Appearing in "Settling the Score With the Sub-Mariner!"
- Nathaniel Richards
- Kristoff Vernard
- House of Agon
Synopsis for "Settling the Score With the Sub-Mariner!"
Sue has collapsed after their mission to recover Black Bolt of the Inhumans, prompting the Fantastic Four to call her medical attention as soon as they arrive at their headquarters the Four Freedoms Plaza. When the doc arrives, Johnny explains to Lyja that Sue pushed herself too hard trying to keep back Hoover Dam with her powers after it was compromised in their battle. This prompts Reed to scold his father for pushing Sue to tap into hyperspace to boost her powers, warning him that they have no concept of the danger that come from the result of doing so. While elsewhere at the medical bay, Scott Lang is placing Black Bolt into a stasis-med chamber until Reed can work on fixing his damaged tuning fork. When Reed finally comes the Inhumans are anxious to get their leader back in the proper health, but they are interrupted by Namor who demands to know how Susan is doing. When Reed assures her that the doctor is looking after her needs, Namor storms out to be by her side. At that moment, Ben is walking through the halls thinking about how much he can't stop thinking of Lyja. He stumbles upon the woman trying to talk to her ex-husband, but Johnny has no time to talk as he has a car rally to attend and takes off. Ben then makes his presence known and tells her that he has a shoulder to cry on if she needs it. Lyja thanks him, but assures him that she'll be fine, but confides in him that its horrible to be in love with someone who doesn't even realize you're alive.
At that moment, Namor comes in on Sue just as she is waking up and he confesses that he still loves her. When she reminds him that she is married to Reed, Namor tells her to leave him as he is weak and deserves better. Reed is passing by and overhears this and walks in on Namor trying to force Sue to leave with him. Reed then tells the Sub-Mariner to step away from his wife. When Namor balks at this command, Reed attacks him, sending Namor smashing outside of the Four Freedoms. Sue tries to tell Reed that Namor isn't thinking straight since losing his kingdom, but Reed jumps out the window. Sue tries to stop him but it is too late. She then collapses to the ground in tears after failing to tell her husband that she loves him, and only him. Down on the streets, Namor and Reed begin fighting it out over Sue. While back inside the building, Ben exposes himself to the machine that changes him back to human form. Once it's complete he hears the others crying for him to come and help. As Reed and Namor continue to fight, Ben checks on Scott and the Inhumans and learns that the stasis chamber is malfunctioning and unless Reed comes and helps, Black Bolt may die. Ben tells them to keep calm and goes out to look for Reed when he is suddenly struck by another headache. Back outside, Reed and Namor's fight take them into a department store where Reed realizes that he cannot keep this pace up against Namor and tries to retreat down into the subway, but the Sub-Mariner quickly follows him.
Back at the Four Freedoms, Lyja finds Sue and tells her of the crisis with the Inhumans and learns where Reed is. The two women then head off to try and find Reed and Namor and get them to stop fighting before Black Bolt dies. They take a portion of the Fantasti-Car out to try and track them down. They spot the two men fighting it out at a construction site. The two women interrupt the fight and while Lyja subdues Namor, Sue rushes to her husband and tells him that she loves him and nobody else and that Namor is not a threat to their marriage. Seeing Sue's true feelings Namor becomes even more enraged than ever. Breaking free from Lyja's grip, Namor decides that if he cannot have Susan than nobody can and lunges at Reed. Mister Fantastic is able to dodge out of the way, and finally fed up of Namor's interference in his marriage pummels him into submission. With Namor down, Reed realizes how much of a fool he has been acting and when Sue informs him of the danger Black Bolt is in, he agrees to go back to base right away. After they are gone, Lyja tells Namor he can stop faking and get up. Lyja realizes what Namor did and thanks him for it. However before he flies away, the Sub-Mariner explains that he didn't necessarily do it for Reed, explaining that he is a patient man and his display today was something to keep him in Sue's mind, and that when he returns next it will be when the Fantastic Four least expects it.
- The teenage Franklin seen here was delivered to the modern age by Nathaniel Richards from Earth-6311 to replace his Earth-616 counterpart. This occurred in Fantastic Four #376. Although everyone reacts as though this is Earth-616's Franklin all grown up, the young Franklin is returned in Fantastic Four #413. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #14 confirms that they are separate entities. Franklin believes that his mission was to stop the Dark Raider from destroying the Fantastic Four as explained in Fantastic Four #387, however this is part of a larger scheme to stop Hyperstorm that is not realized until Fantastic Four #414.
- Reed scolds his father for teaching Sue how to tap into hyperspace for a power source. He first taught her how to do this in Fantastic Four #400.
- Namor's aggressive attempts to woo Sue is due to a long standing history between the two: Namor was constant competition for Sue's affections since the Torch revived him in Fantastic Four #4. Sue eventually decided on Reed over Namor following the events of Fantastic Four Annual #1 (as explained in Fantastic Four: The Wedding Special #1) and Namor eventually moved on when Reed and Sue were married in Fantastic Four Annual #3. When Reed and Sue were briefly separated in Fantastic Four #130, Namor appeared to take advantage of that in Fantastic Four #147. Although Sue was driven by her past emotions for Namor, the Sub-Mariner was actually willfully involved in an attempt to bring Sue and Reed back together as seen in Fantastic Four #149. After learning that Reed was lost and presumed missing, Namor has remained almost consistently at Sue's side since Fantastic Four #385.
- Black Bolt requires medical assistance because his tuning fork was damaged battling Thor in Fantastic Four: Atlantis Rising #2.
- The forming love triangle between Lyja, Johnny and Ben is due to the following:
- 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.
- Ben had secretly realized that he is attracted to Lyja in Fantastic Four #407.
- Sue mentions how Namor recently lost his kingdom. This is a reference to how his erstwhile son Llyron took control of the kingdom of Atlantis in Namor the Sub-Mariner #56. Making matters worse is the fact that the physical location of Atlantis was risen to the surface in Fantastic Four: Atlantis Rising #1.
- A man on the street mentions how he thought a news report stated Reed Richards was dead. The world at large believed Reed died battling Doctor Doom in Fantastic Four #381. However Fantastic Four #407 reveals that Reed was a prisoner of Hyperstorm the whole time.
- The device that Ben is using to return to human form at will was recovered from Brazil in Fantastic Four #405. All the plot points involving its origins and side effects on Ben are dropped when Ben sacrifices the machine to help battle Onslaught in Fantastic Four #416.
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