- I'm as committed to the Fantastic Four as any of you originals!
Appearing in "Beyond the Pale!"
- Alicia Masters (Secretly the Skrull spy Lyja)
Synopsis for "Beyond the Pale!"
Owen Reece, having moved back to New York City with his girlfriend Marsha Rosenberg, attempts to continue his normal life. Walking home from groceries he is suddenly ambushed by Dr. Doom, who uses his surprise attack in an attempt to kill Reece. Believing that he has succeeded, Dr. Doom then departs, locating the apartment of Alicia Masters whom he hopes to use to contact his old foes the Fantastic Four.
While at he Four Freedoms Plaza, the Thing, Ms. Marvel and the Human Torch have just returned from their adventure on the Moon. Johnny is upset that they left Crystal behind to stay with the Inhumans, finding it impossible to believe that her husband Quicksilver had been cured of his insanity. When Ben suggests that Johnny isn't happy to be back on Earth with his wife Alicia, Johnny gets angry. Their conversation is interrupted when they are contacted by their receptionist Roberta who asks them to come out into the lobby. When they do, they are shocked to see that Alicia is there with Dr. Doom. Assuming that Doom is holding Alicia hostage, Johnny attacks. Alicia tries to talk them out of attacking, and the fight is ended when Doom launches miniature missiles that create a chemical that douses Johnny's flame. Alicia tells the others to stand down, her intuition telling her that Doom has come to help them and isn't lying.
The remaining Fantastic Four members are weary, and when Doom suggests that the only way they will survive their planned trip into the Negative Zone will be from their aid, Ben openly laughs at Doom. When Doom tries to convince them that he will be the key in learning the secret of the Beyonders, Ben refuses to believe it, especially since the last Beyonder that Dr. Doom interacted with, Doom stole his powers and threatened the universe. When they still will not listen, Doom drops a time-shift bomb that puts the heroes two seconds out of synch with Doom and flees into Reed Richard's lab. There, Doom activates the Negative Zone portal and dives in before the heroes can stop him. With Alicia at risk of being sucked in, Johnny saves her before Ben and Sharon close the portal. Ben is furious that Doom tricked them, and they decide to go into the Negative Zone after him, but not unprepared. Gearing up in Reed's Negative-Space cruiser they head off through the portal, leaving Alicia to monitor their travel on the computers within their headquarters. As they breach the barrier into the Negative Zone, Alicia hopes her intuition about Doom being their savior is correct. While elsewhere, Owen Reece has been brought into a hospital where doctors fear that he might not make it to full recovery. With Marsha called in, she believes that his powers as the Molecule Man will save him, but the doctors do not believe her claims.
While in the Negative Zone, the three remaining members of the FF navigate past the blast barrier when they are attacked by a vessel containing Blastaar. Blastaar has gained considerable power since their last encounter and gives the three heroes quite the challenge, and wrecks their ship at the same time, sending them out into Neg-Space. The three heroes are on the brink of defeat when Dr. Doom suddenly appears and easily defeats Blastaar in single combat. With the threat over, the FF agree to allow Doom to accompany them and they take control of Blastaar's ship Inside they continue on their journey with everyone wondering how long they will be able to work together.
- Owen Reece, formally the Molecule Man, and his girlfriend Marsha Rosenberg were last seen in Avengers #266/Marvels: Eye of the Camera #4 where Owen seemingly burned out his powers reparing the damage done to the Earth by the Beyonder following the events of Secret Wars II #9.
- Johnny mentions how Reed Richards, reconstructed the Negative Zone Portal. After the Fantastic Four's old headquarters the Baxter Building was destroyed in Fantastic Four #278 after being launched into space, the Negative Zone portal was torn loose and was over the Earth's orbit as seen in Fantastic Four #289-292 when the Fantastic Four closed it before it could destroy both universes.
- The woman claims to be Alicia Masters in this story is an impostor. As later revealed in Fantastic Four #358, she is really a Skrull spy known as Lyja who took Alicia's place circa Fantastic Four #265 in order to spy on the Fantastic Four.
- Ben mentions how the Black Panther isn't here to protect Doom this time. This is a reference to Fantastic Four #311-312 when the Black Panther offered Doom sanctuary in Wakanda and offered slight assistance to Doom due to his respect for him as a fellow king.
- "Alicia" states she can tell the "truth" behind someone's soul, as she did with the Silver Surfer. The real Alicia was able to read the Surfer's character and convinced him to turn against his master Galactus as seen in Fantastic Four #49-50.
- Doom mention's Reed's absence from the team. Reed and his wife Sue took a leave of absence from the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four #307 to spend more time with their son Franklin. They remain apart from the team until Fantastic Four #326.
- Ben mentions how Doom once stole the Beyonder's powers, this was in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #10-12 until the Beyonder recovered his stolen power.
- Johnny's comment above "loving two women at once" is in regards to the recently departed Crystal who left the team in Fantastic Four Annual #21. Johnny's romantic woes are long running and as follows:
- 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.
- While Ben was on Battleworld, and 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.
- Ben eventually returned in Fantastic Four #277 and discovered Johnny's relationship with "Alicia", between this and other betrayals, Ben quit the Fantastic Four in Thing #23. Johnny and "Alicia's" relationship continued to flourish.
- Ben eventually ended up living with the Mole Man who cured him of the virus. He was eventually found by the Fantastic Four who convinced him to rejoin the team, he did so grudgingly.
- 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. But the two eventually buried the hatchet.
- In Fantastic Four #313 Johnny began to realize he still has feelings for Crystal.
- Blastaar appears here following his last battle with the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four #290. Following his defeat here he resurfaces again in Avengers #309
- One of the names on the buzzer at Alicia and Johnny's apartment reads "Jim Shoot--" With the rest of the last name obscured by a sign stating that the tenant has been evicted. This is a reference to former Marvel Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter from 1978-1987. The "eviction" notice is reference to the fact that Shooter had recently been fired from his job.
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