- The Red Ghost and the Super-Apes were exposed to the same cosmic radiation that gave us our incredible powers. If their genetic makeups have begun to merge -- -- both in terms of personalities as well as abilities -- -- is it possible that the Fantastic Four could suffer a similar fate?
Appearing in "Happy New Year, Reed Richards... Now Die!"
- Silver Surfer
- Alicia Masters
- Dr. Cathy Polombo (Real name first revealed)
- Isobel Aguirre (First appearance)
- Gordon Clay (First appearance)
- Red Ghost
- Crucible (Secretly Wladyslav Shinski)
- Mole Man
- Terminus (Behind the scenes)
- Iconoclast (Holographic endoplasy)
- Devin Chapman, E.S.U. Security Guard
- Joe (Mentioned)
- Victor von Doom (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "Happy New Year, Reed Richards... Now Die!"
At their Pier Four headquarters three of the members of the Fantastic Four have dressed up for a special New Years Eve charity benefit, only Reed isn't ready to go. Checking on him in his lab, they are shocked to find him apparently dissecting Iconoclast, the strange being that attacked them recently. While they are horrified by the sight, Reed realizes what the situation looks like and assures them that he hasn't cut up one of their foes on the operating table. In fact he created an holographic endoplasty of Iconoclast with readings of the various objects that the mystery attacker came into contact with when he attacked Sue in Franklin's bedroom. Reed explains that his initial findings indicate the Iconoclast is some kind of complex single-celled organism. Reed needs to make more tests but assures the others that he will not miss on the celebrations and sends Sue and the others on their way, even though are skeptical about Reed actually showing up.
Meanwhile somewhere not very far away the Silver Surfer and Alicia Masters fly across the sky. The Surfer is distracted and suspects that the recent return of the Fantastic Four and their allies might have something to do with it. Suddenly Norrin is struck by a sudden pain, and grimly tells Alicia that there is something growing within the Earth that will pose a threat to the entire planet. While at that moment at Empire State University, a student is busy working on her experiments with primates long into the night. Finding something strange in her recent examinations she decides to call the on-call teacher for advice. As she gets the voice mail, she is suddenly interrupted by someone ordering her to hang up the phone. She turns and is surprised to see the Red Ghost and his Super-Apes. However this time the Super-Apes are the intelligent ones and their master, the Red Ghost, now the mindless ape. Seeking to keep their plans secret, Igor and the other apes subdue Isabelle and hang up the phone.
Back at Pier Four, a HERBIE robot comes to remind Reed that he is running late for his appearance at the New Years party. When Reed tries to override this alarm he finds a message from Sue telling him she foresaw him trying get too deep into his work and miss the event. However Reed still manages to shut down the HERBIE and continues working. Suddenly he gets a voice mail and learns that it is from the student at ESU, hearing that she is in some kind of trouble, Reed decides to go to her aid, ordering the computers to activate the Fantasti-Car and summon the others. Meanwhile at ESU, the Super-Apes begin gathering the equipment they need to conduct their mission. When the security guard tries to stop them, Igor easily subdues them. As Reed watches from the air vent the Super-Apes reveal their plan: they are going to unleash a massive quantity of nerve toxins that will wipe out the human race so that apes become the dominant species on the planet. It is at this point that Reed crashes in on the Super-Apes. However he finds himself outmatched no only because of their now genius intellects, but also because they appear to have all gained each others powers.
Despite this set back, Mister Fantastic soon knocks out all the Super-Apes just as the rest of the Fantastic Four arrive. In the aftermath of the battle, Reed recalls how Red Ghost and the Super-Apes all gained their powers in the same fashion as the Fantastic Four and begins to wonder if what happened to the Super-Apes will also happen to them.
In Tibet, reporters Isobel Aguirre and Gordon Clay have found the very monastery where Doctor Doom once lived and forged his armor. Entering they are shocked to find that the monks there have been slaughtered. Searching around the monastery they discover that the forge has recently been used. Before they can investigate further they are ambushed by the being responsible, a man calling himself Crucible. At that same moment deep below the Earth in Subterranea the Mole Man has finished a bath and found that none of his Moloid minions are around to answer his beckons. Suddenly the Mole Man becomes aware of a presence. Recognizing the intruder, the Mole Man tells him he doesn't care what happens to the surface world, but warns this unseen invader that if he harms his people or his kingdom they will face the wrath of the Mole Man.
- The Fantastic Four recount their battle with Iconoclast from last issue. The plot thread involving Iconoclast is dropped after this issue and not revisited again.
- Alicia and the Silver Surfer mention the Surfer's recent trials and tribulations. This is a reference to the Silver Surfer's recent battles with the Other and Mephisto in Silver Surfer Vol 3 #134-137.
- The Silver Surfer mentions the Fantastic Four's recent "return". He is referring the following:
- The Fantastic Four were presumed dead when they sacrificed their lives to stop Onslaught in Onslaught Marvel Universe #1.
- However they were actually shunted into the Counter-Earth dimension created by Franklin to live reborn lives as seen in Fantastic Four Vol 2 #1-13.
- While they were gone the Thunderbolts took over their old headquarters as seen in Thunderbolts #3
- The Fantastic Four and their allies were eventually returned in Heroes Reborn: The Return #1-4.
- The Super-Apes and Red Ghost appear to have swapped intelligence and the Super-Apes have each others powers. This and Reed's concerns that the same thing might happen to the Fantastic Four are quickly dropped. Red Ghost and the Super-Apes are back to their status quo when they are seen again in Deadpool #39 and Wolverine Vol 2 #164 respectively.
- The monastery in Tibet is where Doctor Doom first forged his armor, as first depicted in Fantastic Four #5.
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