Appearing in "I Die Like the Stars!"
- Dragon Man (Only in flashback)
- Aron (Only in flashback)
- Namor (Only in flashback)
- Scarlet Witch (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "I Die Like the Stars!"
The Human Torch struggles with control over his powers as he can not flame off. Ms. Marvel and Thing unsuccessfully try to put it by burying him and blowing it out. Kang accuses the Fantastic Four of kidnapping Mantis from him, but Thing says he does not know what he is talking about. Before leaving, Kang leaves behind a bomb, which the Torch promptly throws into space.
Both the Fantastic Four and Kang find that Necrodamus had captured Mantis from Kang's ship. Necrodamus plans to sacrifice Mantis at the precise moment when the planets align so that he can use her life force to get rewarded by the gods of evil. The Fantastic Four try attacking Necrodamus' invisible shield, but not even Kang's weapons can make a crack. Necrodamus makes a deal with N'Astirh that he will use the power to aid the demon in his wars against humanity.
Kang and Johnny travel into space to pull Mercury out of alignment to foil the plan. They successfully do so when Johnny buries Kang's device deep within the planet. Necrodamus' plan is ruined and the villain fades into Limbo. Kang turns on Johnny and leaves him in space near Mercury. Nearby, the Silver Surfer decides to investigate Mercury's strange behavior.
- This story takes place during the Inferno event when New York City was being invaded by demons from Limbo led by N'Astirh. The primary battle against N'Astirh was taking place in the pages of Uncanny X-Men #239-Uncanny X-Men #243 and X-Factor #36-39. The issue does not have the Inferno logo on its cover indicating its part in the crossover, however.
- Kang states that Johnny will recover from his uncontrollable flame, this proves to be correct as seen in Fantastic Four #326.
- Mention is made that Reed Richards used to lead the Fantastic Four. He left the group in Fantastic Four #307 with his wife Sue to spend more time with their son Franklin. They will return to the team in Fantastic Four #326.
- Sharon makes mention that she could possible change back to her human form by will. This assumption is based on a theory Reed made about Ben's mutation into a Thing back in Fantastic Four #245.
- Kang's talks about there being a temporal duplicate of himself also active here. His appearance here is marred in some temporal confusion that is not fully explained here. The details:
- As revealed in Avengers #267-269 every time Kang traveled through time he created a divergent version of himself. During these issues the "Prime" Kang began culling his counterparts until only he existed. He was later driven mad by his future self Immortus and sent out into temporal Limbo.
- As revealed in Avengers: Forever #9 Kang killed himself which triggered a device that transferred his mind into a new body in his native 40th Century and left a divergent self behind in the past.
- During the time of this story, there are two version of Kangs active in the modern era. The Kang featured in this story was later identified as the "Prime" Kang in Avengers Annual #21 (The one who was revived in the future as stated in Avengers: Forever #9). The other is a spectral shade seen in Avengers #300, this is one of the last remaining temporal Kangs that was a member of the Council of Cross-Time Kangs seen in Avengers #291-297 who was later seemingly lost in the Time Bubble.
- Necrodamas goes through some of his past history in this story:
- Necrodamas mentions how Mantis is a fusion of human and plant life. This happened after her union with the Cotati in Giant-Size Avengers #4.
- Johnny mentions how Sharon "recovered" from turning into a Thing. Sharon was transformed into a She-Thing in Fantastic Four #310. She was suicidal upon this discovery the following issue but later came to accept her transformation in issue #312.
- The demon N'Astrih makes his appearance here between Excalibur #6 where he battles Excalibur and New Mutants #73 where he fails to stop the New Mutants from freeing their teammate Magik from her demonic Darkchyld persona.
- The Silver Surfer appears here following the events of Silver Surfer Vol 3 #22, following his battle with Ego the Living Planet.
- The script credit on this issue is to "S.F.X. Englehart" due to Steve's unhappiness with the editorial direction regarding the Mantis storyline.
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