Appearing in "Unbeatable Is My Foe!"
- Fantastic Four
Synopsis for "Unbeatable Is My Foe!"
Utilizing Kristoff Vernard's time travel device the Fantastic Four and their allies, Lyja, Kirstoff and the Sub-Mariner find themselves transported back to the mock village that exists outside of Hyperstorm's citadel. They have come back to this future time to make good on a promise to Kristoff to rescue Doctor Doom before returning home to their own time. Reed protests the idea of going in unprepared, demanding that Vernard take him back this lab, something that the youth refuses to do. While this argument is going on, Ben can't help but notice that Reed's confidence appears to have been shaken after his time trapped in the distant past. Sue talks sense into her husband, pointing out that if Hyperstorm is omnipotent as he claims he already knows they are there. Sue is absolutely correct as Hyperstorm is watching them from one of his monitors. Seeing that his intended victims are back he orders his troops to unleash the Destructroids upon them. He then departs to see how his other "visitors" are doing. Elsewhere in the complex Nathaniel Richards and a man who appears to be Zarrko the Tomorrow Man are clashing with Hyperstorm's troops. Little does Nathaniel realize that Doctor Doom has managed to use his mind-swapping technique to switch bodies with Zarrko. The two make short work of the soldiers and get to a computer console to try and find a weapon they can use against their foe. From there, Nathaniel is shocked to discover that the Destructroids are being unleashed.
Meanwhile in the present, the Human Torch has returned to the Four Freedoms Plaza after a stint away from the team. There he learns from Ant-Man and his daughter Cassie that Sue and the others have gone into the time stream to try and find Reed. Johnny is upset that neither Scott or any of the others called him, but Lang explains that Johnny was away on a mission with Fantastic Force when they called. Johnny puts aside the argument and after giving Cassie a kiss on the forehead, the Torch orders Ant-Man to send him after his teammates.
While back in the distant future the Fantastic Four and their allies make their way through the city where now all the robotic villagers have been rendered inert. Suspecting an ambush, Reed orders everyone to take point when suddenly they are ambushed by the Destructroids. These supremely powerful robots appear to be impervious to harm. Seeing the situation as a losing battle, Kristoff decides to retreat from his erstwhile comrades in order to seek out his master, Doctor Doom. Watching from the monitors in the fortress, Nathaniel Richards cannot stand idly by and let his son fall in battle. When he heads out to join them, "Zarrko" refuses to join, telling Richards that he has other work to do. Without Nathaniel to impede him, Doctor Doom then heads toward his natural body intent to free himself from Hyperstorm in body as well as in mind. While outside the battle rages on and things are beginning to look bleak for the heroes when they are suddenly join by the Human Torch. Johnny is surprised to see that Reed is alive and well. As the Fantastic Four and their allies begin to make headway against the Destructroids, Hyperstorm watches on -- while the arrival of Johnny Storm was not unexpected, Hyperstorm is still convinced that this is a battle he can win.
As the battle rages on, Nathaniel Richards also joins the fight. Taking Sue aside, he explains to her that due to her connection with hyperspace she is the only with with the necessary power to destroy the Destructroids. With his guidance, Sue is surprised to see that she can destroy these constructs using her invisibility powers. However Reed is horrified to be seeing his wife use her powers in such a way, and wonders if his father Nathaniel realizes the dangers in trying to harness such power. As Reed demands to know how Sue utilized her powers in such a way, they are suddenly attacked by Hyperstorm himself, who blasts Sue aside. Furious, Reed lashes out at their foe, demanding why he is singling out the Fantastic Four. Hyperstorm remains cryptic, but suggests that his reasons are personal. Meanwhile, Kristoff has broken into Hyperstorm's facility and fought his way into the stasis chamber where Doom was being held prisoner, but is surprised to find that his master has freed himself. Back in his own body and wearing his armor once again, Doctor Doom tells his ward that they must prepare a suitable attack against their foe. While outside, Reed is knocked by by Hyperstorm and caught by Ben. It is at this point that Lyja notices that Kristoff has been missing since the battle against the Destructroids. This distraction allows Hyperstorm to begin charging his powers. He gloats that he is one with hyperspace itself and harnesses its limitless power, offering the Fantastic Four and their allies one last chance to bow to him or die. While in a lab within Hyperstorm's fortress, Doctor Doom and Kristoff work on a device that Doom hopes will allow him to drain Hyperstorm's power which Doom in turn hopes to utilize himself.
- This story continues from the events of Fantastic Four Unlimited #12
- Ben's face is scarred here because he was slashed in the face by Wolverine back in Fantastic Four #374, his face is fully healed next issue.
- Doctor Doom managed to swap bodies with Zarrko last issue using the Ovoid mind swapping technique he learned in Fantastic Four #10.
- Mention is made about how Johnny had left the Fantastic Four to join Fantastic Force in Fantastic Force #10-15.
- Johnny mentions the recent revelations that Reed is alive. The Fantastic Four believed Reed to have died battling Doctor Doom in Fantastic Four #381, however as stated last issue, Reed was actually a prisoner of Hyperstorm the whole time.
- Although never specifically stated, since Reed and Johnny are returning to the team, both Lyja and Ant-Man step down as members of the Fantastic Four, but both remain close to the team.
- Ben mentions not wanting to miss an episode of Melrose Place and that his "tape might be full" referring to how he records episodes on a VHS tape. These statements should be considered topical references per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- Nathan reminds Sue that her powers are derived from hyperspace, a fact that was first mentioned in Fantastic Four #400. Reed's concerns over this use of Sue's powers are eventually dropped as a plot thread due to the upcoming Onslaught and Heroes Reborn events.
- Hyperstorm cryptically suggests that his reasons for attacking the Fantastic Four are personal. As revealed in Fantastic Four #414, in one possible future Hyperstorm is the grandchild of Reed and Sue via their son Franklin.
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