Appearing in "The Flame and the Quest!"Edit
- Fantastic Four
- General Robles
- Franklin Richards
- Future Wasteland
Synopsis for "The Flame and the Quest!"Edit
The Human Torch has decided to reunite with his girlfriend Crystal and has flown to the Great Refuge of the Inhumans to find her. As he flies there, he recalls how she was forced to return home in order to protect herself from the pollution of the outside world. As he approaches the home of the Inhumans, the Torch is suddenly attacked by a trio of Inhumans seeking to prevent him from entering the kingdom. Fighting back, Johnny soon learns that the kingdom of the Inhumans is once again back under the control of Maximus the Mad and that Crystal has not been seen in these parts since she last left it with the Fantastic Four. Uninterested in the current political climate in the Great Refuge, the Torch leaves to continue his search for Crystal elsewhere.
Meanwhile, in Whisper Hill, Agatha Harkness is entertaining Reed, Sue, Ben, and Alicia Masters. As Ben and Alicia take a tour of the mansion, Ben is frightened when he almost trips over Agatha's cat Ebony. Suddenly, Ben is called outside where he see that the Torch has arrived, and, after an exhausting trip back to the United States, has passed out and is falling from the sky. Reed and Ben quickly grab Johnny and save him from a fatal fall. Recovering enough to get to his feet, Johnny goes to see Agatha to petition her to use her magic to try and find out what happened to Crystal after she left the company of the Fantastic Four. While Agatha manages to summon an image of Crystal and Lockjaw from her crystal ball, the image is brief and quickly vanishes before it can reveal anything to Johnny. Agatha tells Johnny that her whereabouts are beyond her ability to detect, and she leaves Johnny to mourn over his lost love.
What they can't know is that, after she left the Fantastic Four, Crystal was teleported by Lockjaw to a distant future where humanity had long ago wiped itself out in a great war. There they are knocked out by the alchemist known as Diablo, who has been trapped in the distant future following a failed alliance with Doctor Doom.  That evening at Whisper Hill, Johnny cannot sleep and finds himself pacing the house. He is suddenly drawn to Agatha's crystal ball which begins showing him images of Crystal at an ancient Mayan pyramid wearing strange garb and standing beside Lockjaw and Diablo. Johnny rushes out and flies off to rescue her, waking up Ben as he departs.
In the nation of Terra Verde, Diablo has led the oppressed people to believe that Crystal is the Mayan god known as Ixchel, using his alchemical powers to restore their ancient temple and enslaving her. After Crystal uses her elemental powers to "prove" Diablo's claims, the people agree to join forces with him and rise up against General Robles, who rules over them with an iron fist. With the people disbursed, Diablo retreats into the temple where he gloats over cowing the locals in the hopes of taking control of Terra Verde and using its rich supply of alchemical minerals to found his own rival nation against Doctor Doom. Needing to constantly apply the same drug to keep Crystal under his control, he orders her to drink another dose.
Meanwhile, at the royal palace of Terra Verde, General Robles is informed about the arrival of Diablo and the woman claiming to be Ixchel. With the people heading towards his palace, Robles orders the air force to be deployed to crush the uprising. As the fighter planes begin bombing the dissidents, the Human Torch arrives over the horizon. Dismissing the attack as nothing more than war games, the Torch continues on his path to find and rescue Crystal.
- Prior to this story members of the Fantastic Four have been involved in activities outside of this series as follows:
- Following the Kree-Skrull War in Avengers #89-97, Reed joined up with Iron Man, Black Bolt, Doctor Strange, Sub-Mariner, and Professor X to form the Illuminati a clandestine group to deal with planetary threats as seen in New Avengers: Illuminati #1. Prior to this story, Reed and the other members of the Illuminati were briefly imprisoned by the Skrulls while trying to warn them against interfering with Earth again in New Avengers: Illuminati Vol 2 #1.
- The Thing had a brief cameo in Avengers #94 during the Kree-Skrull War.
- The Human Torch briefly clashed with the Sub-Mariner and assisted him in battling Tiger Shark and Llyra in Sub-Mariner #44-Sub-Mariner #46.
- Johnny's arrival in Attilan here occurs prior to Avengers #95 while Maximus still had control of the Inhuman throne. In that story, Black Bolt recovers the Inhuman throne that Maximus held in control since Amazing Adventures Vol 2 #5.
- After this story, Agatha Harkness is not seen again until Fantastic Four #120 during the Air-Walker crisis.
- Alicia Masters was last seen in Fantastic Four #113 after Ben was revived following his battle with the Hulk. Following her appearance here she is seen in Marvel Team-Up #6 when her step father the Puppet Master and the Mad Thinker manipulated the Thing and Spider-Man into battling them.
- Crystal and Lockjaw were last seen in Fantastic Four #105 when the pollution of the outside world forced her to return to Attilan.
- The post apocalyptic future which Lockjaw transports Crystal was identified as Earth-69520 by Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #3.
- Diablo has been trapped in that future since Marvel Super-Heroes #20 after he was betrayed by Doctor Doom. He lost fought the Fantastic Four back in Fantastic Four Annual #3 during Reed and Sue's wedding.
- Crystal poses as the Mayapan goddess Ixchel. Ixchel does not make her first appearance in the modern age until many years later in Hulk Vol 2 #54
- Cover: Crystal figure by Romita.
- No letters page is published this issue.
- Crystal's back - and Diablo's got her! The Human Torch lashes out! This one we don't have to hard sell!
- No trivia.
Links and ReferencesEdit
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