- Three of the Fantastic Four are in the Negative Zone -- maybe lost -- and I can't get to them. Meanwhile, the world needs an F.F. to handle -- you know -- F.F. stuff!
- -- Johnny Storm
Appearing in "A Clear & Present Danger"
- Fantastic Four
- Johnny's Ad-Hoc Fantastic Four
- Hellscout (Kenneth Tennyson)
- Sub-Mariner (Namor)
- Gornkai (First appearance)
- Maximus the Mad (Maximus Boltagon)
- Gideon Trust
- Lenny of Damage Control (Appears on a computer screen, TV, or hologram only)
- N.Y.P.D. officers
- E.H. Harrelson
Races and Species:
- Annihilus (Only in flashback)
- Black Bolt (Mentioned)
- Mole Man (Mentioned)
- Annihilus (Mentioned)
- Iron Man (Mentioned)
- Captain America (Mentioned)
- Luke Cage (Mentioned)
- Wasp (Mentioned)
- Franklin Richards (Mentioned)
- Negative Zone
- Four Freedoms Plaza (Ruins)
Synopsis for "A Clear & Present Danger"
Several Months Ago:
A group of beings are searching the Negative Zone and come across the ruins of the Four Freedoms Plaza trapped in a force field. They report it back to their master who is satisfied that they have found salvation with this discovery.
At the New York headquarters of the Gideon Trust, the General watches live footage of the Sub-Mariner attacking on of their oil rigs where they are extracting the mineral riches of the Negative Zone to Earth. When his assistant asks if they should deploy security to deal with Namor, the General believes that he should be a problem for the United States government to deal with. Soon the Sub-Mariner is attacking New York City. The authorities respond in force and they notice that Namor appears to have gone insane. Meanwhile at the Baxter Building, Johnny Storm is warmed by realtors who are seeking to get the Fantastic Four to sign on their clients as potential tenants in the newly reconstructed building. Realizing that he is in over his head, Johnny forces them out. He is soon contacted by Lenny of Damage Control who informs him that the Sub-Mariner is on the rampage again. Johnny flames on and face off against the Sub-Mariner, but when Johnny demands that Namor reveal why he is attacking the city again, he finds that Namor will not answer his demands.
Meanwhile, in the Negative Zone, the rest of the Fantastic Four are travelling in a ship provided by the people of Pilgrim Rock. They and the Hellscout are heading off to a world where the Gideon Trust's N-Explorers are strip-mining a world, with potentially dangerous results. While they consider what they might be facing they question why Annihilus has not done anything about it. Reed posits that it is possible that the threat could be even more powerful than Annihilus himself. The Fantastic Four arrive on the alien world to find a number of surviving Balurrians fighting over escape ships off their now baron world. The FF and Hellscout break up the fight and learn from Gornkai, a Balurrian known to Hellscout, that other humans from the Fantastic Four's universe were responsible for decimating this planet. Reed and the others convince the Balurrians to join their side to stop these pirates. Reed is then shown where the attackers left and he picks up the ion trails of their ship and believes he can use it to follow them to their next location.
Back in New York City, the Torch and Namor battle over Central Park. There Namor tosses Johnny into the water, snuffing out his flame. The Sub-Mariner is about to drown Johnny when the She-Hulk arrives on the scene and knocks Namor away. As Namor and She-Hulk duke it out, the monarch of the deep suddenly screams in pain and collapses to the ground. Suddenly Ant-Man appears before Johnny and She-Hulk, explaining that he took Namor down with a wasp-sting to the inner ear. Realizing that the Sub-Mariner was not in control of himself, the three heroes abscond with him before the New York Police can arrive on the scene. While back in the Negative Zone, the Fantastic Four and the refugees are building a device that can transport them to the next world the pirates are going to raid. While working Sue spots a Balurrian woman and her baby and it gets her thinking about her son Franklin who she misses terribly. She then has an awkward moment with Hellscout who gets a little too touchy when trying to understand her powers and how the temperature control of Sue's costume help make her hard to see by those who can use infrared to try and detect her by her body heat.
While back in New York City, Ant-Man has examined the Sub-Mariner's brain and has discovered that it has been charged with negative ions which resulted in his rampage. They are soon joined by Namorita who had come looking for her cousin and tells them that she sent away the sea creatures Namor summoned. They all agree to work together to find out who manipulated Namor's mind and bring them to justice, filling in for the rest of the Fantastic Four while they are missing. By this point Namor awakens and is back to normal and offers to join their side as well. However both Johnny and Ant-Man insist that it is a bad idea given how New York is pretty upset about his unprovoked attack and tell him that he needs to lay low. Johnny is very interested to know that the Gideon Trust is responsible for his rampage. Back in the Negative Zone, the rest of the Fantastic Four finish their device. They use it to transport themselves, Hellscout and Gornkai to the next location the pirates were attacking. They arrive to find that they are too late. Among the bodies Reed is surprised to see Alpha Primitives among the dead. Soon they are surrounded by survivors and their leader: Maximus the Mad, who proposes a truce with his old enemies to stop their mutual foes.
- The remains seen at the beginning of this story are some of the remains of the Four Freedoms Plaza, the Fantastic Four's previous headquarters. Some facts:
- The Four Freedoms was built after the after original Baxter Building was destroyed by Kristoff Vernard in Fantastic Four #278, it's construction was completed in Fantastic Four #289.
- When the Fantastic Four were seemingly killed in Onslaught Marvel Universe #1 what is seen here was dumped into the Negative Zone by Nathaniel Richards and Kristoff in Tales of the Marvel Universe #1.
- The authorities state that the Sub-Mariner is attacking New York City "again". Namor has had a long standing history of occasionally attacking New York City dating back to the year 1939 as seen in Marvel Mystery Comics #2.
- The reason there are real estate agents seeking to rent out property in the Baxter Building is because it was only recently reconstructed in Fantastic Four Vol 3 #38 and returned to the site of the original Baxter Building and former Four Freedoms Plaza in the following issue. The site had become totally vacant when Baron Zemo caused structural damages to the Four Freedoms back in Thunderbolts #10 and when the Four Freedoms was later transported to the moon in Fantastic Four Vol 3 #13.
- Sue misses her son Franklin because she and Reed sent him to Otherworld for his own protection back in Fantastic Four Vol 3 #24. He will not return to her side until Fantastic Four Annual #2001.
- Johnny's ad-hoc Fantastic Four members all have a past history with the Fantastic Four in one way or the other:
- She-Hulk is upset by the fact that Johnny called Luke Cage. The two briefly dated following the events of Heroes for Hire #17. Apparently it didn't end very well.
- This issue is reprinted in other comics and books, see references for more info.
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