Appearing in "Doom Quest!"
Synopsis for "Doom Quest!"
After defeating Zarrko the Tomorrow Man, the Fantastic Four's ally Kristoff Vernard had developed a device that will help them track their foe through time and space. However while scanning the times stream the device begins to overload and Sue has to contain the device in a invisible force bubble when it explodes. Kristoff explains that he determined where Zarrko went but when he tried to scan that timeline to see what was waiting for them, the device exploded. Despite this unknown danger, Ben is determined to go. Although Lyja cautions them to wait until they obtain the proper intelligence, Sue tells the team that they are going to leave within the hour. Namor warns Sue that this is obviously a trap that they are about to walk into. They are unaware that in some distant future time Zarrko and his master Hyperstorm are observing their every move. When Zarrko asks his master if he is anxious to finally crush what is left of the Fantastic Four, he responds that he is not. He then goes to check on his prisoner, Doctor Doom, who has bee incapacitated and kept inert with a brain dissarator, preventing him from thinking even a single thought. Hyperstorm is then alerted by one of his men that the rebels of Alterra-4 have overrun the city. Hyperstorm orders the revels wiped out as well as the governor of Alterra-4 for failing to quell them on his own. In response, Hyperstorm's armies unleash an army of Destructoids that obliterate both parties. Watching this on the monitors Zarrko wonders how many more civilizations his master will obliterate before he is done.
Back in the present, Sue is preparing medical supplies for their trip when she is interrupted by Namor. He tries in vein to convince Sue that Reed is dead and that she should let go, but she refuses to do so until they learn the ultimate fate of her husband. Namor rescinds, but secretly hopes they do not find Sue's husband as he has already written him off as dead. He then questions if Kristoff is trustworthy to have on this mission. At that moment in the lab, Kristoff is making adjustments to his armor when he is interrupted by Scott Lang. Although Kristoff thinks Scott has come to spy on him, Ant-Man has merely come to thank him for developing his new suit of armor. Meanwhile, Sue checks on Lyja who is trying to reach Johnny and Franklin, but it appears that Fantastic Force is on a mission of their own. Sue then pulls Lyja aside telling her that she has some ideas on how to handle the trap they are obviously walking into. While else where in the Four Freedoms Plaza, Ben Grimm steps into the machine they recovered from Brazil that allows him to change back and forth between his human and Thing forms. Activating the device, Ben is transformed into the Thing once more, reveling in the increase in strength caused by the transformation. Ben later meets up with the others at the Time-Platform. As they are preparing to get ready to go, Ben asks where Lyja is and Sue tells him that she is being held in reserve just in case something happens. Before Ant-Man can activate the Time-Platform they are told to wait by Nathaniel Richards who warns them that they shouldn't leave otherwise they will face great peril. Although they others are quick to dismiss Nathaniel's warnings, Sue decides to hear him out but demands answers. When the elder Richards tells her that she is not ready for the full truth, Sue decides that his warnings are not worth doing nothing and orders Ant-Man to send them to the location Kristoff was able to pin-point. Nathaniel curses her, and then tries to teleport back to Latveria, instead he finds himself pulled forward in time to Hyperstorm's base of operations as his prisoner. Hyperstorm tells Richards that he wants full domination and turns this prisoner's attention to what he plans to do to the Fantastic Four.
At that moment Sue, Ben, Kristoff and Namor appear in what appears to be a small European village that resembles Latveria. They are greeted by the people about them including a man who calls himself mayor. However Kristoff's scans of the people reveal that they are nothing more than robots. The mayor becomes insistent that they join a banquet but when he grabs Ben's arm he pulls away, taking the robot's arm with it. Suddenly the seemingly peaceful villagers launch an attack on the heroes with various weapons hidden in their mechanical bodies. The heroes fight back and when they begin making short work of the robots they are suddenly struck down by a powerful energy blast that comes from the sky, knocking them all out. Sue and the others awaken some time later to find themselves trapped in some kind of stasis tubes. However Sue has planned for this contingency and all goes according to plan as their captors removed the vest that Sue was wearing. As it turns out it is not a vest at all, but Lyja in disguise. Reverting back to her humanoid form, the Skrull then frees her comrades. Searching through the facility, they find the room where Doctor Doom is being held prisoner. There Kristoff beams a message to his master from his gauntlet informing Doom that he will soon be freed. However they are interrupted by Hyperstorm, who tells the gathered heroes that they will be his guests for all time. At this the four heroes attack, but they are no match for Hyperstorm who easily deflects their attacks and knocks them asunder. Having grown tired of the conflict, he decides to send them to meet with Reed Richards, and with that Hyperstorm waves his hands and the heroes disappear in a blinding flash of light, leaving nothing but ash behind.
Hyperstorm is sufficiently entertained by this battle and begins to gloat before Doctor Doom before leaving the room. Although he assumes to have won a victory, he is unaware that Kristoff's tampering has freed Doctor Doom from the brain dissarator. Although he cannot move his body, Doctor Doom can now use his most deadly asset of them all: his mind.
- Zarrko mentions that Namor's people consider him an outcast, Namor was ousted as leader of the Atlanteans by her erstwhile son Llyron in Namor the Sub-Mariner #56.
- He also mentions that he has been pretending to be Kristoff's servant. Zarrko posed as Boris from Fantastic Four #396–404 in order to spy on the Fantastic Four for Hyperstorm.
- Doctor Doom has been a prisoner of Hyperstorm since his apparent demise in Fantastic Four #381. Mister Fantastic was also seemingly killed in that story, however he is found alive and well next issue.
- Namor can't trust Kristoff because he is programmed with the thoughts and memories of Doctor Doom. That happened in Fantastic Four #278.
- Ben's face has been scarred since Wolverine slashed him in the face in Fantastic Four #374. His face is eventually healed in Fantastic Four #409.
- Kristoff designed Ant-Man's new armor in Fantastic Four #403.
- Lyja mentions that she tried to get in touch with Johnny who joined Fantastic Force in Fantastic Force #10, he remains with the group until Fantastic Force #15.
- Ben obtained the device that allows him to change back and forth between human and Thing forms in last issue. It appears to make him more aggressive but this plot thread is dropped when the Thing sacrificed the device to assist in fighting Onslaught in Fantastic Four #416.
- The secret that Nathaniel refuses to reveal is that Hyperstorm -- in at least one future -- is the grandson of Reed and Sue. This fact is revealed in Fantastic Four #413.
- The scene with the robotic townspeople celebrating the heroes and insisting in celebrating our heroes arrival is a homage to Fantastic Four #84. In that story the people of Latveria were forced to do the very same thing when the Fantastic Four were made prisoner of Doctor Doom.
- On page 2 panel 3 Ben Grimm is depicted without scars on his face.