- Let me soothe your tortured brow! Oops 'soothed' a little too hard.
- -- She-Hulk
Appearing in "Crack of Doom!"
Synopsis for "Crack of Doom!"
Kristoff Vernard -- the successor to Doctor Doom -- has launched the Baxter Building into space where it explodes. However instead of being killed in the blast, the Fantastic Four, Reed and Sue's son Franklin, and Wyatt Wingfoot are saved thanks to Sue's force field, and are all play possum until Doom's scanning device leaves. Convinced that they have tricked Doom into thinking they are dead, Reed then devises a plan to get them back to Earth. Wrapping everyone up in his body and protected by Sue's force field, Reed directs the group back towards Earth for re-entry. In order to prevent themselves from burning up in re-entry, Reed has Johnny absorb all the heat and flame. They then head directly toward Latveria in order to face their foe.
Once they are at a safe altitude, Johnny is allow to flame on and expel the excess heat he has absorbed. The group then literally crashes into Doom's castle where they are instantly attacked by Doom's Servo-Guards. Reed and Sue send Wyatt off with Franklin to keep him safe and the team begins to tear into the Servo-Robots. Making short work of the robots, they then smash their way through to Doom's lab deep below where they confront the new Doctor Doom and his group of Doombots. While Johnny destroys the robots, She-Hulk grabs Doom and rips off his armor. They are shocked when it turns out to be the young Kristoff Vernard inside the armor and not a full sized adult. Realizing what happened, Reed theorizes that Vernard did not go through all of Doom's past memories, as their ace in the hole was the fact that when the real Doctor Doom tried to shoot the Fantastic Four into space in their headquarters, Sue did not have her force-field making capabilities -- the one thing that made survival possible this time around. Soon it sinks in that the Fantastic Four have apparently lost everything, Reed wonders how things can get any worse....
.... At a rally somewhere a man named Mister Unger is preaching hate, riling up a crowd of people with hate speech about African-Americans. This speech is interrupted by a priest who tells all those gathered that they should love all, regardless of their race. Unger, calling the priest a "N*****-Lover" entices the mob into beating the holy man. Walking out of the alley, Unger meets with his mysterious employer. Turning from a blonde haired blue eyed Caucasian, to a brown haired Jew, and then an African-American woman, this new Hate Monger tells his master that he intends to spread hatred to the Sons of Zion and the Black Women's Defense League, in order to spread hatred all over the city.
- This issue marks the destruction of the original Baxter Building. Reed begins constructing its replacement the Four Freedoms Plaza in Fantastic Four #285, construction is completed in Fantastic Four #296. The FF Plaza is destroyed years later and dumped into the Negative Zone by the Thunderbolts in Thunderbolts #10. Noah Baxter later constructed a new Baxter Building in Fantastic Four Vol 3 #38-39.
- Reed mentions how the original Doctor Doom attempted a similar plot. He is referring to Fantastic Four #6. That plan failed when Doom betrayed his ally the Sub-Mariner.
- Following his defeat here, Kristoff is seen in the Fantastic Four's custody in Fantastic Four #293.
- At this point in time, the real Doctor Doom is believed to be dead when his body was atomized in Fantastic Four #260 during a battle between the Silver Surfer and Tyros. As Fantastic Four #288 reveals, Doom actually cheated death by using an Ovoid mind transfer technique to swap bodies with Norm McArthur.
- Reed remembers Kristoff from when the Fantastic Four witnessed his mother getting murdered in Fantastic Four #247 when they were helping Doom oust the tyrannical Prince Zorba from Latverian rule.
- Reed mentions that their ace in the hole was the fact that when Doom first tried to shoot their headquarters into orbit, Sue did not have the ability to make invisible force fields. This is not entirely accurate... Fantastic Four: First Family #1 depicts that after the Fantastic Four were mutated in Fantastic Four #1, Sue did have the ability to make invisible force fields, but had no control over the power. Sue gained control over those abilities in Fantastic Four #22.
- Reed fears that the group has lost everything, including various equipment, the various Fantasti-Cars, the Time-Platform and other devices. However the second story in Fantastic Four Annual #22 reveals that the Watcher recovered all the artifacts moments before the Baxter Building exploded, he then returned them to the group when the new Four Freedoms Plaza building became open to the public.
- The Hate Monger's master is revealed as Psycho-Man next issue.
- Chapter II of this issue in entitled Father to the Man.
- No letters page is published this issue.
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