The wait for Siege #4 heats up!
Today, we check out Siege: Young Avengers #1, Siege: Captain America #1, Siege: Loki #1 and Blast to the Past for Fantastic Four #'s 59 & 60. Enjoy and spread the word!
It seems everyone had something to do when Asgard fell.
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Let's look in on the newest Avengers...
Siege: Young Avengers #1
Writer: Sean McKeever
Penciler: Mahmud A. Asrar
In this exciting side story, Wiccan and Hulkling discuss the fall of Asgard and how it personally affected the hero formerly known as Asgardian. Speed zoomed up and told them that he was working on rescue efforts. Patriot and Hawkeye are buried underneath the rubble of Asgard and their time is running out. Wiccan and Hulking find dead Asgardians. Speed rescues lots of people. Patriot can't rescue himself and Hawkeye. Hulking and Wiccan find the Wrecking Crew looting the ruins of Asgard. Wiccan attacks. Speed keeps rescuing people. Patriot kisses Hawkeye. Billy hits the Wrecker and his Crew with lightning. Ronin gives Speed a pep talk. Hawkeye and Patriot escape their tomb. The Young Avengers reunite and return to the battle.
Billy Kaplan, Wiccan, has already had two codenames in his short Marvel history. His first name was "Asgardian" and it's that name that now becomes important to this story. Asgard has just fallen. Billy and his boyfriend, Teddy Altman, AKA Hulkling, are currently standing in the ruins of Asgard. Wiccan is morose and starts confessing to Hulking how important Norse mythology is to him.
Teddy wonders why his boyfriend didn't share this information with him earlier. Granted, Hulkling would have laughed at him for his affection for the Norse, but it seems a lot less funny now.
Why Teddy would have laughed is confusing. This team is made up of people who are self-professed fanboys of super-hero culture. Since there has been a Thor hanging out in their world for years, you'd think Norse mythology wouldn't be all that humorous. Teenagers...
While the two are sharing a meaningful moment on the edge of some newly-formed cliff, Billy's brother, Thomas Shepherd, races up talking a mile a minute. This tragedy has really made the juvenile delinquent embrace the super-hero lifestyle. He sees people in danger and is all about lending a hand in rescue efforts. Speed is relieved to see his brother and Teddy. He tells them that Vision and Stature are fine and appearing over in the Thunderbolts storyline. Thomas hasn't been able to find Patriot or Hawkeye, though. With that, Speed zips off to save lives.
Let's check up on the final members of the Young Avengers, Patriot and Hawkeye. Since there's an evil Hawkeye running around the Marvel Universe, let me just remind you: this isn't him. The Young Avengers' Hawkeye is Kate Bishop. She and Elijah Bradley (Patriot) have been flirting with a relationship for a while now. Today definitely isn't a day for romance. They're buried under the ruins of Asgard. Everything keeps shifting around them. Patriot has been trying to get them out but nothing he's done is having any positive effect.
Topside, Wiccan and Hulkling are searching for survivors and coming up negative. They do find the dead body of the Asgardian, Angantyr the Berserker, and Billy gives his boyfriend a quick lesson on the god. The two take to the sky and talk about how this tragedy could have been prevented if they had only been able to unseat Norman Osborn sooner.
Speed is racing around Asgard and taking the injured out before they can even notice. It's still not fast enough for Thomas. He keeps pushing himself to move faster and faster.
Down below, Patriot is still pushing against the walls of his ever shrinking cage but Hawkeye thinks he isn't trying hard enough. Eli tries to explain how one false move could bury them even further in rubble but Kate reminds him that they are working with limited time. This place could collapse any moment regardless of what Patriot does. She wants him to get his head in the game and stop holding back.
Hulkling and Wiccan have finally found some real, live people but they turn out to be bad guys. The Wrecking Crew is engaging in some infighting. In this particular battle, Thunderball is trying to prevent the other three from looting the ruins of Asgard. Since T-Ball is outnumbered, the other three Wrecking Crew members beat him soundly. The Wrecker orders the rest of his gang to start looting with impunity.
Bill and Ted (oh man, I just got that one... I can't believe I missed it until now) look on as Thunderball is beat down. Teddy thinks that these guys are out of their league and they'd be better served looking for the injured. Wiccan has other plans. He casts a spell that encases the three remaining members of the Wrecking Crew in stone. He then gives them a lecture on how looting the fallen city is completely dishonorable.
The Wrecking Crew laugh. Then they laugh some more.
They just heard this same line from Thunderball. Look what happened to him. The Wrecker and his crew break out of their rock prison with ease.
Somewhere else in Asgard, Thomas Shepherd is still rescuing people, moving faster and faster all the time. Unfortunately his latest rescue attempt comes up empty. He was trying to dig someone out only to find no-one there. He runs off feeling stupid.
Underground, the lecture continues! Hawkeye has a crazy plan and it involves firing blast arrows at the unstable walls until they either break through or get buried. Patriot thinks this idea is particularly stupid. Hawkeye just wonders why Eli is so afraid to act. When she questions him on it again, Patriot thinks this is the best time to plant a kiss on his teammate.
That goes over... not so well. She pushes him away and shouts at him. Huh. These two have done their fair share of flirting lately. Maybe I just assumed they were closely on the way to becoming a couple. This swerve was unexpected to Eli as well. He tries apologizing just as the ceiling rumbles.
The latest shift has opened up the smallest of gaps. Hawkeye swears she can feel fresh air coming from the crack. She tells Patriot to hold the crack open as she investigates it further.
The Wrecking Crew attacks Wiccan and Hulkling with a vengeance. The Wrecker especially is enjoying his time beating down kid Avengers.
And then Wiccan starts hitting them with lightning.
The first lightning strike just causes Wrecker to laugh. The second, which hits the entire crew, drops them all to the ground.
Back with Speed, the speedster is running out of gas. He's done so much rescuing but just doesn't think he's moving fast enough. Thomas is about to fall into depression when Ronin walks up and offers some words of encouragement. After this little talk, Speed realizes that he's doing the best heroing he can do.
Back with Wiccan and Hulkling again. Billy has just beaten the Wrecking Crew with some well-aimed lightning. The two hug. It's finally time for him to explain just what he loves about Norse mythology. Turns out his dad used to tell him stories from Norse myths when he was younger. One time, he got into a big fight with daddy and told pop that he hated Norse tales. His dad never told him another story again. This is sad because Billy used to love hearing the stories. That's his big secret. Hulkling tells his boyfriend to teleport the Wrecking Crew out so they can reunite with the rest of their teammates.
Two of those might be hard to meet up with at the moment. Patriot and Hawkeye are still buried but they finally have a plan in place. Hawkeye planted a bunch of explosive arrowheads up in the temporary opening. She exits the shaft and fires an arrow up to detonate her planted charges. If this works, they get out. If they don't... they're dead. Patriot gets ready to let go of the opening and protect both of them with his shield.
Hawkeye lets an arrow fly and we hope for the best.
Hulkling and Wiccan hear the explosion and run in to check things out. They see a swirling area of sand before Patriot smashes his shield to the surface. Teddy helps his friends reach the surface. Looks like the two got out without any serious injuries... unless you count Eli's heart. Wah.
Speed charges in to join his team. He tells them that there's still fighting going down. They need to get back in this thing. He speeds off, leaving his team to get some last minute talking in before joining him.
Teddy and Billy take to the air. Hulkling gets one more Norse nerd joke off before Wiccan threatens him off. Hawkeye and Patriot stare each other down before they both agree to rejoin the fight. Before the race off, Hawkeye tells her partner that it was a "hell of a kiss." You keep leading him on, Kate.
Speed races back to tell everyone to hurry up. The Avengers need some help. With that, the entire team (minus Stature and Vision) run back into the pages of Siege #4.
Siege: Captain America #1
Writer: Christos N. Gage
Artist: Federico Dallocchio
In this issue, a couple drives into battle to get some pictures. Their kids try to get away from the combat. All of them are caught in a explosion when Asgard falls. Steve Rogers bursts from the rubble and finds Captain America in what looks like trouble. The two doubleteam Crossfire and then find a dad who needs help rescuing his family. They find the mother, whose arm is broken, but Razor-Fist has already captured the kids. He slices through one of them so that one of the Caps will focus on saving her life. That leaves Bucky-Cap to fight Razor-Fist. After noting his similarities to the villain, Bucky realizes how dissimilar he is to Razor-Fist and defeats the bad guy. The family gets to the hospital while the two Captain Americas return to the fight.
In the realm of stupid ideas, trying to get photos of the action around Asgard during the Siege is probably high up on the list. Not only because this stuff is all over the news and the return on your investment would be smaller than the prices listed in this book but because it's a frickin' war zone. That doesn't stop two amateur... parents... from driving off and looking for their meal ticket.
Not that their teenage daughter doesn't try talking some sense into them. She does. She just fails miserably. If you don't know a set of parents like this in your life, you are one lucky person. Unfortunately, this kind of stuff happens all too often.
With the parents gone, the two kids settle down in their run down house and watch the news. The television gives them some excellent advice: get out of there and head to the nearest tornado shelter. The teenage daughter grabs her kid sister and drives off in her mom's car. Good ol' television. Always telling us what to do.
The battle in Asgard is kicking into high gear. The good Avengers are fighting the bad Avengers. The Hood's Syndicate has already shown up. It's about to get really bad.
The two parents don't know it yet but the Sentry is about ready to bring the entire mystical city down. The mother is already ready to get out of here but the dad is to intent on getting these great pictures. He figures these photos are the ticket to the easy life. Their kids show up in mom's car and the teenager tells her parents to get out of the area.
Which is when the Sentry smashes right through the city.
Asgard falls. The kids get out of the car to watch. All of them are overtaken by debris reaching them even this far away.
In the city itself, Steve Rogers unburies himself from the rubble. The first thing he thinks about is his former partner, Bucky. There's a reason for this. In the last few pages of Captain America Reborn, Steve witnessed a horrific future where Bucky was dead again. Steve figures that keeping Bucky as Captain America might save his life. The problem is that Steve has the shield. James Barnes might be dressed as Captain America but without the shield, he's missing a vital piece of the puzzle.
That's ok. Bucky isn't dead. He's just unconscious and about to eat a bullet from Crossfire's gun. The next few moments might be some of the most hard-to-follow panel work I've seen in a while. Crossfire shoots his gun and Bucky is gone. As near as I can figure it, Steve threw his shield, which intercepted the bullet. Bucky moved quickly after that having faked the whole unconscious thing. Next thing you know, Bucky-Cap has knocked out Crossfire and is returning the shield to Steve.
Barnes isn't as certain in the role of Captain America as he believes he should be. He was fine replacing Steve but now that the original Cap is back to the land of the living, he's not sure if he can hold up the legacy of Captain America long term. He has a different fighting style. One that involves guns and killing. How does that fit in to Steve Rogers' vision of Captain America? Does it? It's hard taking over for someone and then feeling that the original is judging how you handle their old job.
Those thoughts will have to wait until later. Right now, the two Captain Americas have lives to save. That dad from earlier in the issue has arrived and he's begging the Caps for help. He made it out of the fall of Asgard just fine (a few cuts and scrapes) but he hasn't been able to find his family. Steve and James follow the father back to the last place he saw his family.
The three begin digging but James doesn't believe they'll find anyone alive. The dad is freaking out. Here are dead Asgardians everywhere. Gods. How can his kids still be alive?
As luck would have it, they unearth the mother. She's weak and has a broken arm but has survived. Now, the question is: where are the kids?
They are in the helpful hands of Razor-Fist. His hands aren't that helpful. They also aren't hands. Razor-Fist has two long blades attached where his hands should be. The assassin planned to use the children as bargaining chips to ensure his escape. Now, however, he's really tempted to kill them just to see the look on both Captain Americas' faces.
The teenager gives him the opening to act on that thought. She breaks out of his hold (which is pretty easy when you realize he can't really "hold" her) and tries to run for it. Razor-Fist drops his blade and cuts her.
The cut isn't a killing strike. An assassin like Razor-Fist is good enough to know that. What the villain did was take one of the Caps out of the fight. The teenage is hurt but Steve can help her. That leaves James Barnes to fight Razor-Fist all on his own.
Steve tosses the shield first thing. It hits Razor-Fist and is then caught by Barnes. I just thought I'd explain why the shield has changed hands. The wing things... I have no explanation. This issue looks kind of rushed. The cars are well done, though.
During this fight, James sees a lot of himself in his opponent. Both of them are trained killers. It brings all of James' fears back to him. He's not Steve. He's never been Steve. He's always been the guy with the gun.
When he realizes that Steve Rogers always knew that, things start going better. He stops identifying with the villain and starts remembering what separates them. Sure, Bucky has killed. He'll probably kill again. The difference is he doesn't enjoy it. It's not something he looks forward to. He does it because it needs to be done, not because he finds it gratifying.
Bucky is stabbed through his cybernetic hand but the battle has already been decided by then. There's no way that Razor-Fist will be pulling a win from this. James has found his will once more.
Razor-Fist is thrown back against a temporary wall. As it topples, Barnes realizes that the younger kid is standing behind it. He jumps in and pushes her and the mother (who was coming in to rescue her kid at the same time) out of the way. Since Razor-Fist is out of the fight, James checks in with the two to make sure they're ok. Again, bruises and scrapes. The little girl asks if he's Captain America. James thinks it over before responding
"Yeah. Yeah, I am."
Then it turns out that Razor-Fist wasn't as out of the fight as James thought. The villain screams as he charges in for one last kill. Captain America tells the civilians to run and then prepares to meet Razor-Fist. This would be so much better except he lost his shield when he rescued the ladies.
That's ok. Steve is looking out for his former sidekick. Rogers recovered the shield and uses it to block the assassin's attack. Faced with two Caps, Razor-Fist doesn't stand a chance. His blades are broken. His nubs are tied.
Steve asks about James' hand. It's sparking but everything is working so no worries. The two Captain Americas watch as the family drives off to seek hospital attention. Steve tells Bucky that they're all going to be just fine. Now, they have a battle that still needs to be won.
Only a few minutes have passed. They have more than enough time to rejoin the fight without anyone knowing they even had this extra fight.
Siege: Loki #1
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: James McKelvie
In this issue, we revisit Dr. Doom's parting words to Loki from Thor #606. We follow that up with Loki musing over the final state of Asgard and how everything has to be destroyed. Loki speaks in Norman's ear, pretending to be the Goblin. Heading to Latveria, the god of mischief captures the ghosts of fallen Asgardians and offers them up for the Dísir. When the Dísir arrive, they devour the ghost but don't take kindly to Loki wanting them as his slaves. After they lose a fight to him, the Dísir pledge to serve him. Loki brings evidence of the Dísir to Hela and makes a deal with her to get her some real estate of the supernatural variety. That leads him to Mephisto, where he offers the devil the services of the Dísir for one hundred one days in order to get Hela a portion of Hell for one thousand one years. The deal is finalized as Asgard is attacked. Loki's part of the bargain is freedom from death. He explains his schemes to Mephisto, promising that the mayhem has just begun.
Kieron Gillen is telling his own little slice of the story of Siege in the pages of Thor. That story has spilled out into the pages of New Mutants and now this book. What you're missing in Siege proper is the story of the dead and maybe part of Loki's motivations. You get those more clearly defined in this very book. Let's look in.
In the closing pages of Thor #606, Loki talked to his partner, Dr. Doom. Their plans had apparently been foiled but both still capitalized on the loss. Loki stayed in favor with the current king of Asgard, Balder. Thor stayed exiled. Dr. Doom got some experimenting done. The bad guys might have had a setback but they still had their own wins.
After his talk with Doom, Loki drops his glass and walks out to his balcony. What this world hasn't changed. Loki acknowledges that the days of worrying about Ragnarok are over but everything else is the same. Asgard remains and everyone is the same as they have always been. No-one has changed. The only thing he can do is to get rid of Asgard. It needs to be destroyed.
To that end, he speaks to Norman. In the opening pages of Siege: The Cabal #1, Osborn has a conversation with his goblin mask. The mask tells him to attack Asgard. All these words aren't specifically Norman's mind leaving him. They are, in fact, the words of Loki spoken through the mask. The caption on this page explains that this part of his plan is the simple bit. Now comes the more twisted and meandering part of his master stroke.
You might find it odd that Loki can still find Asgardians willing to fight and die for him but it seems there are always villains in Asgard willing to offer him their services. There were a couple during the last storyline that were killed by Balder and the human known as Bill (son of Bills). Loki travels back to Latveria to find their bodies. Even now, their spirits linger on.
He asks how these ghosts are doing, expecting that they might be in danger of meeting the Dísir in this world that isn't Asgard. So far, the ghosts have been ok except for the dead thing. The Dísir still seem to be nothing more than a myth. Loki wonders about that. Maybe the monsters just haven't noticed that they have a meal waiting for them.
Loki traps the spirits in a magical tree and waits. These dead Asgardians aren't too happy about this but this is what you get when you deal with the god of mischief.
Eventually, the Dísir show up like we knew they would. That means I might have to explain just what the Dísir are for the uninitiated. The Dísir are the former Valkyries of Bor, Odin's father. Bor found them feasting on the dead and cursed them something fierce. They would no longer be able to eat anything but the spirits of dead Asgardians and only then the Asgardians that were found out of Asgard or Hel. Since it was rare for an Asgardian to die in the first place and rarer still that they would die anywhere other than Asgard (or the rest of the mystic realms excluding Midgard), the Dísir were going to remain hungry for a long time.
But here we are. Asgard is on Midgard. Hela doesn't have a Hel. All the Asgardians can do is linger here, waiting.
Loki offers them the spirits of his former followers and waits until they've finished their meal.
When they are done feasting, Loki tells them what he knows of their existence. Even for Loki, this is old, old legend. The Dísir feel no need to elaborate on his take of their story and ask him what he wants of them. Loki responds that he wants their servitude. This doesn't go over well with the ancient Valkyries. They decide to punish the god of mischief. They may not be able to kill or consume him but they CAN hurt him. They can taste him as long as they don't swallow.
No matter to Loki. He was prepared to fight. He strips off his fur coat and gets ready to do some business.
He begins the fight by telling them that they have no idea what they're dealing with. In fact, no one actually understands Loki. Except Loki. Maybe.
The fight is viscious but in the end the victor is Loki. The Dísir agree to serve him. Loki seals the deal by turning the lead Dísir's crown into a ring. Thus, the monsters are bound by strong magic to serve him.
Time passes. Eventually, Loki visits Hela. She's currently living in Las Vegas and owns her own casino, the Inferno Club. Loki tells her about the Dísir and brings proof of their existance in the form of chopped up bits of Asgardian ghosts. It seems Hela needs a Hel. Loki claims that he can get one for her but there will be a price. Hela agrees to pay whatever is needed.
That leads Loki to Hell. Mephisto's Hell. Here, he shows off his Dísir to the ruler of Hell. The Dísir are incredibly strong and tactically skilled. After watching one off his strongest demon, Mephisto strikes a deal with Loki for their service. He gets them for one hundred one days. All he needs to do is lease a portion of Hell to Hela for one thousand one years. Mephisto draws up the contract and you can be sure that neither of the two are cheated in this arrangement. No marriages are offered in the exchange.
These leads us right into the Siege. In the clouds above Asgard, Loki and Mephisto watch as the attack begins. Loki looks down and sees that there is still much work to do. Hela teleports in. The contract materializes and the terms are listed. Hela agrees and signs.
For Loki's part in this exchange he is freed from any future where he'd end up in Hel. He is now free from that fate forever. Hela returns to The Inferno Club to make Danielle Moonstar into a Valkyrie of Hel in the pages of New Mutants #11. Mephisto and Loki hang out a bit longer.
Mephisto asks Loki if all this was worth it. Loki responds that freedom is the most important thing you can ever strive for. Of course it was worth it. The lord of lies wonders about the methodology, however. Loki could have just leased the Dísir to Hela and skipped Mephisto all together. Loki doesn't see where the fun in that would be.
The whole point is that he still intends to sic his servants on the dead and cheat Hela out of inhabitants to her new land. Mephisto sees that it's still all about mischief for Loki. He can't escape his role no matter how much he tries.
Loki disagrees. He's beyond mischief. This is much worse than that. This is mayhem.
With a smile on his face, Loki summons up a teleportation portal. Stepping through it, he invites Mephisto to watch as this thing is ended.
Fantastic Four #59
Writer: Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
Penciler: Jack Kirby
In this issue, Reed tells the world about the new threat of Dr. Doom! The Russians fail to destroy the Latverian Dictator! Silver Surfer recieves a visit from his captor! Johnny trains for his next battle! Black Bolt frees his people! Doctor Doom starts messing with people and causing catastrophies! Reed designs a miniature device that he hopes will defeat Doom! Black Bolt and the Inhuman Royal Family leave to introduce themselves to the world while the rest of the Inhumans rebuild their city! Reed keeps on building! Doom... keeps on menacing!
The free world must know about the threat of Doctor Doom! Now that the villain has the Power Cosmic, he is virtually unbeatable. Reed gets on his special communication device and informs the entire world to stay out of Doom's way. After that's done, he addresses a much smaller and more elite group. The Allied Chiefs of Staff.
One general can't believe that Doom's threat is so grave. After consulting with his colleagues and learning that SHIELD is backing Richards, the General grudgingly accepts the threat of Doom. Reed doesn't want all out war against the dictator. Far from it. What Mr. Fantastic wants is for the rest of the world to build up their defenses and hope that the FF can win this one before it comes to atomic armageddon.
After this call is complete, Reed starts moping, only cheering up after a fight with Ben. Reinvigorated, Reed Richards hits his lab, intent on inventing something that will end the threat of Doctor Doom.
While the United States and her allies are on full alert but awaiting the Fantastic Four's last ditch efforts, the Soviet Union doesn't heed Mr. Fantastic's warning. Instead, they launch bombers to annihilate the postage-stamp-sized Latveria.
The aircraft never make their destination. They fly through a specially constructed cloud that rusts their jets to nothingness almost instantly. The pilots and crew are still able to parachute to safety but they've learned a valuable lesson about the Power Cosmic. Doom watches this scene from his castle and is completely satisfied with the results.
Victor walks on down to his dungeon chambers to have a chat with the previous possessor of the Power Cosmic, Silver Surfer. Without his Galactus given power, Norrin Radd barely has the strength to stand. He tries to be defiant but Doom just kicks him back down. Victor Von Doom is keeping the alien alive only long enough to witness his powers subjugate the world. After that, the Silver Surfer is as dead as the Fantastic Four.
Now, Doom must travel the world to give them some sense of his near unlimited powers.
At the Baxter Building, Reed has been working himself ragged, trying to create something that will stop his greatest adversary before it's too late. Two of his teammates interrupt him, but only to call him over to the video phone. It seems the youngest and most errant member of the Four is off training, building up his speed so that he'll be able to defeat Doom all on his own.
Johnny's roommate, Wyatt Wingfoot, is calling up the Baxter Building to warn them of the Human Torch's crazy plan. Reed tries to give Wyatt orders to stop Johnny Storm but Wingfoot claims that the Torch just isn't listening to reason.
Not that Johnny is doing a bad job in his training. He encounters a platoon of regular army men and outraces their newest top secret weapon: the Solar-Beam Gun. The soldiers mistake the Torch for a drone and use their new weapon as practice. Johnny beats it by a mile. Wyatt still tries to convince his roommate that attacking Doom alone is suicide but the teenager isn't in the mood to listen. They get in Wingfoot's car and drive off to their destiny.
No, I don't know where they're driving to. I'm pretty sure you can't reach Latveria by car. Maybe they're driving to an airport.
Wyatt muses that at least the threat of Doctor Doom has distracted Johnny from his mission of tracking down the Inhuman, Crystal. Just to ruin that thought, Storm mentions that as soon as this battle is done he'll get right back to doing just that.
We can visit the Inhumans right now. Let's do that. Black Bolt has regained consciousness and has gathered his people. No-one in the crowd knows the power of their king (except for Medusa and Maximus but they aren't telling) so no-one knows exactly what Black Bolt is going to do. All they know is that their city is cut off from the rest of the world by a field of Negative Zone energy.
Black Bolt gives the signal that tells his people to enter the shelters. They obediently listen to his command. Only Black Bolt's brother, Mad Max, sticks around. He has a fairly one-sided conversation with his brother where he tries to convince the king NOT to free the Inhumans. He knows that such a display of power will cause the people to love his brother and he'll never have a chance to dethrone the silent king.
Black Bolt places a protective arm around his brother and lets his gliding membrane cover the maddest of all Maximuses. With that act done, Black Bolt opens his mouth wide and shouts. The power of his voice is incredible. It shatters everything in it's path and this is one wide path. Buildings explode. Streets are torn up. Most importantly, that Negative Zone field is destroyed.
While the Inhuman city of Attilan breaths in the outside air, Doctor Doom travels throughout the world, delivering disaster wherever he flies. A random village in Europe is convered in twenty-four hour darkness. A tropical island in the Aegean Sea is made an arctic wasteland for twenty-four hours. Somewhere else, a gorilla is mutated into a towering monster. For twenty-four hours.
Yeah, there's a key there. Doom is doing all this to prepare the world for it's enslavement. They have... twenty-four hours.
Reed watches all of this and hopes that his latest invention with do it's job. It looks like a tiny mechanical bat. Ben sees the thing and is unimpressed until it gives him an unexpected blast. After that, it takes all of Reed's strength to keep the Thing from destroying his latest creation. This anger is exactly what Reed was hoping for. The robot bat has weakened Ben Grimm which is part of it's function. It's the other part that will complete Reed's master plan. Agitating a Cosmically Powered Doctor Doom? We'll see how that works.
In Attilan, the Inhuman citizens emerge from the shelters to find their city in ruins. Still, what they focus on is the barrier that no longer imprisons them. The Inhuman Royal Family decides to accompany Crystal and see how the world treats them. Maximus is pleased to hear this because he thinks he can capitalize on their absence. Karnak is amazed at Max's gall and quickly flips him over.
This action is not really becoming of a royal and Karnak apologizes to Black Bolt for acting so rashly.
None of this changes the Royals' plan. After the Council of Elders comes up with the same plan, Black Bolt agrees to leave Attilan with his family. The remaining Inhumans go about rebuilding their home. Maximus believes this has given him yet another opportunity to rule but no-one will listen to him.
In the Baxter Building, work continues. Reed and Ben are working around the clock to build Reed's ultimate weapon. Sue interrupts them, forcing them to get a good breakfast in. You can't save the world on an empty stomach.
Doom has continued to cause catastrophies around the globe. His latest seems to be activating dormant volcanoes. Soom, however, these games will be over and the world will be in even greater peril.
Fantastic Four #60
Writer: Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
Penciler: Jack Kirby
In this issue, the FF witness even more of Doom's destructive tendencies! Reed stops Ben from rushing off into battle but they have another problem. Johnny Storm is doing the same as Ben. Doom defeats the Human Torch with a tornado. The Silver Surfer is abused by one of Doom's minions! The Fantastic Four head in to rescue their fallen comrade and battle through trees and fire. Thing ends up fighting Doom all on his lonesome while Reed and Sue look for Johnny. The Watcher distracts himself to prevent him from interfering in human affairs. Johnny is found with only a few minor injuries. Doom beats Thing and then attacks the other three members of the FF. The Inhuman Royal Family finds itself in conflict with some locals! Doom is attacked by Reed's special weapon, tries to escape earth's gravity, and loses his stolen powers. The battle is over! The Fantastic Four have prevailed!
Doom continues to wreak havok around the world. His latest act has caused an ocean liner to rise out of the seas on a rocky pedestal. Reed, Sue, and Ben watch all this using Mr. Fantastic's funky monitor. Thing is enraged and decides that he's done waiting to take on Doom again. He makes to leave the chamber to begin... the final battle.
That doesn't work for Reed. That robot bat thing he made was just a prototype of the real deal. He's waiting on Army Ordnance to built the full sized instrument. Until then, he doesn't need anyone interfering with the plan.
Eventually, he's able to get Ben Grimm calmed down but the team has another hot-headed member who's just rushed into battle prematurely. Wyatt Wingfoot has shown up at the Baxter Building to tell the rest that Johnny Storm has gone off to beat up Doctor Doom.
It's too late to stop the Human Torch. Johnny has already met up with Doom. The fight has begun. None of Johnny's recent training prepares him for this battle. His flames don't even singe his opponent. Doom alters his form to that of crystal to make sure those fires don't do him any damage.
To end this battle quickly, Doom summons up a tornado. Johnny tries to outdistance the twister but doesn't stand a chance.
In the Latverian castle of Dr. Doom, the Silver Surfer laments his confinement. One of Doctor Doom's minions is tired of the alien's voice and throws Norrin away from the caged window. Silver Surfer stays strong, claiming that there's no way that Doom will prevail with his stolen power.
At the same time, the rest of the Fantastic Four fly into Latveria using a craft supplied by the Black Panther. As they fly closer, Doom notices their craft and uses his cosmic powers to make the trees attack them. Within moments, the nearest tree has shattered their craft.
The FF escape the doomed vehicle in their own styles. Reed makes his body into a parachute to carry Sue to safety. Thing tears down the tree itself. When fire erupts below Reed and Sue, Richards reaches out a hand to carry them away from the danger. This leaves the Thing on his own.
That suits Grimm just fine. He's been waiting for the chance to get his mitts on Victor Von Doom for a while now. After crushing Thing with a rock, Doom decides that this battle will be best served matching strength with strength. To that end, he uses his Power Cosmic to give himself more power than Thing could imagine.
But Ben doesn't know when to quit. He is nearly overcome, especially when Doom gives himself Hulk-like proportions, but eventually channels all his power on breaking Doom's hold. Thing capitalizes on this, delivering a haymaker to his stunned foe.
The Watcher isn't known for minding his own business. Uatu lives by a code to not interfere with any culture but he just can't help but break that code time and time again. When he sees this latest peril threatening the world, he tries turning his eye away from earth and looking at the rest of the universe. Fortunately, he finds something interesting and flies off to watch it. It looks like this battle won't be decided by Uatu the Watcher.
Sue and Reed don't immediately return to the fight. Instead, the lower themselves to the ground and discover the damage caused by a tornado. In the wreckage, Johnny Storm rests uncomfortably. He acknowledges that entering battle alone was monumentally stupid. This is a threat they have to face together. Fortunately, the Human Torch isn't out of this battle. He's only minorly injured and ready to give this fight another go.
Which is good because their teammate is going to need it. Doom stopped trying the physical route and decided that the best way to beat the Thing was to have him float in thin air for the rest of Ben's life. Reed tries to reach his friend but when he does, Grimm receives a jolt of cosmic current.
The rest of the FF aren't nearly out of danger themselves. Dr. Doom blasts the ground around them, causing it to give way into a bottomless pit. The three are standing on a very rickety pillar in the middle of a large chasm. Not the biggest threat ever, actually. The Torch flies off the pillar and burns right through the side of the cliff. While Johnny attacks Doctor Doom, Reed lifts up his wife and stretches out of the trap.
Finally, Sue does some actual adventuring. She uses her invisible force field to protect her brother from Doom's latest attack. Johnny is covered with cosmic frost after Sue redirects her force field into a group of invisible bubbles that hit Doom from all sides. The Doctor escapes these attacks by getting back on his stolen surfboard and taking to the sky.
We find one of the most innovative uses of Sue's powers during Doctor Doom's next attack. Doom flies in from above to attack the Invisible Girl only to find that Sue has made the mountain outcrop around her invisible. Doom hits this barrier. Hard.
Unfortunately, his armored suit has taken most of the damage. He rises back to his feet and prepares to end this fight. Forever!
Before we get there, let's move to another part of Europe where we find the Inhuman Royal Family hanging out in a forest killing trees. Karnak takes down a tree with one swing of his hand. Crystal then uses the fallen tree as fuel for her fire. All of this is witnessed by some bigoted locals who don't take kindly to these displays of super powers.
Before they can get some peasant vengeance, the rest of the Inhuman Royals, relieve them of their weapons and make the cliff tumble on after them. The peasants freak out and run away. The Inhumans are left with an unpleasant view of humanity but they know that these yokels can't represent the entirety of humanity.
OK, let's return to the end of the Fantastic Four. Doom is just about ready to destroy Reed, Sue, and Johnny forever. Just when the end seems nigh and Stan is thinking who could replace the Fantastic Four in the Marvel line-up, Reed's fully-realized invention flies in for a rescue.
Remember that mini-bat thing? This is the enlarged version of it made by Army Ordnance. The device attacks Doctor Doom and steals a good bit of the Power Cosmic. Doom realizes that his powers have been weakened, but it's not enough to stop him. Still, he makes the mistake of taking his rage out on Reed's invention. The flying machine takes to the upper atmosphere with the Latverian dictator following quickly behind.
This is Doom's downfall.
When Galactus banished the Silver Surfer, he decreed that Norrin Radd would be unable to leave the earth. These rules now apply to Doctor Doom as well. The Power Cosmic prevents the villain from leaving the atmosphere. The sky explodes as Doom loses his special powers.
Since we don't see Doom any longer, the proof for this is the fact that the Thing falls from his prison in the air. Reed explains how he got the best of Doctor Doom even as Silver Surfer's surfboard returns to it's true owner. The Fantastic Four is back together.
They wonder about the fate of Doctor Doom but of him there is no sign.
Hey! One more week of Siegin' is over! See us real soon as we continue through the Siege one-shots.
Until then: Who Do YOU Trust?
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