- No offense, pal -- -- but if we're so "inferior"......how come we pretty much always win?
- -- Human Torch
Appearing in "The Moon is a Lonely Place to Die Hard!"
- Bounty (First appearance)
- Mannequin (First appearance)
- Caledonia (Appears on a computer screen, TV, or hologram only)
Synopsis for "The Moon is a Lonely Place to Die Hard!"
The Fantastic Four have just been defeated by Ronan the Accurser and transported to the Blue Area of the Moon along with the ruins of their old headquarters, the Four Freedoms Plaza. With Sue and Johnny in Ronan's hands there is little Reed and Ben can do but deal with NYPD detective Charlotte Jones who was wounded in the battle. Sue tries to fight back, using her invisible powers to prevent Ronan from crushing Johnny's head while Reed and Ben try to launch an attack. Ronan then tosses Johnny above the protective atmosphere of the Blue Area. While he is busy blasting the Thing with his Universal Weapon, Reed saves Johnny and quickly departs from the scene with the other wounded. Ronan is surprised that his foes have escaped but notes that they did so without the Invisible Woman. Seeking to use this to his advantage, Ronan uses a creature called a "mannequin" a parasite that will make her loyal to him while also transforming her into a hideous creature, a transformation which Ronan claims is irreversible. Although Sue tries to fend off the alien creature with an invisible force field, it manages to shatter through and bond itself to her. With Sue as his slave, Ronan is convinced that his current plans will end in triumph.
Meanwhile, at a dive bar somewhere out in time and space, the shady patrons are interrupted from their revelry by a woman named Bounty who warns them that she is there on business and not to interfere. They all attack but soon fall to Bounty's weapons. Bounty's slaughter of the majority of the patrons is impressive to the woman who has asked her to meet. Sitting down with her client, Bounty's services are obtained to gather the wayward slave known as Caledonia.
Back on Earth's moon, Ronan and the escaped Kree prisoners have armed themselves with Universal Weapons and are pushing forward with the next phase of his plan. While within the ruins of the Four Freedoms Plaza, Reed carries Johnny and Charlotte to safety knowing that Ronan will be after him sooner or later. Removing the police woman's uniform to inspect her wounds he is shocked to see that she is wearing an armored X-Men costume. When Jones awakens she explains that she got the uniform from hanging out with the X-Men during one of their most recent clashes with the nation of Genosha. She explains that when she is on the job with the NYPD she often wears the costume under her uniform for added protection. Reed explains that he has taken them into the ruins of the Four Freedoms Plaza to hopefully find some weapons to use. However Reed is surprised to discover that while none of his security locks have been cracked, any potential weapon they could have used is now missing. Elsewhere the three Kree warriors begin their hunt for the remaining members of the Fantastic Four in the ruins of their old headquarters. There they run into the Thing who causes the roof to collapse on them before fleeing the scene.
Elsewhere in the building, Reed is concerned about Johnny's condition and decides they need to make a break for a recently constructed lunar facility where they can get him medical attention. With the Kree soldiers moving in for the kill, Reed tells Charlotte now it not the time for a last stand and the two quickly hide as their foes unload their Universal Weapons on the room. This alters the Thing who heads towards the scene of the battle. It also alerts the nearby lunar base who believe that there might be danger and begin trying to contact the Avengers. The members of the Fantastic Four create a distraction for the Kree warriors by activating Roberta, their old robotic receptionist. Reed, Ben and Charlotte are given a hand from the Human Torch who manages to revive just in time and helps incapacitate the soldiers. After burning away their armor and weapons, the Kree are left without a means of defending themselves. The Fantastic Four then regroup and after learning that Sue is still Ronan's prisoner, Reed deduces that there is only one place they could be headed: the Watcher's Citadel.
- The Four Freedoms Plaza was transported on the moon during the events of last issue. The former headquarters of the Fantastic Four was taken over briefly by the Thunderbolts in Thunderbolts #3, but when they were outed as former members of the Masters of Evil the Four Freedoms was heavily damaged and left condemned in Thunderbolts #10. Reed notes that the facility is bereft of much of its scientific equipment. This was equipment was removed by his father in Tales of the Marvel Universe #1. It is later revealed in Fantastic Four Vol 3 #19 that this equipment ended up in the Negative Zone.
- Ronan mentions how the Kree soldiers with him were prisoners following a battle against the Avengers. This happened in Avengers Vol 3 #7.
- Charlotte Jones mentions that she was given a X-Men armored uniform during a time when the X-Men were battling the Genoshan magistrates. This is a reference to Uncanny X-Men #264.
- Charlotte Jones mentions how she has been on the Blue Area of the Moon before. This is a reference to X-Factor #65-68. Charlotte joined X-Factor in travelling to the moon to save the son of Cyclops from Apocalypse. This story incorrectly references these events as taking place in X-Factor #18.
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