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Appearing in "No More the Hero!"

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Synopsis for "No More the Hero!"

New York City's super-human response unit Code: Blue has come to the Four Freedoms Plaza to arrest the Human Torch for setting Empire State University on fire, however the Invisible Woman will not allow them to arrest her brother and lashes out at the group. As she tries to explain that her brother was only defending himself and the fire was the result of poor judgement, Fireworks and Jock of Code: Blue try to ambush Sue from behind. Detecting their presence, she easily dispatches them with invisible force blasts, then shield's herself from Lt. Stone's gun shots with a force field. The ricocheting bullets cause the members of Code: Blue to find cover. Before the battle can escalate any further, Johnny flies into the room and orders everyone to stop fighting as he is turning himself over to the authorities. Sue is outraged by this, but Johnny insists on taking responsibility for his mistakes. Upon this admission, Sue angrily reminds Lt. Stone that Johnny hasn't been read his Miranda rights and that statement is not admissible in court. After Johnny's rights are read, Fireworks surprises Johnny by asking for his autograph. As handcuffs are being placed on Johnny's hands, Franklin comes into the room with his nanny Agatha Harkness in tow. Young Franklin is horrified to see his Uncle Johnny being arrested and taken away like a criminal. The Torch assures his nephew that everything is going to be okay before being taken away by the police.

Agatha then informs Sue that the tenants of the Four Freedoms Plaza are requesting a meeting with her. She goes to the board room where she meets with some very upset tenants that are none too happy with the fact that a gamma bomb went off in the upper floors of the building, creating an eye sore on top of almost risking their lives. Not interested in listening to complaints, Sue tells Mrs. Archambault, the head of the committee, that if she doesn't like the conditions of renting out of the Four Freedoms Plaza, she can leave. Insulted by this, Archembault begins chastising Sue for her revealing costume. This crosses a line with the Sue who then uses her invisibility powers to make everyone's clothes invisible, to mock them. Embarrassed and humiliated, the angry mob of tenants realize that their complaints are going nowhere and they all storm out, except for one straggler who is interested to know how long her husband will be out of town.

Meanwhile, at the apartment of Alicia Masters, her step-father the Puppet Master grows impatient with waiting for the Thing and Mister Fantastic to rescue his step-daughter from Aron the Rogue Watcher. Using his radioactive clay, the Puppet Master begins considering candidates to enthrall and use to rescue his daughter. After deciding against various heroes, the Puppet Master instead decides to use a villain, and selects a puppet of the Molecule Man. In the Colorado Rocky's, the Molecule Man has created a shrine for his former girlfriend, Marsha Rosenberg, in order to grieve the loss of their relationship. Suddenly, Owen Reece is enthralled by the Molecule Man. While in Earth orbit, Paibok, Lyja and Devos watch the Human Torch being arrested. Paibok then orders Lyja to return to Earth and carry out the next phase of their plan. Once she is gone, Devos questions if she can be trusted or if she still has feelings for her former husband, Paibok however is certain that she will be able to carry out his orders. While at the offices of the Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson is meeting with his top reports and photographers to discuss the latest developments. Peter Parker steps up to defend the Human Torch, reminding Jonah of how many times the Fantastic Four have saved the city, and how the Torch saved the life of a student named Bridgett O'Neil during the attack. This does little to say Jameson's usual hatred of super-heroes, and he assigns all those gathered to document the Human Torch's arrangement at city hall.

Peter Parker eventually arrives on the scene to photograph the event for the Bugle. While waiting for Johnny to appear, he can't help but feel sorry for his some-time ally. As Johnny is being led up the stairs before a screaming mob, Peter's Spider-Sense goes off warning him of a strange woman in the crowd, but can't be sure why. The strange woman turns out to be Lyja in disguise, and she briefly shows herself to Johnny when nobody else is looking in order to cause him to panic. While Johnny is struggling with police officers, Paibok -- disguised as a cop himself -- tries to take a shot at Johnny. This causes a riot, as people stampede, Paibok and Lyja try to shoot Johnny. Johnny meanwhile tries to restrain himself but is forced to flame on when his attackers shoot one of the officers guarding him.

Spotting one of the shooters, Johnny is shocked when he briefly reverts back to his human form, revealing himself as Paibok. But when Johnny tries to attack his foe, the people gathered around think he's attacking an innocent police officer. When Lt. Stone of Code: Blue orders the officers on the scene to open fire on the Torch, Johnny decides that things are getting too out of control and flees the scene. Watching the entire episode, Peter wonders if Johnny is ruined or if there is someway for him to get out of this.

Elsewhere, Ben Grimm wakes up in human form to a happy home with his three children and his wife Alicia Masters. After breakfast, Ben goes to the bathroom to shave and is shocked when his reflection suddenly transforms into the Thing. It frightens Ben so much he throws his can of shaving cream at it, shattering the mirror. When Alicia checks to see if he is okay, Ben tells her about the hallucination he saw, and how it seemed as familiar as it was horrifying. Ben then heads to work at his company Grim and Richards Incorporated. Once inside, Ben's secretary Sharon hands him the daily newspaper. He is less than enthusiastic about the front page story about the local super-hero group called the Fabulous Foursome. As he is mocking them for being nothing more than real life comic book characters, Ben is suddenly shocked when he sees a massive eye peering at him from outside his office window. What Ben doesn't realize is that he is living a fabricated life within a tiny pocket universe created by Aron the Rogue Watcher for his own amusement. As Aron marvels over his creation and how he can alter events in his pocket universe to anything he wishes, he is suddenly interrupted by the arrival of the Molecule Man, who demands that Aron sets his prisoners free.

Meanwhile, back in New York City, Peter Parker has changed into his alter ego of Spider-Man and is swinging through the city trying to find his friend the Human Torch. As he swings through a street, Johnny spots him from a nearby alley. Thinking Spider-Man has joined the manhunt against him, Johnny feels completely and utterly alone. To make matter worse, back at the Daily Bugle building, J. Jonah Jameson has just hired the services of the Wild Pack to hunt down and bring the Human Torch to justice.


Continuity Notes

  • Unknown to all at the time, Sue' actions are influenced by her evil Malice persona, whom Sue merged with in Fantastic Four #369. It's Malice's influence that is responsible for her change in behavior and revealing costume.
  • While selecting pawns to use to rescue his step-daughter, the Puppet Master says he doubts that he could find the original Thor or the Silver Surfer in time. At the time of this story, Thor was deeply submerged in the mind of his successor Eric Masterson in Mighty Thor #432. At the time of this story the Silver Surfer was mostly in deep space after he freed himself from his prison on Earth in Silver Surfer (Vol. 3) #1.

Reporter Ben Urich (who appears here between Amazing Spider-Man #374 and Venom: Lethal Protector #1), Editor Joe Robertson who appears here between Amazing Spider-Man #368 and Web of Spider-Man #97), Reporters Glory Grant (appearing here between Web of Spider-Man #78 and Amazing Spider-Man #375) and Joy Mercado (Appearing here between Amazing Spider-Man #374 and Spectacular Spider-Man #205) and photographer Lance Bannon who appears here between Amazing Spider-Man #375 and Spider-Man #33.

  • J. Jonah Jameson mentions his animosity toward Spider-Man, who he has hated ever since Amazing Spider-Man #1.
  • The panels of Johnny hiding in an alleyway on page 21 of this story are a homage to Amazing Spider-Man #18. In that story Johnny and Spider-Man's roles were reversed. Spider-Man was hiding out while the Torch was desperately trying to find him.
  • The Wild Pack appears here during the events of Amazing Spider-Man #375 when they were hired by Jameson to capture Venom. Their hunt for the Human Torch is also seen in that same story.
  • Following their appearances here, Franklin, Johnny, Agatha, Paibok, Devos, and Lyja are all seen next in Fantastic Four #373.

See Also

Links and References


  1. Fantastic Four #265 was published in 1984, which falls under "Year 6" of the Modern Age and this story, published in 1991 falls under "Year 8". 8 - 6 = 2.
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