- It's good t'be together again......one last time.
- -- Ben Grimm
Appearing in "Hereafter: Part 2"
Synopsis for "Hereafter: Part 2"
The Fantastic Four have travelled to Heaven itself in order to recover the soul of their deceased teammate the Thing. They appear in a massive field. Reed tells Johnny and Sue that this dimension will base itself upon their own pre-existing theological conceptions as he believes the human brain could not comprehend this dimension as it actually appears. Suddenly they are swarmed by an army of angels who attack them. This comes as a surprise to the Invisible Woman and Human Torch who were expecting a warmer reception. While they fight back they are no match for the angels who easily incapacitate them with the mystical energy emitted from their swords. When Reed asks why they are being attacked one of the angels responds with the words "you don't belong here" on its face in flames. The angels suddenly disappear and Reed deduces that they were merely delivering a warning. Johnny is a little freaked out by all of this, but Reed insists that they still press on and continue their search for Ben. Meanwhile not far away, Ben Grimm and his long dead brother Danny are standing at a massive door. When Ben asks if his friends have turned around yet, Dan informs him that they have not. When Ben asks if he can just talk to Reed, his brother tells him that he can't because they have bent the rules too much already, reminding him that not just anyone can get into Heaven.
The Fantastic Four have reached the end of the field which opens up to a massive void with floating chunks of rock. Noticing that they interlock, Reed starts putting them together to form a bridge. When he tells them to follow him, Johnny points out that the last time they did this -- in Latveria -- it didn't go so well and admits he blames Reed for Ben's death. Reed then lashes out at Johnny, reminding him how he warned the Torch to keep his distance when Doctor Doom possessed Sue's body and how, because Johnny didn't listen, Doom was able to possess him which led to the chain of events leading up to Ben's death. Johnny backs off and says he wants to do everything possible to get Ben back as well and they press onward with Mister Fantastic in the lead. As they continue on Sue can't make heads or tails of their situation but suspects that they mean something. As they press on they are unaware that the interlocking blocks are forming a mosaic of Ben Grimm's face made out of stone.
Suddenly they pass through a fog and find themselves in what appears to be their Baxter Building home. All around them are multiple versions of Franklin and Valeria. Sue suspects that these are her and Reed's children on the best days of their lives. This leads to an argument between Reed and Sue this time. When Sue talks about how relaxing it is to exist somewhere that she doesn't have to worry about her children, Reed impresses the importance of having Ben back so the children can be safe as possible. The argument is cut short when Johnny calls out to them and following after him the scene suddenly changes into a forest and they suddenly smell a campfire and roasting marshmallows. Following the sound of Johnny's voice they find him conversing with his and Sue's parents, Franklin and Mary Storm, by a campfire. Although there is a happy reunion, Franklin gets down to being serious telling them that the powers that be are about to play rough with them. Before he can convince the Fantastic Four to turn back, its too late and a massive torrent of blood washes them away. As Reed struggles to save his wife and brother-in-law, Ben and Dan continue watching on. Dan reminds Ben that he has to open the door at the gates. Ben tries to open it with his strength, but finds himself incapable of opening it by force.
Elsewhere the Fantastic Four are washed up in a cave and are suddenly attacked by a swarm of tiny angels with razor sharp wings. Reed tells the others to keep pressing onward as Ben needs them. Having gotten fed up of his friends putting themselves in danger, Ben reaches out and pulls them the rest of the way to the gate. They are happily reunited and Ben tells them that it's great to see them one last time. Reed insists that this isn't Ben's time to go into the afterlife and that they are taking them home. Dan has an issue with this and Reed realizes that Ben's brother was the one responsible for impeding their progress to keep Ben in Heaven instead. Ben points out that they aren't actually in Heaven, more like the outskirts, and that he has to figure out how to open the door in order to pass through. However the door cannot be opened by Ben, and he can be the only one who does. Dan explains it was actually Ben that kept them away because he didn't want them to see who created the door baring Ben from Heaven. Reed takes a closer look at its design and is horrified to discover that it is one of his designs.
"Hereafter" pt. 2 (of 3).
Having embarked on the ultimate journey, Reed Richards and the rest of the Fantastic Three must contend with the defenses of the afterlife -- and storm the gates of Heaven itself.
- All the trauma caused to the Fantastic Four by Doctor Doom occurred in Fantastic Four Vol 3 #67-70 and Fantastic Four #500. That story ended with Doom being trapped in Hell. The Fantastic Four then tried to liberate Latveria from Fantastic Four #501-Fantastic Four #508 which led to the death of the Thing. Reed's scarred face is eventually healed and Ben resurrected in Fantastic Four #511.
- The device they have used to get to Heaven is based on a design created by Doctor Doom in college, as first seen back in Fantastic Four #5.
- There are three dead members of the Fantastic Four's extended family seen in Heaven:
- Daniel Grimm, Ben's older brother, who was leader of the Yancy Street Gang. He was killed in a brawl with a rival gang as first depicted in Thing #1.
- Mary Storm died in a car accident that was the fault of her husband as seen in Fantastic Four #32.
- Franklin Storm sacrificed his life saving the Fantastic Four from a Skrull bomb, also in Fantastic Four #32.
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