Appearing in "Shattered Lives!"
- Puppet Master
- Alicia Masters
- Ms. Marvel
- Wild Pack
- Makio Yakaki (First appearance)
- New York City
Synopsis for "Shattered Lives!"
Doctor Doom is meeting with his technicians who have detected that their spy among the Fantastic Four has been captured with members of the group by a being of incalculable power. Doom tells his minions to pinpoint their location so he can begin an immediate departure. At that very moment in the Canadian Rocky's, a Puppet Master enthralled Molecule Man is battling it out with Aron the Rogue Watcher in an attempt to free the Puppet Master's step-daughter Alicia Masters from his clutches. Owen is able to hold his own with his powers until Aron begins manipulating organic matter, the only material that the Molecule Man cannot affect with his powers.
Meanwhile, within Aron the Rogue Watcher's pocket universe, Ben Grimm awakens from yet another nightmare and is consoled by his wife Alicia and their children. Ben goes to work at his office at the Grimm & Richards Corporation where he tells his partner Reed Richards and his secretary Sharon Ventura about the strange dreams of turning into a monster and being watched by a massive eye. When Reed suggests that Ben see a psychologist, Ben gets angry at the suggestion that he might be going crazy. When Ben begins to attack Reed, Richards stretches out of the way. Also, Ben suddenly transforms into the Thing, and when Sharon tries to flee for cover a simple swipe of her hand causes a coat hanger to break in two. As they try to make sense of these realizations, Alicia suddenly teleports into the room begging them not to ruin the perfect lives she has constructed for them here. Ben tries to convince Alicia that this fantasy world is not their real life and they can't stay. Suddenly their discussion is interrupted by the arrival of the Fabulous Foursome, fabricated heroes based on the original Fantastic Four during the early days of their career.
At that moment at the Four Freedoms Plaza, repairs on the building have been halted by the Invisible Woman due to the pending legal battle between the Fantastic Four and Empire State University due to the fact that the Human Torch accidentally set it ablaze fighting some foes. Sue tells her financial manager to buy the people at ESU off so they drop their charges against Johnny, and demands her lawyer Matt Murdock provide some results in finding her brother while he is on the run from the law. As Murdock and the accountant leave, they both note that Sue has visibly changed. Matt tells her that they have to pool their talents to help resolve this current crisis. Meanwhile at the Symkarian Embassy, Silver Sable and her Wild Pack are gearing up to hunt down the Torch after they have been hired to do so by Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson. Sable is visited by Spider-Man who tries to appeal to her, but she in turn tries to hire him to help her on her mission. Suddenly, their discussion is interrupted with reports that the Wild Pack has managed to track Johnny Storm down. Elsewhere in the city, the Torch is being pursued by Battlestar, Chen, Powell, Striklan and Quentino, who are chasing after him with specially designed jet packs and weapons that can disable Johnny's flame powers. During the ensuing battle Johnny pleads to them about his innocence in the fire, but it falls on deaf ears. The Torch finally loses his temper when Striklan tries to hit him with an acid firing gun. Having had enough of being hounded, Johnny lashes out and uses his powers to disable the Wild Pack's jet packs and helicopter before fleeing the scene.
At that very moment back in Canada, the Molecule Man and Aron's battle continues to rage on. It abruptly ends when Aron creates an airless sphere around Reece. Unable to breathe, the Molecule Man passes out, much to the frustration of the Puppet Master who has been controlling him from New York. While within Aron's pocket universe, Reed, Ben and Sharon battle against the Fabulous Foursome. During the fight Alicia begs them to stop because this is a perfect world that they can all share together. The three heroes make short work of these Fantastic Four doppelgangers, and in the aftermath of the battle Ben confronts Alicia about living out this fantasy. When Ben tells Alicia that he does truly love her (much to Sharon's surprise), Alicia is more confused than ever due to all the changes in her life. As she screams for help, the pocket universe shatters, freeing Reed, Ben and Sharon from its confines. Their new found freedom is instantly detected by Aron. But before the rogue Watcher can act, he is incapacitated by Doctor Doom who is using a device to steal Aron's power. As Aron's former captives recover, Sharon asks Ben to talk, but he tells her now is not the time. Rushing outside they find Uatu the Watcher standing over Aron's unconscious body. When Reed tries to ask the Watcher what happened, he does not respond.
Back in New York City, the Fantastic Four's lawyer Matt Murdock has assumed his alter-ego of Daredevil and has begun his own search for the Human Torch. Elsewhere in the city, Spider-Man and Silver Sable have caught up to the Wild Pack following their defeat at the hands of the Torch. This prompts Spider-Man to consider his loyalties and he swings off to find some friends who can help him in his quest to find Johnny. While back in Canada, the Molecule Man recovers from his battle with Aron the Rogue Watcher. Unaware of why he came up to battle Aron, the Molecule Man slips away unseen. While not far away, Doctor Doom returns to Latveria with the stolen power of a Watcher.
- The Molecule Man states that he cannot use his powers against organic material. This has been a limitation he had when he first got his powers in Fantastic Four #20. He overcame those limitations in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #11 only to have them imposed on him again sometime later in Fantastic Four Annual #24.
- The top floors of the Four Freedoms Plaza were destroyed by a Gamma Bomb in Infinity War #2/Fantastic Four #367.
- Johnny accidentally set fire to Empire State University in Fantastic Four #371.
- Sue's change in personality and revealing costume are due to the fact that she merged her personality with that of her "Malice" dark side in Fantastic Four #369.
- Matt Murdock has been lawyer for the Fantastic Four since Daredevil #2. He appears here following the events of Ghost Rider Vol 3 #36.
- The love triangle between Ben, Alicia and Sharon is as follows:
- Alicia and the Thing began dating in Fantastic Four #9
- After Ben was kidnapped by the Beyonder to participate in the Secret Wars in Thing #10, Alicia was left alone and (as revealed in Fantastic Four #358) replaced by a Skrull spy named Lyja.
- When the rest of the Fantastic Four returned from the Secret Wars without Ben in Fantastic Four #265, (who decided to stay behind in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #12) "Alicia" decided to pursue a relationship with Johnny Storm to maintain her connections with the Fantastic Four. Ben eventually returned to Earth in Fantastic Four #277.
- Johnny and "Alicia" later got married in Fantastic Four #300.
- Ben eventually was given leadership of the Fantastic Four for a period of time, recruiting Ms. Marvel to the group in Fantastic Four #307.
- Sharon was later mutated into a She-Thing in Fantastic Four #310 and by Fantastic Four #317 she and Ben were in a relationship.
- Eventually Sharon and Ben's relationship soured when Ben was cured of being a Thing in an accident in Fantastic Four #326. Tragically, as seen in Fantastic Four #350 on the same day Sharon secretly sought out Dr. Doom to cure herself, Ben purposely changed himself into the Thing again.
- Sharon disappeared after her last mission with the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four #354.
- Shortly thereafter, Lyja was exposed as a Skrull spy in Fantastic Four #357 and the real Alicia was rescued the following issue. Thinking that she and Ben were still an item, Alicia has not been told about Ben's relationship with Sharon.
- The Watcher does not answer Reed's questions as his race is forbidden to interfere in the actions of others due to a solemn vow of non-interference. This was due to the fact that the last time the Watchers got involved in the lives of other races it led to the Prosilican race annihilating itself, as seen in Tales of Suspense #53 and expanded upon in Original Sin #0. Although Uatu has occasionally assisted the Fantastic Four, as early as Fantastic Four #13, he has not done so relative to this story. This is because he had recently been put on trial by his peers in Captain Marvel #39 and is on a tighter leash.
- Spider-Man and Silver Sable and the Wild Pack all appear in the second story of Amazing Spider-Man #375 which takes place immediately after the scene in this story.
- Following his appearance here the Molecule Man is next seen in Fantastic Four Annual #27
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