Monday, June 18, 2018 • Afternoon Edition • "Who invited Spektre?"

Super Reads Siege & Realm of Kings 14

Written by SuperginraiX on Monday, June 14 2010 and posted in Features

And now we mark down the wait for Siege #4

Today, we check out The New Avengers: Luke Cage #1, Realm of Kings: Son of Hulk #3, and Blast to the Past for Fantastic Four #'s 58 & 59. Enjoy and spread the word!

Spoilers Ahead!

This... is sort of an off week for all your Siege and Realm of Kings excitement. I'll still make it as awesome as possible.

If this is your first time reading Super Reads, it's been around for a while, now! We've covered everything from Secret Invasion through Dark Reign as well as War of Kings. If you're interested in reading all that backstory (and who wouldn't be?), check in the "Features" link at the top of the page, look for the "Super Reads" button and click away for DAYS of reading enjoyment. If that's too many clicks for you, just hit HERE and get there in one shot.

And now... the Super-Hero formerly known as Power Man.

tnalc1.jpgThe New Avengers: Luke Cage #1
Writer: John Arcudi
Artist: Eric Canete

In this heroic first issue, Luke Cage beats down the Hippo, reminisces about the good old days, and takes a trip to Philadelphia to look in on an old, injured acquaintance. In Philly, Luke gets into a fight with Hammerhead. After sending Hammerhead packing, Luke visits the guy that got beaten down for trying to be a Hero for Hire, Leodes Dyson. Dyson is just off of life support but believes he deserves everything he got. And more.

You'd think an extra special mini-series focusing on Luke Cage would be written by Luke Cage's biggest fan: Brian Michael Bendis. You'd be wrong. This issue has been handed to John Arcudi. Let's see if he made Cage look good:

New York City. Midtown. The New Avengers are battling the Hippo and finding it to be a bit more difficult than they're prepared for. I'm going to expertly handle all your questions in the order they're recieved.

Question #1: Who the hell is the Hippo and why should I care?

The Hippo was first and last seen in the pages of Dark Reign: Sinister Spider-Man. It was believed that he was completely eaten by Venom but his appearance right here proves that to be false.

Question #2: When does this story take place?

This story takes place right in the middle of the Dark Reign. Don't let the lack of banner fool you. Dead giveaways are right on the first page. Clint Barton is running around in his Ronin suit, which he'll be abandoning at the beginning of the Heroic Age for his more traditional Hawkeye look. Throughout the comic, we get little hints that Norman Osborn is in charge and that the Super-Human Registration Act is still in place.

Question #3: Why isn't there a Power Man and Iron Fist book?

Because Marvel doesn't want your money. They want you to have some extra cash left over so you can fit in at least one DC comic. I suggest Green Lantern.

The New Avengers on the scene are Ronin and Spidey. Since the New Avengers team is more loosely organized than most Avengers teams, you never really know what heroes are going to show up for things like this. While Spider-Man is really a heavy hitter, no-one ever remembers that. Besides, having the proportionate strength of a hippopotomus probably trumps having the proportionate strength of a spider. These two heroes could use some help and wonder where Luke Cage ran off to. He was just here.

Luke is making his way up a few flights in a nearby parking ramp. While he's casually walking, Cage is talking to his wife on his cell phone. Their conversation is all about one Leodis Dyson. Leodis is an old, old acquaintance of Luke's and his mother has called him up on his behalf. As cars fly around Luke's head, he tells Jessica that he's going to be busy for the next few minutes and, chances are, his cell phone won't survive the experience. He tells her to call him back on Clint's phone.

Hanging up, Luke Cage drops off the parking ramp and lands right on Hippo's face. That is how to take down a super-powered villain.

The New Avengers enjoy a brief post-battle banter session where Spider-Man explains the science in Luke Cage's fall. Eventually, Clint gets a call on his cell phone.

We move our story back to Captain America's home in the Bronx. This is currently the secret headquarters of the New Avengers. Luke has returned home and is packing his bags.

No, he's not leaving permanently. He got in touch with Leodis Dyson's mother and is now heading to Philadelphia to handle some of Leodis' business. It seems Leodis wound up on life support after doing his best to emulate Luke's Hero for Hire business model. With everything going on in their lives, Jessica Jones doesn't want Luke to go.

This leads Luke to the obligatory flashback for the issue. It's all about when Luke was living in Harlem and doing his whole Hero for Hire thing. Leodis wasn't a friend so much as he was a kid living in the neighborhood. Luke did one job or another for the Dyson family and refused to take their money until they actually had some extra to pay him. He didn't want them eating ramen for months just because they needed to pay a Hero for Hire.

Leodis grew up and decided to emulate the Hero for Hire angle in Philadelphia. Dyson tried to do good work for the people but he didn't have super-powers. He was just one man... one very breakable man. Now, just because he was trying to be Power Man, he ended up on life support. That's not something that Luke can just let go. He needs to go there and figure out what happened. Maybe deliver some justice.

Jessica explains why she thinks this is so hard on her. It's very similar to the conversation the two had in New Avengers #63. She wants to keep her family intact.

Luke tells her that he's only going to be going to Philadelphia. It's not across the planet. He just needs to handle this one thing and then he'll be back and probably get on her nerves or something.

So, Cage takes the train into Philly. Leodis' office was in North Philadelphia and Luke is able to recognize why his young imitator would choose the neighborhood. It's worse than Harlem used to be. The buildings are mostly boarded up. Kids are openly selling drugs.

When one kid shows Luke attitude, Cage simply asks him for directions to Leodis Dyson's office. This young drug dealer isn't about to help him and starts shouting instead. Luke calmly walks off but gets philosophical when thinking about how these streets have affected the kids.

Luke still isn't to Leodis' building yet. He's still walking the streets. On a nearby billboard, he gets a good look at a local politician's message to the North Philly community. Woodward C. Himes is "more hopeful for North Philadelphia's future than ever." It's not a banner message but whatever. Odds are pretty good that Woodward will turn out to be behind all this anyway. It's how these things work.

Mr. Cage finally makes it to that office building. Dyson's office is smashed. Luke realizes that this wasn't just a random beating. This was a message. Maybe Luke should return the message.

On cue, Hammerhead enters the room.

Hammerhead is a different villain that you probably remember him. His time in Mr. Negative's employ has altered him, and not just physically. Hammerhead is no longer acting like the clichéd gangster. He's talking more and using less ham-fisted dialogue.

He fights better, too. Luke's old tricks still work, but Hammerhead has definitely upgraded. On punch from the ganster sends Luke flying. This fight is suddenly a messy street battle and Hammerhead tells Cage that this neighborhood won't get help from the police. It's just the two of them to the finish.

Cage is no pushover. He recovers from his initial shock and gets right back in business. Soon, Hammerhead loses any advantage and starts tasting a LOT of brick with a side order of pavement. This leaves the gangster bloody but that's about it. Hammerhead quickly rises from the onslaught and gets ready to bring all that pain back on the Avenger.

And then the unthinkable happens. We actually hear police sirens. Hammerhead tells Luke that the battle is over for now. Neither of these two need the authorities catching them. Luke's an unregistered hero and Hammerhead is an official gangster. He strides off, announcing that he has... "thinking to do."

With the fight done and over, Luke looks around the neighborhood and sees all the destruction it caused. The police never do seem to show up. The young drug dealers show up again and Luke gives them an angry shout about helping him clean up these streets. The kids race off. Yeah, Cage still has the touch.

Still bloodied up, Hammerhead makes a call to his boss at 30th Street Station. Mr. Negative takes the news of Luke Cage's involvement graciously. He orders Hammerhead to return to New York. Philadelphia won't be as easy to add to his territory as he thought. Still, Luke won't stick around long. When the Avenger leaves, maybe Negative will return. Time is on his side.

Luke eventually ends up at the hospital to make a visit to Leodis. His investigation into what led to Leodis' beating haven't been entirely unfruitful but there are way too many question marks for the former Power Man to successfully work with. When Leodis' mom sees Luke all banged up, she scolds him for getting involved in this whole thing. Luke replies that he wasn't actually expecting to fight anyone. It just went down the way it went down.

Leodis' condition has improved slightly. He's breathing on his own but is still very badly off. It's not a full body cast, but it might as well be. There are bandages and casts everywhere. Luke goes in for a visit and tells Leodis that he got rid of Hammerhead. Leodis should be out of trouble now, right?

Oh, no. This isn't a one-shot. This is three issues and it's not going to end now. Leodis tells Luke that he shouldn't have gotten involved. Not only that, Dyson says he deserved everything he got and more.

roksoh3.jpgRealm of Kings: Son of Hulk #3
Writer: Scott Reed
Artist: Miguel Munera

In the last issue, Hiro-Kala addressed the people of K'ai and returned the dead to life. The people were happy to be saved by the Son of Hulk. Hiro-Kala had resurrected a group of people but changed them so that they could track down the Old Power. The team formerly known as the Micronauts prepared for their mission to save K'ai. Arcturus had a siezure. Carl found out that he wasn't waterproof. Axeman Bone got the mission to kill any remaining Psyklop. Hiro-Kala directed some of his resurrected. Lihla kissed the Son of Hulk. The Axemen found the Microns. Hiro-Kala shared his vision of prophesy with Lihla. Marionette attacked the Axemen. Hiro-Kala gave Lilha a gift.

In this issue, Jentorra plots the death of the Son of Hulk. Hiro-Kala finds a secret power hidden on planet K'ai. Marionette kills lots of Axemen before facing off against their leader. Starships emerge from the planet. Hiro-Kala charges his resurrected to board the ships and seek out the Old Power. Arcturus Rann gets a message from the Enigma Force. Jentorra takes the Enigma Force Nullifier off of Lilha's neck and blasts Hiro-Kala with it. Carl rescued Marionette and the two team-up to fight Axeman Bone. Hiro-Kala doesn't die from the Nullifier attack. He attacks Jentorra. As ships take to the air, Lilha tells Hiro that she loves him. Arcturus is powered up by the Enigma Force Nullifier.

Hiro-Kala is running things on the planet K'ai in the Microverse. The K'aitans are very cool with that. That's because they don't know what Hiro-Kala really is. He's a monster. The only K'aitan that knows this is Jentorra.

Wait, you don't know who Jentorra is? How surprising. That's because no-one bothered to give her a name until the third issue of a four issue mini-series, even though she's been an important part of the series from issue 1. It's a norman oversight. Since no-one provided a name until now, I've just been calling her "Latoya." We'll see if "Jentorra" catches on.

Jentorra is the niece of the former queen of K'ai, Jarella. She was apprenticed to the Sorceror Triad. They were responsible to bringing Hiro to this world even though they were trying to get the normal Hulk. She knows that Hiro-Kala is dangerous. She knows her people will figure this out eventually and will blame her for bringing him here. She has to get something done before that happens.

The K'aitans are wondering why Hiro isn't raiding them for their weapons. To them, it's a sign of weakness, even though Hiro-Kala hardly needs more power. What he's looking for, however, are traces of the Old Power. He's been trying to rid the galaxy of it's taint. On K'ai, he doesn't find a trace of it but the Microverse is riddled with the stuff. Instead, he finds a completely different kind of power. Striking the ground, he summons this power.

Out on the beach, Marionette is handily killing the Axemen that threaten her and her teammates. They're trying to get a hold of their leader, Axeman Bone, but the big boss isn't answering. Instead, he's racing in on his rock vehicle and watching as the Micron outclasses his warriors.

Soon, only one Axeman remains on the beach. He throws his swords at the female and watches as the blade shatters when it makes contact with Marionette's. The Axeman points a blaster at Mari but she isn't even worried. She just tells him that he hasn't actually thought this out. The Axeman drops to gun and retreats.

Marionette checks on her comrades and finds that Carl, her Death's Head teammember, is still shorting out after his swim. Carl's not ready to fight and his speakers are giving us a replay from the conversations this team has had in the last two issues. Because maybe we forgot something that was said. Like we really need to be reminded. Ah well. Thankfully, Axeman Bone shows up and we can ignore anything Carl is repeating.

Hiro surrounds himself and Lilha with a green shield. The ground swells and bursts around them, revealing giant towers. Hiro-Kala tells Lilha that these things are controlled by the Sorceror Triad. Lilha suddenly has a great urge to tell Hiro how she feels even though she should know by now that Hiro can't feel love without destroying the universe. She's... not a bright girl.

Hiro tells her to wait in the green bubble as he begins to explain what these emerging towers represent.

That'll have to wait. We're going back to the battle between Axeman Bone and Marionette.

Marionette isn't able to stay upright on the rock platform long before she falls underneath it. Even then, she's able to thrust her sword into the rock and keep from dropping off completely. Bone begins lowering the platform so that he'll be able to crush his opponent. She plunges her blade deep into the rock. The end comes out the other side and right through Bone's foot.

Back with Hiro, he gets into all the exposition on what these towers are. They're spaceships. They could be controlled by the Sorceror Triad and now they will be powered by his resurrected. He gives them the knowledge to control the vessels. These resurrected will scour the Microverse and remove all traces of the Old Power... possibly through their deaths. He expects them to die again, regardless. The resurrected don't mind this. They are now Hiro-Kala's obedient slaves.

Quickly, let's look in on Axeman Bone's fight with Marionette. He's grabbed onto her sword and pulled it out of her hands. This has made his own bleed, but it only strengthens his resolve. Mari still clings to the underside of the rock platform.

Back on the beach, Arcturus Rann remains unconscious. The Enigma Force starts talking to him. The Enigma Force has kind of infected Arcturus. His long-term exposure to it has made him diseased. The Enigma Force is still here to tell Arcturus that the greatest threat to the Microverse is before them. He gets an image right in his brain that shows him that this threat is none other than Hiro-Kala. I guess that means the end is near.

Returning to Hiro-Kala and his acolytes, Lilha leaves the comfort of her protective green bubble. This is the moment Jentorra has been waiting for. She lunges at the girl, forcing Lilha to the ground. She's not doing all this because she hates red-skinned girls. No, she's doing this to get her hands on Lilha's necklace. This is the trinket that Hiro-Kala gave Lilha last issue. It was kept on display as an artifact of little value but it's true power makes it invaluable. It's the Enigma Force Nullifier. Jentorra announces this and then uses it to blast Hiro.

This story keeps on moving back and forth. This time, we hit Marionette back up as she's fighting Axeman Bone from underneath his rock platform. She's pretty much done fighting and is struggling just to stay on the rock platform. This leaves her wide open for Bone's axe. Just before it swings down and kills her, she leaps off of the rock and waits to hit the ground. Fortunately, Carl flies into the battle and snatches up Mari before she gets a major back burn.

Carl is still not talking in the present and gives us more greatest hits from the past two issues. Besides that annoyance, he's good to go. The two make their way back to Axeman Bone. Marionette has a sword to retrieve.

Hiro has taken a direct hit from the Enigma Force Nullifier and lives to tell the tale. He gets back up on his feet and angrily zaps Jentorra with... his New Power? Honestly, the power thing is all mixed up. I don't know what the hell Hiro is capable of anymore. He basically does whatever he wants.

Even though it looks like Hiro has this battle all wrapped up (I mean, Jentorra's one ace in the hole has turned into a two of clubs), one of the Axemen calls in for Bone to return and protect their master. Axeman Bone is fighting off both Carl and Marionette and doesn't really look like he's going to lose. When he gets the message, he doesn't even think twice. He abandons his rock platform and runs back to Hiro. Carl gets off one parting shot which sets Axeman Bone on fire. It still doesn't stop his courageous retreat.

Like I said, Jentorra has already been knocked down and has nothing left to do but lie on the ground and shake the sparks from her eyes. Hiro-Kala grabs the Enigma Force Nullifier and holds it up for inspection. Lilha walks up close and, like the idiot she is, tells Hiro that she loves him. This is part of the vision he shared with her and she just doesn't care if it leads to the end of everything. She's a teenage girl and her feelings are all that matter. Her selfish, stupid feelings. As she closes in and tries for an embrace, the K'ai spaceships start taking off. The end... she is nigh.

Still, Hiro hasn't admitted to any love feelings of his own. He grasps the Enigma Force Nullifier trinket and smashes it in his hand.

On the beach, Arcturus Rann wakes up. Something just empowered him. It could be... the Enigma yadda yadda yadda.

ff57.jpgFantastic Four #57
Writers: Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
Penciler: Jack Kirby

In this issue, the Fantastic Four fight Sandman and the Wizard in State Prison until the Sandman escapes confinement. Silver Surfer meets with Dr. Doom and shows the dictator just how powerful he is. The FF track down the Sandman and the villain escapes again! Dr. Doom distracts Norrin Rad with a picture of the cosmos and steals his Power Cosmic. Johnny Storm, accompanied by Wyatt Wingfoot, teleports in to a dimension of powerful beasts with the power of Lockjaw. In Attilan, the Inhuman Royal family looks over the bed of the fallen Black Bolt. Dr. Doom rides a surfboard in the sky!

In the best tradition of George Lucas, we begin our story in the middle of another story. The Fantastic... Three... visit the State Prison because two members of the Frightful Four (Sandman & the Wingless Wizard) have agreed to give up their secrets in order to get out of confinement sooner. When they get there, they find that the Sandman has already escaped his cell and has waited to attack the Three.

And, yes, this is the Fantastic Three. Throughout this storyline, Johnny Storm is kind of absent. Oh, sure, he shows up in this issue and the rest but he's doing his own thing. Even when they're fighting together, the Human Torch is following his own drummer. That leaves the other three to officially show up as FF members.

The Sandman is one of the tougher contenders in the Marvel Universe as long as you don't have a vacuum cleaner handy. He makes Reed and company look like amateurs throughout this entire confrontation. Mr. Fantastic has a great plan to trap Marko, but it relies on the Invisible Woman not getting distracted by the Wizard. Sandman is able to escape even though the Wizard is still overcome by guards.

That's ok by the Wizard. His whole plan was to achieve the Sandman's escape. With his partner out, the Wizard's own freedom is ensured. The Fantastic Three are now set with the job of returning Flint Marko to prison even as Sue Richards lists off the rest of the threats facing them.

One of those particular threats? The dictator of the small nation of Latveria. Dr. Doom. He's sent a summons to the Silver Surfer to join him at his castle. Since Norrin Radd doesn't understand the working of the world, he just thinks a ruler has asked for his appearance in a royal court. This assumption will come back to haunt the Surfer and put the entire world at risk.

Not that Dr. Doom is hard to read. From the moment the Surfer enters Victor Von Doom's presence, he can just feel the evil emanating off the villain. Still, he allows himself to be placated by Dr. Doom's half-hearted attempts to conceal his villainous ways.

Doom asks the Surfer about the extent of his powers. Norrin Radd decides to show him instead. The Silver Surfer contructs a Cosmically Powered Tennis Racket out of thin air. This device destroys a wall with just a tap. The blast wave continues on, wrecking anything in it's path. Surfer dismantles the weapon before Dr. Doom can add it to his arsenal and offers to repair all the damage. Doom declines. This is what minions are for.

The Thing rides his sky-cycle through the city of New York, searching out the Sandman. Reed and Sue are back at the Baxter Building, checking off locations as Ben works his way through the city. It turns out they never really needed to go far. The Sandman shows up inside the Baxter Building and attacks the newlyweds.

So... why has the Sandman entered the lion's den? Because he believes this is the best place to get something to rescue his partner. He wasn't really thinking that the world's smartest man was also on-site.

You don't see Reed as an action star as much as he was in during Stan and Jack's run on the title. Reed is now seen more as the absent-minded professor and has lost his edge. Granted, Jonathan Hickman's take on the title seems to be returning to the Reed Richards we knew in the yesteryear. Hopefully, we see more of this Mr. Fantastic and less of the caricature he has become.

Richards owns in this fight but his fighting prowess doesn't help him to capture the Sandman. Flint Marko realizes he's outclassed and makes a quick getaway right into the Fantastic Four's Advanced Equipment Storage Unit. Sandman locks the door from the inside. By the time the Richards have broken in, Sandman has stolen some tech and slipped away.

Dr. Doom is playing host to the Surfer, and is giving the alien a tour of his facilities. This includes showing Radd all his weapons of mass destruction. Doom sees that this might make the Silver Surfer suspect his true nature but he explains these war machines away just like all governments do. These aren't weapons of war. These are tools for defense and peace. They don't call it a 'peacemaker' for nothin.'

Just to make things even more awkward, one of Doom's minions trips into his leader. Doom forgets his visitor and begins to shout at the poor servant. Before he goes TOO far, he remembers that the Silver Surfer is right behind him and gives his lackey the day off instead of throwing him in the pit of sharks with lasers on them.

Doctor Doom has to act quickly because he sucks at playing the good guy. He leads Norrin Radd to a view screen and shows the Surfer how much of the universe he has mapped out. While the alien is distracted by the pretty flashing lights, Doom's minions start strapping special attachments to their benevolent monarch.

The Surfer doesn't even have time to defend himself. Doom attacks him with the scientific devices and steals all the Silver Surfer's power. Dr. Doom is more powerful than he's even been.

Somewhere else entirely, Johnny Storm is looking for the Inhumans so he can hook up with Crystal. To that end, he and his roommate, Wyatt Wingfoot, have been teleporting all over the place with Lockjaw, the Inhuman's giant teleporting dog. They don't successfully find Atillan but they do find a different dimension where they are nearly overcome by gigantic carnivorous beasts. Lockjaw ports them out at the last moment.

Since we've just spoken of Atillan, let's head there. The city is currently covered by a Negative Barrier that prevents any Inhuman from leaving the city. Black Bolt's power might be able to break the shield but the Inhuman King has struck unconscious. The Inhuman Royal Family has gathered around his bed, hoping that their ruler will be able to wake up.

Only Mad Maximus and Madame Medusa know that Black Bolt's voice has the capacity to break through the Negative Barrier. Medusa is keeping quiet. Max? Not so much. Sure, he's not telling but he's making sure everyone knows that Medusa has a secret.

In Latveria, the citizens are uneasy in their leader's actions. While Latverians now seem to be overwhelmingly in favor of their monarch, back in the day, opinions varied wildly. These peasants don't seem all that happy with the lightshow emitting from Doom's castle. They're even less pleased when they see Victor Von Doom streak across the sky on the Surfer's board.

He people scatter as the dictator begins casually firing on them with the Power Cosmic.

Back at the Baxter Building, the remaining members of the Fantastic Four sit uneasy. The Sandman is out there planning the escape of the Wizard. Sue has some of her "women's inuition" which tells her that something HUGE is right around the corner. Reed senses it as well but doesn't want to unduly worry his wife. He decides to take her out on the town. The Thing averts his eyes as his teammates hug. No-one wants to see that.

ff58.jpgFantastic Four #58
Writer: Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
Penciler: Jack Kirby

In this issue, Doctor Doom appears to the Fantastic Four in a lightning bolt. Doom gloats over the fallen form of the Silver Surfer. The Thing freaks out after reading a ghost story! Reed and Sue leave on their date! Thing is attacked by Doctor Doom! Defeating Ben, Victor attacks Reed and Sue! Johnny returns home and finds the Thing. Contacting Wyatt to resuscitate Ben, he flies off to fight Doom. Ben joins the others after reviving and everyone is thoroughly defeated by a Cosmically Powered Doctor Doom. Doom lets them live because he's too powerful for them to even think about defeating.

On the roof of the Baxter Building, the Fantastic Three are enjoying a flash thunderstorm. Just then, a blast of lighting erupts before them and the image of Doctor Doom forms. The apparition only lasts a moment but it's enough to rattle everyone. Reed is still playing overprotective husband even though his wife has been facing all these threats with him since issue one. He tries to play off this light show as nothing more than a trick of the light. No-one believes him. Not even him.

In Latveria, Doom is pleased with this test of his new abilities. With that display of power ended, he strides off to his dungeon where he lords his stolen powers over the original wielder, the Silver Surfer. Norrin Radd can't even get to his feet but he tells Victor Von Doom that the dictator's new abilities are nothing compared to Galactus. There's always a bigger fish.

Doom decides the time is ripe to destroy his hated foes, the Fantastic Four! He blasts out of his castle and begins riding his new space surfboard to New York City.

Back in the Baxter Building, Ben is enjoying his downtime by reading a ghost story. This is all to set up just how freaked out the book has made him when Reed taps him on the shoulder and causes the rocky hero to leap away at top speed. Before Ben smashes the entire place up, Richards calms him down and lets him know that he and Sue are going out for a night on the town.

Ben doesn't look forward to spending the night alone and decides to make a call on his lady friend, Alicia Masters.

He'll never make it there this night. Doctor Doom is at the Baxter Building and has begun the opening volley on his latest attack on the Fantastic Four. While this fight should completely favor Doom, his unfamiliarity to his new powers allows the Thing to get the upper hand more than once in this fight. In the end, Ben is still fighting a losing battle.

Doom hits him with eyebeams (those are new) and Aunt Petunia's favorite nephew slowly stops moving. Doom has taken the speed of the Thing's molecules away, leaving the hero a statue.

At the Baxter Building, Johnny Storm and his traveling companions port back in. Their search for the Inhuman's city has turned up a bust. Johnny is ready to go back out and look but his roommate, Wyatt, knows that they were brought back here for a purpose. A quick look around reveals that a battle has taken place very recently. Johnny bursts into flame and starts his search of the tower.

Reed and Sue have arrived at their vacation home in Southhampton. This isn't a reason for Reed to stop working, or for either adventurer to change out of their FF Uniforms. That last bit is good, because they've just started their own fight with Doctor Doom. Again, Doom's still learning what he can do as he goes along. That means that Reed has a slim chance to end this fight before Doom gets the upper hand. It's too slim for Reed to make work. Doom creates an energy mace to end this particular fight.

The Human Torch has followed the path of destruction and has found the unmoving form of the Thing. His initial thought is to find Reed so that the super-genius can invent something that can get Ben moving again. Soon, he realizes that Reed already invented something to do just that. He contacts Wyatt to handle that task while he races off to find Reed and Sue.

It doesn't take Johnny long to reach the Richards cottage at Southhampton. His strength doesn't make much of a difference but he gets the upper hand for a moment or two just like the other male members of the team. In fact, Johnny's flame burns so strongly that it consumes the cabin. Reed and Sue are forced to abandon their wayward teammate just so they don't lose their lives in the fire.

Wyatt Wingfoot has brought Reed's pre-invented metabolism accelerator and uses the device on the Thing. Now, it'll be a party.

The cottage is still burning when Doctor Doom emerges unscathed from its center. The battle is now over for Johnny Storm. Doom grabs him and frosts the Human Torch, extinguishing Johnny's flame. The teenage hero uses one last burst of his flame to blast out the remains of the house but still Doom remains untouchable.

While the Torch makes a quick retreat to recover his fire, the Thing and Wyatt Wingfoot join the fight. Wyatt tries blasting Doom with Reed's Anti-Grav Disrupter but even that attack fails.

Reed's just got one more play. He admits that the Fantastic Four are powerless before the Cosmically Enhanced Dr. Doom. This show of humility saves their lives. Doom believes that nothing the Four can do can do him any harm and decides the worst thing he could do would be to leave them alive to witness the enslavement of all humanity.

Doom soars off on his surfboard to plan his next move. Reed is left to explain what even his wife sees as cowardice. What Mr. Fantastic said was true. The Fantastic Four had no chance of defeating Dr. Doom. Now. Give Richards some time and he'll invent something that CAN defeat Victor Von Doom. Until then, his declaration has spared them from death.

But can even Reed invent something to defeat the Power Cosmic?

That's our latest and greatest. Be with us next time for some more Merry Marvel Action!

Until then: Who Do YOU Trust?

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About the Author - SuperginraiX

SuperginraiX is the biggest sap on The Outhousers' payroll (wait, we get paid?). He reads every issue of every crappy Marvel crossover so you don't have to. Whats worse is that he pays for his books, thus condoning Marvel's behavior. If The Outhouse cared for his well being at all, they'd try and get him into some sort of rehab center. But, alas, none of us even know how to say his name. For a good time, ask Super why Captian America jumped off the Helicarrier in Fear Itself. Super lives in the frozen wastland that is Minnesota with 15% of the state's population living under his roof: a wife he makes wear an Optimus Prime mask, two gremlins, and his mother-in-law.


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