Quote1.png Yer smart enuff not ta complain--around me, at least--about y'r looks. And I'd give anything f'r him not to 've put the whammy on ya. But I......I mean it messed ya up in th' head. Quote2.png
-- Thing

Appearing in "Authoritative Action: Part 3"

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Synopsis for "Authoritative Action: Part 3"

In order to win the trust of the Latverian people, Mister Fantastic addresses the entire population through a televised speech. He explains that he has appointed himself as sovereign ruler of Latveria in order to keep the nation safe from its many enemies. He shows footage of how the Fantastic Four have been busy helping the country sustain itself while also disabling Doom's massive weapons cache and the remaining rogue Doombots that are still active in the country. As a gesture of good faith, Reed tells the people that Doom's castle will be opened first thing in the morning for the locals to do as they see fit.

The following morning the Latverian people come to the castle in droves and are allowed in to take or break whatever they like. Johnny finds that mob mentality is unbecoming of Reed, but he explains to Johnny that the entire exercise is supposed to be cathartic for the Latverians. Still the group decides to split up and keep an eye on things. Reed witnesses two men fighting over the destruction of a portrait of Doctor Doom's mother, Cynthia von Doom. When Reed questions why they would protect the painting of a woman who birthed a murderer, the two men strip the painting and take the golden frame. Ben overhears this and is shocked by what he is hearing coming out of Reed's mouth. The situation gets tense when a Latverian suicide bomber loyal to the reign of Doctor Doom tries to blow them all up with a Vibranium bomb. He is easily subdued by the Fantastic Four and his suicide vest is disarmed. Reed is furious with this man and is about to resort to some heavy tactics when the others convince him that if they are to win over the people of this country they cannot start acting like Doctor Doom.

Meanwhile at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City a meeting has been called to discuss the situation in Latveria. The members of the meeting agree that they are to disavow Reed's coup of the country. Nick Fury and a representative of the United States are told that they must stand with the rest of the nation otherwise other member nations -- particularly China and Russia -- will assume that the United States endorses the occupation which could lead to a declaration of war. While back in Latveria, Ben happens upon Reed as he is trying to spend time with Franklin. Reed's suggestsions on what they do for Franklin's birthday are greeted with disinterest as Franklin only wants to know what his family will be back home. Reed is upset that his son still can't look him in the face. Ben interrupts and tells Reed the teleporter is ready to go. Soon Franklin is teleported back to the Moon where he has been staying under the care of the Inhuman known as Crystal.

With Franklin gone, Ben brings up his worries about Reed's mental state, brining up the incident with the painting and the suicide bomber. When Reed gets upset with Ben for siding with their detractors, the Thing points out that Reed is starting to sound more and more like Doctor Doom. Ben also points out that the damage Doom did to Reed is more than skin deep. This statement upsets both Reed and Sue. This leads to a heated arugment between Sue and Ben, and when Sue tells the Thing that she is doing what's best for her children and that he wouldn't understand until he has children of his own. She regrets what she said the moment she says it but the damage is already done and Ben leaves the room.

At the nearby bar the Human Torch is entertaining a group of young women when he is interrupted by the Thing. Ben tells Johnny that he has discovered a member of the Latverian resistance that is in that very bar. When he leaves they follow him to their hideout and they confront the dissidents. When they try to explain that they have just come to talk, Ben and Johnny find that the leader of the resistance is terrified of them and will only state his name and rank. Suddenly an army of Doombots come smashing through the wall. They are soon outnumbered and the swarm of robot easily incapacitate Johnny, Ben and the resistance members. As Ben begins to black out the last thing he sees is Reed Richards among the the Doombots, controlling them for his own ends...


Continuity Notes

  • Cynthia von Doom is revered by her son because she was murdered by the soldiers of Vladimir Fortunov the former ruler of Latveria, as first explained in Fantastic Four Annual #2. Marvel Graphic Novel #49 and Books of Doom #1 explain that she was put to death due to her use of witchcraft accidentally killing the population of a small village. Doom avenged his mother by killing King Vladimir in Books of Doom #6 and claiming the country as his own. Both of these tales explain that her soul also ended up in the domain in Mephisto until it was recently freed by Doom and Doctor Strange in Marvel Graphic Novel #49, hence the reference to her soul being "free" on the portraits description.

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