Appearing in "Reunion!"
Synopsis for "Reunion!"
Banished through time and space to be met with their long lost leader, the remaining members of the Fantastic Four and their allies the Sub-Mariner and Kristoff Vernard find themselves in the Hyborian era and under attack by a band of raiders. The barbarians prove no match for the heroes and their super-human abilities and are sent fleeing from the scene. Finding the thieves trove of stolen goods, the four heroes find appropriate disguises and they decide to head to a nearby city to search for clues. While in the distant future, Hyperstorm gloats to his prisoner, Nathaniel Richards, who is being held in stasis and is incapable of doing anything to stop Hyperstorm's master plan. When Hyperstorm leaves the room, Nathaniel mocks his minion Zarrko for being a slave to Hyperstorm. When Zarrko explains that Hyperstorm rescued him and that they are business associates, Richards tells him that Hyperstorm often eliminates his allies once they have outlived their usefulness. While elsewhere in the facility is the disabled body of Doctor Doom. None are aware that earlier Kristoff was able to disable the mental blocks that prevented Doom from using his most dangerous weapon: his mind.
While in the distant past, the heroes have made it to the town and put on their disguise. When they remind Lyja that her green skin sticks out, she shape-shifts into a female form. At this moment, Ben suddenly realizes that he is attracted to Lyja. Entering a nearby bar, the heroes begin going around asking people if they have seen any sign of Reed Richards. Sue manages to flirt up a wealthy merchant who tells her of a strange hermit that lives in the woods near by. This is overheard by a hard looking man who is also seeking out this same information. He decides that it is time to report back to his master Artabazus. Also among the patrons are the raiders who the heroes battled earlier. Their leader, Andros suddenly recognizes the Thing through his disguise and orders his men to attack, leading to a bar brawl breaking out.
Back in the future, Zarrko decides to pay a visit to Doctor Doom to gloat over his recent victories. However he does not anticipate that Doom's mind is now free and quickly fall victim to Doom's mind-swapping abilities. Free to move in Zarrko's body, Doctor Doom vows to get revenge against Hyperstorm. While back in the past, the bar brawl rages on until Namor spots some soldiers coming their way. Needing to make a quick exit, Sue uses her powers to smash a hole through the wall and they commandeer a hay wagon in order to escape from town. Meanwhile in present day New York City, Johnny Storm has decided to return home to the Fantastic Four after his stint with Fantastic Force because he misses his old teammates. After getting off the subway he calls ahead to the Four Freedoms Plaza where Scott Lang answers the phone. When Lang tells Johnny of Sue and the team's current mission, Johnny quickly flames on and rushes to his former headquarters. While in the distant past, the four heroes come to the cave of the hermit the locals were speaking of and are surprised to see a rather sophisticated irrigation system. When Namor rushes down the ridge, he accidentally sets off a trip wire which sends a warning to the man inside the cave. They are shocked when it is none other than Reed Richards who comes stretching out of the cave. Not recognizing his friends and family, Reed attacks thinking that they are some kind of intruders.
Thinking that these are impostors, some strange trick being played on his by Hyperstorm, Reed lashes out in full fury. The battle ends when Sue manages to talk Reed down and convince them that it's really her. The couple embrace as Namor looks on with a sense of loss. Lyja helps Ben back to his feet after the fight. When Ben brushes off the situation with his usual gruff attitude, Lyja calls Ben on how he "really feels". Ben momentarily thinks that Lyja is admitting to feelings for him, but this idea is quickly quashed when she surmises that he is also choked up at the reunion between Reed and Sue. While not far away, the warrior from the bar has an audience with his master, the wizard known as Aratbazus who has information on the strange hermit in the woods. Aratbazus is pleased to hear this and plans to obtain the strange secrets and skills which the hermit has on hand. Back at the cave, Sue, Ben, Namor and Lyja see how Reed has been sustaining himself in this pre-technological world. Reed explains that while he was able to recreate a number of necessities, he did not have the needed tools and material to build a new time machine to escape his purgatory. Kristoff explains to them that he has the means to escape as he has brought with him a miniature time transporter, but will only agree to use it if the others promise to help him free his master Doctor Doom. While at the moment in the distant future, Doom -- in Zarrko's body -- frees Nathaniel Richards from stasis. Unaware of the switch, Richards agrees to work with him to prepare a surprise for their foe, little knowing that Hyperstorm is monitoring them and is more than prepared to deal with them.
- Ben's face is scarred here because he was slashed in the face by Wolverine back in Fantastic Four #374, his face gets healed in Fantastic Four #409.
- Doctor Doom has been prisoner of Hyperstorm since his apparent demise in Fantastic Four #381, likewise Mister Fantastic was banished in the distant past roughly the same time. Their time imprisoned by Hyperstorm is explored in Fantastic Four Unlimited #12.
- Ben mentions that Lyja is a "free agent" just like him:
- Lyja used to pose as Ben's now ex-girlfriend Alicia Masters. As revealed in Fantastic Four #358 she did so during the events of Fantastic Four #265.
- She pursued a romance with Johnny and they were eventually married in Fantastic Four #300 but Ben eventually exposed her as a Skrull in Fantastic Four #357
- Although the real Alicia was rescued in Fantastic Four #358, Ben could not rekindle the relationship due to the fact he was currently in a relationship with Sharon Ventura (which had been on going since Fantastic Four #317). Although Sharon was mutated further in Fantastic Four #379 and went missing after Fantastic Four Unlimited #5, Ben could not bring himself to renew his romance with Alicia, even when the Puppet Master tried to force it in Fantastic Four #393.
- Meanwhile, as revealed in Fantastic Four #390, Lyja sought revenge against Johnny for abandoning her during the rescue mission that she allowed her fellow Skrull Paibok implant a Sha'Barri egg in her body. Since Fantastic Four #371 she led Johnny to believe she was pregnant with their child.
- Lyja realized that she still had feelings for Johnny betrayed Paibok to be by his side in Fantastic Four #374. She eventually gave birth to the Sha'Barri egg in Fantastic Four #385. However she was forced to admit that it wasn't their child in Fantastic Four #390. Horrified by this deception, Johnny rejected her in Fantastic Four #392.
- What Ben is not aware of is the fact that Lyja still cares for her ex-husband and has been posing as a woman named Laura Green since Fantastic Four #393 just to be near him.
- The search for Reed's cave, and Reed's activities before he is found by Sue and the others is expanded upon in Fantastic Four: Unplugged #3.
- Artabazus' attempts to steal Reed's secrets leads to a clash with Reed and the others as seen in Fantastic Four Unlimited #12.