Appearing in "At the Mercy of Maximus!"
- Kristoff Vernard
- Boris (Zarrko in disguise)
- Nathaniel Richards
- House of Agon
- Renegade Inhumans
- Morgan Le Fay
- Thor (Enthralled by Morgan le Fay)
- Inhuman Genetic Council
- New Jersey
- Seaside Heights
- Moon (Only in flashback)
- Blue Area (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "At the Mercy of Maximus!"
The Invisible Woman, Thing, Ant-Man and Kristoff Vernard are fighting for their lives against the Inhumans after being shrunk in size and placed inside Attilan by Maximus the Mad. As they battle on, Kristoff complains about not being able to use lethal force, but Ben reminds the youth that killing isn't what the Fantastic Four does. After fighting off the latest group of attackers their attention is drawn over the city as the massive face of Maximus looms over them, laughing manically. As Maximus gloats over his current victory, his minion Nebulo asks if this was a wise course of action. Maximus reminds Nebulo of how Attilan was at risk of destruction on the Blue Area of the Moon. While the Fantastic Four so graciously saved the city by shrinking it in size and taking it aboard the Steal-Hawk, it allowed Maximus and his renegades to escape and size the ship, shrinking most of the Fantastic Four down in size. Now while Sue and the others are trapped in the miniature city, Maximus has been working at brainwashing the Human Torch into his loyal pawn. Maximus is then interrupted by Leonus who brings the man posing as Boris, Kristoff's retainer. Learning the man's cover identity, Maximus wishes he could get his hands on Doctor Doom, but otherwise dismisses the impostor as a non-threat when reports come in as to the location of the Genetic Council of the Inhumans. Maximus soon learns that the Council is on Earth within Atlantis, which had just recently been risen out of the sea.
Down on Earth, behind the protective magnetic barrier around the recently raised island, the Genetic Council meets with Morgan le Fay and his thrall, the mighty Thor, to discuss ownership of Atlantis, which the council claims is their ancestral lands. When Morgan claims full ownership of Atlantis, things get heated but Lord Arcadus of the Council clams his fellow council members. At which point Morgan decides that perhaps it would be best if they shared ownership of Atlantis and rule it as allies. However, Arcadus detects some underlying treachery he agrees to the proposal. Morgan then offers to help Arcadus locate their missing people and using her magic she is able to trace the location of Attilan to the Stealth-Hawk which is still in orbit between Earth and the Moon, but also senses that the city is in the possession of Maximus and his renegades.
Aboard the ship as Maximus orders his minions to prepare a course for Atlantis, Boris notices that there is some movement within the bottled city of Attilan. Sue and the others are raising themselves to the opening at the top with an invisible platform. When they successfully break out, Boris tries to create a distraction but Leonus sees through it and spots the diminutive heroes making their escape. While at that moment deep below the ocean, the Sub-Mariner drifts unconsciously after his battle with Morgan le Fay. He is spotted by members of his former military. They are about to slay him when they decide that it would be better to take him prisoner for their new leader Llyron. While in Latveria, Nathaniel Richards watches the latest news on the growing crisis. Having learned that the Fantastic Four have recovered Attilan, Nathaniel is determined to recover the shrunken city and uses his matter transporter to teleport aboard the Steal-Hawk. As the Stealth-Hawk rushes toward Atlantis, the Human Torch's brainwashing is completed and he is convinced that all his friends are now his enemies. While the renegade Inhumans try to capture the other members of the Fantastic Four, they find that even at their small size they are still a threat, as Sue uses invisible force daggers to temporarily blind Leonus. When Stallior tries to crush them with his ball and chain, Kristoff shoots the ball free and it knocks Timberus out.
Seeing that the battle is faring poorly, Maximus releases the brainwashed Human Torch and sets him upon his allies while Nathaniel teleports aboard the ship and watches from beneath a cloak of invisibility. While on the island, Morgan and the Genetic Council are warned of the approaching ship and it is recognized as the one owned by the Fantastic Four. Morgan promises to recover the city of Attilan for the Council and they retire to their ship. There Lord Arcadus tells his fellow council members that he does not trust Morgan and decides to put in a contingency of his own. Using a holo-fax device he manages to reach the Inhuman royal family from the New Jersey circus they call their home, he tells Black Bolt and the others that their people are in need of the royal family. While back aboard the Stealth-Hawk the miniature members of the Fantastic Four are still scrambling to get away from Maximus and his minions. While everyone is distracted, Nathaniel Richards tries to make off with the shrunken city of Attilan. Witnessing the city rise from the table, Maximus orders the Torch to use his ability to see head signatures to see what's going on. Spotting Nathaniel, Johnny tries to stop him, but instead Nathaniel teleports the both of them away. Meanwhile, Ant-Man makes a jump for his Pym Particle gas canisters, and when Leonus tries to stop him he is blasted from behind by Boris. Ant-Man then uses the gas to restore himself and his allies to normal size. Before they can confront Maximus and his men, the Stealth-Hawk is suddenly rocked by the arrival of Thor who is intent on destroying the vessel if they do not surrender.
- This is the third chapter of the Atlantis Rising event. The following events happened prior to this issue:
- The prologue to this event occurred in Namor the Sub-Mariner #60–62 in which Morgan le Fay used her magics to raise Atlantis from the ocean floor.
- In Fantastic Four: Atlantis Rising #1, Attilan was threatened with destruction thanks to Nathaniel Richards setting off a security device within the Watcher's Citadel, prompting the Genetics Council to flee. The Fantastic Four then shrunk Attilan down in size and rescued it. This allowed Maximus and his minions to get free and take control of the ship and shrink most of the FF down in size. It was also during this story that Morgan enthralled Thor, and Namor was defeated in battle. Also in that issue, Black Bolt was briefly exposed to the vacuum of space when trying to check on Attilan, hence why he is recuperating in this issue.
- Te Thin's face is scarred here because he was slashed in the face by Wolverine in Fantastic Four #374. His face is eventually healed in Fantastic Four #409.
- The man posing as Doctor Doom's former retainer Boris is actually Zarrko the Tomorrow man as revealed in Fantastic Four #405 he is spying on the Fantastic Four for his master Hyperstorm.
- The imposition that the Inhumans originated from Atlantis and that it is their ancestral home was first mentioned in Fantastic Four: Atlantis Rising #1. Morgan has a stake in Atlantis because prior to the Great Cataclysm, Atlantis was a place of great magic as first referenced in Fear #15.
- At the time of this story, Namor was ousted as ruler of Atlantis, replaced by Llyron in Namor the Sub-Mariner #56.
- The Inhuman royal family have been living in New Jersey ever since they self-exiled themselves from Attilan in Fantastic Four Unlimited #2.
- Technically Johnny leaves the team at this point as he officially joins Fantastic Force shortly thereafter in Fantastic Force #10 where he remains until Fantastic Force #15.
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