Appearing in "And Then Came Despair"
- Tiger Shark
- Psi-Lord (possessed by Malice )
- Nathaniel Richards (Posing as Doctor Doom)
- Negative Zone (Only in flashback)
- Xlyym's ship
Synopsis for "And Then Came Despair"
Story continued from Namor the Sub-Mariner #48...
The Invisible Woman, the Thing, Namor, Tara Rahn, Tiger Shark and Walter Newell have succeeded in destroying the planetary thruster located at the bottom of the Marianas Trech, however the Fantastic Four's Stealth-Hawk is rocked as debris from an undersea rockslide has rocked the ship as they make their way to the surface. Ben informs the others that the ship was damaged in the fight and if he cannot get the rockets to activate, they will be trapped miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. While Sue recriminates herself for her leadership skills, Namor offers himself and Tiger Shark to help push the ship to the surface, but when Tiger Shark balks at this, Tamara convinces him to help. The two men begin pulling the ship free, while inside Tamara relishes the hopes of getting revenge against Xlyym, the member of the Starblasters responsible for the current crisis as well as the destruction of her homeworld of Banari. This strikes a chord with Sue who notes her bitterness, and compares it to the hope she might find her husband Reed Richards alive.
Meanwhile in at New York's Midtown Hospital, the Human Torch, Triton and Ant-Man have brought Lyja who is in the process of giving birth to what they believe is the child she has spawned with Johnny. When a doctor with experience in child birth comes to help, Johnny explains that this is unlike any that he will ever perform. Johnny hands the doctor the Skrullian Lacaroo device that will assist in Lyja's birthing process and she is wheeled away, leaving her allies and ex-husband behind to worry over her fate.
Back out in the Pacific, Ben begins repairs on the Stealth-Hawk leaving Sue to realize the full truth of what they lost when Reed seemingly died. When Namor offers his condolences again, Sue tells the Sub-Mariner that she is determined to find her husband, because she still believes that Reed is alive. When Namor offers his assistance to the Fantastic Four during this difficult phase, Sue thanks him for his help. This is noticed by Tamara who secretly wishes Namor could look upon her with such softness. She then interrupts the moment by informing her allies that she has just detected the location of their mutual foe. Elsehwere in the ocean, Xlyym has reported into to Fabrikant, who is less than impressed with the reports from his fellow Starblaster. Xlyym tries to convince Fabrikant that he should be spared death because his mission was to distract the heroes of Earth, and he will do just that by creating a massive tidal wave to flood the surface of the Earth. Fabrikant appears content and tells him not to botch the mission before signing off. When one of his subordinates asks what the point of setting Xlyym on another pointless task, Fabrikant remarks that it saves the Starblasters the trouble of killing him themselves.
Back at the hospital, Johnny reflects on his troubled relationship with Lyja, as well as the Fantastic Four's current string of troubles, particularly the apparent death of Reed Richards. Triton notices that Johnny is stressed out and offers his support. When Johnny tries to explain his troubled relationship with Lyja, Triton tells him that they have time to go through it. Ant-Man decides to excuse himself from the room and as he walks the hospital hallways he goes over the inadequacies in being a member of the Fantastic Four, having not established a close relationship with its members as yet, as well as the enormity of the role the group plays compared to his own past career as a super-hero. He also hopes that after all the trials the group has faced of late they don't end up breaking up.
Elsewhere, as Xxlym prepares his final gambit, the Stealth-Hawk detects the alien ship as it rises from the ocean and makes a course to intercept it. Seeing the wave generators starting to power up, Sue orders the ship destroyed and fires the Stealth-Hawk's weapons at it. Ben chastises Sue for being so ruthless, reminding her that as heroes they don't kill. Sue remarks that they need drastic action for the situation, but can't help but wonder if her experience with Malice has left her personality permanently changed. While back at the hospital, doctors work on helping Lyja deliver her baby. She explains that the Lacaroo assists in the process by causing a Skrull to relax their bodies to a near liquid state where the baby can be removed. Back out in the ocean, the Steal-Hawk has Xlyym's ship caught in a tractor beam. The team then sends Stingray, Tamara, Namor, and Sue down to investigate the ship. While in the hospital waiting room, Johnny and Triton talk about the apparent death of Reed Richards, and how Reed had came to the aid of the Inhumans time and time again. Triton tells Johnny that if there is any hope that Reed might still be alive, Johnny must embrace it. Johnny is convinced, since news about Doctor Doom apparently still being alive, Johnny thinks that the idea Reed might still be out there somewhere could be possible.
Meanwhile in Latveria, people of the country are troubled over the status of the country after the apparent demise of their leader. Suddenly, Doctor Doom appears at the balcony of his castle and addresses his people, giving them new hope. However the people of Latveria are not privy to when "Doctor Doom" retreats inside his castle and removes his mask, revealing him to be Nathaniel Richards in disguise. While aboard Xlyym's ship, the search party finds it in shambles. When the alien vessel begins to shake, Ben radios in to warn Sue that the tractor beam does not have much power and they should leave as soon as possible. They find Xlyym pinned under some rubble, and he informs Tamara and the others that he is the only surviving crew member. Namor removes the rubble pinning their alien foe, and they quickly depart the ship before the Steal-Hawk's tractor beam wears off.
Back at the hospital, Johnny continues his conversation with Triton and talks about how this situation reminds him of when Franklin was born and he and the rest of the Fantastic Four ventured into the Negative Zone to retrieve the Cosmic Control Rod of Annihilus in order to ensure Sue gave birth without issue. Johnny then gets to talking about how Franklin makes Johnny wonder where his nephew might be. Elsewhere in the city, the teenaged Franklin Richards is struggling after he pulled the evil Malice persona from his mother's mind. Relating to the struggle and how a single victor one, Franklin looks up from the trash strewn alley he is recovering in with a sinister grin. While aboard the Steal-Hawk, Xlyym demands to be treated as a prisoner of war, but Tamara will hear nothing of it and executes the alien for the destruction of her people. The sight horrifies Sue who leaves the room, hoping that she never becomes a ruthless killer like her. She is soon joined by the Sub-Mariner who provides her comfort. Seeing this, Ben realizes that Sue and Namor are being drawn together, and wonders if this is what she needs to get over the loss of Reed. However this still upsets Ben a little bit, because he thinks that after all this Sue would be drawn to him instead.
Back in New York, the doctors are working hard to help Lyja deliver her baby. With the Lacaroo assisting in the birthing process they being. First they remove a strange mechanical object form Lyja's body, which puzzles them. However they are in for a larger shock when they extract the baby. In the waiting room, Johnny, Triton and Ant-Man are joined by Sue and Namor who just heard the news and have come to see how the birth has been going. No sooner have they arrived does the doctor come out and tell them that the birth was a success. However he shocks everyone gathered when he wheels out the baby, which turns out to be an egg.
|Starblast #1||Quasar #54||Secret Defenders #11||Starblast #2||Quasar #55||Namor the Sub-Mariner #47|
|Fantastic Four #385||Starblast #3||Namor the Sub-Mariner #48||Quasar #56||Fantastic Four #386||Starblast #4|
- Chapter 11 of the Starblast event, wherein the Starblasters have undergone a complex scheme to obtain the Star Brand. The story is told on two fronts, the first features Quasar and a group of other heroes stopping the Starblasters in space, and a second front where Earth heroes are trying to stop Xlyym from flooding the Earth. The primary event is told in Starblast #1–4 and Quasar #54–56. The Earthbound saga is covered in Namor the Sub-Mariner #47–Namor the Sub-Mariner #48 and this issue and last issue.
- The Thing's face is scarred here after his was slashed in the face by Wolverine in Fantastic Four #374. His face remains scarred until Fantastic Four #409.
- Sue, Ben, Stingray, Tiger-Shark, and Tamara are escaping from the Mariana Trench following the destruction of the planet mover located within in Namor the Sub-Mariner #48.
- Tamara mentions that Xlyym is responsible for the destruction of her race. Xlyym's race the Fomalhauti race enslaved the Banari as explained in Namor the Sub-Mariner #46.
- Lyja has claimed that she is pregnant with Johnny's child as early as Fantastic Four #358. As revealed in Fantastic Four #390 and 393 however, Lyja and Johnny's "child" is not their offspring but a Gha'Barri implanted in her by Paibok.
- The Lacaroo is a Skrull device that the Fantastic Four recovered in Fantastic Four #383.
- Xlyym was last seen in Namor the Sub-Mariner #47, his fellow Starblaster Fabrikant appears here between Starblast #3 and 4. Xlyym's planet thrusters were destroyed last issue and Namor the Sub-Mariner #48.
- Johnny tries to explain his complicated romance with Lyja to Triton. Here are the facts:
- She had spent two years of Marvel time posing as Alicia Masters to spy on the Fantastic Four. This was revealed in Fantastic Four #358 as happening circa Fantastic Four #265.
- During this time, Lyja married Johnny in Fantastic Four #300.
- When Lyja was later exposed in Fantastic Four #357 after posing as Johnny's wife for two years.
- Sue recalls how she was possessed by her Malice persona. This happened in Fantastic Four #369 and lasted until Fantastic Four #384 when Malice transferred herself into the mind of Psi-Lord.
- Triton states that Reed Richards created his rebreather device that allows him to breath on dry land. This is actually incorrect, it was created by Maximus in Fantastic Four #54.
- Triton's recollection of saving Reed from the Negative Zone is from the events of Fantastic Four #62.
- Johnny and Triton discuss the fact that Reed and Doctor Doom were seemingly slain in Fantastic Four #381, however as revealed in Fantastic Four #406–407 they were actually taken prisoner by Hyperstorm.
- Nathaniel Richards took over Doctor Doom's castle in Fantastic Four #381 shortly after Doctor Doom's apparent demise. The "cataclysm" that Nathaniel is referring to is the coming battle with Hyperstorm that ultimately reaches its climax in Fantastic Four #414.
- Johnny's recollection of the Fantastic Four's first battle in the Negative Zone against Annihilus to help Sue survive her pregnancy happened in Fantastic Four Annual #6.
- Some facts about Franklin that are glossed over in this story:
- Young Franklin Richards was taken to the future of Earth-6311 at the end of last issue. Young Franklin eventually returns in Fantastic Four #414. As clarified in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #14, the teenaged Franklin seen here is not the child of Reed and Sue, but a divergent counterpart of the child.
- He was possessed by Malice in Fantastic Four #384.
- The emerging sort-of love triangle between Ben, Sue and Namor has some deep rooted history. Ben has been known to have had feelings for Sue since Fantastic Four #1, but he never acted on them due to the fact that she has had a long standing romance with Reed Richards. Meanwhile, Namor was constant competition for Sue's affections since the Torch revived him in Fantastic Four #4. Sue eventually decided on Reed over Namor following the events of Fantastic Four Annual #1 (as explained in Fantastic Four: The Wedding Special #1) and Namor eventually moved on when Reed and Sue were married in Fantastic Four Annual #3. When Reed and Sue were briefly separated in Fantastic Four #130, Namor appeared to take advantage of that in Fantastic Four #147. Although Sue was driven by her past emotions for Namor, the Sub-Mariner was actually willfully involved in an attempt to bring Sue and Reed back together as seen in Fantastic Four #149.
- The device extracted from Lyja's body is the implant that allowed her to emit lasers as later revealed in Fantastic Four #389.