- Only Annihilus is the death that walks!!
Appearing in "Risk"
Synopsis for "Risk"Annihilus has recovered his Cosmic Control Rod and been restored to full health and now gloats over his defeated foes the Fantastic Four. However his rival Blastaar reminds Annihilus that he is still standing, and claiming Annihilus as his prisoner. Angry at being taunted with his own weapon, Annihilus lashes out at Blastaar. As the two fight it out Sue and She-Hulk revive from their foe's previous attack. Watching the battle unfold, Sue doesn't understand how Annihilus could still be alive. She rushes to her captive husband, who warns her that as long as he is consisted of positive matter touching could cause an explosion that will kill them all. Knowing what his wife is about to ask, Richards recounts their last encounter with Annihilus and how he was sent crashing into the blast area of the Negative Zone and seemingly destroyed. Unable to come up with an answer, Reed tells her that his survival must remain a mystery.
As Blastaar loses ground to Annihilus, Sue gets radio contact from S.H.I.E.L.D. With the radio signal weak, Fury boosts it the best he can to tell the Fantastic Four that they are no longer alone, as a swarm of ships surround the one they are battling in. When Blastaar also notices it, he recognizes them as his fleet from the planet Baluur and believes that victory is his. Not willing to surrender, Annihilus uses the ship's on-board weapons to attack the coming armada. As Fury pilots his own ship away from the line of fire, the Baluurian fleet try to make sense of why their leader's ship is attacking them. Aboard the lead ship the captain orders all shields be raised, and he tries to contact Blastaar's vessel. He gets into contact with Annihilus, who warns them that he will destroy them all. As he threatens, Johnny is revived by She-Hulk. The two try to make sense of what is going on, and Johnny comes to the logical conclusion -- attack Annihilus -- and flames on. Meanwhile, She-Hulk pulls off a hunk of the ship to use as a weapon, but she is blasted by Blastaar, who has also recovered from the attacks.
With debris about to strike Reed, Sue uses her force-field to deflect it and protect him. Stuck in this vulnerable position, Reed states that the only way he can be safe is if they pilot the ship back through the distortion field. But it is too late as the ship is now being boarded by the Baluurians. In a shocking twist, instead of attacking Annihilus, they incapacitate their leader, Blastaar, with a theta ray. With Blastaar down, the Baluurian commander Tanjaar orders his men to set course to invade the Earth. Johnny is just barely keeping Annihilus at bay when he hears this, allowing their foe to regain his footing and use the Cosmic Control Rod to annihilate the invading party, and blast a hole through the hull of the ship. As Annihilus flees the scene, Reed realizes that he is the only one capable of stopping him, by touching him he could scatter his foes atoms across the Zone. When Sue begs him not to go, he reminds her of how much of a threat Annihilus could be if he reaches Earth. Realizing that he is right, Sue grudgingly allows her husband to follow after Annihilus. As Reed leaves the shuttle, he orders the rest of his team to leave with Nick Fury as he plans on closing the portal to the Negative Zone forever.
After boarding the shuttle, Fury tries to give Sue his condolences, but she tells him that she has made peace with the risks they have to take as members of the Fantastic Four. Soon, Fury's ship is rocketing through the distortion field back into the positive matter universe. On their way through they are able to pick up a radio broadcast from Reed being sent out to anyone who can hear him. He narrates his own progress with catching up to Annihilus, sending out a warning to anyone should he fail. As he approaches his foe, Reed tells his wife that he loves her and the radio goes dead. Seconds after the S.H.I.E.L.D. craft passes through the distortion zone there is a massive explosion that seals the rift between universes.
Sue has come to believe that her husband is dead, but the others are still optimistic. When they get aboard the S.H.I.E.L.D. space station, Fury orders a full sweep for any sign of Reed in space. Sue doesn't believe it possible, if Reed managed to escape his space suit before the explosion, the vacuum of space would have killed him in minutes. Still, Fury has his men scan for signs of Reed anyway. Other than debris and an apparent weather balloon, there is no trace and Sue tells Fury that it's not use and he can stop looking. Sue tells the group that they have to accept that Reed is dead, but they must go on. It is with this somber statement, that the Fury takes the Fantastic Four back to Earth in his flying car. Along the way, the group comes to terms with Reed's apparent demise, although Sue has trouble thinking of how she will tell Franklin what happened. As they approach New York City, they're all shocked because it looks like they have gone back in time. From Fury's recollection, it looks like they are flying above New York City, circa 1936.
- Annihilus refers to himself being tortured by Blastaar with his Cosmic Control Rod. Blastaar stole it from his nemesis in Marvel Two-In-One #75 and was keeping him prisoner since last issue.
- There is no explanation for how Annihilus survived crashing into the Negative Zone barrier at the end of Fantastic Four #260 (recounted in this issue). One possible explanation is given in Fantastic Four Vol 3 #44, which states that any time Annihilus is destroyed he's reborn in a new body.
- Blastaar is next seen in Fantastic Four #318 on the loose again. He clashes with the Fantastic Four and Doctor Doom who are searching for clues to the identity of the Beyonders in the Negative Zone.
- Reed does not die here, his survival and an explanation for the FF's jaunt through time are explained in Fantastic Four #292.
- Following his apparent demise here, Annihilus turns up in Asgard where he battles Thor in his failed attempt to destroy Odin in Thor #404-405.
- This issue contains a letters page: Fantastic Forum. Letters are published from Mark Beibe, Shawn P. Berry, Joe Frank Matt Drinkwine, Thomas Everett, Mike Ferrero, Alvin Helms, Tim Whetune & Frank Wade, Christopher Blue, and Leonard Johnson.
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- 3 Image(s) from Fantastic Four Vol 1 290
- ↑ First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
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