- The Zone. Only place where I could win a beauty contest!
- -- Thing
Appearing in "Into the Breach"
- Fantastic Four
- Gideon Trust
- Annihilus (Appears on a computer screen, TV, or hologram only)
- Blastaar (Appears on a computer screen, TV, or hologram only)
- Borers (Appears on a computer screen, TV, or hologram only)
- Damage Control (Mentioned)
- Terry Allen
- Trish Tilby (Cameo)
- Peter Parker (Cameo)
- Alicia Masters (Mentioned)
- Doctor Doom (Victor von Doom) (Mentioned)
- Frightful Four (Mentioned)
- Aunt Petunia (Mentioned)
- Abby Baxter (Mentioned)
- Alexandria Baxter (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- Arthrosians (Appears on a computer screen, TV, or hologram only)
- Baluurians (Appears on a computer screen, TV, or hologram only)
- Alexandria Space Station
- Negative Zone
Synopsis for "Into the Breach"
With the return of the Baxter Building to Manhattan the media is abuzz over the return of the Fantastic Four's original headquarters. Soon the press are invited inside by the Fantastic Four who makes statements about the return of their original headquarters. After answering some quick questions the Fantastic Four usher out the press so they can continue making their headquarters secure. As the press is on their way out they are congratulated by Albert Clay of Damage Control. With the press out of the way, Reed rejoins Noah Baxter in the Negative Zone Chamber where they begin calibrating the Negapod and other devices. After they are complete, Noah warns the Fantastic Four not to under estimate the Gideon Trust before teleporting away. Meanwhile in the Fantastic Four's private quarters, Johnny asks Ben if he's going to finally see what Alicia Masters wants to contact him about now that he can change back and forth between his human and Thing forms. However despite his probing, Ben tells Johnny to butt out of his affairs.
At that moment, the member of the Gideon Trust's N-Explorers, led by the Trapster, complete a virtual reality simulation where they hold their own against the armies of Annihilus and Blastaar. With the team ready to go, Richard Janus suggests to his comrades that they should not underestimate Reed Richards and that they should begin their expedition into the Negative Zone immediately. Soon the Gideon Trust opens their portal to the Negative Zone and the Trapster and his unit breach the barrier. As the technicians working the portal cheer, Richard Janus can only think about Noah Baxter.
No sooner is the Negative Zone breached by the Gideon Trust does an alarm go off at the Baxter Building. Soon Reed is in contact with Noah Baxter who warns them that the Trust has managed to gain access to the Zone. With the world in danger Reed gathers his team, however when he sends out the call to Johnny, the Torch is busy practicing martial arts with Bob Diamond. Because he is not wearing his uniform while training, Johnny does not hear the summons from Reed. Aboard the Alexandria Space Station, Noah Baxter's people have noticed that he hasn't returned home. Noah reminds himself that he said "never again" after Alexandria died. Back on Earth, unable to wait for Johnny to call, Reed and the others enter the Negapod and enter the drop shaft that will take them through into the Negative Zone. Appearing in the distortion area the three members of the Fantastic Four are caught off guard when the N-Explorers ambush them, destroying their vessel and sending the team hurtling into the Annihilation Zone.
While the soldiers trained by the Gideon Trust fly away the Fantastic Four manage to save themselves from total destruction by hitching a ride on one of the Negative Zone's many flying beasts. This creature and its flock take the team through some kind of worm-hole which deposits them on some distant world somewhere in the Negative Zone. There the three members of the Fantastic Four begin looking around and Ben is shocked when he comes across an impossibly old sailing ship, the Pandora. Meanwhile back on Earth, Johnny finally detects his page and is rushing back to the Baxter Building, hoping that he is not too late...
The Fantastic Four gets trapped in the Negative Zone, but which teammate gets stranded behind? And who are the Nega-Explorers? Plus: after months of scheming, the Gideon Board finally makes their move!
- The Baxter Building seen here is not the original building, but a replica as revealed in Fantastic Four (Vol. 3) #38. The original building was inhabited by the Fantastic Four starting in Fantastic Four #3 until it was later blown up by Kristoff Vernard in Fantastic Four #278.
- The character "Jimmy" who is fighting with Peter Parker to get a good shot of the Baxter Building is a nod and a wink to the DC Comics character Jimmy Olsen, who is a cub reporter for the Daily Planet.
- The corner stone on the Baxter Building lists two years: 1961 and 2000. A corner stone to a building typically identifies the year a building was constructed. Obviously in this case the year 1961 is a reference to the fact that was the year Fantastic Four #1 was published and the year 2000 is the year the artwork to this issue was completed to signify the year the new Baxter Building was constructed. The year 1961 in this case should be considered a homage to the first issue of the Fantastic Four, in reality -- per the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #4 -- the original Baxter Building was actually first constructed in the year 1949. Likewise the year denoting the construction of the new Baxter Building should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- When Ben is talking about a certain street that will remain nameless he is referring to Yancy Street where Ben grew up. His negative attitude is specifically geared toward the Yancy Street Gang who have antagonized him for years after he left the gang as a youth as seen in Thing #1.
- The Negative Zone shaft and Negapod are replicas of the very devices Reed built in the original Baxter Building circa Fantastic Four #251.
- The teleporting technology used by Noah Baxter is the same used by the Enclave in Fantastic Four #66–67.
- The Thing's reluctance to talk about Alicia Masters is due to their long standing history together. The pair had been a couple starting in Fantastic Four #9 but things got really complicated:
- After being together for years, Ben decided to stay on the Beyonder's Battleworld at the end of the Secret Wars to sort out his feelings with Alicia in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #12.
- Meanwhile, Alicia was kidnapped by the Skrulls and replaced by Lyja as explained in Fantastic Four #358 circa Fantastic Four #265.
- When the Thing returned to Earth in Fantastic Four #277, "Alicia" was in a relationship with Johnny. When Johnny and "Alicia" got married in Fantastic Four #300, Ben moved on and eventually began dating Ms. Marvel in Fantastic Four #317.
- Things got rocky when Ms. Marvel got cured by Doctor Doom in Fantastic Four #350 and began spying on the Fantastic Four and Lyja's exposure and Alicia's subsequent rescue in Fantastic Four #358. Ben's romance with Marvel ending in Fantastic Four #375 and the Puppet Master's subsequent failed attempts to get Ben and Alicia to get back together in Fantastic Four #393
- When Ben next saw Alicia, circa Fantastic Four (Vol. 3) #4 she was in a relationship with the Silver Surfer. However their romance came to an end after the Surfer returned to space at the end of Galactus the Devourer #6.
- The Gideon Trust purchased some of Reed's patents that he was forced to sell to get the Fantastic Four out of financial trouble back in Fantastic Four (Vol. 3) #35.
- Johnny is being trained by Bob Diamond because he is preparing for an acting role with Star Studios as seen in Fantastic Four (Vol. 3) #37.
- The connection between Noah Baxter and the Gideon Trust, the death of his daughter Alexandria and how that plays into breaking his vow not to work with the Fantastic Four are never explored any further and these plot threads are quickly dropped.
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