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Quote1.png You cannot see it, woman, but those who can see call the South Bronx as desolate and dangerous to human life as the Moon! I've seen the Moon! The Bronx is worse! Quote2.png

Appearing in "Pressure Drop"

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Synopsis for "Pressure Drop"

Reed and Ben are working in the lab as Sue and Franklin watch. When Franklin expresses that he is happy to see his father and Ben working together again, Reed reminds his son that he has also helped the family recently, mentioning the Fantastic Four's recent battles against the Wizard, [1] Mephisto, [2] and how he recently helped rescue the Power children from the Snarks. [3] Their discussion is cut short when they are interrupted by the anguished screams of Kristoff Vernard, who Reed still has contained within the Four Freedoms Plaza and as yet to be cured of Doctor Doom's memory and personality implants. Reed and Sue take a moment to reflect at the depraved lengths Doctor Doom has gone to since they first began battling him so many years ago.

That's when Sue realizes Ben has been very quiet and asks what is on his mind. Ben tells them that he is thinking about his time with the West Coast Avengers and his time with the Mole Man, and begins to wonder if he doesn't belong in Los Angeles instead of New York. This idea gets protests from Franklin who doesn't want his uncle Ben to leave. Reed also expresses his concern, voicing how Ben still hasn't gotten over Johnny and Alicia getting married. Before the discussion can go any further, Johnny and Alicia return home from their honeymoon. While Sue and Reed greet the couple warmly, Ben is stand-offish, and Alicia quickly realizes that Ben is still upset over her relationship with Johnny. When Johnny tells the team that he and Alicia are looking into getting an apartment together, Reed sends the newly weds off with Franklin to make a sandwich so that he can talk to Ben alone.

Reed then tells Ben that he and Sue are planning on leaving the Fantastic Four again so they can provide Franklin with a normal life as well as monitor his developing powers. When Ben asks if this means the Fantastic Four are splitting up again, Reed tells him that the team will continue on and that he wants Ben to lead the new team. Ben is shocked to hear this and thinks it is a joke. But when Reed reassures Ben that he thinks he is the most capable of leading the Fantastic Four, Ben tells him that he needs time to think it over.

As Ben broods over the situation, Johnny and Alicia are leaving the lobby of the Four Freedoms Plaza. When they get outside onto the city streets, some unseen force speeds by and captures Alicia and carries her away. Johnny flames on and tries to follow after his wife. Johnny quickly realizes that his wife's kidnapper is Quicksilver and rushes back to the Four Freedoms to warn the rest of the team. When he tells them what happened, Ben recalls how during his time with the West Coast Avengers he battled Quicksilver who was clearly out of his mind. [4] Reed quickly puts his machines to work to try and track Quicksilver.

Meanwhile, Quicksilver has taken Alicia to the South Bronx where he explains that he has come to leave her in an abandoned building to all the dangers of the Bronx as some twisted revenge scheme against his own wife, Crystal. Quicksilver explains how he met and fell in love with Crystal after she rescued him from a battle with the Sentinels and nursed him back to health. [5] and how they were married soon thereafter. [6] He then explains how recently his wife began an affair with Norman Webster, a real estate agent, shattering their marriage. [7] Quicksilver explains that he blames everything on the Human Torch, who was unable to keep Crystal happy leading to his disastrous relationship and failed marriage with her.

While Pietro is raving, the Fantastic Four manage to catch up with him and a battle breaks out. Although Quicksilver's super-speed keeps the Fantastic Four on the defensive, eventually they are able to defeat him when Ben tricks him into charging at him, pulls up the street to send Quicksilver flying into the air where the Torch can knock him out with a single punch. In the aftermath of the battle Johnny frees Alicia and then remarks how good it is to work with Ben again, recalling how they used to do it all the time early on in their career. Ben reminds Johnny that it isn't like old times, and having made up his mind, tells Reed and Sue that he will take up the job of leading the Fantastic Four in their absence.


Continuity Notes

  • Reed mentions a number of times that Franklin used his dream powers to help people. He specifically mentions:
  • Ben's recent trials and tribulations regarding his relationship with "Alicia Masters" is rehashed here again. Mention is made to the fact that the Thing and Alicia Masters used to date. They had been dating since Fantastic Four #9. The reasons why they are not together anymore are complex. Here are the facts:
    • In Fantastic Four #245 Reed had realized that Ben could change back and forth between his human and Thing forms at will, but his belief that Alicia only loved him as the Thing subconsciously prevented Ben from doing so. Reed kept this a secret.
    • When most of the Fantastic Four were among those kidnapped by the Beyonder to battle in the first Secret Wars on Battleworld, Ben discovered he could change back and forth and believed it was because of Battleworld itself. He decided to stay there in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #12.
    • Ben remained in Battleworld between Thing #1122 where he eventually lost his ability to change back into Ben Grimm and returned to Earth.
    • When he arrived in Fantastic Four #277 he discovered that Johnny was now in a relationship with "Alicia."
    • Finally in Thing #23 the truth of what Reed had known came out and the Thing quit the Fantastic Four.
    • Ben ended up joining the Mole Man's society Fantastic Four #296 where still held a grudge against Reed and the Fantastic Four for everything that happened to him. Despite this he grudgingly rejoined the team when they later came looking for him.
  • It is mentioned here that Quicksilver is a mutant, however this is not true. Unknown to all -- not even Quicksilver -- he is not actually a mutant. His powers were created thanks to being experimented on by the High Evolutionary as a child. The Evolutionary covered this up by making it so that any investigation into Pietro's powers would register him as a mutant. This truth was revealed year later in Uncanny Avengers (Vol. 2) #4.
  • Pietro also states that his father is Magneto. This another deception on the part of the High Evolutionary. The patronage of Quicksilver is also quite confusing as a result. The facts:
    • It was first suggested in Giant-Size Avengers #1 that they were the children of the Whizzer and his wife Miss America, who died giving birth to the twins due to radiation in her body. This was at the High Evolutionary's Citadel of Science. The Whizzer fled off into the night in grief abandoning his children.
    • This was refuted in Vision and the Scarlet Witch #4 when the High Evolutionary's creation Bova claimed that they were the children of the mutant terrorist Magneto and his late wife Magda. Magda fled form her husband and it was claimed she gave birth to the twins at the High Evolutionary's citadel before fleeing into the wilderness herself.
    • However the real parents of these twins are Django and Marya Maximoff. Who for the longest time believed they were the adopted parents of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch since their biological children died as stated in Avengers #185. However years later in Uncanny Avengers (Vol. 2) #4 it was stated that the High Evolutionary kidnapped those children for the purposes of experimenting on them. Then once he was finished and deciding to cover up his work, he made it so they registered as mutants and then left them in Django and Marya's care as their "adopted" children.
  • Quicksilver also mentions the Avengers and the "real" X-Men not being able to keep up with him.
  • Johnny mentions how he and the Thing regularly worked together early on in their career. These team-ups were depicted in Strange Tales #123134.

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