Appearing in "Down & Out in the Negative Zone"
Races and Species:
- Hrollën (First appearance)
- Crystal Spiders (First appearance)
- Argorans (First appearance)
- Negative Zone
- Shadow City
- Argor (First appearance)
Synopsis for "Down & Out in the Negative Zone"
Lost in the Negative Zone due to Reed's untested trans-spatial transporter, the Fantastic Four find themselves hopping from world to world in an attempt to find their way back home. On the planet Chelemek-Prime they briefly join the Bureau of Monsters Management, on Kryosk they clash with the cybernetic Hrolleh. From peaceful worlds to dangers of the crystal spiders, the Fantastic Four eventually find themselves on a world that is ruled over by their long time foe Annihilus, the planet Argor. Stopping to get some food, Reed tells them some dire news: his trans-spatial device can only complete one more jump and that getting home is turning out to be difficult because some outside force is affecting the cosmos. As Reed and Ben depart to work on the problem, Johnny and Sue stay behind to talk about Sue's concerns for her son Franklin who they left back at home. The two begin to reassure themselves that they will make it back eventually when they are advised they have to pay for their food. When it turns out they have no money, the pair are forced to wash dishes. However when one of the gets too grabby with Johnny, he flames on and and fights back. Suddenly the whole planet begins to shake. Rushing outside to join Reed and Ben, the Fantastic Four witness as a massive ship.
Suddenly armored troops come out prompting the locals to flee. While trying to figure out what is going on the Fantastic Four suddenly see a massive hologram of Annihilius appear telling his people that there are intruders among them and they must be brought out. Jumping some guards and stealing their armor, Reed is shocked that the technology is based on his designs. He then explains to them how when the Four Freedoms Plaza was transported to the moon during their battle against Ronan, Reed notices that all the technology within their old headquarters was gone. With Ben posing as a prisoners and the rest wearing the stolen armor, the Fantastic Four sneak aboard the vessel, although they have a close call when Sue is unable to maintain her force-field platform for an extended period of time. When Reed begins trying to shut down the security system the Fantastic Four are suddenly ambushed by Annihilus who is already aware of their presence aboard his ship. While the others are battling Annihilus, Reed goes into a stockpile of stolen Fantastic Four tech and pulls out a device. When Annihilus sees this destroys the device. However it only served as a distraction allowing Reed to pluck the Cosmic Control Rod from their foe. However this plan backfires as now Annihilus channels the power of the rod within himself and that the Control Rod is nothing more than a symbol.
While Ben holds Annihilus back, Reed and Sue go through the boxes of material stolen from the Four Freedoms and use it to make the necessary repairs to the trans-spatial transporter. Reed then uses it to open a portal that brings the Fantastic Four to the outer edge of the distortion field between Earth and the Negative Zone. Reed then has Sue form an invisible "plane" for them to fly in and Johnny to use his flame powers to propel them into the field. Using the computers built into his uniform, Reed guides them through the field back to Earth. The group materialize back in France and are happy to be home. However Johnny suddenly turns their attention to the fact that for some reason, the Eiffel Tower is now constructed out of bone.
- Reed states that there is "something wrong with the cosmos" this is in reference to the instability in reality he first began investigating back in Fantastic Four (Vol. 3) #5. This instability is in part due to the coming of Counter-Earth being transported into the Earth-616 universe by Doctor Doom in Heroes Reborn: Doom #1.
- Reed recounts their battle against Ronan the Accuser which saw the Four Freedoms Plaza transported to the moon and where Reed discovered that his inventions were missing. That happened in Fantastic Four (Vol. 3) #13–14 and Iron Man (Vol. 3) #14. Reed's inventions were actually shunted into the Negative Zone by his father back in Tales of the Marvel Universe #1.
- In this story Annihilus states that he no longer needs the Cosmic Control Rod to channel energy. While this may be true here, Annihilus appears to have lost that ability and becomes reliant on the Rod again when he is seen in Fantastic Four (Vol. 3) #43.
- The transformation of Paris is obviously the workd of the Ruined whom the Fantastic Four previously fought in Fantastic Four (Vol. 3) #1.
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