- I don't believe it. I'm Richard Reed, leader of the Tetrad, the toughest criminal crew in Shadow City! That's a lie.
- -- Richard Reed
Appearing in "Shadow City's Most Wanted!"
- Fantastic Four/"Tetrad"
- Twisted Sisters (First appearance)
- Night Cruiser
Synopsis for "Shadow City's Most Wanted!"
With the criminal organization known as the Tetrad on the loose in Shadow City it's lone hero, Lockdown, hunts for the quartet of notorious criminals in his Night Cruiser. Lockdown spots three members of the Tetrad: Richard Reed, Matchstick Johnny, and Grim Ben, but their female colleague Stormy Sue is nowhere to be found. Regardless, Lockdown springs from his Night Cruiser to confront his opponents. Lockdown is joined by his young partner Rosetta Stone. Using stealth this dynamic duo get the drop on Richard Reed, knocking him out with a sonic barrage. When Matchstick Johnny tries to attack them, Lockdown quickly subdues him with a fire extinguisher and lands a knock out punch. Grim Ben then lashes out at them but is no match for Lockdown's superior fighting skills, and is quickly knocked out as well. Soon the Shadow City authorities come to pick up the three male members of the Tetrad. Lockdown notes that it is a busy night as the authorities also picked up the Ghul-Guys as well as Gyre of the Twisted Sisters. When one of the guards tries to rough up Reed, Lockdown demands that they treat the prisoners with respect. When Richards then steals a kiss from Rosetta Stone, Lockdown sees through this and confiscates the hair pin that Richards tried to take from Rosette and hide in his mouth. Soon the prisoners are loaded up into a massive carrier headed off to Bedlam Purgatorium.
Inside the carrier Grim Ben complains about their predicament, but Richard was playing a more complex game than Lockdown was able to discern. The hairpin trick was merely a distraction to allow Reed to hide the fact that his bonds were not so tightly fastened and with two of his fingers free to move and stretch he uses his abilities to pick the locks of the others. Meanwhile the drivers are forced to stop when they spot a woman on a motorcycle stalled in the middle of the road. They are too distracted by her beauty to recognize her as Stormy Sue, the remaining member of the Tetrad who is still free until it is too late. Using her invisibility powers, Stormy breaks the rest of her team and Gyre free. Grateful for the rescue, Gyre offers the Tetrad safe haven with the Twisted Sisters. They are taken to a nightclub where the Twisted Sisters hideout. There they are offered an alliance between the two groups. While Grim Ben balks at the idea, Richard suggests otherwise.
As it turns out only Reed Richards knows that they are part of some sort of virtual reality simulation and has been playing along with his role as "Richard Reed" while he tries to puzzle out how to get himself and his allies free from this predicament. Reed thinks back to sometime ago when they were suddenly teleported from an alternate world to a strange complex elsewhere.....
When the Fantastic Four recover from their transportation, Reed informs them that the internal computers in his uniform have detected that they are somewhere within the Negative Zone. Ben is frustrated that Reed's space tranceptor can't seem to get them home, but Sue -- despite the fact she is becoming more and more inhuman -- still has faith in her husband, much to Ben's surprise. As Johnny and Ben go off to investigate their surroundings Reed takes the time to console his wife. Sue can't understand how Reed can bare to look at her, but Reed reminds her that he loves her no matter what she looks like. Sue tells him it's getting difficult to be in this form because she keeps on seeing everything as prey. Reed assures her that he will find a cure for her, although she expresses some doubts because he still has yet to cure Ben, but he promises her that no matter what happens moving forward they will deal with it together. Johnny and Ben continue to search the facility and come afoul of some robots that are able to stun them. Back at the lab they materialized in, Reed has begun examining Sue's DNA. While Reed begins to puzzle this over, Sue decides to go and check on Johnny and Ben and departs. Growing frustrated with not getting results Reed realizes that the others have been gone for a long time and goes out searching for them. He finds his three teammates as they are being loaded into some kind of machines. Reed quickly realizes that these are some kind of virtual reality simulators, rewriting their personalities for the simulation. Reed tries to reach the controls to shut them off but is blasted and placed inside one of those machines himself. Forcing his mind to focus he tries to resist the reprogramming as everything suddenly goes dark...
... Reed's recollection ends as his "Tetrad" and the Twisted Sisters are about to break into Astra Techtronics. Reed must force himself to play along so he can continue fooling the fail-safes that maintain the program in the hopes that he somehow finds a means to get them free. This heist appears to go off without a hitch until they are suddenly ambushed by Lockdown and Rosetta Stone. During the course of the battle, Reed won't allow Johnny to kill someone even though this is a simulation and uses a fire extinguisher to douse his flames before he can incinerate Lockdown. Everyone sees this and feel instantly betrayed, but they are all soon knocked out by Lockdown and apprehended again. With his team calling him a traitor and the Twisted Sisters vowing revenge, Reed silently reflects on the fact that this was the only way he could think to potentially save them all.
- Sue has been transforming into an inhuman form since being infected by a "mannequin" symbiote by Ronan in Fantastic Four (Vol. 3) #14.
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