Appearing in "A Matter of Faith"
- Fantastic Four
- Magda Lehnsherr (Sculpture)
- Anya Lehnsherr (Sculpture)
- Spider-Man (Peter Parker) (Mentioned)
- Valeria Richards (Mentioned)
- Magneto's father (Mentioned)
- Magneto's mother (Mentioned)
- Magneto's sister (Mentioned)
- New York City (Only in flashback)
- Empire State University (Only in flashback)
- Auschwitz (Mentioned)
- Vinnitsa (Mentioned)
- Hyper-space plane
Synopsis for "A Matter of Faith"
Continued from last issue...
Despite Dr. Doom's promises, Shadowcat has not been cured of her molecular dispersion, and on the eve of her 15th birthday Kitty has decided to give up on the idea that she will survive the ordeal. While she accepts her possible death she wants to get the waiting over with. As she gives into despair the dream-form of Franklin Richards appears before her life support cylinder. After Lockheed determines that Franklin is no threat, the young Richards child tells Kitty that his parents are coming to help save her life. However, he explains about the visions of the future he gets in his sleep and warns Kitty about the dream that he had where the X-Men and Fantastic Four fight each other to the death. When this upsets Kitty, Franklin tries to cheer her up by telling her the same story his father told him the night before.
Aboard the Fantastic Four's super-sonic jet, the team (joined by the She-Hulk who wishes to see their mission through and the sleeping Franklin) are heading toward Latveria so that Reed can try and help Kitty Pride's life. As they fly toward the country ruled by their arch nemesis, Sue Richards begins thinking about how well Doom knows her husband and wonders if he had something to do with the old diary that she found amongst their possessions. When Ben enters the passenger area to leave Reed with his thoughts he begins repairing a chair in the room and talking to Sue. The two of them begin talking about Dr. Doom's long standing hatred of Reed. Ben believes that because Reed has always surpassed Doom in intelligence that Doom has forever wanted to prove Richards wrong. When they consider Reed's current bout of doubt in his own abilities, Ben tells her that Reed needs to sort through it himself and the best they can do is to stand by and support him through this difficult time. Meanwhile, Johnny is thinking about how in his last encounter with the X-Men he accidentally burned Storm and wonders how he can face them again so soon afterward and make atonement for the accident. When She-Hulk asks Johnny to share his thoughts, he tells her that his friend Spider-Man's motto "With great power comes great responsibility" is something that he has recently learned himself, if only a little too late. She-Hulk tries to cheer him up by telling him that learning from your mistakes is the best way to make it up to yourself. When She-Hulk asks about the rivalry between Reed and Dr. Doom, Johnny fills her in on how Doom always though Reed to be his rivalry in university, and explains the events that led up to Doom's face being scarred. An event that Doom blamed Reed for due to the fact that Reed had pointed out miscalculations in his experiment that Doom was too proud to look into. While in the cockpit of their craft, Reed once more looks at his old journal and begins to doubt his ability that if he fails in saving Kitty's life he isn't sure if he can take it. He also wonders if he has been lying to himself about accidentally mutating his teammates. He is visited by the dream form of his son, who tells him that Kitty knows they are coming and that they will save her. Reed tries to tell his son that he doesn't know if he can anymore, but the boy's dream form dissipates before he can.
While in Latveria, Wolverine is putting Havok, Dazzler, Rogue and Longshot through a training session as they await results from Dr. Doom. However, when the session is ended by Rogue, she expresses her frustration that nothing has been done by now and wonders what is making Doom stall. While upstairs, the dream form of Franklin continues to try and entertain Kitty with the story his father told him, but has difficulties because his skin is not pliant. Thanks to a psi-link established by Betsy, the two tell each other that they are only children and bond. When Doom enters the room, Franklin hides. Doom tells Psylocke that he is ready to begin the procedure to save Kitty's life.
A fair distance away from the castle Magneto stands solemnly looking off into the distance when he is greeted by Storm who wishes to know Magneto's thoughts. Magneto explains to Ororo that he is thinking about how five hundred miles in one direction is Auschwitz, the Nazi death camp he and his family was interred in and he was the sole survivor of, and due west of Latveria the Soviet city of Vinnitsa. There, Magneto explains, his daughter Anya died in a fire and when he used his mutant powers to save his wife Magda, she fled from him in fear and the villagers were so afraid they attempted to push him into the flames that claimed the daughter he was attempting to save. In his anger, he uses his magnetic powers to pull one of Doom's robotic guards from the castle to him and reshapes it into a statue of his wife and late daughter. Doom sends out a holographic image to scold Magneto for such use of his powers as his magnetic abilities effect the very computers that are needed to save Kitty's life and warns the Master of Magnetism against using them again.
As Storm tries to comfort Magneto, they notice the Fantastic Four's jet flying by and Magneto uses his powers to force it to land, Storm scolds him for using his powers after Doom warned him against it. While at Doom's castle, the delicate computers are disrupted by Magneto's powers infuriating Doom. However, when he realizes he did so to stop his foes the Fantastic Four, he tells Logan and Rogue who go off to see what they can do. At the landing site, Johnny Storm is happy to see that Storm's arm is heeled, but quickly goes on the defensive when Magneto chastises the young hero for his fault in her injuries. When Reed explains he wants to help them save Kitty, Magneto tells him to leave and their help is not needed. As Sue is trying to convince Storm to let them help, Rogue and Wolverine arrive and attack. With Rogue taking out the Human Torch, and Wolverine being clobbered by the Thing. When Longshot, Havok and Dazzler try to ram She-Hulk with a jeep she attempts to throw a boulder at it but has it destroyed. Rogue, absorbing Johnny's flame powers attempts to attack the Invisible Woman, but she cuts off her air (snuffing out the flame powers) with an invisible force field and sends her crashing into the jeep driven by the other X-Men.
Faced with Storm, She-Hulk feels bad to be attacking Storm when she no longer has her powers, but is surprised when there is a sudden bolt of lightning giving her pause for a moment. As the battle rages, Magneto uses his powers to lift up the Fantastic Four's craft to use as a weapon, horrifying Reed and Sue as Franklin -- to their knowledge is still aboard. However, Franklin is safe, having been pulled out of the craft by Lockheed and he scolds the heroes for fighting among each other when Kitty needs to be saved. The heroes are shamed into stopping their battle and agree to work together.
This is all watched from Doom's castle by Doom, while Psylocke focuses on keeping Kitty's mind in one piece, a task that is becoming more and more difficult. Seeing a difference in his old foe, Doom zooms in and sees Richards clutching his old journal and realizes that Reed is bothered by it, which brings him great pleasure and leaves him to suspect that his old foe is doomed. Inside, Doom explains that time is of the essence if the X-Men wish to save their comrade and Storm tells Doom to do what he can. Doom begins to work, however as Reed looks over the calculations he sees a problem and tells Doom to stop the process. When Doom falters, Reed stops it himself leading to an argument between the two over who is right. Suddenly, Franklin yells at them to stop and asks Doom if he and his father are the smartest men on the planet, why don't they work together to solve the problem instead of fighting. Doom and Reed agree to work together. As Reed goes over the data he realizes that Magneto's powers damaged some of the computers important functions leaving Richards to come up with the complex equations on his own as the process goes. As Reed begins to doubt himself, Doom tries to tempt him to either give in to his doubt or have Psylocke probe his mind to learn the truth about his troubles. Sue realizes what Doom is doing, that either way Reed will always doubt himself. However, Reed gathers the strength to overcome his doubts from the love of his wife and son and completes the process to save Kitty's life.
In the aftermath, the two teams and Doom celebrate, and Reed explains that the primary problem was that an instantaneous restoration of Kitty would have caused a discrepancy that would have advanced the problem instead of fixing it. In changing the perimeters to jump-start Kitty's natural healing processes, they saved her life. They key to success was a gradual instead of instantaneous healing process. During the celebrations the X-Men and Fantastic Four make peace, and Reed accepts that Magneto has turned over a new leaf and the two shake their hands. Sue meanwhile confronts Doom about the possibility that he planted the fake journal in their possessions some years ago to attack her family at a later time. When Doom skirts around answering her questions, she cautions him about crossing her and that she could easily kill him if she played by his rules. When Doom asks if she is challenging him, Sue walks away telling him that she is not, that she is telling him that they won their battle against him this day. As the Fantastic Four have been brought closer together as a family, young Franklin has fallen asleep. Upstairs, his dream form is dancing with the slowly healing Kitty Pride, who promises to dance with him for real once she is all better.
- Johnny's recounting of Reed, Ben and Doom's time in college recaps events first depicted in Fantastic Four Annual #2. Doom's time with Reed in school has been expanded upon numerous times, primarily in Fantastic Four #5, 278, Marvel Graphic Novel #49, 416, and Books of Doom #1-2.
- Magneto makes mention to his (presumably) late wife and deceased daughter Anya. Their tragic lives and deaths were first depicted in a back-up story in Classic X-Men #12.
- Sue appeals to the X-Men by mentioning the last time they all fought alongside each other together in Uncanny X-Men Annual #5 against the Badoon. Actually the Fantastic Four and the X-Men fought alongside each other more recently in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #1-12, but Sue wasn't present during the Secret Wars because she was pregnant with her second child.
- She-Hulk mentions how Storm has recently lost her powers. This is a reference to how Storm's powers were accidentally taken from her by an invention created by Forge in Uncanny X-Men #185. Although powerless during this story, Storm's powers are eventually restored in Uncanny X-Men #227.
- This is effectively She-Hulk's last adventure as an official member of the Fantastic Four. She returns to full time Avengers duty starting in X-Men vs Avengers #1.
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