Appearing in "5th Wheel: Part 1"
Synopsis for "5th Wheel: Part 1"
The Fantastic Four are recovering from the most recent battle against Doctor Doom. Franklin has been greatly disturbed after spending an extended period of time in Hell. After examination by a psychologist, it is determined that Franklin was overwhelmed and his mind is withdrawing. Reed's face was horribly scarred by Doctor Doom and Johnny was burnt by Hellfire, which has left physical scars as well as mental ones. Both Reed and Sue are horrified when the child psychologist shows them Franklin's drawings of things he saw while he was in hell. The doctor tells them to show love to Franklin and be there for him no matter what and hopefully he will be able to snap out of his shell someday. Ben is also dealing with the damage done to the rocky surface of his skin and the Baxter Building is in ruins. Later that day, Johnny asks Reed why he doesn't use his powers or plastic surgery to get rid of the scars on his face. Reed explains that his powers can't undo the damage and it's those very same abilities that prevent surgery from being done as well. When Johnny asks Reed if it was a good idea to take Franklin out in to public and why Reed didn't accompany them, Richards explains that he didn't go because the sight of his face disturbs his son and he retreats to his lab.
Meanwhile, Sue and Ben have taken Franklin to Coney Island. In order to prevent causing a scene, Sue is using her powers to make the Thing invisible. However no matter what they try, nothing seems to snap Franklin out of his distant mood. Rides, candy, and toys seem to do little to snap the boy out of his funk. Ben and Sue talk about what happened with each other and how Reed blames himself for everything that was done to the family. Back at the Baxter Building, Johnny finds Reed sitting in his lab and asks how and when they are going to start fixing their headquarters. However Reed is not interested in making repairs. Johnny then decides to do something about Reed's depressive mood. Grabbing some guns, he brings Reed to the Time Platform. They use it to travel back in time to Hungary, where they spy upon a young Victor von Doom with his childhood love, Valeria. When Reed recognises where he is, Johnny powers up the weapon.
In the present, Sue continues to try and snap Franklin out of his state of mind by going on various rides but it still doesn't work. When they are about to give up, Sue is then approached by a man who makes a number of lewd comments toward her. Fed up with his unwanted advances, Sue responds by making Ben visible. When everyone realises that there are two members of the Fantastic Four at the amusement park they are soon swarmed by autograph hungry fans. The swarm of people eventually make Franklin angry enough to begin yelling and swearing at them and telling the people stay away from them.
- All the trauma caused to the Fantastic Four by Doctor Doom occurred in Fantastic Four (Vol. 3) #67–70 and last issue. Reed's scarred face is eventually healed in Fantastic Four #511.
- Reed hopes that Johnny isn't interfering in the life of Davy Crockett. This is a reference to when Johnny and Ben used the Time Platform to go back to 19th Century in Fantastic Four (Vol. 3) #60.
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