead but he quickly loses track of his teammates in the massive citadel. Meanwhile, Sue and Ben are greeted by the Watcher. Uatu informs them that he knows why they are there and agrees to take them to the location of Reed Richards as he was going to observe the events surrounding his capture as well. Calling Johnny back with his mind, Uatu then uses his powers to spirit them all across space to Reed's location.

An immeasurable distance later, the come to a massive fleet of alien vessels and teleport aboard one of them. There they are greeted by an alien delegation led by Xxan Xxar. He agrees to take them to their leader, and the rest of the Fantastic Four are shocked when they find Reed bound and stretched over some kind of torture device. When Sue asks what they are doing to her husband, Xxan explains that they are executing him for sparing the life of Galactus, and that all the aliens of this fleet are survivors of his previous hungers. Sue refuses to allow her husband to be killed and the rest of the Fantastic Four try to break him free. When they do, the Watcher steps in and traps them in bubbles of pure thought, telling them that Reed must be put to trial for his supposed crimes.

Brought before a council of aliens from the various ships, Reed explains to them that he could not bring himself to kill Galactus on humanitarian grounds, regardless of what the powerful being has done in the past. The Watcher also chimes in to explain that Galactus also serves a greater purpose to the universe and thus must continue to exist. The alien council is almost convinced enough to let Reed be let free, but before they can make that decision they are interrupted by the arrival of Empress Lilandra of the Shi'ar, who has come to see that Reed Richards is executed for his crime of allowing Galactus to live.

Solicit Synopsis

The title says it all - "The Search for Reed Richards!" It features a serious assessment of Galactus's humanity, Reed Richard's integrity, the Watcher's loyalty, and the Silver Surfer's convictions! Plus - a special guest appearance by Princess Llandra of X-Men fame!


Continuity Notes

  • Everyone is concerned about the location of Reed and about the mysterious beam that struck Earth. This beam kidnapped Reed from Avengers Mansion back in Fantastic Four #257.
  • The Avengers butler Jarvis makes his cameo appearance here between his appearances in Thing #5 and Avengers #236. He says the Avengers are away investigating the strange energy beam, this is not a reference to any particular story that was going on at the time for the Avengers.
  • The Vision and Scarlet Witch were last seen in Fantastic Four #257 when Reed was kidnapped. The Vision is in an inert state here after trying to phase through a barrier erected around the Baxter Building by Annihilus in Avengers #233. The couple are next seen in Avengers #235. the Vision still inert, Wanda assisting her fellow Avengers in capturing the Wizard.
  • The Silver Surfer is next seen in Defenders #125 where he and the founding Defenders witness the formation of a new team before they are forced to depart.
  • Ben recalls the rocket flight that gave them their powers from Fantastic Four #1. This recounting of the FF's origins omits the reason for the flight and simply states that it was cosmic rays that mutated them.
  • In the flashback of the Fantastic Four's origins the Thing is depicted as having dinosaur-like skin. He initially maintained that form until he eventually mutated further into the rock-like form he is more commonly known for by about Fantastic Four #10. This evolution was explained in Marvel Two-In-One #50.
  • The Fantastic Four pass over Attilan the home of the Inhumans which the FF helped move to the moon back in Fantastic Four #250.
  • The Fantastic Four know how to enter the Watcher's citadel because they have been there previously. The last time the Fantastic Four were in the Watcher's citadel was back in Fantastic Four #29 when they sought refuge from the Red Ghost. At the time they actually smashed through the walls to get in. However since Reed and Sue spent their honeymoon at the citadel, as seen in Fantastic Four: The Wedding Special #1, Sue could have probably learned about how to enter the citadel at that time.
  • The Watcher was last seen in What If? #42 observing an alternate universe.
  • The Watcher mentions his oath of non-interference. As explained in Tales of Suspense #53 the Watchers made this vow after they were responsible for the annihilation of the Prosilicans.
  • Johnny mentions that the ship they arrive on reminds him of the Kestorans vessel they encountered in the Negative Zone in Fantastic Four #252.
  • A footnote states that the Fantastic Four are able to understand the aliens due to their universal translators. These translators were first referenced in Fantastic Four #237.
  • The aliens state that they are going to execute Reed Richards for saving the life of Galactus, something Reed had done in Fantastic Four #244. They state that the world devourer went on to destroy the Skrull homeworld, which Galactus did in Fantastic Four #257.
  • When the Watcher subdues the Fantastic Four, he uses similar methods he used to contain the Thing and the Red Ghost's Super-Apes back in Fantastic Four #13.
  • Lilandra and Gladiator were last seen in Uncanny X-Men #167 where they warned Reed Richards of what would happen if Galactus destroyed another inhabited world.
  • The Skrull with Lilandra and Gladiator is identified as Karant Kair next issue.

Publication Notes

  • This issue contains a letters page, Fantastic Four Fan Page. Letters are published from Brenda Robnett, Jay Beauvillia, Mark Steven Long, David Plunkert, Stephen Darner, and Anthony Hochrein.

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