- Just rest on me amigo mio! Being a Comet Man is hard at first -- but oh-so-sweet at last! You'll see!
Appearing in "Last Kiss"
- M.O.D.O.K. (Only in flashback)
- Hydra (Only in flashback)
- Super-Adaptoid (Only in flashback)
- High Evolutionary (Only in flashback)
- Cosmic Cube (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "Last Kiss"
While investigating the hidden Nuwali heating device below the former Savage Land, the Fantastic Four and their friends have located a large gold formation of letters spelling out the word "Beyonder", making the Thing fear that they may be involved with the Beyonder who was responsible for the Secret Wars some months ago. As Johnny says goodbye once more to his wife Alicia, Ben attempts to get information out of the AIM operative they have captured. When the AIM agent refuses to divulge any information, Ben tells Max that AIM was an offshoot of the terrorist organization known as Hydra and that they were responsible for creating the Cosmic Cube among other things. In attempting to determine what AIM is up to, the Thing theorizes that it must be related to the Cosmic Cube, but he doesn't know what the Beyonder or the Nuwali have to do with it. Alicia pipes up and wonders if it might not be the Beyonders, the beings that hired the Prime Movers to move Counter-Earth that they encountered in the past.
Deciding to figure it out, the Fantastic Four, Comet Man and Max decide to travel down into the facility where they have Max activate the warp gate. They find themselves teleported from Earth to Arcturus IV, to Forquist, to a satellite outpost out in space, from there Max tells them that they must take a shuttle to the home world of the Nuwali, and hopefully answers regarding the mystery of the Beyonders. While back on Earth, as Alicia is preparing to leave Antarctica, she and the military are met by Agent Smith of the Space Agency for Defense Emergency. He explains that he came looking for Stephen Beckley, a man he states is a dangerous psychotic. As Alicia overhears him, she doesn't trust his buzzing voice and is glad that Comet Man left with the others.
Back in deep space, our heroes are travelling in a Fortisquian comet ship heading toward the planet Nuwali. During their downtime, Thing asks Comet Man what he is learning. Comet Man tells him that he is learning daily, and that he hopes to master his powers so that he can get revenge against his brother, who killed his wife and kidnapped his son. With their arrival some time away, everyone departs to spend some time alone. The Thing and Ms. Marvel spend time alone where Ben apologizes for accidentally calling Alicia "babe" before they left and the two share a romantic interlude. While elsewhere, Johnny finds Crystal standing on the deck looking out into space alone. After some consideration he leaves before anything can happen, and when Crystal notices this she breaks into tears. While in the control room, Max asks Comet Man if they can truly trust this new incarnation of the Fantastic Four. Comet Man cannot be sure, as he had not gotten to know the new members with the exception of Johnny and Ben. They are unaware that as they talk, an AIM agent spies on them from the shadows.
When the Fantastic Four and their allies land on Nuwali, they ask for an audience from the aliens. When the Nuwali find out they are seeking information on the Beyonders, the creatures (who hate the Beyonders for ceasing to pay them) are more than happy to show them around. However when they attempt to lead Ms. Marvel, she warns them that they were made aware by Ka-Zar that they can absorb adrenaline by touch and suggests they keep their distance. The Nuwali representatives explain that they have never actually seen the Beyonders but one day an artifact appeared before them that the Beyonders communicated with them through. Brought to the device, the Thing recognizes seeing something similar to it before. Before he can remember, Crystal decides to go out and get some fresh air, and Johnny decides to follow after her. There, Johnny confronts Crystal and the two admit that they still love each other. However, Johnny tells her that too much time has passed and that now that he is married to Alicia, a woman whom he also loves very much, he will not break his vows with her, no matter how much it hurts.
While back inside, the Thing finally recognizes what the device is, as Reed Richards built one similar to it and called it a Radical Cube a device that can access the Negative Zone. Before they can investigate further, they are attacked by the Nuwali, who they find out have been bought off by the AIM agent that smuggled himself aboard their ship and that the Nuwali had forged an alliance with them long ago. Soon a battle erupts, bringing Johnny and Crystal back into the building to help their comrades out. While the Fantastic Four do their best, the Nuwali outmatch them, prompting Comet Man to utilize his powers to save them. Although he manages to defeat them, the use of his power greatly weakens him. With the battle over Crystal angrily confronts the AIM soldier and tells him that despite AIM's attempts to stop them, the Fantastic Four are going to venture into the Negative Zone and learn the secret of the Beyonders...
- After this issue, Michael Morbius later appears in Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme #10-11 where his psudo-vampire existence is restored after years of being cured.
- Ben talks about how AIM was originally part of the terrorist organization called Hydra and that they split off and became their own organization. Hydra had formed various other organizations that were splintered off from a larger group called THEM, as seen in Tales of Suspense #75, one of these organizations included AIM. When THEM disbanded in Tales of Suspense #79, its various organizations went solo.
- He later explains AIM's three biggest inventions, these are:
- "Alicia" reminds them of the time they heard about the Beyonders, when "she" and Ben helped the High Evolutionary defend his Counter-Earth from the Prime Movers in Marvel Two-In-One #63.
- "Agent Smith" is actually Comet Man's brother Jonathan Gallagher, who was last seen hunting his brother in Comet Man #6. Gallagher and Comet Man's final battle is chronicled next in Marvel Comics Presents #50-53. Max is also next seen during that story.
- Following their appearances here Ka-Zar and Shanna are next seen in Uncanny X-Men Annual #12 and are present with the X-Men when the High Evoluntionary revitalizes the Savage Land.
- "Alicia" is next seen in the flashback from Fantastic Four #342, where she tries to console her husband after yet another fan immolates himself trying to imitate the Human Torch.
- The tension between Johnny and Crystal is due to their long and complex romantic history:
- Alicia used to date the Thing for years, starting in Fantastic Four #9.
- Johnny and Crystal dated between Fantastic Four #65-105 until the outside world's pollution forced her to return home to Attilan.
- Crystal ended up rescuing Quicksilver along the way and the two fell in love as seen in Fantastic Four #131-132. Crystal and Quicksilver later got married in Fantastic Four #150. Johnny had a series of failed relationships while Ben and Alicia remained together over the years.
- 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 believe 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.
- As explained in Fantastic Four #358, Alicia was secretly replaced by the Skrull spy Lyja who was sent to infiltrate the Fantastic Four. With the Thing no longer part of the team she focused her attention on Johnny. Lyja took Alicia's place during the events of Fantastic Four #265.
- Johnny recently married "Alicia" in Fantastic Four #300
- Meanwhile, Crystal had and affair with Norm Webster and was eventually caught during the events ofVision and the Scarlet Witch Vol 2 #6 through 12.
- In Fantastic Four #303 Ben realized that he still loved Alicia Masters.
- Reed elected Ben to replace him as leader of the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four #304
- Ben then asked Crystal to join the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four #305, partially to spite the Torch.
- Johnny went so far as to accuse Crystal of trying to break up his marriage in Fantastic Four Annual #20.
- The two buried the hatchet though in Fantastic Four #306.
- Johnny has started to become attracted to Crystal again after holding her in his arms in Fantastic Four #313. The tensions have been rising ever since.
- The Nuwali were last seen in Ka-Zar the Savage #34.
- The Nuwali's device to communicate with the Beyonders is a miniature version of Mister Fantastic's first Negative Zone portal, as seen in Fantastic Four #51.
- This issue is reprinted in comics and books, see references for more info.
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