- In other words, gang... ...look out, world, the Fantastic Four are back!
- -- Human Torch
Appearing in "Vive la Fantastique!"
- Fantastic Four
- The Ruined
- Martyr (Yvette Diamonde) (First appearance)
- Stem (First appearance)
- B'arr (First appearance)
- Exalt (First appearance)
- C'hin (Unnamed) (Only appearance)
- Casque (Unnamed) (Only appearance)
- Feuille (Unnamed) (Only appearance)
- Griffe (Unnamed) (Only appearance)
- M'stapha (Unnamed) (Only appearance)
- S'pyke (Unnamed) (Only appearance)
- Touffe (Unnamed) (Only appearance)
- Mole Man (Harvey Elder)
- Harold and his wife (First appearance)
- Aunt Petunia (Mentioned)
- Avengers (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- Counter-Earth (Mentioned)
- Atlantis (Mentioned)
- Negative Zone (Mentioned)
Synopsis for "Vive la Fantastique!"
Miles bellow the surface of the earth, the Mole Man is plotting his takeover of the surface world when news comes to him that the Fantastic Four have returned after reportedly being dead for quite some time. He decides that perhaps he will postpone his plans but takes time to toast his greatest adversaries.
In Antarctica Ben Grimm finds himself strapped to Reed Richards’ latest invention; the Electromagnetic Meson Velocirator. The large device is designed to travel at great speeds by using the Earth’s magnetic force, but Ben just wants to get things over with so he can get back inside. During the countdown the Human Torch flies by and after teasing Ben he melts the ground bellow him sending the Thing hurtling down a cliff. Unfortunately for Ben the Electromagnetic Meson Velocirator activates and sends Ben flying across the Ice field. As Jonny flies up along side Ben to continue to tease him, Ben grads the Torch and soon the two are inside of a massive snow ball rolling towards the Fantastic Four’s artic base.
At the base Reed is excited by his results and Sue and Franklin watch the snowball continues to careen towards them. Before the massive ball of snow can crush her and her son Sue creates a force field that stops the ball and ejects Ben and Jonny, who are quickly chastised by the Invisible Woman. Naturally Reed is totally oblivious to this, grabbing Franklin he heads inside to review his results, leaving the others behind.
Meanwhile in Paris, France, a group of anti-technology prostesters has appeared outside of the dig site operated by the American company known as D.R.C. which has uncovered ancient tunnels deep below Paris. The protestors are against an American company coming in to sift through and monetize French history. Among the protesters are Yvette Diamonde, Laurent Levasseur and Henry Dubois the most vocal of the three protestors. They are shocked when D.R.C.'s European councillor Aaron Starr personally confronts them and invites them to see what D.R.C. has discovered beneath Paris. Down below they are shocked when Starr shows them an ancient doorway covered in ancient scripture that predates human history and lanuage. When Yvette learns they intend to use a laser to bore through the ancient door she tries to stop them by kicking it aside. As the protestors struggle with the D.R.C. technicians he door suddenly begins to crack open unleashing a strange energy on the other side.
Back at their temporary headquarters in Antarctica, the Thing is cooking up some food when Sue asks him if he needs any help. Ben then goes off on a tirade about how their lives were completely upended when they were forced to relive alternate lives in another dimension and how the Thunderbolts have taken up residence in their old headquarters in their absence. When he asks what sort of help she can provide coming to terms with all that, Sue remarks that she was asking if he needed any help with the cooking. As she begins preparing a salad, Sue explains that their recent experiences are just yet another adventure that comes part and parcel with being members of the Fantastic Four. When Ben asks why he would choose to relive a new life as the Thing, Sue points out that no matter where they end up Ben will always be the hero he always has been. When she thinks Ben has started to cry at this statement, it's only because of the smoke from his grill. Sue reassures Ben that no matter what they love him no matter what he looks like. In the hangar Reed is working on refurbishing the original Fantasti-Car with Johnny and Franklin. As they work, Franklin asks his father what his Transpatial Breach Early Warning System device and that it detects when something in one of many pocket dimensions tries to cross over into their world. When Franklin points out that it has started flashing, Reed realizes that there is trouble brewing and tells Johnny to summon the others.
Meanwhile in France, the ancient crypt door has burst open filling the underground tunnel with an alien energy source. It begins passing through D.R.C. workers and protesters alike transforming them into alien beings, only Yvette is unaffected. Soon standing over her are Stem, B'aar and Exalt, three members of a long imprisoned and ancient race called the Ruined. They explain that they were imprisoned in another dimension as enemies of progress, appealing to Daimonde's anti-technological rhetoric. Seeing her as the chosen one that will allow them to retake the world they have been banished from they give her a mystical sword that transforms her into their agent. Above ground two punk rocker American ask a Belgian protester about what's going on, once they are informed on the D.R.C.'s activities in the area they suddenly disappear. The "punk couple" are actually the Invisible Woman and Mister Fantastic in disguise. They use Sue's invisibility powers to slip past security and access the tunnels below. Once clear from anyone else, they doff their disguises and Reed's scanner picks up a strange transformation that is reverting modern day Paris into an ancient analogue. While his scanner is picking up readings they are suddenly confronted by members of the Ruined.
Elsewhere in Paris, Johnny and Ben are seeing the sights while trying to keep a low profile. However this does not stop Johnny from being recognized by a supermodel named Arlise who wants to thank Johnny for all the times he has saved the world. Seeing that Johnny is picking up another girl, Ben takes this as his cue to leave. Ben begins walking around the streets of Paris reflecting on his thoughts when suddenly he is pelted in the head with a head of lettuce. He is surprised it is a group of children who are lobbing the produce at him. After hurling insults in French and tossing tomatoes the kids take off as Ben loses his temper and gives them chase. But when he rounds the corner, Ben loses sight of the kids and wonders where they could have disappeared. Wondering what that was all about Ben walks away unaware that the street he was on was Rue de Yancy.
Meanwhile at the D.R.C. dig site the ground suddenly quakes and the ground splits open, unearthing a massive and impossibly ancient tree made of stone. also out from the hole in the ground comes Mister Fantastic's arm, stretching into the air to fire off a Fantasti-Flare. Spotting this, both Johnny and Ben take off for the site and are surprised to see a massive palace has taken shape at the dig site. There they find Reed and Sue fighting off members of the Ruined. As Ben joins the fight, he is almost ambushed by Yvette who has been transformed into the Ruined's agent, the Martyr. When Ben comments about being old fashioned when it comes to hitting women, Martyr strikes him so hard he goes crashing into the Notre Damme Cathedral. As the battle rages on things are going according to Stem's plans. Reed overhears this and realizes that the battle is merely a distraction to allow the Ruined to complete their assimilation of the Paris. His scanners detect energy that is collecting and suddenly a massive portal opens behind Martyr. The rest of the Ruined explain that she is to be sacrificed to allow the Ruined to retake the Earth. Unwilling to sacrifice her life for their insane goals, Yvette tries to appeal to her former friends. The Fantastic Four try to seal the portal but the members of the Ruined fight them at every turn. When Reed realizes that massive glass and steel pyramid outside of the Louvre has not been affected by the transmogrification process, he orders Ben to toss it into the portal. On contact the harmonics of the pyramid disrupt the portal causing it to abruptly close almost everything back to normal. All those who were transformed into the Ruined are missing except Yvette who still wears the costume of the Martyr.
When Reed asks her to accompany him back for study, a member of D.R.C. protests saying that her armor and her sword are property of his company. When Reed tries to protest this, Yvette responds by saying that she will go with them as she has come to realize that there needs to be balance between heritage and progress and going back with D.R.C. is the best way to accomplish these goals. With the danger over the Fantastic Four decided to return home. As they leave the people of Paris praise the Fantastic Four, chanting "Vive la Fantastique!" over and over. As they wave to the cheering crowd below their Fantasti-Car, Johnny remarks how great it is to be back home.
- There are multiple mentions to the fact that the Fantastic Four spent a long time on Franklin's Counter-Earth. During Onslaught Marvel Universe #1 the Fantastic Four and Avengers were seemingly slain fighting Onslaught. In reality Franklin saved their lives by sending them to live re-lived lives on Counter-Earth. This was chronicled in Fantastic Four Vol 2 #1-13. The Fantastic Four and their allies were returned to Earth during Heroes Reborn: The Return #1-4.
- The Mole Man was the Fantastic Four's first foe as seen in Fantastic Four #1. Many references are made to this story in this issue.
- Ben complains about the Thunderbolts taking over the Four Freedoms Plaza. This happened in Thunderbolts #3.
- Rue de Yancy Street is similar to that of New York's Yancy Street in that there is a young gang that lives there. As explained in Thing #1 the Yancy Street Gang has had it in for Ben since he quit their gang as a teenager. There is no known connection between the Yancy Street gangs of New York and Paris.
- Sue mentions how Reed has been out of practice as team leader prior to their being "reborn". She is referencing Fantastic Four #381-407 when Reed was seemingly killed and taken prisoner by Hyperstorm.
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- ↑ First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
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