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Quote1 With all your mighty intelligence, did you stop to think... that someone might be behind some of the attack on the Fantastic Four? In the background, pitting villains against you or creating opportunities so villains would think they were acting of their own volition... since the beginning of the Fantastic Four's existence. Quote2
-- The Quiet Man

Appearing in "Back in Blue"

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Synopsis for "Back in Blue"

It begins with a love story, boy meets girl. Boy falls for a girl, Sue Storm, and proceeds to stalk her, hoping to find the right circumstances to reveal himself. They never arrive. The boy goes to university at the same time as Sue, and by chance, sees that a room is available in her house. He stirs up his courage, and goes to her... too late. The room had been taken by Reed Richards. The boy continued to watch from afar as the two grew closer, hoping that Reed would leave her, but it never happened. When he saw Reed take Sue for a ride in the flying car he was building, he knew that he was sunk.

The boy, now a man, is telling the story to a captive Reed. Reed reiterates the story for his own benefit: his captor has framed the Fantastic Four, destroyed the Baxter Building, kidnapped Reed and the Future Foundation, and sent his friend to prison for murder... because his captor lacked the courage to act on a childish desire decades ago.

The man disagrees with Reed, but his desire to explain the story drives him forward. Once Reed and Sue had left the university, he decided to revel in his anonymity. He formed companies under assumed names, hiring actors as frontmen and arranging byzantine shell company formations to obfuscate himself. The name he gives himself now is "the Quiet Man", having long since abandoned his own. He has grown rich from his science, but his greatest invention he has kept to himself: the Facial Reconstructor. With it, he can make himself look like almost anyone. It was how he arranged his features as "Cully", Reed's lab assistant. It is also how he struck the team recently - as Aiden Toliver, New York district attorney. But even that was not his first assault, as he claims he has been working behind the scenes for years, under a potentially limitless string of names and faces, leaking information to criminals and creating opportunities for masterminds, in a string of actions going all the way back to the Mole Man's first assault on Central City, the day after the fateful spaceflight that gave the team their powers.

Reed, who is astonished at the story he is being told, points out that for a Quiet Man, his recent actions are not quiet, and he wonders why his foe is revealing himself. He also wonders at the people standing around his captor, who so resemble the Avengers. The Quiet Man explains that they are from a world created by Franklin years before, where the Avengers and the Fantastic Four lived. Afterwards, the counterparts remained, without direction, until he found a way to command them. The Quiet Man has a plan, involving revealing himself to the world, and it all comes back to Franklin.

In a lab in another part of Eden, a false version of Vision is holding down Franklin to scan him in the most painful and thorough manner possible. Bentley-32 watches from a gantry at his father's side, while from behind glass, the rest of the Future Foundation is horrified. Onome cries that she believes in Bentley, while the Wizard says that doing the right thing requires a resolute will. Bentley shouts that he will be resolute, as his father wishes.

In a Manhattan police station, the false Hawkeye who the heroes caught before has been rescued... by a false Captain America. Working together, the two costumed men defeat every NYPD officer in the building in just over 100 seconds. Afterwards, Johnny Storm and Spider-Man are being told about the scene by an officer, and are sad that they couldn't have stopped it. The officer remarks that with a timetable so short, the only way a superhero could have help was to literally have been on the scene when the first shot was fired.

Via the Fantastic Four's comms, the Invisible Woman hears what the officer is telling the Human Torch while she and Ben Grimm investigate the ruined top floors of the Baxter Building. She has just returned from Central City where she did some investigating that ties into their current case. She and Ben remember that on the day of the invasion of spiky monsters, Franklin mentioned "his world", and that the entire thing might have been a distraction to let the false Avengers escape into New York.

Suddenly, Ben & Sue are ambushed. Across town, Spider-Man grabs Johnny and begins swinging towards the action. On the way, Sue is able to warn them that they have been attacked by the Invaders!

Solicit Synopsis

ANSWERS TO THE FANTASTIC FOUR’S GREATEST MYSTERY!

• The team begins their hunt for the missing REED RICHARDS as the ALL-NEW INVADERS seek the missing children of the FUTURE FOUNDATION.

• Meanwhile the villain who is behind everything reveals his motives to Reed stretch far back into REED AND SUE’S PAST.

• VALERIA comes back to America. But whose side is she on?

Notes

Continuity Notes

Continuity Errors

  • The Quiet Man states that he was attending Columbia University at the same time as Reed Richards. However, Reed wasn't merely attending, he was a teacher there according to What If? #42. Further mistaken is the idea that Reed just started renting the room owned by Sue's aunt when he was at Colubmia is also an error. Per Fantastic Four #291, Reed started renting the room years earlier while he was a student at State University. It seems unlikely that Marygay Storm would have advertised her room for rent if she knew Reed was coming back. This could be chalked up to the fact that the Quiet Man is quite insane.

See Also

Footnotes



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