Appearing in "The Ultimate Solution"
- Uatu (Only in flashback)
- Galactus (Only in flashback)
- Avengers (Only in flashback)
- Council of Cross-Time Kangs (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "The Ultimate Solution"
The Fantastic Four and their allies Thor and Iron Man have come to a solution to stop the Time Bubble that is threatening their futures: they must destroy the future version of Galactus in order to stop him from consuming the universe, his unyielding hunger being the source of the Time Bubble. Reed recalled their previous attempt to stop Galactus by feeding him the Black Celestial, and how it only served to restore the sanity of Galactus for a brief moment. Making eye contact, Reed believes that Galactus was giving a silent plea to the Fantastic Four to end his life. This brings Reed to consider his first encounter with Galactus years earlier in which the Watcher provided them with the Ultimate Nullifier, a device that was so powerful that it could destroy an entire universe, and thus brought enough fear into the heart of Galactus that he vowed not to consume the Earth.
Before they could go to the Worldship of Galactus, they get a sudden call from Sue on the surface of the Earth. She and her brother Johnny had miraculously survived the destruction of the Celestial's base hidden in the Diablo Mountain Range. Returning to the Earth's surface in their Time-Sled, they find Sue and she explains that earlier she was led away form the others and attacked by Johnny. She was able to knock Johnny out and use her force field to protect them both when the base was destroyed, she has since kept Johnny trapped in an invisible force field in order to keep herself safe. When Reed examines Johnny, his only response is to mutter "blue woman" over and over.
Restraining Johnny aboard the Rosebud II, they then have Thor teleport them to the location of the Worldship of Galactus. Upon entering the ship they are caught in a defense system that seems more like a trap for pests rather than a real threat. Iron Man easily deactivates the device with his armor and they are able to land. They then begin searching the massive ship for the Ultimate Nullifier, with only Reed's recollection of Johnny's account where he located it for the Watcher. Luck plays out for them when Ben stumbles upon the Nullifier hidden in plain sight, appearing to be a mere light switch in the wall. When Reed removes it, suddenly Sue snatches it from him with her invisible force field.
As it turns out, Sue has been possessed by Nebula, the former member of the Council of Cross-Time Kangs who was seeking the Black Celestial's weapon. She explains how after Reed resisted her mental control, she took control of Johnny instead. When the others began to become suspicious of Johnny's behavior, she then lured Sue away from the others, and swapped minds. Reed pleas to Nebula go unheard and she tries to activate the Ultimate Nullifier. Instead of destroying the Fantastic Four, it feeds back and forced Nebula from Sue's body freeing her. However the Nullifier is trapped in a sphere of nothingness that will destroy any of them upon contact. Back within her own facilities, Sue uses her powers to pull the Nullifier to safety so that they can use it.
Returning to Galactus, they then have Thor unleash the full fury of Mjolnir, firing enough lightning into the maw of Galactus that he briefly regains his lucidity. Reed then hands the Ultimate Nullifier over to the world devourer, and Galactus uses it to destroy himself. With a massive sphere of nothingness expanding outward, the heroes flee en route to the outside of the Time Bubble. As they traveled outward, Johnny spots Nebula trapped within the bubble and tries to reach out to her in a panic, but is pulled back by Ben, as the void seemingly consumes her. As they begin to speed back to their own time, both Iron Man and Thor are knocked loose and lost in the time stream. The Fantastic Four meanwhile continue to speed forward and on course, until their Time Sled is shattered and they end up crashing in the middle of the Four Freedoms Plaza, where they believe they are home.
To be sure, they quickly turn on the television and hear a news report about the Avengers current mission and are elated to hear that both Iron Man and Thor were among them. Convinced they are home, the Fantastic Four leave to celebrate their victory. After they leave, they miss the next report talking about increased tensions between Russia and the United States over control of Germany. How any refusal of Russian Premiere Josef Stalin to pull his nuclear missiles out of the region could lead to nuclear war....
- 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 woman in the blue skin is "Kang-Nebula" who was last seen 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.
- Reed recalls the Fantastic Four's first encounter with Galactus and how they used the Ultimate Nullifier to send him away. This occurred in Fantastic Four #48-50.
- Nebula is not killed here as it appears, as she appears again in Avengers Spotlight #37 when she and Dr. Druid escape from the Time Bubble.
- From their departures here, Iron Man and Thor end up back on Earth-616 and are seen again in Marvel Comics Presents #43 and Amazing Spider-Man #339 respectively.
- The Fantastic Four have not arrived to their native reality of Earth-616, as revealed in Fantastic Four #343 they are actually in a reality where the Cold War is still on during the Modern Age. Per Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #3, this universe has been designated Earth-9061.
- This issue is reprinted in comics and books, see references for more info.
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