Appearing in "The Enemy Within"
- Yancy Street Gang
- Sergeant Gray, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
- Billie Lumpkin
- Isobel Aguirre
- Gordon Clay
- Franklin Richards
Races and Species:
- New York City
- Daily Bugle newspaper
Synopsis for "The Enemy Within"
The Thing wakes up and stretches on the balcony of Pier Four to greet the day, wondering what his father would think of him now. As Ben bellows out a good morning to the world his chipper mood is quickly shattered when he is struck in the back of the head by the morning paper with a brick rolled up inside it. Opening up the newspaper there a crude message, "Good morning Brick Head!!" scrawled on the front page compliments of the Yancy Street Gang. This infuriates Ben who is about to rush out and catch the pranksters when he suddenly bumps into their new mail courier, Billie Lumpkin. As she is giving him a sack filled with mail there is suddenly a flash of light that comes from the wreckage of the Four Freedoms Plaza, the Fantastic Four's former headquarters. Suspecting that something is up, Ben takes a Sky-Cycle and flies toward his old home. As he goes there he thinks about recent tabloid reports about Alicia's exploits with the Silver Surfer and dismisses them as gossip. En route to the Four Freedoms, Ben calls Reed, Sue and Johnny and they tell him that they are on their way. Ben recounts how the Four Freedoms was taken over by the Thunderbolts when the world thought the Fantastic Four were dead, and how they trashed the FF's old headquarters when they were outed as Baron Zemo's Masters of Evil. When Ben lands he is shocked to see that the bright energy flashes are coming from the Silver Surfer, who is being carried in the arms of Alicia Masters.
After stumbling over the situation between Alicia and himself, Ben notes that the Silver Surfer has seen better days. Alicia points out that there is something wrong with the alien being and Ben agrees to do what he can to help. Soon the rest of the Fantastic Four arrive. However as they try to make a landing the Fantasti-Car's systems begin to short out prompting an emergency landing. With a safe landing facilitated by Sue and Johnny's powers, they ask Reed what happened but Richards has no idea what went wrong with their vehicle.
Meanwhile, a Boeing China Clipper travels through a storm halfway across the world. Aboard are the reporters Isobel Aguirre and her colleague Gordon Clay, both of whom are prisoners of the mysterious Crucible. When they ask their captor why they are his prisoners he explains that he is using their skills to document his conquest of the entire world.
Back in North America, the Fantastic Four following the Silver Surfer in one of their jets as he makes his way to the source of the threat to the Earth he has been detecting for sometime. Aboard the ship, Ben and Alicia talk out the situation between themselves as well as Alicia's relationship with the Silver Surfer. When he asks if things with the Surfer are serious, she isn't sure, and that when the Surfer reveals his true feelings to her it may come at a great cost to her. Outside the Surfer's thought are also on Alicia as he questions how a frail human can affect his feelings so. Johnny tries to question the Surfer's motives pointing out that Alicia is Ben's girlfriend and continues pressing the Surfer even though he tries to end the conversation. It is force to halt when the Surfer suddenly announces that they have reached their destination. They soon land in the Yorkton, a small town located in the province of Saskatchewan in Canada. They find the place filled with kind people who seem not overly surprised by the arrival of the Fantastic Four or the Silver Surfer, much to Johnny's surprise. The Fantastic Four are greeted by the local sheriff who learns what has brought their team to his town. Learning that there is some kind of danger looming he asks if he has time to call in Alpha Flight for assistance.
As the Fantastic Four remark at how lost the Silver Surfer looks in trying to isolate the danger they are suddenly interrupted by the appearance of the Mole Man. Their oldest foe explains how he had plans to cripple the surface world by stealing its natural resources but informs them that he has come to this town in peace. Needing help the Mole Man implores the Fantastic Four to believe him and shows them what is going on inside the church he is hiding out in. Inside they see what remains of his loyal Moloid legions who are now sick and dying after being forced to the surface by the very danger they came searching for. As Reed begins initial tests to find some way to cure the Moloids of their illness they are interrupted when Terminus smashes through the roof of the church. Ben recognizes their foe from the Fantastic Four's records on their first encounter with him and subsequent battles against the Avengers and the X-Men. When they get a closer look at Terminus they notice that his body is comprised of Moloids who have been forcibly mutated into a gestalt body for Terminus.
Reed warns that Terminus could infect the rest of the Moloids and the Fantastic Four fight him back out into the town. During the fight, Johnny is knocked out and falls into the cavern revealed by Terminus' arrival. There he is pulled to safety by a mystery woman who disappears before he can learn her name. While the rest of the Fantastic Four keep the infected Moloids away from those who are still safe, the Mole Man pleads to the Silver Surfer to help stop this menace. Although he is in a weakened state the Surfer confronts Terminus and unleashes the full fury of his Power Cosmic, purging the Moloids of the Terminus virus and seemingly slaying their foes. Although Ben is concerned about Alicia in the massive explosion of energy he sees that she is all right thanks to the Surfer. This leads Ben to believe that she has made up her mind about her feelings. As the Moloids celebrate their leader, the Thing and Alicia admit to each other that they are only friends for now. Before they depart, Ben warns the Surfer to treat Alicia well or he will have to answer to him.
- The Yancy Street Gang's animosity toward the Thing is due to the fact that he used to be a member of the gang as a youth as seen in Thing #1. When Ben left the gang to start a new life they saw it as a betrayal and have tormented him ever since he became the Thing.
- The front page story on the Daily Bugle newspaper is asking if Spider-Man is a menace or not. Daily Bugle owner J. Jonah Jameson has been vocally against Spider-Man, and super-heroes in general, since Amazing Spider-Man #1.
- This issue reveals that Billie Lumpkin is the niece of Willie Lumpkin. Willie was the Fantastic Four's was the Fantastic Four's mailman starting back in Fantastic Four #10. At the time of this story Willie had retired after the events of Onslaught Marvel Universe #1. However he eventually returns to duty delivering mail to the Fantastic Four again as seen in 4 #3.
- Mention is made to how the Thunderbolts used to live in the Four Freedoms Plaza. Some facts about this:
- 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.
- Since then the Four Freedoms was decimated when the Thunderbolts were outed as former members of the Masters of Evil in Thunderbolts #10.
- Much of the focus of this story is on the relationship between the Thing, Alicia Masters, and the Silver Surfer. Alicia Masters was the Thing's longtime girlfriend after they met in Fantastic Four #8. It has been a complicated relationship to say the least:
- After six years together Ben began to reconsider his relationship with her between Thing #2-10. Later, during the Secret Wars. In Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #12 Ben decided to stay on Battleworld to sort out his feelings. He remained there from Thing #11-22.
- In the meantime, circa Fantastic Four #265 and as revealed in Fantastic Four #358, Alicia was replaced by the Skrull spy named Lyja who then started pursuing a relationship with Johnny. Ben fell for this ruse when he returned to Earth in Fantastic Four #277. This prompted him to leave the Fantastic Four in Thing #23.
- He then began pursing Sharon Ventura in Thing #26. Ben eventually returned to the FF in Fantastic Four #296 and Johnny married "Alicia" in Fantastic Four #300. Ben eventually started dating Sharon from Fantastic Four #317--350 until Sharon was cured by Doctor Doom. Meanwhile the Fantastic Four discovered the truth about Lyja and rescued Alicia in Fantastic Four #358.
- Ben and Sharon's relationship became estranged when it was revealed she was spying on the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four #375. Despite Alicia's efforts to rekindle their romance, they became estranged as of Fantastic Four #393. At the time of this story, Alicia has been a constant companion of the Silver Surfer since Silver Surfer Vol 3 #126. Ben discovers this in Silver Surfer Vol 3 #138.
- The appearance of the original Twin Towers of the World Trade Center seen here should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. The Twin Towers were destroyed in a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. As of 2015 the Sliding Timescale has moved forward enough that the modern age does not start until after the year 2001.
- The sheriff of Yorkton mentions Alpha Flight, Canada's premiere team of super-heroes. That group had recently reformed in Alpha Flight Vol 2 #1. At the time of this story Alpha Flight were already preoccupied trying to contain their long time ally Wolverine, as seen in Alpha Flight Vol 2 #9.
- Ben mentions a number of past clashes with Terminus:
- He references the Fantastic Four's first encounter with him from Fantastic Four #269-270.
- He also mentions how Terminus apparently battled both the Avengers and the X-Men occurring in Avengers #256-257 and Uncanny X-Men Annual #12. These statements are not accurate at all:
- The Avengers did not fight the real Terminus, but a Deviant named Jorro, who was posing as Terminus. This fact was revealed in Quasar #7. Prior to his death while battling the Avengers he plunged the Savage Land into an iceage.
- The X-Men at this point had not battled Terminus or Jorro. The instance that Ben is referring to is when they the X-Men assisted the High Evolutionary undo the damage done by Jorro and restore the Savage Land. The X-Men eventually battle Terminus years after this story in Uncanny X-Men Vol 2 #9.
- The identity of the woman who saved Johnny's life in this story is never revealed.
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