- I screwed up a lot in my life, Crystal. My relationship with you... ...my chance to be a movie star... Look -- I can't even control my own flame. But I'm not gonna screw this up! I'm not gonna let my sister die!
- -- Human Torch
Appearing in "The Fire This Time!"
- Fantastic Four
- Robert "Robbie" Herbert Marks Ⅲ (First appearance)
- William "Billy" McGurk (First appearance)
- Human Torch (Jim Hammond) (Only in flashback)
- Toro (Thomas Raymond) (Only in flashback)
- Nazis (Only in flashback)
- Adolf Hitler (Only in flashback)
- Galactus (Mentioned)
- Unborn child (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- Humans (Main story and flashback)
- Inhuman Dogs
- Human-Inhuman Hybrids (Main story and flashback)
- Synthezoids (Only in flashback)
- Earth (Main story and flashback)
Synopsis for "The Fire This Time!"
Having been prisoner of the Nazis for years, the leader of a group of strange humanoids captured by German soldiers on an expedition in Tibet witnesses as Adolf Hitler is incinerated while fighting the original Human Torch and his partner Toro. With Allied Forces storming Berlin and the Nazi regime toppling, the young girl gathers her people together together. Dubbing themselves the Hidden Ones, they vow to use their powers in order to prevent themselves from being exploited and tortured ever again...
While addressing the United Nations to find a nation willing to give refuge to the Inhumans Reed Richards is shocked to find that the only nation willing to offer it is Latveria, ruled by the Fantastic Four's greatest foe Doctor Doom. With no choice but to let Doom take the podium, Richards watches as Doom tell the United Nations -- and the world -- that he agrees that hostile aliens on Earth need to be tracked down and destroyed, but believes that the Inhumans should be welcomed back to their homeworld and announces his offer to allow them to stay in Latveria.
Meanwhile at the Stern Academy, young Franklin Richards continues his first day at school and overhears some of the teachers talking about the subject of alien invaders and finds it disturbing. When he hears a classmate named Billy McGurk telling other students that he blames the Fantastic Four for all the aliens invading Earth. Franklin decides to but into the conversation, pointing out that the Fantastic Four have saved the Earth from Galactus many times. When Franklin tries to explain to his classmates that there are good aliens as well as bad ones and they shouldn't lump them together, McGurk calls him a "freak lover". Franklin dismisses this bullying and goes outside. While he is trying top drink from a water fountain he is accosted by McGurk who is spoiling for a fight. When he tries to punch Franklin the blow is stopped by another new student named Robert Herbert Marks III. Outnumbered, McGurk takes off and Franklin and Robert become fast friends.
Back at the Baxter Building, the Invisible Woman and the Inhumans watch reports about Doom's offer of asylum and the growing anti-alien hysteria that is growing on the streets of New York. This leaves Medusa and Black Bolt to consider Doom's proposal. As they voice this possibility, Reed contacts the group via communicator and tells them to think very carefully about the situation before they make up their mind. Sue expresses her concern that Franklin might be in danger at school, but Reed assures her that he has put in measures to ensure the boy remains safe. When they wonder where Ben is, Reed believes his old friend must be enjoying time with his new girlfriend Kathleen O'Meara. As Reed flies the Fantasti-Car through the city he notices that the angry mobs are getting larger and hopes that this will eventually pass before things get worse. He signs off before going to investigate the military's new Project Stellar Shield. Soon after Reed disengages communications, Johnny returns home after flubbing his chance at being a movie star. He is happy to be reunited with the Inhumans, particularly Crystal, but warns her that his powers are no longer under control and has to wear a specially made uniform to keep them in check. Suddenly the power goes out which deactivates the security systems in the Baxter Building. As the angry mob below breaks into the building, the Johnny and Sue try the back up computers. There they get a call from a Guardsman who orders them to turn over the Inhumans for their own safety. When they refuse and begin figuring out what to do next they are suddenly ambushed by an army of Guardsmen who come breaking through the wall. When Sue tries to use her powers she suddenly screams in pain while also glowing with negative energy. When Johnny asks Sue what's wrong, she tells him she thinks there is something wrong with the baby and to get Reed.
Meanwhile, Reed Richards is at the Vault Prison in Colorado where he meets with a military official about the issue with illegal aliens on the Earth. Reed soon learns that Ben has been labelled an "alien sympathizer" and has been incarcerated. Elsewhere in the facility, Senso and her minions watch as the Thing tries -- in vein -- to break out of his cell. However thanks to the powers of Senso and her fellow Hidden Ones, Ben cannot trigger his transformation into the Thing so he can break free. Satisfied that Ben Grimm is contained, Senso tells the others that it is time to begin their end game against the Inhumans. Senso explains that had the Inhumans not returned from Earth, the trace sources of Inhuman DNA could lead to their discovery among the world's government and blow their cover. As she explains this, her control over the Ben is relaxed enough for him to revert back into the Thing and break free. As he reaches out for Senso, she once more tries to contain him with her powers. Back up in the meeting room, Reed is shocked when the commanding officer suddenly goes inert. He is soon joined by Senso who explains that she is seeking to destroy the Fantastic Four as they are the only group that stands in her way. She then informs Reed that she has started a riot at the Baxter Building and that his wife is in danger. When Reed tries to lunge at Senso she uses her powers to incapacitate him.
Back at the Baxter Building, the Inhumans and the Human Torch succeed in repelling the Guardsmen who had come for them. Pain still continues to wrack through Sue and she realizes that she is going through the same sort of cosmic death pangs that she endured when she gave birth to Franklin and when she lost this baby the first time. Realizing without Reed around to help and with no means of contacting him, Sue explains if she doesn't get help soon, she and the baby will die. Not willing to stand for this, Johnny decides to do something, willing to make a deal with the devil himself in order to save the wife of his sister and his unborn niece.
- The scene where the Human Torch slays Adolf Hitler was first depicted in Young Men #24. This of course is not Johnny Storm but the original android Human Torch of the 1940s who was first seen in Marvel Comics #1.
- Billy McGurk mentions the Fantastic Four are responsible for the Skrulls, Kree, and Galactus threatening the Earth. This is a skewed perspective, as the Fantastic Four were the first heroes of the modern age to encounter all of these groups:
- The Fantastic Four (as a team) first encountered the Skrulls back in Fantastic Four #2. However the Skrulls have been active on Earth for centuries; the earliest recorded appearance of the Skrulls was during the Inquisition, as seen in Europa #0.
- The Fantastic Four first encountered the Kree in Fantastic Four #64-65; however the Kree have also been active on Earth for quite some time as first seen in Thor #147.
- Galactus came to Earth to consume it during the early days of the modern age and was repelled by the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four #48-50. However, S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 states that Galactus also threatened the Earth during the Renaissance and was repelled by Leonardo da Vinci.
- Franklin states that Fantastic Four had defeated Galactus to defend the Earth "many times". Franklin is correct as the Fantastic Four stopped Galactus from consuming the Earth or other worlds in the above mentioned Fantastic Four #48-50, Fantastic Four #74-77, 120-123, 171-175, 212-213, Fantastic Four #242-244, Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #2-10, Fantastic Four #337-341, Captain America Vol 3 #12 and Galactus the Devourer #1-6.
- The exact nature of Robert Herbert Marks III is never revealed as this is his only appearance. It is heavily implied that he is a robot of some kind given that he resembles the Manga character Astro Boy. Some sites (such as ComicVine website) state that Robert is really H.E.R.B.I.E. the Robot, based on the supposition that later in 4 Vol 1, H.E.R.B.I.E. is seen acting as Franklin's guardian; however, there is no evidence supporting this as evident in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #5 nor its revised edition, which indicate that this is in fact H.E.R.B.I.E..
- Johnny's powers have been out of control ever since he absorbed Nega-Energy in Fantastic Four Vol 3 #44; he is cured of this condition next issue.
- Sue's sudden screaming in pain is conceive of the fact that due to her cosmic ray infused physiology a pregnancy can be lethal to her as was explained in Fantastic Four #78. In the case of Valeria, she was conceived in the Negative Zone back in Fantastic Four #254 and it's these energies that made the pregnancy fatal for the baby when it was first stillborn in Fantastic Four #267. Apparently when Franklin resurrected Valeria in Fantastic Four Vol 3 #49, he did not eliminate this threat.
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- ↑ First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
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