Appearing in "... Because of All These Things I've Done."
- Collapsed Chronopolis
- The Fortress
- Earth-10235 (Destruction)
Synopsis for "... Because of All These Things I've Done."
In Collapsed Chronopolis, The Great Hunt, which began when Immortus charged every version of Nathan Richards to hunt every other version until only one remained, as punishment for daring to look beyond the known, is coming to an end. Only two remain - Nathaniel Richards of Earth-616, and a cruel madman from the end of time. Nathaniel's counterpart has succeeded, partly due to his willingness to kill, but mostly because of his habit of stealing weaponry and equipment from his victims. With the help of his college-age son, Reed, and his friends, the 616 Nathahn has invaded the stronghold of Collapsed Chronopolis. His opponent responds by summoning a force known as the Anachronauts.
In the melee, the villainous version of Nathan is about to end it, but is stopped by Victor von Doom, with his mind-control helmet. Implementing his safeguards, the villain turns his attention to the three young men, dealing a massive punch to Ben Grimm. In fear, Reed shoots the villain's hand off.
In the end, Nathaniel cannot kill his counterpart, even though he knows his counterpart is plotting to kill him. The counterpart gloats, sensing victory.
Nathan hands the mace to Victor von Doom and asks Victor to end it. Victor kills the counterpart.
The young men are returned to their home era. Nathaniel must depart, and Reed hopes to see him again soon. Nathaniel says he hopes so as well, and promptly vanishes.
In the present, Susan Richards shares a cup of tea with her grown-up daughter, Valeria. Valeria says that her brother from her time, Franklin, came here weeks ago to try and warn his younger self. In her original timeline, an event known as the Last War would have happened quite soon, and in its wake all of Earth's timelines would have collapsed into one, precipitating the heat death of the universe. She and Franklin are working to change this, but nevertheless, things will happen soon, things which cannot be averted or avoided, only faced and possibly overcome. When Franklin travelled back, he created some changes, changes whose effects will ripple out and overtake him... but only if he lets them pass him by. She is now doing the same, and the odds are good that they will both die in the act. Susan accuses her of playing God, but she says it wasn't her idea - Franklin worked the whole thing out.
At the end of time and space, Nathan Richards arrives, having just defeated his counterpart. Franklin responds by trying to drop Nathan through a hole in the world. Nathan must get away before the changes to the timeline catch up with them. Nathan doesn't know if he will survive the oncoming revision wave, but Franklin is uncaring. When Nathan questions him, Franklin gives the answer - Reed Richards. As a result of the events which led to the Great Hunt, every version of Nathaniel Richards was pulled from his native reality into Earth-616. Every version of Reed Richards was instantly rendered fatherless. That is Reed Richards' fatal flaw, and it is why the Council of Reeds failed so spectacularly. Kicking Nathan in the face, Franklin knocks his grandfather into the revision wave, forcing him to teleport out.
Back in the present, Valeria prepares to teleport back, telling her mother that "There will be a moment when you're going to give up. You're going to want to let go... When you reach that point, look into the sky. Look up... and remember the price that was paid."
Returning to the place Franklin made, Valeria finds calamity - the new timeline is about to overtake them, but the pressure of the change is squeezing their little pocket of reality.
As the timeline realigns around them, the duo jump, not knowing if they will even hit the ground.
At collapsed Chronopolis, after the heat death of the universe, Reed, Ben, Doom and Nathaniel Richards battle for both the past and the future. It's the end of everything as two heroes sacrifice themselves for their family.
- Reed, Ben, and Victor don't seem to recall their university encounter with Nathaniel. Particularly in Fantastic Four #272 when the Fantastic Four "first" learn that Nathaniel is a time traveler. It could be assumed that their memories of the battle with the Beast were erased from their memories.
- The ending of this issue is tied with the ending of Fantastic Four #603.
- This story is reprinted in Fantastic Four: Jonathan Hickman Vol. 3.
- The title of this issue, together with the title of the last one, forms a lyrics from the song "All These Things That I've Done" by the Killers.
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- Images from Fantastic Four Vol 1 582
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