- You might have a few billion years on me and mine, sure... But I'm Reed Richards. Nobody's smarter than me.
Appearing in "The Big Crunch!"
- Fantastic Four
- Franklin Richards
- Valeria Richards
- People of the End of All Things (Only appearance)
- Numerous unnamed members
- Blastaar (Only in flashback)
- Fantastic Four's spaceship
Synopsis for "The Big Crunch!"
After escaping the Big Bang after their battle with Blastaar, the Fantastic Four finds themselves at the end of time, with their time-space ship severely damaged. However, the teleportation has pushed Franklin's body to the limits. While Sue and Reed try to revive their son the Thing notices a massive space station not far from their location. They are quickly brought on board and introduced to the People of the End of All Things. Their representative, Yth, examines Franklin and determines that the boy is fine, pointing out that this is not the first time they have seen Franklin Richards, but not this young. Yth pulls Reed, Sue and Ben aside and tells them what Reed already knows -- that they're decaying. This comes as news to the Thing, but he hopes that they can get to where Reed promised to take him.
Learning that Yth has a prisoner on board, they soon discover that they have arrived prior to Blastaar's exile to the dawn of time. Reed convinces Yth to allow his daughter Valeria come up with an alternative means of punishing Blastaar for his crimes. While work is being done to deal with Blastaar and repair their ship, the Thing insists on getting back home soon, reminding Sue that it is time for his annual transformation back to human form. As Reed finishes repairing and upgrading their ship, he learns from Yth that his people are there to ensure that this universe ends at its appointed time.
Later, Valeria has come to a solution with how to deal with the problem with Blastaar. She has perfected the technology that her father first developed to contain his powers during on of their early encounters. However, Yth and his people refuse to turn Blastaar over to their custody. Instead, the Fantastic Four wait until their ship is complete and thanks to Franklin's powers -- swap out Blastaar with the Thing. By the time Yth and his people witness the switch, the Thing has reverted back to human form. The Fantastic Four then teleport to their ship and flee with Blastaar. Freeing him from his restraints, the Fantastic Four then dump him -- powerless -- in the Negative Zone.
With their mission over, Reed tells Ben that they have only used 50 minutes of his time in human form and asks Ben where he wants to go. Ben tells Reed that he wants to go home.
• You've seen how everything begins -- now see how everything ends! Marvel's first family travels to THE BIG CRUNCH!
• What if the end of everything wasn't really the end of everything? What happens beyond the end of infinite time and space?
• Speaking of ends, how's everybody feeling out there in time and space, Dr. Richards? Hmmmmm?
- Ben took a serum that allows him to change back to human form once a year for 24 hours back in Fantastic Four #584.
- Valeria recounts the Fantastic Four's battle with Blastaar from Fantastic Four #63.
- Valeria states that the Fantastic Four first battled Blastaar during the "20th century", this is an error. Per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616, the Modern Age no longer "began" in the 20th century. At the time of this story, the Fantastic Four (per the timescale) had been active for roughly 13 years, making the earliest point the Modern Age could have began in the year 2000. However, the Timscale continues to push the start of the Modern Age forward. For example, as of November 2014, the Timescale bumped forward making the start of the Modern Age 2001. It will bump forward to 2002 in 2018.
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