Appearing in "All in the Family!"
Synopsis for "All in the Family!"
With Reed and Sue planning on leaving the Fantastic Four so they can provide better care for their son Franklin, Ben has been given the reigns of leadership of the Fantastic Four. Standing on the roof of the Four Freedoms Plaza, Ben mulls over his current feelings now that his long time girlfriend Alicia Masters has recently married his best friend the Human Torch. Unable to come to terms with the situation, Ben retires inside where he finds Reed and asks him who he should consider as replacements on the team while he and Sue are absent. As they are discussing the situation, they are suddenly visited by Crystal, who has come to collect her mad husband Quicksilver who the Fantastic Four have detained. She explains that while she has cheated on her husband, the Inhuman royal family will not allow her to get a divorce because Inhuman law believes in the sanctity of marriage.
As they head to the holding cells they pass the cell where Kristoff Vernard -- the young boy imprinted with the memories and personality of Doctor Doom in his mind-- is being contained. After briefly explaining why the boy is there, Reed takes Crystal to the cell holding her husband, Pietro. She insists on going into Quicksilver's cell alone to collect him. Sure enough, as soon as she enters Quicksilver raves about her infidelity and tries to attack her. Crystal defends herself both in action and physically. As she explains it was Pietro's neglect that led to her cheating on him as she buffets him around the room with her elemental powers. Eventually she knocks Pietro out and makes preparations to return him to the moon.
On the way out of the cell Crystal bumps into Johnny and his newly wed wife Alicia and congratulates them on their marriage. She explains that she was unable to attend their wedding due to her own marital problems and overdosing on the chemical Reed created to allow her to temporarily breath Earth's polluted air. Just then Ben offers Crystal an opportunity to rejoin the Fantastic Four, convincing Reed to take another look at the serum he developed to see about removing the harmful effects. This offer upsets Johnny who asks to speak to Ben on the roof. There, he accuses Ben of asking Crystal to join the team as a means of messing with his marriage with Alicia. Unwilling to be forced off the team or give Ben the satisfaction he attacks the Thing, but Ben easily manages to snuff out his flame and fight off his attack. Johnny ceases his assault, telling Ben that he will not allow anything to interfere with his marriage or his role on the team.
Johnny then storms out of the building with Alicia, once they are out on the street he confides in her that Crystal is the only other woman other than Alicia that ever meant anything to him, but promises Alicia that they are a team no matter what and Crystal will not interfere with their marriage. While back inside the Four Freedoms Plaza, young Franklin believes that because Alicia and Johnny are married, Ben and Crystal could start a romance together. After Reed and Sue explain to Franklin that things aren't that simple, Reed begins working on a new serum for Crystal. As Sue leaves her husband to it, she wonders if Crystal wonders if she can trust Crystal on the team.
Later, in the containment area, Kristoff tries to convince Quicksilver to work with him to get loose. When Quicksilver refuses, Vernard swears to kill Pietro. While elsewhere in the headquarters, Sue has a sit down with Crystal to express her concerns that since Crystal cheated on her husband that she would not be above trying to interfere with Johnny's marriage as well. Crystal assures Sue that while she still cares for her brother, she will not cause Johnny and problems. As Alicia and Johnny are elsewhere in town checking out an apartment to live in together, Reed completes the new serum for Crystal to allow her to breath. Suddenly the alarms within the Four Freedoms Plaza begin to ring. Reed, Sue, Be and Crystal then go down to the lobby to see who their intruder is. There they cross paths with Doctor Doom, who tells them that he has come seeking the aid of Reed's son Franklin.
- The woman who appears to be Alicia Masters in this story is actually an impostor. As revealed in Fantastic Four #358, Alicia was replaced by a Skrull spy named Lyja circa Fantastic Four #265.
- 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 #11–22 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."
- 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 he 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.
- Johnny recently married "Alicia" in Fantastic Four #300.
- In Fantastic Four #303 Ben realized that he still loved Alicia Masters.
- Reed elected Ben to replace him as leader of the Fantastic Four last issue.
- When Ben asks Reed for advice on who would be good to join the Fantastic Four, Reed mentions a number of replacement members and allies that the group has had in the past:
- The Black Panther has been an ally of the Fantastic Four since Fantastic Four #52.
- Tigra is also a Fantastic Four ally, she spent some time with the team between Fantastic Four #177–Fantastic Four #184
- Thundra started off as a Fantastic Four foe in Fantastic Four #129 but she eventually became their ally by Fantastic Four #148.
- He also mentions Luke Cage who briefly replaced the Thing in the Fantastic Four from Fantastic Four #168–170 during a period Ben had lost his powers.
- Lastly, Reed mentions Crystal who replaced Sue as a member of the Fantastic Four from Fantastic Four #81–105 after Sue became pregnant with Franklin, gave birth, and then went on maternity leave.
- Crystal was last seen, chronologically, in the second story of Fantastic Four Annual #22 where she loaned Reed and Sue Lockjaw to visit the Watcher.
- Crystal cannot breathe Earth's air without a special serum. As revealed in Fantastic Four #105, Inhumans are susceptible to pollution in the air. Originally Crystal had to return to her homeland of Attilan. Ultimately even Attilan was no longer safe from pollution and the Fantastic Four assisted in moving it to the Blue Area of the Moon in Fantastic Four #240. Reed had developed a serum that allowed Inhumans to breath Earth air for short periods of time. Crystal overused this during her affair with Norm Webster in Vision and the Scarlet Witch (Vol. 2) #6 through 12 resulting in an overdose.
- Kristoff Vernard was imprinted with the mind of Doctor Doom in Fantastic Four #278 he has been a prisoner in the Four Freedoms Plaza since Fantastic Four #293.
- Quicksilver and others state that he is a mutant. However nobody, not even Quicksilver, was aware that this was not the case. As revealed in Uncanny Avengers (Vol. 2) #4, Quicksilver was actually experimented upon by the High Evolutionary as a child. To cover up his experiments, the Evolutionary made it so if Pietro was examined he would register as a mutant.
- Pietro refers to his "glorious mutant heritage" at the time he believed he was the son of Magneto. However this too was a deception on the part of the Evolutionary as....:
- 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 from 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 first appeared as a member of Magneto's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants but quickly reformed, fought Magneto many times, and explicitly renounced and mocked Magneto's mutant supremacism; that he is using such rhetoric shows how much he has changed. Magneto himself renounced his old ideology and terrorism as of Uncanny X-Men #200.
- Johnny and Crystal dated between Fantastic Four #65–105 until the outside world's pollution forced her to return home to Attilan. After rescuing Quicksilver, the two fell in love as seen in Fantastic Four #131–132, and married in Fantastic Four #150.
- Johnny mentions all his past girlfriends over the years he mentions:
- Doris Evans was Johnny's first girlfriend who he dated between Strange Tales #113–133. They broke up in Fantastic Four #45 as Doris couldn't stand Johnny's super-hero career. Johnny's and Doris' break-up was on the same day he later met Crystal.
- Frankie Raye dated Johnny on and off between Fantastic Four #164–207 and Fantastic Four #232–244 when she became a herald of Galactus.
- Johnny also mentions his failed attempts at dating Julie Angel between Fantastic Four #251–264.
- However Johnny forgets to mention Lorrie Melton who he dated between Fantastic Four #222–231.
- Between pages 17 & 18 of this story, Fantastic Four vs. the X-Men #1–4 occurs. As extraordinary as Doom's request to Reed and Sue at the end of this issue is, he did aid the team and the X-Men's Kitty Pryde during that adventure (in which Franklin participated), with the villain even hosting a celebratory dinner for the heroes at the end.
- Crystal states she will get a nanny to look after her daughter Luna while she is with the Fantastic Four just like Sue did with Franklin. This is referring to Agatha Harkness who operated as the Fantastic Four's nanny for Franklin from Fantastic Four #94–150 and again from Fantastic Four #187–223.
- Doctor Doom's appearance here follows the events of the 2nd story in X-Factor Annual #4 where he meets with Magneto follow his renunciation of mutant terrorism.
- Fantastic Four #312 reveals that during this visit Doom planted bugs within Four Freedoms Plaza.