- Guys... something is wrong with me. I can't flame off! I'm stuck as the Human Torch!
- -- Human Torch
Appearing in "Annihilation!"
- Fantastic Four
- Johnny's Ad-Hoc Fantastic Four Team
- Hellscout (Kenneth Tennyson)
- Maximus the Mad (Maximus Boltagon)
- Sub-Mariner (Namor)
- Noah Baxter (Apparent death)
- Gideon Trust
Races and Species:
- Negative Zone
Synopsis for "Annihilation!"
The Sub-Mariner waits patiently at the Fantastic Four's Baxter Building as Jhonny Storm's ad-hoc Fantastic Four team infiltrate the Gideon Trust building to rescue the rest of his team from the Negative Zone. He is contacted by Noah Baxter who who reminds him to hang tight and wait for Johnny and the others as the fate of two dimensions are at stake. While Johnny, the She-Hulk, Ant-Man and Namorita clash with an Awesome Android within the Gideon Building, deep in the Negative Zone, the rest of the Fantastic Four and their allies Hellscout, Maximus and Gornkai witness the Trust's N-Explorers just after they managed to defeat and capture Annihilus. As the Trapster mocks the humiliated ruler of the Negative Zone his squad activates their portal out of the Negative Zone and relinquish what they sought all along: the Cosmic Control Rod of Annihilus. As they are about to pass the Rod through the portal, Johnny and his team smash into the room where Janus the Nega-Man and the Spot utilize their powers to open the portal into the Negative Zone. While aboard the Alexandria space station Noah Baxter continues to get reports from his people about what is going on down on Earth. Noah is exhausted and wishes he never left Kansas.
Back in the Negative Zone, Reed tells the others that the Cosmic Control Rod cannot be taken to Earth and uses a flare to distract the N-Explorers. Soon Maximus and his army of Alpha Primitives charge the invaders. In the ensuing carnage, Reed has Hellscout fire the Fantasti-Flare through the portal where it erupts out, tipping Johnny off that the others are still alive. Back in the Negative Zone, the Trapster realizes that their mission is going to pot and uses one of his blades to cut the Cosmic Control Rod in half. As Reed and the others battle on Annihilus breaks free from his bonds and tries to reunite the broken Rod. However before he can he is fatally stabbed by Hellscout and seemingly dies. With the Negative Energies threatening to destroy both worlds, the Fantastic Four scramble to restore the Cosmic Control Rod, while on Earth, Noah Baxter prepares his space station to siphon the excess energy to save the entire city of New York from decimation. With no other choice, the Fantastic Four are forced to let the Trapster and his men go free in the Negative Zone in order to complete this plan. As the energies are siphoned out to the Alexandra, Noah tells his crew to abandon ship as the energies are too much. His last words are to tell his wife that he loves her before the space station is engulfed in energy and suddenly disappears.
The Fantastic Four then cross through the portal back to Earth, leaving Hellscout and Gornkai to continue their hunt on some other brave new world to hunt within. As the Fantastic Four appear in the ruins of the Gideon Building, they find that Janus has been killed by the ordeal and -- worse -- Johnny cannot flame off. While at their offices at Lake Tahoe, the members of the Gideon Trust discuss their future. Their mysterious employer tells them that they have been terminated and they must leave immediately. The voice reminds them of the non-disclosure clauses they signed and warns them of the swift punishments if they choose to disobey them. While back in the Negative Zone, some Alpha Primitives return to the site of the battle and inspect the body of Annihilus. Inside they find a young insectoid growing inside an egg.
- When the Fantastic Four discover Janus dead, Ben remarks that "it's not the first time". This is a reference to Fantastic Four #109 when Janus seemingly perished passing through the Annihilation Zone between the positive and negative matter universes. As revealed last issue, this was a ruse. If Janus is truly dead remains to be seen. He was depicted on the cover of Avengers: The Initiative #1, but has not actually been seen in-story following this.
- Next issue it is confirmed that nobody is sure what happened to Noah Baxter or if he is alive or dead. To date the character has not re-surfaced.
- Johnny states that he cannot flame off, it is learned next issue that Johnny's powers have increased and he has a new costume developed to help him control his power. After this costume is downsized in Fantastic Four (Vol. 3) #46. Johnny is eventually cured by Doctor Doom in Fantastic Four (Vol. 3) #54.
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