Appearing in "24 Blocks and One Blockhead"
- Franklin Richards
- Valeria Richards
- Fantastic Four, Inc. (First appearance)
- Jian Feeta (First appearance)
- Doctor Doom (Behind the scenes)
Synopsis for "24 Blocks and One Blockhead"
The Thing has just opened the most recent prank package from the Yancy Street Gang and gets a cream pie slammed in his face. Elsewhere in the Baxter Building, Reed has a hard time believing what his wife has just suggested and is subjecting her to a mind probe to be sure that she isn't under the control of the Puppet Master. Sue is not and she is serious about the idea that she has, telling Reed that it would be good for Johnny as he needs some adult responsibilities. Using her invisibility powers to prove her point, Sue makes the wall invisible to show Johnny in the other room mindlessly watching television like he's still a teenager. Reed warns that the mission that Sue has in mind for her younger brother could be a dangerous undertaking. Before they can discuss the issue further the entire building suddenly begins to shake as Ben's rage kicks in and he starts stomping the package from the Yancy Street Gang. Thinking there is danger the rest of the Fantastic Four rush to the kitchen to find out what's going on and learn the truth. When the group begins trying to calm him down, Sue notes that whoever sent the package forgot to remove the receipt from the company that made the spring loaded gag. Furious, Ben decides to pay a visit to the shop and find out who purchased it so eh can finally get some revenge.
When Ben storms out to do this, Johnny begins to panic and tries to fly off. He is blocked by Sue who realises that Johnny has been responsible for some of the "Yancy Street Gang" packages. Not impressed with the issue, Sue tells Johnny to go and fix the problem. Out on the street the Thing is storming towards the shop where the prank was purchased. On the way he is confronted by Johnny who tries to get him to calm down. All Johnny's efforts to stop Ben are rebuffed. When persuasion doesn't work, Johnny tries to put a flame wall in the way. However Ben fights back, explaining that he needs to get back at the "Yancy Streeters" because every time he gets a package from the "old neighbourhood" it's a reminder of the humanity he lost when he became the Thing. This causes Johnny to realise how horrible his pranks on Ben have been over the years.
Meanwhile, back at the Baxter Building, Reed Richards is working away on a new experiment when suddenly the alarm begins to go off. But no sooner does the alarm begin to go off does the power in the building completely shut down. After trying to see why his failsafes didn't kick in, Reed realises that the children might be in danger. No sooner than he starts heading to the children does he hear Franklin screaming from Valeria's bedroom. Entering the room, Reed sees that the posters on Val's wall have begun to bleed from their eyes and within the blood horrific eyes and sharp teeth look out. Reed pulls his children to safety but when he checks on Val he is horrified to see spiders crawling out of her mouth and empty eye sockets. No sooner has this phenomenon begun does it suddenly stop and everything goes back to normal. When Franklin asks his father what it was they saw, Reed tells the boy he doesn't know. More frightened than ever, Franklin tells his father that he doesn't like it when he says that and Reed admits that he doesn't like the sound of it either.
Back out on the streets the Human Torch tries to get people to flee from the Thing by trying to convince them that he is really a Skrull in disguise, partially so Ben's tantrum doesn't ruin the Fantastic Four's popularity. With the shop right around the corner, Johnny tries his strongest flames to keep Ben back, but the Thing just walks through them, no worse for wear. When the two round the corner the store is nowhere to be seen. This comes to a shock to Johnny who is instantly relieved. Ben on the other hand believes that the receipt is a fake and just another wrinkle to the prank played on him by the Yancy Street Gang and storms off. Johnny soon figures it out: Sue turned the entire building invisible. Before he can take off, Sue makes the prank shop visible again and orders him to come back down immediately. Sue is fed up of Johnny's pranks and decides its time to tell him what his new mission is.
Back at the Baxter Building, Sue has Johnny put on a suit and tie. She then explains to her younger brother that she is making him Chief Financial Officer of Fantastic Four Incorporated. A revelation that leaves Johnny totally speechless. She explains to Johnny that he needs more adult responsibility and she has put him in charge of their financial futures to fast track him to adulthood. On her wait out, Sue tells her increasingly stunned brother not to screw things up.
- This issue suggests that it was Johnny -- not the Yancy Street Gang -- who has been sending Ben packages for years. This contradicts many references that the Gang is responsible. It's more likely that Johnny has only sent a few pranks while posing as the Yancy Street Gang. Either way, the gang still takes credit for many of the gags played on Ben over the years. Their animosity toward the Thing stems back to when Ben used to be a member of their gang as a youth. When he was forced to move up town and left the gang they viewed it as a betrayal and have tormented him ever since, as explained in Thing #1.
- Sue states that Johnny is still acting like a teenager. Johnny was only sixteen years old when he first got his powers in Fantastic Four #1. Per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616, at the time of this story, the Fantastic Four have existed for 11 years, making Johnny roughly 27 years old at the time of this story.
- The sudden supernatural attack on the Richards children is the machinations of the Fantastic Four's long time foe Doctor Doom as revealed in Fantastic Four Vol 3 #67-70 and Fantastic Four #500. This is all part of a grander scheme of Doom to defeat the Fantastic Four using magic. Doom has been using Valeria as a familiar since he helped birth her in Fantastic Four Vol 3 #54.
- This issue has references to South Park, the Tom Green Show and TiVO. These should all be considered topical references per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
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