Appearing in "Watchers Lie!"
- Nathaniel Richards
- Kristoff Vernard
- Boris (Zarko in disguise)
- He Who Summons (First appearance)
- Crimson Cadre (First appearance)
- Aron the Rogue Watcher
- Dark Raider (Possessed by Malice )
- Mister Fantastic (Only in flashback)
- Doctor Doom (Only in flashback)
- Galactus (Only in flashback)
- Earth-389694 (Only in flashback)
- Earth-944 (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "Watchers Lie!"
The Fantastic Four are on their way to the Moon along with Nathaniel Richards, Kristoff Vernard, and his assistant Boris in order to learn the truth about the rogue Watcher and the device that Uatu left the Fantastic Four during their last encounter. Upon further examination, Kristoff confirms his early suspicions that the device is a power source for a weapon powerful enough to destroy the sun. When Kristoff commends Sue on the laboratory aboard the ship, she tells him that they commandeered the vessel from the Skrulls. Kristoff turns the conversation to the issue of the apparent demise of Mister Fantastic and Doctor Doom. Knowing Doom better than anybody, Kristoff finds it difficult to believe that his master would commit suicide in order to destroy his long time foe Reed Richards. With Kristoff's admission that he believes that Doom -- and by extension Reed -- might still be alive, Sue is relieved that she is not the only one who thinks this. Suddenly, Nathaniel tries to make a grab for the alien power source, but Sue has already planned for this contingency and has erected an invisible force field around the object. Elsewhere in the ship, Ant-Man notices that Johnny is looking off forlornly into space, and wonders if his teammate is thinking about his ex-wife Lyja. Deciding to give Johnny some privacy, Ant-Man goes into the cockpit where he checks on Ben. His arrival coincides with Ben detecting trouble from the scanners.
The trouble comes in the form of Attilan, the home of the Inhumans on the Blue Area of the Moon. There the elite guard known as the Crimson Cadre has detected the approach of the Steath-Hawk. Determining that the ship carries the Fantastic Four, General Ator orders an attack since the Fantastic Four have been branded enemies of the Inhumans after they helped the royal family defy the Genetics Council. Missiles are fired at the Stealth-Hawk, but Ben is able to pilot the ship to avoid any strikes. In order to avoid further detection, Sue uses her powers to make the Stealth-Hawk invisible so they can land near the Watcher's Citadel without further interference. With a limited amount of time before the Inhumans locate them, the Fantastic Four prepare to disembark from the ship, agreeing to allow Kristoff to accompany them. When he asks about Boris, the Fantastic Four allow him to stay on board the Stealth-Hawk unattended. None are aware of the fact that "Boris" is not who he claims to be.
Once outside the ship, the Fantastic Four enter the Watcher's domain by walking straight through the outer wall. Once inside, Sue warns the group to stick together as the citadel is not confined to just three dimensional space and one can get easily lost. They are suddenly greeted by a holographic projection of the Watcher, who explains to the heroes that he cannot provide them with the answers that they seek. Sue won't accept this and demands to know why they were deceived into believing that the primitive future world -- complete with the Four Freedoms Plaza --- was also the same reality where the Fantastic Four perished during their first battle with Galactus -- a world where the Four Freedoms Plaza should not exist. Ben also chimes in, also demanding to know if this Watcher is really their ally Uatu, or the impostor who has been leading them on recently.
Meanwhile, the Crimson Cadre have detected the location of the Stealth-Hawk just outside the Watcher's citadel and General Ator calls his troops to arms. He is joined by Rootar, Margoyle, Eelak, Glaboo, and Pulssus to join him on his hunt for the Fantastic Four. While back within the Watcher's citadel, Nathaniel has managed to slip away from the others. Before his absence is noticed, he plants a device that will allow him to teleport back to the citadel at a later date. While aboard the Stealth-Hawk, the man posing as Boris goes over the Skrull database on board the ship when suddenly he begins detecting a massive energy spike. Inside the citadel the Fantastic Four are still grilling the Watcher for the truth when suddenly a massive portal opens and begins sucking whatever is in the room into it. As the Fantastic Four and their allies grab hold of what they can, the Watcher tells them to flee. But it is too late, as out of the portal emerges the leader of the Watchers, He Who Summons. He has come to gather Uatu for a combing battle, and despite his protests, Uatu is pulled through the portal. This disappearance is monitored elsewhere by the evil Reed Richards formally known as the Dark Raider. Back at the citadel, Sue notices that the Watcher has dropped yet another device for them and suggest that they follow after Uatu. Nathaniel returns and protests against this move, and when the Fantastic Four balk at this they are suddenly visited by the burning apparition of Sue again. This time the spirit tells the group that they should listen to Nathaniel as he is their salvation, before vanishing again.
While the Fantastic Four try to make up their minds over who to believe and what course of action they should take, they are suddenly ambushed by the phony Watcher who has returned to destroy them. When the Thing tires to charge at their attacker, the phony Watcher sends Ben flying out of the citadel with just a wave of his hand. The fake Watcher then finally reveals his true identity to the heroes: revealing himself as Aron the Rogue Watcher. He tells them that their universe is nearing an end, but they will never live to see it. Seeing this as an unforeseen complication, Nathaniel teleports away to plan a new strategy. While outside, the Thing recovers from the blow he sustained only to find that the Crimson Cadre has caught up with them. Lastly, Nathaniel arrives in Latveria, there the Servo-Guards ask if the should shut off the holographic projection of Susan Richards that Nathaniel has been using this entire time. Nathaniel decides against it, realizing that in order to further his goals, he must find someone who can assist the Fantastic Four in facing a rogue Watcher, and comes to a solution as to who that person just might be.
- Sue mentions that they obtained the Steal-Hawk from the Skrulls. This happened in Fantastic Four #383.
- Sue and Kristoff discuss the apparent deaths of Mister Fantastic and Doctor Doom, who were believed to have been killed in Fantastic Four #381. They are later revealed to be alive and well, but prisoners of Hyperstorm as seen in Fantastic Four #406-407.
- Ant-Man mentions the recent break up of Johnny and his ex-wife Lyja. Some facts:
- As explained in Fantastic Four #358 Lyja took the place of Alicia Masters to spy on the Fantastic Four circa Fantastic Four #265. With the Thing off planet, she pursued a relationship with Johnny.
- The couple eventually got married in Fantastic Four #300.
- The Thing eventually exposed Lyja as a Skrull spy in Fantastic Four #357 and they rescued the real Alicia in Fantastic Four #358 where Lyja seemingly perished.
- Lyja survived thanks her commander Paibok and they were rescued by Devos and plotted against the Fantastic Four as seen in Fantastic Four #370. As revealed in Fantastic Four #390, Paibok implanted Lyja with a Sha'Barri egg which they later led to Johnny to believe was his unborn child when they attacked him in Fantastic Four #371.
- Lyja eventually realized that she still had feelings for Johnny and betrayed Paibok to be by his side in Fantastic Four #374. Their romance rekindled until Lyja was forced to admit the truth in Fantastic Four #390 leading to Johnny ultimately rejecting her in Fantastic Four #392. At this time Johnny is unaware that Lyja has been following him since then in the guise of a woman named Laura Green.
- The Thing's face is scarred here following Ben being slashed in the face by Wolverine in Fantastic Four #374. Ben's face eventually gets healed in Fantastic Four #409.
- The Fantastic Four earned the ire of the Inhumans Genetic Council after they assisted the Inhuman Royal Family rescue Black Bolt and Medua's son Ahura from their clutches in Fantastic Four Unlimited #2.
- The man who appears to be Doom's assistant Boris, is actually Zarko the Tomorrow Man, who is exposed as an agent of Hyperstorm in Fantastic Four #409.
- Sue mentions the bizarre alternate worlds the Fantastic Four were forced to visit in Fantastic Four #390-392, what they are unaware of at this point is that those quests were part of Aron the Rogue Watcher's manipulations of the group.
- Sue mentions how one world had the Four Freedoms Plaza which would have been impossible if it was the same alternate world where the Fantastic Four died during their first battle with Galactus. This has to do with the Fantatic Four's headquarters at the time. On Earth-616 the Fantastic Four's headquarters was the Baxter Building from Fantastic Four #3 to Fantastic Four #278 when it was destroyed by Kristoff. They later built a new headquarters, the Four Freedoms Plaza which was opened to the public in Fantastic Four #293. That said, the battle against Galactus took place during Fantastic Four #48-50 when the group still resided in the Baxter Building. As such, if the FF died during the battle of Galactus and the Earth was decimated at the time, the events that led up to the construction of the Four Freedoms Plaza would never have happened.
- The teleportation device that Nathaniel plants within the Watcher's citadel is utilized in Fantastic Four: Atlantis Rising #1.
- As revealed this issue the apparition of Susan Richards that has been plaguing the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four #387, 392 and 396 has been a hologram created by Nathaniel Richards to manipulate the team into following his goals.
- The being that Nathaniel is speaking of bringing to assist the Fantastic Four is his nephew Franklin and his teammates in Fantastic Force as seen in Fantastic Force #7.
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