Appearing in "The Day of Its Return"
- Wyatt Wingfoot
- Bridget O'Neil
- Invisible Woman
- Nathaniel Richards
- Raptor the Renegade (First appearance)
Synopsis for "The Day of Its Return"
With the Fantastic Four having split up, the Human Torch has traveled to an archaeological dig with his friend Bridget O'Neil in order to reconnect with his old university friend Wyatt Wingfoot. Also there is the She-Hulk who had traveled from LA after hearing Johnny would be coming and the trio spend time out in the desert practicing their skills and abilities while the dig carries on. Unknown to Johnny his ex-wife Lyja has disguised herself as a blond haired woman in order to spy on him, having grown jealous of the attention Johnny is showing O'Neil. As Lyja wonders what Johnny's feelings are about Bridget, Wyatt asks him directly when they have a moment of privacy together. Johnny responds by telling Wyatt that he and O'Neil are just friends, and chides him about his past relationship with She-Hulk. When Wingfoot explains that he and She-Hulk are still just only friends, Johnny teases him about bottling his charm. As Johnny and Wyatt head off back into the desert, Lyja vows to win back his heart at any cost. Elsewhere on the dig, Professor Simon Janson has uncovered an ancient totem pole buried in the ground. While the archaeologists are marveled by this discovery the Keewazi's elder Stalking Fox warns them that if they unearth the object they will incur the wrath of Raptor the Renegade.
What back in New York City at the Four Freedoms Plaza, Alicia Masters has come calling to see the Thing, but Roberta the robotic receptionist tells her that Ben has asked not to be disturbed. On her way out she bumps into Scott Lang as he is returning to headquarters, and he notes how rude she is and writes it off as what happens when you are abducted by aliens. Entering the Fantastic Four's headquarters, Lang finds Ben lifting weights where he tells her Alicia has been by. Ben tells Scott that his personal affairs are none of his business, telling him that while his past relationship with Alicia was great, they have to move on with their lives. When Scott tries to convince Ben that she loves him for who he is, Ben remarks that ever since Wolverine scarred his face he hasn't been in the mood for romance. When Ben leaves the room, Scott can't help but feel sorry for what will happen to Wolverine when Ben gets his hands on the feral mutant.
Back in Oklahoma the local sheriff has been called in by Professor Janson to get rid of Stalking Fox who is now raving over the totem pole. By this time, Johnny and Wyatt have returned and Wingfoot steps in, telling the sheriff that he will quiet Stalking Fox Finding the entire scenario absurd, Janson returns to his tent where the strange totem pole has been stored. Boasting to himself over how rich and famous this discovery will make him, Simon accidentally cuts his finger on one of the sharp edges of the totem, dripping blood on it. Finding this an odd feature, Janson turns to write down this discovery when suddenly a beam of energy fires from the totem pole striking him. He is then transformed into the flying lizard man known as Raptor the Renegade. The creature begins terrorizing the camp, spewing flames and sending people fleeing. Raptor explains how he and other reptiles like him ruled the land centuries earlier a sun worshiping tribe of Native Americans were able to trap Raptor and his bretherin in totem poles using magic and then buried in the desert sands. Sending people fleeing from the camp, Raptor is suddenly attacked by the She-Hulk, who hurls a boulder at her foe, but the creature is able to destroy it with its flaming breath. Running to a radio, Bridget calls to Johnny and Wyatt who are not far from camp, driving Stalking Fox back home. Spotting the girl calling for help, Raptor breaths fire in her direction. Acting quickly, Lyja changes shape into a hard backed turtle creature to shield Bridget from the flames. While the girl is shocked Lyja changes back into her human form and gets her to cover just as Johnny arrives on the scene to face their foe.
Meanwhile in Latveria, Sue has changed out of her original Fantastic Four costume and into her most recent outfit. She then hands the old uniform to one of Doctor Doom's Servo-Guards and tells it to burn the uniform as she is discarding her past and living for the future. She then goes down into Doom's lab where Nathaniel Richards has been working diligently since taking over shortly after the apparent demise of Doctor Doom. Nathaniel tells her that he has summoned her to help him locate his son. When Sue asks if he knows where her husband Reed Richards is, Nathaniel shocks her by saying that Reed isn't the son he is getting her to locate.
As Johnny battles Raptor, he is given assistance from both She-Hulk and Lyja, who does so while still maintaining her cover. Meanwhile, Wyatt and Stalking Fox have returned to the dig site where the Native American elder tells Wyatt that Raptor's power comes from the totem pole he was trapped in. They drag it outside and tell She-Hulk to hurl it toward Johnny to destroy. Seeing what's going on Johnny tries to burn the totem with his powers but needs a stronger flame. With lives at stake, Johnny flies up as high as possible and risks using his nova flare, incinerating the totem to ash. With the totem destroyed, Raptor reverts back to Simon Janson, who Johnny saves from a fatal fall from the sky, although Janson is not happy that the totem that would have made him rich and famous was destroyed in the process.
Back at the Four Freedoms Plaza, the Thing enters the com room just as Scott Lang has finished a call. Asking who it was, Ben is happy to hear that it was Wolverine who has called for Ben asking that they meet up.
- The Fantastic Four broke up in Fantastic Four #392, the group is not reunited again until Fantastic Four #397-400.
- The drama regarding the Thing and Alicia Masters stems from the fact that for two years of Marvel Time she had been abducted by the Skrulls and impersonated by Lyja as revealed in Fantastic Four #358, this happened during the events of Fantastic Four #265. During this period, Lyja formed a relationship with the Torch and married him in Fantastic Four #300 while the Thing moved on and started a relationship with Sharon Ventura in Fantastic Four #317. When Alicia returned in Fantastic Four #358 her life was turned upsidedown. After learning that Ben was dating another woman in Fantastic Four #365, Ben hasn't wasn't able to make up his mind. He decided to move on with his life and end his relationship with Alicia in last issue.
- The Thing's face is scarred because he was slashed in the face by Wolverine in Fantastic Four #374. His face is eventually healed in Fantastic Four #409.
- Sue changes out of a replicate of her original costume she wore between Fantastic Four #3-256 with the one she began wearing in Fantastic Four #387. Sue began wearing the replica of her original costume while on Earth-944 in Fantastic Four #390.
- She also mentions how she doesn't believe her husband Mister Fantastic died as it appeared to be in Fantastic Four #381. Fantastic Four #407 reveals that he has been a prisoner of Hyperstorm.
- Nathaniel's comment about having another son is explained next issue when he claims that he is the father of Kristoff Vernard.
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