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Marvel Database

Quote1.png Hi! I'm the alien -- Max! But you can call me "late for dinner!" Quote2.png
-- Max (Fortisquian)

Appearing in "Cold Storage!"

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Synopsis for "Cold Storage!"

As a USAF pilot flies Alicia Masters to an Antarctic research facility in the frozen wasteland that used to be the Savage Land, they nearly have a collision with the villain known as Master Pandemonium who is busy fleeing the scene. When they arrive, the Human Torch is happy to see his wife and explains to her who the villain was that flew past them. He introduces Alicia to the others gathered to this site including Ka-Zar and his wife Shanna, Comet Man, the Fortisquian known as Max and the former living-vampire Michael Morbius. He explains to her that they were on the planet Arcturus IV when they located a teleporter that brought them back here on Earth.

Alicia is reunited with her former lover Ben Grimm, whom she provides her sympathy, telling him that she had heard of his further mutation and asks to feel his features. Ben allows this, and tries to stifle the pain he still feels, remembering how Alicia used to do this when they were in a relationship. He also resists showing feelings toward Alicia knowing that it may disrupt his budding relationship with Sharon Ventura, and give Crystal more reason to continue pursuing the Human Torch. As Ben is thinking this, Sharon and Crystal are looking at Alicia with jealous, when the two women realize what they are doing they look away from each other in shame. As Johnny fills Alicia in on their recent travels to Subterrania[1], a demonic world[2] and Arcturus IV[3] they realized that there is some connection between all these realms and have called in all the experts to have a summit to learn what that connection is.

Before an explanation can be made, the site is attacked by a legion of humanoids made of ice. Pushing Alicia to safety, Johnny, Sharon, Crystal and the military security on the site begin fighting off this invasion. As the Torch flies across the area using his heat to melt all the warriors in his path, he spots a tank that is firing a ray that is creating these creatures out of the ice. Johnny easily destroys the tank and it's occupants -- members of AIM -- flood out and are easily captured. Brought into the building for interrogation, one of the A.I.M. soldiers refuses to explain what their mission was in coming to Antarctica. With the AIM minion taken away, Ben informs the others that he has managed to piece together to connections between the Savage Land, and Arcturus IV:

He starts by explaining that Max is a member of the Fortisquains, an alien race created by some mysterious beings to act as colonizers of alien worlds, their mandate is to proliferate to worlds across the universe and monitor other worlds and get a foothold across the universe. They sent a ship into space to check on these various worlds, one of which was mistaken for Halley's Comet[4]. He then goes on to explain the origins of the Savage Land: Saying that he learned from Ka-Zar that the Savage Land was made some 200 million years ago b an alien race known as the Nuwali, agents of the same beings that created the Fortisquains. They had gathered a sample of all the prehistoric races on Earth in what eventually became the Savage Land, creating a giant heating system beneath the planet to keep it a temperate zone after the continents shifted and much of Antarctica turned to ice. Around 200,000 BC around the time of the rise of homosapiens, the Nuwali decided that their job was done and left Earth[5]. By about 15,000 BC, Atlantis -- still a surface continent -- became a major world power and mounted an expedition to the Savage Land. Curious about it's unique happenstance, they explored the area and found the Nuwalian heating system and replicated it to create the neighboring region called Pangaea, which became an Atlantean amusement park. However, at about 10,000 BC, the Deviants of Lemuria attempted to invade Atlantis as part of a plan to enslave the human race. Their invasion attempt was thwarted by the Celestials who crushed the Deviant uprising, however Atlantis was sunk in the process[6]. The resulting geological upheaval caused the Savage Land to sink below sea-level and it was the regions mountains that prevent it from flooding, however the cataclysm also damaged the regions heaters. The aliens who originally dispatched the Nuwali then sent the Fortisquains to repair the damaged heaters. The party sent to do so ended up crashing on Earth, but repaired the heaters nonetheless. They also found a transporter that brought them back to their homeworld Arcturus IV, and found their civilization ruined. They also found a portal back to Earth and used it to create androids called the Children of the Comet to suit their own motives until they were destroyed by Morbius.[7] He finishes by explaining that a year ago, the Savage Land was decimated when Terminus destroyed the heaters[8]. Having found other portals to Arcturus in places like the Land Withing (home of the Cat people) they have decided to search the facility under the former Savage Land to try and finish the still remaining questions -- such as who the employers of both the Nuwali and Fortisquains were.

The FF combine their powers to smash through the layers of ice until they find the metal surface of the heating facility. With Thing and Ms. Marvel peeling back the metal, Ben is shocked to see among the various devices a name that he has every reason to fear: Beyonder.


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