Appearing in "The Return of the Monster!"Edit
- Doctor Doom (Appears on a Computer Screen, TV or Hologram Only)
- Hulk (Appears on a Computer Screen, TV or Hologram Only)
- Mole Man (Appears on a Computer Screen, TV or Hologram Only)
- Skrull soldier (Appears on a Computer Screen, TV or Hologram Only)
Synopsis for "The Return of the Monster!"Edit
While returning home in the Fantasti-Car following their battle with Galactus, the Fantastic Four are shocked when Reed suddenly faints and topples out of the vehicle. Johnny flames on and comes to Reed's aid, saving him from a fatal fall, while Sue and Ben narrowly avoid a serious crash when the vehicles controls jam. Landing on the ground, the Fantastic Four are surrounded by a throng of onlookers. Needing to get Reed medical attention immediately, Sue uses her powers to render the group invisible so they can slip away unseen. When they turn Reed over to the doctors at an east side hospital, it is quickly diagnosed that Reed is suffering from exhaustion. While Reed is being carted away with Sue in tow, Johnny and Ben overhear a nurse talking about seeing a monster. Initially they think that she is talking about Ben, but they later spot a hole that has been punched in the wall. Ben fixes the wall and begins wandering the hospital. When he spots the store room where the nurse claimed she saw the monster. He decides to go in and look and is knocked out by someone lurking in the darkness.
Johnny is also looking around and when presented with the daunting task of searching the hospital, he decides to flame on and fly across the halls until he is stopped by the hospital staff because the heat is disturbing the patrons.
Elsewhere in the hospital, Sue is waiting for word on her husband and begins to worry about his state. Suddenly, the Thing's mystery attacker gets the drop on her and knocks her out with a rag smothered in chloroform. The strange green skinned creature tries to leave with Sue, coming across some medical technicians and fights its way through them before they can stop it. Before it can smash through the hospital walls to the outside, the creature and Sue are spotted by Johnny. The Torch is forced to give up chase when the creature knocks an occupied car aside. Chasing the creature to Central Park, the Torch tries to confront the creature but it knocks him into a tree. When Johnny blasts free, he returns to the lake where he last saw the creature and finds no trace of them.
Back at the hospital, Ben is still pacing about when a nurse tells him to be quiet. While in a testing room, Reed Richards is subject to a battery of experiments. The diagnosis is soon confirmed to be sheer exhaustion and that all Richards needs is rest. When Johnny returns to the hospital, he tells Ben about Sue's kidnapping and how he found the creature he encountered familiar but could not remember when he saw it before. Ben sends Johnny to investigate further, opting to stay at the hospital until Reed wakes up.
At that moment in an underwater cave, the strange creature has taken Sue to an air pocket where she eventually comes around. Seeking to escape, Sue turns invisible, making the creature thing that she has escaped. While the creature is out looking for her, Sue uses her powers to snap through her bonds and then begins using a log to lever open a pile of rocks hoping to find freedom. This plan backfires when she suddenly causes the room to rapidly flood with water. While at the Baxter Building, Johnny searches the Fantastic Four's data banks for the identity of their foe when Ben rejoins him. After scanning through the various profiles, finally Johnny comes across one he recognizes: the entry on the so-called Creature of the Lost Lagoon.
While back at the hospital, Reed begins to wake up and overhears one of the doctors talking about Sue's kidnapping. Concerned for his wife, Reed tries to get out of bed, but he is still too weak. When he tries to escape with his stretching powers tax on his system causes him to pass out again. He is dragged back to his bed begging the doctors to let him save his wife. At that moment, Sue is being swept away in a torrent of water and soon becomes horrified when she realizes that in a few moments she will drown and never see her husband or son again.
- Reed's exhaustion comes from their battle with Galactus and the Air-Walker in Fantastic Four #120-123.
- The so called Creature of the Lost Lagoon was last seen in Fantastic Four #97 the last time he and his mate were stranded on Earth. The creature is a member of the Quon in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #8. The creature was named Mowfus in Marvel Encyclopedia: Fantastic Four.
- Johnny pulls up profiles for various villains the Fantastic four have faced in the past. Here are some facts about these characters around the time of this publication:
- Doctor Doom last encountered the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four #116 when they were forced to work alongside each other to stop the Over-Mind. At the time of this story, Doom was in a clash with Thor in Thor #182-183.
- The Fantastic Four last encountered the Hulk in Fantastic Four #112 when the gamma spawned creature last battled the Thing. Around this time the Hulk was busy battling the Crawling Unknown in Incredible Hulk #151.
- The Mole Man last clashed with the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four #89-90, when he attempted to blind the whole world. The last time he was seen prior to this publication he had teamed up with Monster Ape and battled Captain America and the Falcon in Captain America #136.
- The Fantastic Four last clashed with the Skrulls as a team in Fantastic Four #89-Fantastic Four #93 when they rescued the Thing from the Skrulls of Kral IV. More recently, Reed Richards and the Illuminati secretly clashed with the Skrulls in New Avengers: Illuminati Vol 2 #1. Around the time of this story the Skrulls were busy trying to replicate the ability to gain super-human powers as seen in New Avengers #40 & New Avengers #44.
- From the stars he first came - and now he returns, to menace the earth as never before! The Monster of the Lost Lagoon!
- The inspiration for this story almost certainly came from the 1954 science fiction cult classic film, "The Creature from the Black Lagoon". Actress Julia Adams was abducted by the Creature in the 1954 movie, very much like the kidnapping of Susan Storm here.
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