- ... You won't like me when I'm angry!
- -- Hulk
Appearing in "The Masque of Doom!"
- Fantastic Four
- Alicia Masters (Secretly the Skrull spy Lyja)
- A remote-operated mask of Doctor Doom
- Doctor Octopus (Otto Octavius)
- Bruce Banner
- Michael Morbius
- Walter Langkowski
- Alma Chalmers (First appearance)
- Alice Winchell (First appearance)
- Danny Winchell
- Dr. Lanning
- United States of America
Synopsis for "The Masque of Doom!"
The Fantastic Four check in on Sue Richards, who is recovering after the miscarriage of her second child. As Reed and Sue come to terms with this recent loss, Alicia, Johnny, and She-Hulk also reflect on recent events. Outside, Sue's doctor, Dr. Lansing, thanks Michael Morbius, Walter Langkowski and Bruce Banner for helping the best they could. Banner cannot help but mention that the only salvation for Sue's baby came from the villainous Doctor Octopus, whose insanity delayed Reed for too long, resulting in the loss of his child. Hearing this, Doctor Octopus lashes out against his foes, prompting Banner to transform into the Hulk. The Hulk is about to battle Doctor Octopus when Reed steps in and handles the situation on his own. Richards calmly tells Octavius that he is going to return himself to custody voluntarily, otherwise he will not rest until he is brought back to justice. Seeing something in Richards' eyes causes Octavius to relent and he agrees to the wishes of Mister Fantastic. Satisfied with Otto's response, Reed leaves him in the care of Dr. Lansing.
Johnny and She-Hulk get ready to leave so Johnny can show her around the Baxter Building. Reed agrees with this course of action, telling Johnny that he can program the security system to recognize She-Hulk as a member of the team. Going to the roof of the hospital, Johnny summons a Fantasti-Car with his signal belt and the two are soon off to the Baxter Building. Along the way, Johnny inquires about She-Hulk's past. He is surprised when she is very candid about about her true identity and her origins: that she was a California lawyer named Jennifer Walters. Cousin to Bruce Banner, she agreed to put up her wayward cousin during a period in which he could not control his transformations into the Hulk and needed refuge from the law. At the time Jennifer was dealing in a court case that involved the mob. The mobsters she was after did not appreciate this and organized to have Jen shot. With her life on the line, Jennifer was saved by a much needed blood transfusion by her cousin who quickly left afterwards. When the mob came to finish the job later on in the hospital, Jen was shocked when she suddenly transformed into the She-Hulk for the first time. She remarks that unlike her cousin, she can control her transformations and maintains her original personality and intellect when she becomes the She-Hulk.
She finishes her life story by telling Johnny briefly of her joining the Avengers, and they land on the roof of the Baxter Building. Inside, Johnny shows She-Hulk the facilities, including one of a series of buttons used in case of emergency that can jam any signal coming from outside of the Baxter Building, and the private elevators that are operated by their special belt buckles. He then shows Jen a secret room where the Fantastic Four keep their "trophies", powerful weapons and inventions confiscated during their various adventures to ensure their safe keeping. Among all these items is the mask worn by Doctor Doom when he seemingly perished during the Fantastic Four's recent battle against him and Tyros the Tamer. As the pair leave the room they are unaware that the eyes on the Doom mask have begun to glow.
At that moment, at the home of "Reed and Sue Benjamin" in Belle Porte, Connecticut, local gossip Alma Chalmers is trying to peek into the window of the new family that has moved into the neighborhood. She is caught red-handed by Alice Winchell who is out with her son Danny, who scolds her for being a snoop.
Back at the Baxter Building, Johnny and Jen are having coffee together talking about business when suddenly the alarm goes off. Rushing to the trophy room they find that something has blasted the door off the hinges. Going inside, they find that the mask appears to have been taken. While looking for clues they are caught off guard when they are attacked by the mask itself, which has appeared to take on a life of its own. The pair dodge the eye beams of the mask and its various other defenses but fail in trying to destroy it. When they try to exit the trophy room they are forced back by a powerful wind. When She-Hulk tries to rush it as hard as she can, the powerful force suddenly stops, sending She-Hulk charging right out of the window and plummeting to the ground below. At that moment, Reed returns to the headquarters and arrives just as Johnny is being attacked anew by the mask. Trying to fight the mask himself, Reed discovers that it is more than a match for any of them. Quickly realizing that it must be controlled by remote, he stretches over to one of the emergency buttons and quickly presses it. With all outside signals now cut off, the Doom mask suddenly falls to the ground totally inert.
In the aftermath of the battle, Reed explains that the mask came to life due to a signal being sent to it and not a pre-programmed attack. With the Latverian embassy denying the apparent death of Doctor Doom, Reed is left to wonder who it was that initiated this attack and if, in fact, Doctor Doom is still alive.
Are you prepared for the greatest tragedy to strike the Fantastic Four since they've been a team? And are Johnny Storm and the She-Hulk ready for... the Masque of Doom?
- Although Sue had a miscarriage last issue, the baby is resurrected years later by Franklin in Fantastic Four (Vol. 3) #49 and eventually born in Fantastic Four (Vol. 3) #50.
- Reed mentions how the energies Sue was exposed to in the Negative Zone caused the complications in her pregnancy. The Fantastic Four had recently traveled there between Fantastic Four #251–256. Their second child was conceived while on this trip during a romantic interlude in Fantastic Four #254.
- This is not really Alicia Masters here but Lyja, a Skrull spy. She took the place of the real Alicia Masters to infiltrate the Fantastic Four, as revealed in Fantastic Four #358.
- In this story Bruce Banner is able to control his transformations into the Hulk and retain his original intelligence and personality, a feat he was able to do between Incredible Hulk #272–296.
- Following their appearances here, Banner (as the Hulk), Michael Morbius (briefly restored to his living vampire form) and Doctor Octopus are all seen in Marvel 1985 #1–6 where they are all brought to Earth-1219 by Clyde Wyncham Jr..
- Walter Langkowski (as Sasquatch) is next seen in Rom #56–58 where he and his teammates in Alpha Flight assist Rom against the Dire Wraiths.
- Johnny mentions how She-Hulk recently joined the team. In Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #12 the Thing decided to stay behind on Battleworld at the end of the original Secret Wars because he was able to change back into human form there. She-Hulk agreed to join the Fantastic Four, officially joining the group when they returned to Earth in Fantastic Four #265.
- The recounting of She-Hulk's origins depicts the events first seen in Savage She-Hulk #1.
- She-Hulk mentions being a member of the Avengers. She joined that group in Avengers #221 and was among the members of the group kidnapped by the Beyonder in the Secret Wars. At the time of this story, per Avengers #234, She-Hulk maintains memberships on both teams.
- Doctor Doom's mask came into the Fantastic Four's possession when Doom enlisted the aid of Tyros the Tamer to destroy the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four #260. That story ended with the apparent demise of Doctor Doom. However, unknown to everyone at this time, Doom managed to cheat death by swapping bodies with Norman McArthur as revealed in Fantastic Four #288.
- The "Benjamin" household in Belle Porte is owned by Reed and Sue. Sue had purchased the home in Fantastic Four #260 in order for her and Reed to provide a normal family environment for Franklin after he was tortured by Annihilus during the events of Fantastic Four #251–256.
- Danny Winchell was last seen when Sue first purchased the "Benjamin" home in Fantastic Four #260.
- Alma Chalmers is next seen in Fantastic Four #274, and she is still spying on the "Benjamin" family.
- Reed, Johnny and She-Hulk are all next seen in Code of Honor #3, each member out and about handling the crime spree that began when they were all captured in the Secret Wars.
- Sue is next seen in Fantastic Four Annual #18 where she helps the group battle the Skrulls' latest revenge scheme.
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