Appearing in "Double Trouble"
Synopsis for "Double Trouble"
The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Thor and Gladiator are attempting to destroy the massive weapon using Galactus to consume the universe in an effort to remove the Time Bubble threatening the future. Just as they are about to drop a payload of Shi'ar weapons on the massive construct, the Black Celestial appears before them. The Black Celestial then uses its power to teleport the weapons into the massive black hole feeding Galactus, destroying their efforts to stop the destruction. Just then Gladiator's weapon ship appears before them and the Fantastic Four race to its location. They rush inside and tell Gladiator what happened. Before the Black Celestial can turn its attentions to this new arrival, they activate the warp drive and flee. As they teleport away, Gladiator tells them that he was delayed because his ship was damaged and he had to make repairs.
Hiding behind the Earth's moon, the group compares notes and Iron Man recalls how in their own time the Black Celestial was buried in the Diablo Mountain range of California. With Thor staying behind to help Gladiator complete repairs, the rest of the group decides to investigate the Black Celestial's domain and are teleported down to Earth. There Iron Man blasts their way into the Celestial facility where they begin to search for clues on how to solve the current crisis. Upon their arrival an army of Deviants begin to materialize out of the walls and attack. During the fight, Sharon tries to defend Ben who is without powers, but he is far from helpless having brought weapons to defend himself with. With the number of their enemies growing, Sharon caves in part of the tunnel separating them from their attackers so they can continue their search.
Finding a massive computer, Reed has Sue use her powers to break the main circuit link so they can access the data banks and learn what they can about the Black Celestial. When Reed taps into the the databanks of the Deviants who are still monitoring the situation. Reed manages to trick them into revealing all: They explain how the Black Celestial used to rule over all the Celestials. However this all ended during the First Host of the Celestials on Earth. At some point, the Black Celestial committed some unknown transgression of Celestial law and was banished to eternal slumber beneath the Earth. However the Black Celestial was far from harmless, it called out to its creations -- the Deviants -- compelling them to provide it with the energies it needed to someday awaken. As Reed listens on, Johnny asks Sue to take a look at something he thinks might help them. Suspicious of her brother, but unaware that he is possessed by Nebula, he follows him away from the others where Johnny tries to knock her out.
Meanwhile, Reed continues to hear more from the Deviants: That in the recent past when Galactus was on the brink of death, the Dreaming Celestial used its power to alter Galactus as he was being saved, so that Galactus' hunger would grow exponentially over time until he would need to consume the entire universe in order to sate himself. The Deviants believe that with the destruction of the universe the Black Celestial will become a god and they will be his minions. With the truth finally revealed, Reed relays that information back to Thor and Gladiator back aboard the ship, exposing his deception. Thor and Gladiator report back that they have discovered that the damage was caused by extreme heat, pointing to Johnny as the prime suspect in the act of sabotage on the ship.
Needing to find his wife, Reed and Ben and Sharon try to look for them when suddenly the Deviants attack again. With the situation hopeless, Ben and Sharon have the hard choice of knocking Reed out so they can get away, even though Johnny and Sue might be dead or dying. As they flee the area, Gladiator and Thor prepare to turn the ship into a massive missile to aim at the Deviant's hideout. Not willing to let Thor sacrifice himself, Gladiator takes the ship down himself. As Mount Diablo explodes, Reed screams out for his wife while Ben holds him back. As they are reunited with Thor, the Black Celestial returns to Earth. Furious over the apparent death of his wife, Reed rails at the Black Celestial vowing to destroy it for taking what he held most dear to him. When their foe tries to grab their Time-Sled, Reed races through time and space to avoid it, but the Black Celestial continues to gain on them. However this is all a ploy to lure the Black Celestial into the black hole that is feeding Galactus. The heroes teleport away at the last moment, as the Black Celestial dives into the dark maw.
In a massive burst of light the Black Celestial is consumed by Galactus, and Reed hopes the powerful energies within the alien will be enough to final sate the hunger of Galactus. However the influx of energies only restore Galactus to lucidity for a brief moment, just long enough for Galactus to lock eyes with Reed. With the danger still present, Reed believes that the look he got from Galactus was a plea to end his tormented life once and for all.
- The Time Bubble, according to Marvel Encyclopedia: Fantastic Four, is designated in the future of Earth-8810. In this story Reed states that the Time Bubble exists between the years 2005 and 2020. Per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 this should be considered a topical reference. As the Sliding Timescale moves forward, then the dates that the Time Bubble exists should change and should be generalized in the context of this story. The Time Bubble exists 15 years in the future relative to this story . This story was published in 1990, thus 15 years from that perspective is the year 2005. 1990 falls under "Year Eight" of Marvel time. Per the rules of the Sliding Timescale, new comics are considered to have been published 2016 are part of "Year Fourteen". New comics are also considered as happening "today". That said, in the year 2016 this story took place in 2010 per the Sliding Timescale. Based on that calculation the Time Bubble would exist 15 years from 2010 in the year 2025. When Marvel time rolls over into "Year Fifteen" in 2018, this story would have taken place in 2011 and the Time Bubble will in turn exist in the year 2026.
- The Black Celestial's eternal slumber on Earth mirrors that of his Earth-616 counterpart the Dreaming Celestial whose own banishment was documented in Eternals Vol 2 #1-12.
- The near death of Galactus which Reed Richards prevented is a reference to the events of Fantastic Four #244.
- Unknown to all, Johnny was possessed by Nebula in Fantastic Four #338. She was previously trapped in the Time Bubble in Avengers #297 where she and Dr. Druid got caught in the Time Bubble. She is not who she seems to be...:
- In Avengers #291 when she joined the Council of Cross-Time Kangs she claimed to be the space pirate known as Nebula.
- In reality she is actually Kang's lover Ravonna who was put in a death like coma in Avengers #24. She was later revived by the Grandmaster, as seen in Avengers Annual #21, after Kang gave up the power to save her life to instead try to destroy the Avengers (as seen in Avengers #71). When the Grandmaster revealed the truth, Ravonna decided to get revenge against her lover, developing the Nebula cover to infiltrate the Cross-Time Kangs and get her revenge.
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