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Human Torch

Appearing in "Welcome to the Future!"

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  • Salvation Generator

Synopsis for "Welcome to the Future!"

After breaching the dome around Central City the Fantastic Four have discovered time has advanced by centuries within and have been taken prisoner by a society that worship the Fantastic Four as gods. The Great Coordinator Harvey Jessup has just deemed the Fantastic Four impostors and has seemingly disintegrated them with the ray on his helmet. Explaining the necessity of his actions to Princess Livia, Jessup orders his people to place him back in his suspended animation chamber as his aged from grows weary. However Jessup has not succeeded in destroying the Fantastic Four and their ally Wyatt Wingfoot, as they were saved at the last minute thanks to Sue's invisibility powers. As they regroup and determine what to do next, they are seen by a woman who has enhanced sight. She wanders up to them and tells them that she can help. Back at her home, the woman introduces herself as Murna. She tells them she knows that they are the real Fantastic Four and that Harvey Jessup had deceived his people. When she asks where the Thing is, Reed tells her that he is no longer with the team and they have no idea where he is. When she mentions having seen She-Hulk years ago, Wyatt demands answers.

Murna calms Wyatt down and explains everything she knows: years ago She-Hulk appeared in their city and was attacked by orders of the Great Coordinator. Murna who used her mind reading abilities in the service of their ruler read her mind and explained who She-Hulk was. Believing this to be Hersey, the others swarmed her, but the Coordinator stopped them. Convincing the others that Murna was possessed, Jessup stripped her of her role as a priestess of their society and ordered the She-Hulk be placed in the suspended animation chambers below. As Reed begins to theorize how things got to the way they are, they all decide to split up: While Wyatt and Johnny accompany Murna to free She-Hulk, Reed and Sue plan on going to shut down the Salvation Machine and take down the dome around Central City. While Johnny and Wyatt fight their way below the the city, Reed and Sue ambush the Grand Controller in his suspended animation chamber. While they manage to remove his helmet, Harvey still manages to close his suspended animation pod interfacing him with the defense systems of Central City. Reed tries to get Jessup to understand the truth, that the dome has actually only existed for two days outside and there has not been a nuclear war, but these fall on deaf ears and Jessup ejects the couple into a room full of his warriors. While they are fighting, the control helmet is crushed in battle, ruining any chances they have to use it to reveal the truth to everyone.

While down below, Johnny and Wyatt find the chamber where all the original citizens of Central City have been placed in suspended animation. There they find She-Hulk and free her from her confinement. Johnny and the others join Reed and Sue, and succeed in fighting off the army of minions set upon them. Fighting their way back into Harvey's suspended animation room. While the others keep the hordes at bay, Murna uses her powers to mind link Reed to Harvey, finally revealing the truth to him. Realizing the massive error he has made, Harvey calls an end to all hostilities. Sending his people away, Jessup removes himself from his suspended animation. Dying of old age, Harvey apologizes to Myrna -- his daughter -- for all the wrong he has done and tells Reed the location of the Salvation Machine before he dies. Reed uncovers the device and after examining it he comes up a solution for everybody.

Suddenly the dome disappears from outside but Central City is gone. Arriving on the scene is the military along with the Avenger known as Tigra. They pull up to the crater that used to be Central City just as the Fantastic Four are bursting out of the ground. Soon, medical tents are put up to assist in freeing the citizens from their suspended animation. Later, Reed and Sue explain the situation to the commanding officer. Reed explains that he sent Central City and the advanced technology and people ten thousand years into the future where they will hopefully fit in. After agreeing to keep the truth a secret to avoid a panic, Reed morosely leaves the office. Later, Sue finds her husband sitting at the crater of what was once Central City and asks him what's wrong. Reed tells her he regrets keeping the fact that a mental block prevents Ben from becoming human until he lost the ability to do so, one of the contributing factors that led to him leaving the Fantastic Four. He explains that She-Hulk had news that something terrible had happened to Ben and he was hospitalized, but has recently disappeared. He tells Sue that they have to find Ben.


Continuity Notes

  • Reed mentions how the Thing is not part of the Fantastic Four at this time. Some facts about that:
    • When most of the Fantastic Four were kidnapped by the Beyonder during the first Secret Wars, Ben realized that he could change back and forth between his human and Thing form. He decided to stay on Battleworld in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #12. He remained on Battleworld from Thing #1122.
    • Prior to that point, in Fantastic Four #245, Reed theorized that Ben always had the ability but prevented himself to do so as he believed that his girlfriend at the time, Alicia Masters, only loved him at the Thing.
    • Ben found out the truth in Thing #22, but only to lose that ability trying to escape from Battleworld to Earth.
    • When Ben went back to "Alicia" -- actually a Skrull spy named Lyja -- he found her in a relationship with the Human Torch in Fantastic Four #277.
    • Ultimately this led to the Thing quitting the Fantastic Four in Thing #23. He has been estranged from the group up to this point.
  • Murna learns that Sue had just recently changed her name from the Invisible Girl to the Invisible Woman. That happened in Fantastic Four #284.
  • Murna also learned that She-Hulk replaced the Thing in the Fantastic Four, that happened in Fantastic Four #265 and that she is also a member of the Avengers. She-Hulk became an Avenger in Avengers #221. At the time of this story she maintained memberships with both groups.
  • At the end of the story, Reed tells Sue that She-Hulk learned that something bad happened to Ben recently and that he was hospitalized and then suddenly disappeared. Ben started to horribly mutate in Thing #36 and fled the hospital. At the time of this story he was last seen hiding out on a beach in West Coast Avengers (Vol. 2) #10. What happened to him next is revealed next issue.

Publication Notes

  • A "Special Thanks to John Byrne" is listed on page one, probably for the plot to this story.
  • This issue contains a letters page, Fantastic Forum. Letters are published from John Anderew Lay, John Tranchina, Jed Sougherty, Paul Ferrell Brown, and Michelle Carpick.

See Also

Links and References


  1. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
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