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Quote1.png Don'tcha even get a coffee break in this blasted super-heroin' business? Quote2.png
Thing (Benjamin Grimm)

Appearing in "Where Stalks the Sandman?"

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Synopsis for "Where Stalks the Sandman?"

Brief Summary:
When the Fantastic Four return to the Baxter Building, they realize that there is an intruder hiding within. It turns out that the Sandman has returned with augmented powers (from the technology that he had previously stole from Reed). Meanwhile, the Silver Surfer gets his powers and board back and destroys Doom's castle in revenge. Crystal leaves the Inhumans to find the Human Torch. And Reed gets sucked into the Negative Zone during their battle with Sandman.

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Detailed Summary:
Reed, Sue and Ben return to their Baxter Building headquarters following their battle against Doctor Doom, when suddenly the headquarters' defenses begin attacking the Thing. As Reed shuts down the defenses it becomes painfully obvious that someone is in their headquarters stalking them.

Meanwhile in the dungeon of Doctor Doom's castle in Latveria, Doom's guards continue to taunt their prisoner, the Silver Surfer. Suddenly, the Surfer's board smashes through the wall it returns to its rightful master following the defeat of Doctor Doom. With his Power Cosmic now restored, the Surfer takes to the skies to escape but not before decimating Doom's castle.

Back in America, the Fantastic Four begin searching for the intruder in their headquarters when the room is suddenly flooded with sand. The three are dragged into another room where the sand suddenly reforms into the Sandman. The one-time member of the Frightful Four has come with a new costume comprised of equipment previously stolen from the Baxter Building to get revenge against his foes. With more control over his powers than ever before, the Sandman mercilessly pounds his three foes and gloats how the Human Torch is not around to help them.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Europe the Inhuman royal family has settled into a new location. But Crystal has grown restless as she desperately wishes to seek out the Human Torch, whom she had fallen in love with during their last encounter. Black Bolt gives her permission to go seeking Johnny out. Crystal uses Lockjaw to teleport to America, and she materializes in the middle of the football field at Metro College where a game between Metro and Empire State University is underway. Recognizing Crystal from a description he got from Johnny, Wyatt Wingfoot tells the girl that Johnny rushed off to the Baxter Building after hearing radio reports of the Sandman's battle with his teammates.

When Johnny arrives at the Baxter Building, he gets there too late to stop the Sandman from sealing himself within Reed's Space-Time Chamber. The Torch uses his powers to melt through the wall and he attacks the Sandman along with Reed, but the pair are not prepared for the Sandman's powers. When the Torch tries to use his flame on the Sandman, he reveals a new ability of his costume: a device that mixes the sand of his body with various other substances. He chooses to mix himself with a freezing compound that when melted creates a poisonous gas. As the chamber fills with the toxic fumes, Reed quickly opens the portal to the Negative Zone in the hopes of sucking all the bad air out and saving their lives. With the possibility of being sucked through the portal, the Sandman decides to flee, smashing out of a nearby window. However, Reed is not as lucky and is sucked in through the portal just moments before the door closes. The FF then watch in horror on the view screen as they see Reed pulled into the Negative Zone and toward the area where positive and anti-matter meet explosively, threatening to end his life in the process.


  • The Fantastic Four were returning from their battle with Doctor Doom, who had stolen the Silver Surfer's Power Cosmic. This conflict took place between Fantastic Four #5760.
  • This story leads the reader to believe that Doom perished when he slammed into the barrier placed around Earth by Galactus. However it is revealed that Doom survived in Daredevil #37. The barrier was placed around Earth by Galactus in Fantastic Four #50 to exile the Silver Surfer on Earth for betraying Galactus to save the Earth.
  • After his escape from Doctor Doom's castle, the Silver Surfer is next seen in Tales to Astonish #92 where he clashes with the Hulk who made the mistake of trying to force the Surfer to take him somewhere away from the planet Earth.
  • The Sandman's new costume is comprised of equipment that he stole from the Baxter Building after his escape from prison in Fantastic Four #57.
  • The Inhuman royal family have been trying to establish a base of operations after freeing themselves from the Negative Zone barrier around Attilan in Fantastic Four #59. Crystal developed feelings for the Human Torch during her first encounter with the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four #4548, which ended with the Inhuman's former ruler Maximus entrapping Attilan in the barrier. This barrier should not be confused with the Negative Zone universe that is seen in this issue.
  • The Negative Zone was first discovered by Mister Fantastic in Fantastic Four #51 it is later revealed that this zone is ruled by Annihilus in Fantastic Four Annual #6.
  • Peter Parker is secretly the Amazing Spider-Man, his appearance here occurs between Marvel Heartbreakers #1 and Amazing Spider-Man #47. Peter previously encountered the Fantastic Four when they both clashed with the creature known as Krakatoom, as seen in the flashback from Amazing Spider-Man #657. At this point in history, Peter had been casually dating Mary Jane Watson since Amazing Spider-Man #42.
  • The plot thread involving Wyatt's football career at Metro University is dropped after this story. He does not appear again until Fantastic Four #80 when he enlists the aid of the Fantastic Four to help his people the Keewazi against a robotic version of Tomazooma.
  • Sam Thorne is mistakenly referred to as Sam Thorpe this issue.


  • This issue contains a letters page, Fantastic Four Fan Page. Letters are published from Bill Homah, Nancy Newton, Wayne Witkowski, Alan Bentzel, Mark Thomas, Mike Johnson, Mike Kelley, and Grant Canfield.
  • This issue also contains a Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation.

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