Marvel Database

Quote1.png You got whut I useta have, Double M! Me, I could take the Hulk now--an' I'm gonna take Master Panda-Bear's block off if he don't give up! Quote2.png

Appearing in "No Way Out!"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:




  • Halley's Comet

Synopsis for "No Way Out!"

With the possibility that he could be trapped on the alien world of Arcturus IV after being banished there by the Cat-People, Morbius the Living Vampire had written a diary detailing his journeys there..

This diary recounts how when he passed through the portal at the end of the River to Oblivion he found himself on the distant alien world. There he met that world's telepathic ruler Lord I. With his telepathic abilities Lord I deduces that Morbius had recently had an encounter with the Caretakers. Lord I explained to the living vampire how the Caretakers were the ancestors of the people who lived on the planet now. After centuries of innovation and controlled evolution, the Caretakers left Arcturus 12000 years earlier. Lord I explained in the ensuing years, as more displaced people ended up in Arcturus, he learned that the Caretakers had crash landed on Earth and continued their work. However after they tried to outlaw natural reproduction which was being replaced by genetic engineering, a war broke out and the Caretakers wiped themselves out in nuclear war, leaving only primitive man to claim the Earth. Lord I then concluded his tale to Morbius by telling him that he and his people cannot die thanks to the genetic tampering done on them by the Caretakers. Showing Morbius the last functioning space ship on the planet, Lord I charged Morbius with the mission of returning to Earth and slaying the Caretakers in revenge. Before leaving, Morbius wrote everything down for whoever might come across it later.

... Some time later that person turned out to be Master Pandemonium, ended up in Arcturus by trying to escape the Cat-People along the River to Oblivion. Finding himself trapped on that alien world, Pandemonium discovered the writings of Morbius, but no way to get off the planet. Exiled on this alien planet, Master Pandemonium -- so close to regaining the missing fragments of his soul -- curses the demon Mephisto who is responsible for him being in this predicament. He recalls how some time earlier he was mere Martin Preston who got into a horrific automobile accident that severed both his arms. As he was bleeding out he visited by Mephisto who saved his life by placing demons where his arms used to be. However the next morning he Preston awoke to find a star shaped hole in his chest. Mephisto then reappeared and told him that he needed to recover his soul fragments, five in all, hidden in different places in reality. This led to the birth of Master Pandemonium, his battles with the West Coast Avengers and his eventually getting trapped on Arcturus IV. Finally making sense of Mephisto's words, the former Martin Preston realizes that one of his soul fragments could be on this very planet itself and began a reign of terror to try and find it...

... Some time after this, Pandemonium had encounter the Fantastic Four, who have also found themselves transported to Arcturus following their battle against the Cat-People. Recognizing the Thing and thinking this is an attack, Master Pandemonium unleashes demons from his hands to attack the four heroes. During the fight, Pandemonium knocks out Crystal and tries to take her hostage. When Johnny tires to rescue her, Preston breaths soul fire upon him and knocks him out. Ben fights through the demons and is about to strike his foe, when the aliens of the planet pile onto him and restrain the others as well. Master Pandemonium explains that the aliens will not allow the heroes to harm him as they all have the power to kill, and the people of Arcturus IV want to die. Recognizing them as genetically engineered creatures, Crystal points out that they are confused, and a momentary peace is agreed upon.

Agreeing to work together until they get back to Earth, the Fantastic Four compare notes with Pandemonium. As the group begins considering their options for escape, Sharon is incredibly optimistic that they will resolve the issue as this is the sort of adventure the Fantastic Four finds themselves in. Ben is also quite positive recalling how anytime they were off Earth they always made it back home, even when he stayed behind on Battleworld after the Secret Wars. This causes Ben to recall Tari, the ideal woman his mind constructed for him on Battleworld who resembled Sharon before she was transformed into a She-Thing. Ben's mind isn't the only one that is wandering either, when Crystal bends over to pat one of the alien creatures on the head, Johnny catches himself checking out her butt and suddenly needs to be back with his wife right away.

Eventually the five exiles decide to check out the location where Morbius found his ship. There they find a massive track in the ground where ships took off. Johnny goes for an aerial view and finds a number of rocket trenches that lead to a central point. As they go to explore, their presence is detected above the planet. Suddenly what appears to be a comet comes streaking down toward the Fantastic Four and Pandemonium. It suddenly swerves and lands on the ground, revealing the "comet" to be an alien ship. From inside emerges Stephen Beckley, the Comet Man, and his Fortisquian ally, Max. After happily being reunited with Ben, Beckley explains that he left Earth to learn how to control his powers after his brother tried to kill his wife and son. When they notice that Max speaks weird and is not entirely sane, Stephen explains that being on Earth did that to his mind.

When Pandemonium asks if Max's ship can take them back to Earth, Comet Man says it can but he won't do it. When this gets protests from the others, Beckley angrily explains that Max shouldn't take them back to Earth because of the negative effect it will have on his mind. The pleas from the female members of the Fantastic Four also fall on deaf ears. Suddenly, Max chimes in, telling them that they don't need a ship to get back to Earth at all and suddenly kicks a seemingly innocuous looking rock. Suddenly, and much to everyone's surprise, they find themselves all suddenly transported back to Earth in the middle of the Antarctic wasteland.


Continuity Notes

  • The story contained in the diary of Michael Morbius recap the events of Fear #2224, when he fled the Cat-People and ended up on Arcturus. The ship he took did eventually get him home. From the perspective of this story, was on Arcturus three year prior, per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. [1]
  • Ben's thoughts are about how he stayed on Battleworld longer, which occurred in Thing #1122 which is also where he met Tarianna his ideal woman. When Battleworld turned out to be constructing a world based on his mind, he returned home and everything was wiped out.
  • Johnny's discomfort over checking out Crystal while she was bent over is because....:
  • Comet Man and Max were last seen in Comet Man #6, he had last saw Ben when he encountered the Fantastic Four in Comet Man #5
  • Although not obvious at the end of this story, Max has teleported them to what remains of the Savage Land. The Savage Land was decimated by the Terminus imposter, Jorro in Avengers #256257. The Savage Land is later restored to its usual splendor in Uncanny X-Men Annual #12.

See Also

Links and References


  1. Fear #2224 were published in 1974 or "Year 4" of the modern age and this story, published in 1988 took place in "Year 7". 7 -4 = 3 years of Marvel time.
Like this? Let us know!