- So this is it. A billion to one... you think I'm afraid of that? You think I'm afraid of that?! Flame on!
- -- The final words of Johnny Storm
Appearing in "Three Part 5: The Last Stand!"
- Future Foundation
Synopsis for "Three Part 5: The Last Stand!"
The Fantastic Four are facing three different crises: The Invisible Woman is acting as delegate between New and Old Altantis and trying to stop it from becoming a slaughter. While on Nu-World, Mister Fantastic is trying to assist Ted Moy and Moy-2515 evacuate the planet before it is consumed by Galactus. Back at the Baxter Building, the Human Torch, Ben Grimm and the children of the Future Foundation are trying to stop an Annihilation Wave from the Negative zone crossing over to Earth through the portal in Reed's lab.
Realizing that they need extra firepower to keep the invaders at bay, Valeria knocks out Leech so he stops canceling out Franklin's mutant powers. With his powers reactivated, Franklin destroys all the insects while a force field is erected around the portal. With a momentary reprieve, Ben manages to call the Avengers for help. However, Valeria warns them that the force field wasn't built to prevent an invading force and the only way to prevent them from crossing over is to close the portal doors from the other side. With no other choice, Ben and Johnny are forced to allow the Future Foundation children to help in the inevitable battle.
While deep below the Gulf of Thailand, the Invisible Woman demands that the ruling class of Old Atlantis to answer to the Sub-Mariner's accusation that this entire meeting was a ruse to slay Namor and take over his kingdom. They explain that they have changed over their time in exile and that while the Ul-Oyt was traditionally a sacrifice, they now see that individual as a temporary ruler until the next members of the royal family are old enough to lead. With Ul-Uhar's children under the care of the Future Foundation, the Invisible Woman is crowned the new leader of Old Atlantis. Meanwhile, on Nu-World, Mister Fantastic and his allies discover that the sentience of everyone on the planet is now part of Natalie X's collective world mine. When they begin discussing evacuation with Lightwave, he points out that Galactus isn't just feeding on this world, he intends to utterly destroy it as well.
Back on Earth, Johnny, Ben and Franklin blast their way into the Negative Zone and clear the invading army from the portal. With a new army advancing, Valeria gets to work on the control panel on this side of the portal so that once it's closed, it stays closed on that side. However, no matter what she tries, there is no way for them to activate it without leaving someone in the Negative Zone. While below the deep, Susan takes the mantle of leadership seriously and tells Namor to accept the deal Old Atlantis has offered. When she turns her back on him, Namor tires to grab her arm. The Invisible Woman knocks him back and orders him to accept the deal or she will stop asking so nicely. The Sub-Mariner is incredibly impressed. While on Nu-World, Mister Fantastic, Ted Castle and Moy-2515 complete the repairs needed on the portal to send them back home to Earth. They are briefly stopped by Hulk Jr., now calling himself the Maestro, but when he is told about is going on he agrees to return with them.
While back in the Negative Zone, Ben decides that he is going to stay behind and close the portal while Johnny takes the kids back. However when the invading horde attacks, Johnny pushes Ben through and turns on the force field. As Ben pounds on the field, demanding that Johnny let him in, his time in human form wears off and he transforms back into the Thing. With Annihilus leading the attack force, Johnny says goodbye to Ben and closes the door. As his enemies approach, Johnny flames on and dives into the middle of a battle he will never win. On the opposite side of the door, the Thing and Franklin cry over the loss of Johnny.
- This story is reprinted in Fantastic Four: Jonathan Hickman Vol. 4.
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