- What-- no hug? I don't think that's any way to greet......your father...!
- -- Wizard
Appearing in "Dysfunctional: Part One"
Synopsis for "Dysfunctional: Part One"
The Wizard is meeting with his fans online to tell them that now that the Fantastic Four's reputation is damaged he will make it his goal to destroy them once and for all. Watching their leader are Frightful Four members Trapster and Hydro-Man. Thanks to the new costumed designed by the Wizard, Hydro-Man's powers have been increased he feels strong enough to take on the entire Fantastic Four on his own. He then begins to complain about the lack of stairs and the Trapster reminds his comrade that the Wizard is a master of gravity and goes back to prepping traps. Because the Trapster is speaking down to him Hydro-Man gives him a demonstration of his powers by sucking all the moisture out of his body until he collapses of dehydration. The Wizard witnesses this and demonstrates his own dominance by activating the failsafes in Hydro-Man's armor. As Hydro-Man fights to keep himself cohesive, the Wizard states that he will use this new team of the Frightflul Four to defeat his foes in the Fantastic Four. With Hydro-Man and the Trapster restored to normal they are about to fight it out when they are stopped by the newest member of the group: Salamandra. The Wizard asks Salamandra if she completed her task, she explains that her daughter has done as instructed. The Wizard explains that the 19 year old girl has been exchanging e-mails with the Human Torch and they plan to use this to lure him into a trap. With the wheels in motion, the Wizard leaves Hydro-Man to amuse Salamandra while he and the Trapster head off to start the next phase of their plans.
Meanwhile in Manhattan the Fantastic Four are out on the town where they continue to get a chilling reception from the public. When the Thing is refused service from a hot dog vender, Johnny is thankful that at least someone is interested in him. This leads to some teasing about how he is meeting a girl he met off the internet. Ben almost loses his temper when someone on a passing bus tosses a drink at the Thing, Reed has to stop Ben from wrecking the bus. Johnny has broken off from the group to meet his date, a young woman named Cole at a coffee shop. The Wizard and his cohorts are watching this situation. The Trapster is impressed with the girl and suggests that she join the team. The Wizard stresses that they cannot be more than four and that Cole has no super-powers. At that moment, Johnny's date is interrupted when the others arrive. This gives Cole cold feet and as she backs up her hand taps the side of the coffee shop. Suddenly the upper floors of the building explode. Watching this the Wizard is impressed and still believes that things are going according to plan. The Fantastic Four quickly act and prevent the falling debris from hurting everyone. Cole runs away in the middle of the confusion and the Fantastic Four are blamed for the damage.
Johnny chases after Cole and gets her to stop and talk. Johnny apologises but tells her that's his family. Cole talks about how her own mother neglects her and that she wishes her mom was dead. Johnny recounts how his parents are dead and how his sister raised him when he was growing up. Cole is envious of Johnny's family life and recounts how her life was spent going to various private schools. She then tells him that the best thing that has happened in recent memory and they agree to go back to the Baxter Building. After a tour of the building, Cole goes to the washroom. Suddenly the rest of the Fantastic Four arrive and Reed warns Johnny that Cole is a plant. Just as Reed is explaining to Johnny who is responsible, Cole activates a device that teleports the Frightful Four into the Baxter Building. The Wizard glibly asks Cole if she has a hug for her father.
- The Fantastic Four's popularity took a hit when they briefly occupied Latveria in Fantastic Four #501-508.
- Johnny makes reference to Martha Stewart being unpopular. This is reference to the fact that Stewart was entangled in a insider trading scandal which was ongoing at the time this story was published. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- Johnny mentions his family life, his mother died in a car accident, his father spent time in jail forcing Sue to raise her brother. His father later sacrificed his life to save the Fantastic Four from a Skrull bomb. These events were covered in Fantastic Four #31-32.
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