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Appearing in "Suddenly ... The Secret Defenders"

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Synopsis for "Suddenly ... The Secret Defenders"

With the Human Torch on the run from the law with a bounty on his head, his friend Spider-Man has decided to try and gather some other heroes to help him track down the Torch and convince him to surrender to the authorities. Spider-Man finds himself at the Sanctum Sanctorum of Doctor Strange to help gather some allies. He interrupts Strange while doing a mystical tarot card reading, which warns of death and doom, however he cannot say with any certainty what the cards truly mean. Spider-Man then asks Doctor Strange to use his mystical abilities to gather his old allies in the "New" Fantastic Four. Agreeing to help, Doctor Strange sends his spirit form out into the world and contacts the Wolverine in Westchester, the Hulk in Reno, and the Ghost Rider in Cypress Hills, all three agree to join up and help Spider-Man hunt down the Torch.

Meanwhile, Reed, Ben, Alicia and Sharon have just returned to the Four Freedoms Plaza. There Reed is upset to learn that Johnny had accidentally set fire to Empire State University and is now on the run from the law, and that repairs to their headquarters have been halted due to Sue arranging a financial pay out to ESU to make them drop their case against her brother. Sue suddenly snaps at Reed, asking him if he thinks that this is her fault. She tells him how Johnny was defending himself against Paibok, Lyja and Devos when the fire happened. As Reed and Sue's argument continues on, Sharon asks Ben if they can speak privately and they both leave the room. In another part of the building, young Franklin is with his caretaker Agatha Harkness. Hearing his parents arguing again, Franklin becomes upset and his powers begin to flare up. Quick thinking, Agatha casts a spell to cause the boy to fall asleep, ending his threat. Although Harkness fears that the boy may become a danger in the future.

At that moment in Latveria, Castle Doom glows with fierce energies amid the frightened villagers of Doomstadt. Inside, Doctor Doom is transferring the power he stole from Aron the Rogue Watcher into a battery pack which he will use to channel the power. With his technicians finished with a new suit of armor that will allow him to contain these energies, Doom sends them away. He then has his Servo-Guards strip him of his traditional armor and place on this new suit, so that Doom can wield the power of a Watcher.

Back in New York City, Reed, Sue, Ben and Sharon have taken out the Fantasti-Car in order to split up and search for Johnny in the city. From an abandoned building, Johnny spots Reed out searching for him. Ashamed of everything that has happened, Johnny doesn't call up but slinks back into the gloom of the abandoned tenement. Elsewhere in the city, the Secret Defenders are out looking for Johnny as well. When the Hulk talks about harming Johnny, Spider-Man reminds them that they aren't out to hurt the Torch, only convince him to surrender to the authorities. Johnny is also being watched from Earth's orbit by Paibok, Devos and Lyja. As Paibok gloats over the impending defeat of the Torch, Lyja feels a pang, leaving to wonder if she can kill her onetime husband and father of her child.

Johnny is suddenly found by the Secret Defenders, and with no choice, he fires a Fantasti-Flare into the sky alerting the others of his location. The Torch then flames on and fights against his pursuers until Reed and the others can arrive on the scene. While Wolverine fights Mister Fantastic, the Ghost Rider squares off against the Invisible Woman. As Ms. Marvel squares off against Spider-Man, Johnny tires to pit his flame against the Ghost Rider's. Meanwhile, the Thing battles the Hulk. The Hulk manages to knock the Thing through the floor, then pulls Reed off of Wolverine. As the battle on Earth rages on, on the Moon, the Inhuman royal family spots a strange flare of energy fly past their kingdom toward the Watcher's Citadel, prompting Black Bolt to investigate. At the Watcher's home, Uatu has placed the unconscious Aron in a stasis chamber. Suddenly he is interrupted by the arrival of Doctor Doom who announces that he has come to take all the power within the citadel.

Back on Earth, the fight between the Fantastic Four and the Secret Defenders rages on. During the battle Wolverine gets worked up into a berserker frenzy and tries to attack Sue. Although she is protected by her invisible force field, the Thing pulls the mutant off his teammate. This proves to be an error as the feral Wolverine slashes Ben's face with his Adamantium claws during the struggle. Seriously cut, the Thing lashes out, striking Wolverine as hard as he can, sending the mutant flying through the rotted walls of the building. While everyone is concerned over Ben's injury, the Ghost Rider tries to restrain Johnny with his chain. However the Ghost Rider is interrupted by the sudden arrival of Lyja who has come to defend her husband. Seeing this from his monitor in space, Paibok is furious that Lyja has now betrayed him, unaware that Paibok plots to do the same thing as well. While on Earth, the Fantastic Four, Lyja and Ms. Marvel are surrounded by the Secret Defenders. Before the fight can continue, the FF and their allies are suddenly teleported away. Witnessing this, Doctor Strange points out that the Fantastic Four seemed as surprised as they were about the sudden teleportation, and fears that this may be the last they ever see of the group.


Continuity Notes

  • Doctor Strange keeps secret that his powers are not at their peak. He is referring to the events of Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme #4950. During those issues Doctor Strange was stripped of much of his abilities when various magical principalities refused to allow him to evoke their names for his magic.
  • Sue's shift in personality and her revealing costume are the product of her personality merging with Malice, the dark side of her personality back in Fantastic Four #368.

  • Lyja mentions her and Johnny's "unborn child", however the "child" is neither of them, as explained in Fantastic Four #390 and 393, Paibok implanted Lyja with a Gha'Barri.
  • This story Wolverine seriously cuts Ben's face. His face remains scarred until Fantastic Four #409.

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