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- Benjamin Grimm! Wherever you are -- I challenge you! I challenge you -- to a duel you can never win!
- -- Thundra
Appearing in "Thundra at Dawn!"Edit
- Luke Cage (Cameo)
- D.W. Griffith (Cameo)
- Avengers (Cameo)
- Spider-Man (Peter Parker) (Cameo)
- Hulk (Bruce Banner) (Cameo)
- United States of America
Synopsis for "Thundra at Dawn!"Edit
The Fantastic Four are trying their best to enjoy the countdown in Times Square on New Years Eve. Reed is too focused on his wife leaving him, Johnny is lamenting over losing Crystal to the Avenger known as Quicksilver, and Ben is once more doubting himself despite Alicia's insistence that he is the ideal man for her. As the clock approaches midnight, Reed and Johnny begin to cheer up at the prospects the future might bring. Suddenly, the festivities are interrupted by Thundra, who is holding back the clock. On the digital billboard below her is a challenge issued to the Thing demanding that she battle him at a stadium in Queens in three days. When Ben tries to go to face her there and there, Medusa and Reed hold him back. Johnny decides to do something and flames on and flies up to face their foe. When Thundra tries to keep him back with the arm of the clock, the heat generated from his body causes it to melt. Before she can succumb to the extreme heat herself, she pulls off the second arm from the clock and spins it around fast enough to begin snuffing out Johnny's flame. She then puts the Torch out completely by hurling a pile of snow at him, snuffing out his flame.
Medusa and Reed manage to catch the youth as Ben climbs up to meet his antagonist. When she repeats her challenge, Ben asks what she will do if he refuses. In answer, Thundra flies off on an anti-gravity platform, snatching Alicia as a prisoner while she goes. Thundra's last words are to threaten to kill Alicia if he does not show up to battle her in three days. Using Reed's elastic body, the Fantastic Four sling shot themselves back towards their headquarters to plan for the big fight. Along the way they pass by the Gem Theater, where their passage is witnessed by Power Man and his friend D.W. Griffith. With news of the fight hitting the media, bets are placed on the outcome on of the upcoming battle, while others in the super-hero community -- such as the Avengers, Spider-Man and the Hulk -- weigh in on who they think might win the fight. Meanwhile, an abandoned water tower in Queens has been converted into a make-shift hideout for the Frightful Four, who have Alicia as their prisoner as Thundra prepares for her fight with the Thing. When the Sandman suggests that they kill Alicia after Thundra has defeated the Thing. This angers the amazon woman and she comes to blows with the Sandman until the Wizard intervenes and stresses calm. As Thundra continues training, at the Baxter Building the Thing also does the same thing.
As the big fight draws closer, the Thing and the Human Torch arrive at the stadium where the fight is to be held and begin clearing the snow. On fight day, Ben walks into face his foe and is awed by the sheer number of people who have gathered in the crowds to watch the battle. When Thundra arrives, both combatants are approached by a referee appointed by the mayor. However, Thundra has little time for such formalities and tosses the ref away and instant begins her fight with the Thing. Because of his reluctance to fight a woman, Ben is quickly overpowered and thrown clear of the arena. From within the crowd, Reed and Medusa speed off to help Ben in his moment of need. While elsewhere, the Frightful Four watch on, with everything going according to plan, the Wizard orders the Trapster to bring Alicia back to their hideout while he begins the next phase of his plan.
Meanwhile outside of the arena, Ben lands just outside of the site of the old World's Fairgrounds. There he and Thundra continued their battle on the ornamental globe in the middle of the fairgrounds. The Thing is soon losing steam and is at risk of being defeated by Thundra's hands. However by this point Reed and Medusa have set up a ray device and blast Ben with it. Suddenly the Thing reverts to his human form. Now faced with a vastly weaker foe, Thundra no longer believes it to be a fair fight and cheated from her victory. Thundra then gets on her hover platform and flees the scene. As Ben gets back up onto his feet, he begins to revert back to his monstrous form. Ben is saved from collapsing, and he is quickly reunited with Alicia who arrives on the scene with Johnny. She tells Ben that Thundra had forced the Frightful Four to let her go when she forfeited the match. As the Fantastic Four happily walk back for home, they are viewed from afar by the Frightful Four from their hideout. As the Trapster tells the Wizard how Thundra forced him to turn the Masters woman over, the Wizard vows that he will eventually get revenge against the Fantastic Four.
- This story has a number of topical references per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- Reed refers to the new year as 1973. This of course is a topical reference is relative to the date this story was published. Per this timescale for every four to five years of publications one year of time elapses in the Marvel Universe. Based on that math, the New Years celebration in that story happens around the Fantastic Four's fourth year of operation. As of 2015, the Fantastic Four has been in operation for about 13.5 years. Since new stories are set in the "current year" relative to the date of publication, when going backward one would subtract the number of years of Marvel time from the actual year in real time. For example, from the perspective of 2015, the sliding timescale dictates that this New Years celebration was for the year 2005.  When year 14 of Marvel time elapses in 2017, the New Years celebrated in this story would be 2007, and so on.
- The location of Shea Stadium being used for Ben and Thundra's fight will eventually become a topical reference. Shea Stadium was torn down in 2009, and as such the sliding timescale can allow for Shea Stadium being a factual reference until the year 2020 in real time. This will put Marvel Time as year 15 and the events of this story 11 years in the past, sliding that moment in time forward to 2009 in Marvel Time.
- Thundra and the Frightful Four were last seen in Fantastic Four #129-130 during a failed attempt to take over the Baxter Building. The male members of the Frightful Four are next seen in Fantastic Four #148 where they make the ballsy move of recruiting new members at the Baxter Building. Thundra next appears to try and battle the Thing again in Giant-Size Super-Stars #1.
- Reed is lamenting the fact that his wife Sue Richards left him over their marital problems in Fantastic Four #130, while Johnny is dealing with his break-up with Crystal at the end of last issue.
- Alicia was last seen Fantastic Four #126 when she walked out on Ben when he upset her. Apparently they had made up at some point between then. She next appears in Fantastic Four #135 when she has to abruptly leave home under mysterious circumstances that are revealed in later issues.
- The Fantastic Four swing past the office of Luke Cage, Hero for Hire and his associate D.W. Griffith. Here are some facts about them around the time of this publication:
- Cage and D.W. first appeared in Hero for Hire #1, and Hero for Hire #2 respectively.
- D.W. last appeared in Hero for Hire #5, while Luke's previous appearance was in Hero for Hire #7 where he stopped a terrorist bomb plot. His next appearance is Hero for Hire #8 when he is hired for a job by Doctor Doom.
- Luke meets the Fantastic Four for the first time in Hero for Hire #9 when he convinces them to lend him a ship so he can fly to Latveria to collect money from Doctor Doom. The FF's appearance in that story is also their next chronological appearance.
- Among those speculating about the fight to come are three founding members of the Avengers:
- Captain America appears here after the events of Captain America #158-159 after he shut down the Crime Wave organization with the help of the Falcon.
- Thor appears here following his battle against Ego the Living Planet in Thor #226-228.
- Iron Man appears here previous to the events of Avengers #109 when he had to deal with Hawkeye leaving the Avengers.
- Captain America last interacted with the Fantastic Four in Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos #100 when they all attended the same celebration honoring the Howling Commandos. Thor and Iron Man last worked with the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Comics Magazine #11-12 when they assisted in battling a cosmic powered Doctor Doom.
- All three Avengers next appear in Avengers #110-111 where they and their teammates rescue the X-Men from Magneto.
- Spider-Man appears here between the events of Marvel Team-Up #8 where he teamed up with the Cat against the Man-Killer and Marvel Team-Up #9 where he and Iron Man battle Kang and Zarrko the Tomorrow Man. Spider-Man last interacted with the Fantastic Four as a group in Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Comics Magazine #3, but has since worked with most of the members thereafter. Most recently with the Torch in Marvel Team-Up #1-3, and the Thing in Marvel Team-Up #7.
- The Hulk makes his appearance here between Defenders #5 where he and his fellow Defenders defeated the Omegatron, and Incredible Hulk #161 where the Hulk clashes with the Beast. The Hulk last encountered the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four #111-113 when he battled the Thing across New York City.
- Ben was only briefly reverted back to human form here. The last time Reed attempted to cure him was in Fantastic Four #107 when an experiment succeeded in not only restoring Ben to normal, but made him able to transform into his Thing form at will. This process had to be reversed in Fantastic Four #113 because it affected his personality, slowly making him evil.
- This issue is reprinted in other comics and books, see references for more info.
- The ever-lovin' blue-eyed Thing — vs. the super-powered bombshell named Thundra!
- No trivia.
Links and ReferencesEdit
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