Appearing in "No Time Like the Present!" or "It Ain't Funny How Time Slips Away!"
- Doctor Doom
- Kristoff Vernard
- Time Variance Authority
- Null Time Sequencer
- Doctor Doom's Promethium Armor
- Entropic Inducer
- Deflection Staff
- Anesthetic nose plugs
- Energized Kinetic Gauntlet
- Quark Instability Condenser
Synopsis for "No Time Like the Present!" or "It Ain't Funny How Time Slips Away!"
Having come to the home of Doctor Doom to free their teammate Sharon Venture, the Fantastic Four have discovered that Doom succeeded in curing her. Face to face with what appears to be his old foe, Reed Richards has agreed to use a Null Time Sequencer so that he and Doom can battle it out between second of time.
As the two fight it out between moments, the Thing begins to recover from his own clash with Doom. Getting to his feet just as the phase back in time, Ben tries to rush Doom, but both he and Reed blink out at the last possible second. Assessing the situation, Ben grabs Sharon's now unconscious form and begins to carry it out when he is confronted by Doom's robots. While in between seconds, Reed has managed to obtain a suit of armor to defend himself against Doom. As the two fights continue, Ben struggles against the strong robot, while Doom and Reed continue to play cat and mouse. The two fights briefly collide when Doom and Reed materialize momentarily in real time. The robot that Ben is fighting briefly detects movement nearby and blasts in the general direction, accidentally hitting his master. This distraction gives Ben the chance to lay a devastating punch that destroys the robot.
As Ben leaves Sharon behind to go and find the other members of the Fantastic Four, between moments in time Doom's injury gives Reed time to make adjustments to the staff weapon he is using to defend himself. Ben find the room filled with water where Johnny has been kept prisoner the whole time and smashes through the wall, saving the Torch's life. Once Johnny has sufficiently dried off, he flames on and follows Ben as they go looking for Sue. As Reed begins to lose his edge, Ben and Johnny find Sue who is saddened to see that Ben is continuing to mutate after his re-exposure to cosmic rays. Ben isn't the slightest bit concerned and explains where Reed, and how Sharon is in a catatonic state is and they rush off to see what they can do to aid them.
Meanwhile, Reed and Doom's battle is causing havoc with the administrators of the Time Variance Authority. Learning that the Fantastic Four are once again responsible for temporal misconduct, the Administrator of the TVA decides that more drastic measures must be carried out. Back at Castle Doom, the Fantastic Four are trying to snap Sharon out of her state of shock caused by her unwillingness to believe that she is now in human form. In order to snap her out of it, Ben dresses up in her Ms. Marvel costume, and after concealing his face, Sue makes him turn invisible. This visual aid causes Sharon to realize that she has been cured and she snaps out of her state of mind. When she asks where Ben is, he shows himself and she is surprised to see that he has been mutated again. When she asks what happened to his human form, he simply tells her that it "didn't work out". As Sue and Johnny make sense of Sharon's state of mind, suddenly Doom and Reed materialize right in front of them, somehow Reed had managed to cause their Null Time Sequencers to malfunction, returning them to the proper time and space.
With this advantage, Reed is able to finally pummel his foe into submission. With Doom down on the ground and struggling to get up, the battle seems to be over. Suddenly, Minutemen robots of the TVA appear and order everyone to case fighting and surrender as they are all under arrest. When "Doom" balks at this demand, one of the Minutemen blasts him. With "Doom" seemingly slain, the Fantastic Four are brought before Justice Peace, who explains to them that they are being arrested for crimes against synchronicity and teleports them away to a Null-Time Zone for processing, leaving behind the seemingly slain Doctor Doom behind. However the real Doctor Doom enters the room and commends Kristoff on a job well done in convincing everyone he has been slain. Having seen what the Time Variance Authority is capable of, Doom decides it is too dangerous to use the Null Time Sequencer in the future and has it destroyed.
- This story continues from Fantastic Four #350
- Ben mentions his and Sharon's changes: Sharon was changed back into a human by Doctor Doom and Ben purposely turned himself back into the Thing in Fantastic Four #350.
- The Time Variance Authority has it out for the Fantastic Four due to their involvement in the destruction of the Time Bubble of Earth-8810 as seen in Fantastic Four #337-341.
- Following his appearance here Doctor Doom next attempts to destroy the newly constructed Avengers Mansion in Avengers #332-333.
- Kristoff is not actually killed here. Following his defeat, Kristoff is taken to the secret domain the monks who first trained Doctor Doom years ago to recover. He is not revived until Fantastic Four #397.
- The time-jumping battle between Reed and Doctor Doom in this issue can be read two ways: By just reading the pages and panels in normal order, you can see it the way outside observers see it, with Reed and Doom bouncing thru time seemingly at random. But if you read it using the time stamps in each panel to guide you back and forth through the comic, you will see it as Reed and Doom are experiencing it, and it makes more sense. Notice that the cover has a time stamp, making it part of the story.
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