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Fantastic Four Vol 1 336

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Quote1 I haven't had that much fun in a montha Sundays! Makes me feel like my old self again! Quote2
-- Thing (Benjamin Grimm)

Appearing in "Dark Congress!"Edit

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Villains:

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "Dark Congress!"Edit

Congressman James Pertierra has just accused Reed Richards of creating the device that has caused a number of super-villains to attack the Fantastic Four during the Senate committee to determine if the Super-Powers Registration Act should be put into law in order to win the government to their side. Televised on live television, the press begins a quick poll with the average American to get their opinions. With Pertierra joining the committee, Reed is asked to answer the allegations that have been made. Reed explains that if he had designed the device that has caused so much chaos, he would have made it completely undetectable.

Reed is given a chance to speak again and he tells the hearing that the super-hero community works for the greater good. He also points out the danger of government regulation, referring them to moments earlier when Flying Tiger attacked the hearing. He stated that while the congressmen were mad that Reed didn't do anything, he pointed out how Ms. Marvel was the best suited to deal with that foe and did so accordingly. To punctuate his point about heroes having the best skills to deal with the job than the government, he points to how Apocalypse also flew over the Capital Building and that had he actually planned to attack the Fantastic Four could have formulated a plan to deal with him based on their years of experience working together.

Suddenly the hearing is interrupted when one of the guards informs the Senators that a number of individuals in trench coats and dark glasses were seen heading towards the Capital. Recalling how all the villains who attacked previously wore similar attire, everyone suddenly wonders if the device Reed found has been properly deactivated or not. Ben, Johnny and Sharon decide to deal with the matter and tell Reed and Sue to stay and continue their testimony. Sue suddenly whispers to her husband her suspicions that the device might not just be influencing super-villains but the Senators as well. This gets Reed thinking, and while the others deal with the villains outside, Sue address the committee with her thoughts. She once again likens super-powers with the Constitutional right to bare arms and that super-powers, like weapons, are a means of protecting people. That those who would use their powers to break the law must not have advantage over those who do not. Reed also points out how government interference impeded the work of super-heroes: How the military has never been able to capture the Hulk, or how Henry Gyrich's time as a government liaison to the Avengers only impeded the groups ability to function.

As Reed's argument comes to a close, the device suddenly comes to life and bombards everyone in the room. Suddenly the spectators and the Senators become violent and try to attack Reed and Sue. As they try to contain the mob, Reed grabs the device and resists it's electronic shocks in order to shut it down and restore order. As the people return to normal with no memory of their attack, Ben and the others re-enter the court room to inform Reed that the villains have all been dealt with. Reed then ushers the Senators outside to see the effectiveness of unrestrained super-heroes where the police are taking away the Armadillo, Stilt-Man, the Orca, the Owl, Whirlwind, and the Man-Ape. Going back into the court room, Reed makes his final statement: comparing the Super-Powers Registration Act to the Mutant Registration Act. Pointing out how can someone like Spider-Man be classified, is he a super-human, or a mutant? He also asks what the definition of someone who is extraordinary from a normal human pointing out that anyone in the court room outside of the Fantastic Four could meet that classification. Reed then pulls out a device to see if the Senators would register for the potential for super-powers. Reed's device indicates that they, and the security guard on hand could all potentially have super-powers. Finally, Reed points out that they could potentially be invading people's privacy and limiting their freedoms based on government classifications. With his point punctuated, Reed rests his case and the Senate decides against implementing the Super-Powers Registration Act.

As they are leaving, Ben remarks how Reed had his scanner turned up to maximum sensitivity to prove his point. Reed quips that they can't be too careful, and laughs about the idea of putting the idea that members of the Senate could be super-heroes. The Fantastic Four then allow Franklin to go to his much anticipated trip to the Smithsonian with Ms. Marvel while the rest of the team return home to the Four Freedoms Plaza. There, Reed examines the device and learns the origins of its components, tracking them to a technology company that went out of business a few months earlier. The Fantastic Four decide to go an investigate, but before they leave Ben puts on his old Thing exoskeleton in order to be a part of any potential battles. The group goes crashing into the abandoned warehouse where they find what appears to be their old foe Doctor Doom. Doom explains that he is part of a cabal of super-villains who masterminded a conspiracy to try and destroy their enemies by pitting them against foes they never faced before. When Johnny suddenly attacks "Doom", they quickly realize that it is actually one of his Doombots instead.

With the Doombot's destruction, it releases the Super-Adaptoid, which quickly begins to adapt the Fantastic Four's powers. However before the android can attack, the Thing manages to knock it down with a single punch. As they are preparing to leave they are suddenly confronted by both Hydro-Man and the Water Wizard. However instead of attacking the Fantastic Four, the two begin arguing with each other over who has the better control over water and a fight breaks out between the two of them. Ben remarks how this is going to be an amusing fight, but quickly slips on a puddle of water and come crashing down, much to the amusement of his teammates.

Continuity Notes

  • Some facts about Ben Grimm in this issue:
    • Ben lost his powers in Fantastic Four #326, they remain lost until he purposely transforms himself again in Fantastic Four #350.
    • Later on in this story he wears an exoskeleton based on his Thing form. This is based off the original that was constructed for Ben back in Fantastic Four #168 that he wore until it was destroyed in Fantastic Four #175 when Galactus forced Ben to resume his Thing form.
  • The humor in Ben slipping and falling at the end of this story is because that's basically how the Acts of Vengeance story arc started, with Ben slipping and falling, as seen at the beginning of Fantastic Four #334.

Publication Notes

  • This issue is reprinted in comics and books, see references for more info.[1]


  • No trivia.


See AlsoEdit


  • None.


  • None.

Footnotes

  1. This issue is reprinted in the following comics/TPB's:



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