Appearing in "Days of Recent Past"Edit
- Fantastic Four (Only in flashback)
- Alicia Masters (Only in flashback)
- Lyja (Only in flashback)
- Nathaniel Richards (Only in flashback)
- Psi-Lord (Only in flashback)
- Paibok (Only in flashback)
- Devos (Only in flashback)
- Doctor Doom (Only in flashback)
- Sha'Barri (Only in flashback)
- Galactus (Only in flashback)
- Dark Raider (Only in flashback)
- Watcher (Only in flashback)
- Wyatt Wingfoot (Only in flashback)
- She-Hulk (Only in flashback)
- Franklin Richards (Only in flashback)
- Earth-389694 (Only in flashback)
- Earth-944 (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "Days of Recent Past"Edit
Following the break up of the Fantastic Four, Ant-Man is recording message to his daughter Cassie to tell her the real story of how the Fantastic Four broke up.
He begins by explaining the long standing relationship between the Thing and Alicia Masters. How during a period that Ben was away from the Fantastic Four it appeared as though Alicia and the Human Torch were starting a relationship, which eventually led to the couple getting married. However eventually it was discovered that the woman that Johnny had married was really a Skrull spy named Lyja who had been sent to infiltrate and spy on the Fantastic Four. He explains that after the real Alicia was rescued and Johnny divorced Lyja he attempted to settle down, but was attacked by his ex-wife Lyja along with her allies Paibok and Devos. During the ensuing battle, Johnny was forced to use his nova flame to save himself, accidentally setting fire to Empire State University. The resulting damages and legal fees left the Fantastic Four on the verge of bankruptcy.
Not long after this Reed Richard's father Nathaniel returned from the future and took his grandson Franklin away. No sooner were they gone did a teenaged version of Franklin return from the future. Not long after that, Mister Fantastic and Doctor Doom were seemingly slain in battle. Meanwhile, Johnny and Lyja were attempting to reconcile upon news that Lyja was apparently carrying Johnny's baby. The group was surprised when Lyja later gave birth to an egg. Later still the group was visited by an apparition of Sue that warned the remaining members of the Fantastic Four would soon perish. Soon after that, they learned that Ljya's child was actually a creature called a Sha'Barri that was implanted in her as a took of revenge against the Fantastic Four. Not believing that her husband was dead, Sue mounted a search for him which brought her, Ben and the Sub-Mariner to a future where society had fallen and the Fantastic Four were blamed. The Fantastic Four were later enlisted to battle the Galactus of another world in a reality where the Fantastic Four were killed during their first encounter with the world devourer. Failing that mission, the Fantastic Four returned home only to be attacked by the Dark Raider, an insane version of Reed Richards from another reality who was seeking out all his counterparts in the multiverse and murdering them. The battle ended when the Watcher apparently slew the Dark Raider.
In the aftermath of recent events, Johnny decided to quit the Fantastic Four and resume his studies at Empire State University, while Sue -- still unable to accept that her husband is dead -- has continued her quest to try and find him. With Ben determined to keep the Fantastic Four alive even if it only consists of him, Scott tells his daughter that since he has never officially been a member of the Fantastic Four he has decided to leave before he's fired, but wanted to stop long enough to record the story of the end of the Fantastic Four.
Appearing in "Choices"Edit
- New York
- Earth-389694 (Only in flashback)
- Earth-944 (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "Choices"Edit
Having received an anonymous call by someone claiming to know the location of Alicia Masters, the Thing has returned to Yancy Street to meet up with this person for a lead on the location of his former girlfriend. As he is lost in thought, Ben runs into another man walking down the street. The man begins cussing Ben out until he realizes who he is talking to and the man flees in fear. Arriving at the address he was told to meet, the Thing enters the building and is surprised to find that the man who has called him is Alicia's step-father, the Puppet Master. When Ben asks his old enemy what he wants, Phillip tells him that he seeks to make his daughter happy again. When Ben begins to get aggressive, the Puppet Master gasses him into unconsciousness.
Meanwhile, at Empire State University, Johnny Storm meets with the dean to try and get readmitted into the school. However the dean turns him down, reminding Johnny that the last time he attended Empire State, he almost burned the entire campus down trying to stop super-villains who were attacking him. Disappointed to hear this, Johnny accepts the reality of the situation and sees himself out. Out in the hallways he bumps into Bridgett O'Neil who is happy to see Johnny again after so long. When she invites Johnny out for coffee he agrees. As the two head out of the building they are unaware that they are being watched by a mysterious blond haired woman.
Elsewhere, the Thing awaken to find that he has nodded off while Alicia has been sculpting him again. Ben is unaware that his scarred face is now healed, and the pair act as though no time has passed since their relationship ended and they are happy to be together. As the two hug, Alicia tells Ben how he is the only thing that matters to her.
At that very moment in Latveria, Susan Richards has arrived in the Time-Sled coming to investigate reports that Doctor Doom has apparently survived their last encounter in the hopes of discovering if her husband has also survived. Sneaking through Castle Doom while invisible, Sue gets past the security guards. As she moves through the hallways she thinks about her recent discoveries in an alternate reality where the Fantastic Four have been destroyed or discredited. Suddenly she realizes that the Watcher had lied to her. Recalling the apocalyptic future where the Fantastic Four was blamed for the downfall society, she recalls seeing the what was left of the Four Freedoms Plaza in among the ruins. Recalling how the alternate reality she visited where they fought Galactus was around the time they first battled the world devourer, she realizes that if the Fantastic Four failed at that time and the Earth was decimated then, the Four Freedoms Plaza could not possibly exist. It is while lost in these thoughts that Sue is caught by a man who appears to be Doctor Doom, who explains that he has been expecting her.
Meanwhile, Ben and Alicia are spending more time in their studio when they are interrupted by the arrival of the Human Torch. When the Torch accidentally melts the sculpture that Alicia was working on, Ben rips the sink out of the wall and tries to hose Johnny down, but he is interrupted by the arrival of both Sue and Reed. The arrival of Reed comes to a shock to Ben, who begins to feel that there is something wrong. Little does the Thing realize how right he is, as he has once more had his mind transferred into a simulacrum within the miniature of Liddelvile. From outside, the Puppet Master mans the controls who is determined to maintain this idealic illusion no matter the cost.
Back in New York City, Johnny and Bridgett are talking over coffee where the Torch learns that his interest studies archaeology. When she tells Johnny that she and her class are going to a dig near the Keewazi reservation, he tells her that his friend Wyatt is the chief of the tribe and asks to tag along. Bridgett likes the idea and as she gets up to leave, she bumps into the strange blonde woman who has been secretly following them the whole time. As the blonde woman rushes outside and finds cover in an alleyway so she can watch Bridgett leave. Once under cover, the mystery woman resumes her natural form, revealing her to be Johnny's ex-wife Lyja.
While back in Doom's castle in upstate New York, the Puppet Master pulls Ben out of Liddleville and reveals that he has created this elaborate fantasy to keep Alicia happy, who had become increasingly depressed after returning to Earth. He explains to Ben that he included her because he wanted his step-daughter to be happy. However Ben is quick to point out that this isn't reality, leaving them both to consider what to do. At that moment in Latveria, Sue attacks the man she believes is Doctor Doom. But after knocking down her foe, she is angered to see that it is really Nathaniel Richards in disguise. Angry over the fact that Nathaniel kidnapped her son and stole his childhood she slaps him across the face. Nathaniel then tells her that he is embarking on a quest to find his missing son and asks Sue to help him find Reed.
While back at the site of Liddleville, the Thing has convinced the Puppet Master to end the fantasy by waking Alicia up. After telling him that they can't live in the past forever, Ben breaks the primary mechanism of Liddleville. When Phillip tells Ben that Alicia will be waking up in moments, the Thing decides to leave. As he goes, he tells the Puppet Master that they now must learn to live separate lives and think about their futures.
Days of Recent Past
This story recaps recent events in the Fantastic Four series from the perspective of Ant-Man. He touches on the following subjects. Here are the details:
- He mentions how the Thing and Alicia Masters had a long standing romance. This began in Fantastic Four #9 and lasted until Fantastic Four #264. Incidentally the Thing and Alicia had been re-evaluating their relationship at the time, as depicted in Thing #2-10.
- Scott glosses over the events leading up to Johnny's relationship with "Alicia" and their subsequent marriage. Particularly as to what happened to the Thing during this period. Some details:
- At the time, the male members of the Fantastic Four were kidnapped by the Beyonder in Thing #11. They were then forced to battle in the Secret Wars as seen in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #1-12. There Ben discovered that he could change back and forth between his human and Thing forms and remained behind for some time.
- As revealed in Fantastic Four #385, Lyja took Alicia's place circa Fantastic Four #265, just about when the Fantastic Four returned from the Secret Wars.
- Ben eventually returned to Earth in Fantastic Four #277 and discovered Johnny and "Alicia's" marriage, he was estranged from the Fantastic Four until Fantastic Four #296.
- Johnny and "Alicia" later got married in Fantastic Four #300.
- Later Ben exposed Lyja as a spy in Fantastic Four #357.
- Johnny's troubles with Lyja are also glossed over, some details:
- The Fantastic Four and Lyja rescued the real Alicia Masters from the Skrulls in Fantastic Four #358, although Lyja seemingly died.
- However she and her former partner Paibok were rescued and formed an alliance with Devos in Fantastic Four #365. As revealed in Fantastic Four #390 it was at this point that Paibok implanted Lyja with the Sha'Barri egg.
- The trio later attacked Johnny at ESU forcing him to use his Nova flame as seen in Fantastic Four #371. While Johnny was on the run from the law, the Fantastic Four settled with ESU out of court in Fantastic Four #375 leading to their financial woes.
- What Scott neglects to mention was Johnny was eventually cleared of wrong doing in Fantastic Four #377-378 and the Fantastic Four received a financial bail out from their ally the Black Panther in Fantastic Four #385.
- Scott's recounting of Nathaniel Richard's abduction of young Franklin Richards and the arrival of the teenager from the future happened in Fantastic Four #376. Although Scott assumed that is Earth-616's Franklin all grown up, the young Franklin is returned in Fantastic Four #413. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #14 confirms that they are separate entities. Franklin believes that his mission was to stop the Dark Raider from destroying the Fantastic Four as explained in Fantastic Four #387, however this is part of a larger scheme to stop Hyperstorm that is not realized until Fantastic Four #414.
- Scott mentions Reed and Doctor Doom's apparent demise. This happened in Fantastic Four #381. Unknown to Scott, both men survived and are currently prisoners of Hyperstorm as revealed in Fantastic Four #406-407.
- The last bit of Scott's recollections have happened most recently in the series:
- Lyja gave birth to her "child" in Fantastic Four #386
- The burning apparition of Sue Richards first appeared in Fantastic Four #387. Unknown to anyone at the time, and as revealed in Fantastic Four #398 the projected image of Susan Richards in this story is a holographic projection created by Nathaniel Richards which he uses to subtly manipulate the Fantastic Four into place for his much larger goals of defeating Hyperstorm.
- That hatching of the Sha'Barri occurred in Fantastic Four #389 and the creature was slain in the Fantastic Four #390.
- Sue, Ant-Man Ben and Namor visited the ruined world together in Fantastic Four #389, while the Fantastic Four's battle with the alternate Galactus and the Dark Raider occurred in Fantastic Four #390-392.
- Ben's face is scarred here after he was slashed in the face by Wolverine in Fantastic Four #374. His face is eventually healed in Fantastic Four #409.
- Ben has been searching for trace of Alicia Masters since she abruptly moved out of her apartment without a word in Fantastic Four #385. Their relationship has been incredibly complicated because:
- When Lyja took Alicia's place in Fantastic Four #265, and later married Johnny in Fantastic Four #300, Ben eventually got over it and began pursing a relationship with Ms. Marvel, who had joined the ranks in Fantastic Four #307. After Sharon was mutated into a she-thing in Fantastic Four #310 they eventually fell in love with each other in Fantastic Four #317.
- Their relationship became strained when Ben was restored to human form in Fantastic Four #327 leading to Sharon seeking a cure from Doctor Doom in Fantastic Four #350. Ironically, Ben mutated himself into the Thing again to try and put them on even ground. Sharon suddenly disappeared following the events of Fantastic Four #354.
- Not long after that, Ben exposed Lyja in Fantastic Four #357 and the Fantastic Four rescued her in Fantastic Four #358. Alicia still believed that she and Ben were still in a relationship, and he did not mention Sharon until she resurfaced and approached Alicia herself in Fantastic Four #365.
- Ben couldn't make up his mind over who he wanted to be with, prompting Alicia to eventually leave him in Fantastic Four #385.
- Johnny is refused to return to Empire State University because he almost burned it down in Fantastic Four #371.
- Johnny has been interested in Bridgett O'Neil since he first met her in Fantastic Four #366.
- Ben and Alicia have been placed in Liddleville, which was last used by the Puppet Master and Doctor Doom to trap the Fantastic Four originally in Fantastic Four #236. The Puppet Master stayed within Liddleville until he later abandoned it in Thing #4.
- The being that Sue thinks is Uatu the Watcher is actually Aron the Rogue Watcher, as revealed in Fantastic Four #398. Who actually showed the Fantastic Four two different realities. All part of a scheme to try and create his own reality, as seen in Fantastic Four #400.
- Nathaniel Richards has been posing as Doctor Doom since Doom's apparent demise in Fantastic Four #381.
- No trivia.
Links and ReferencesEdit
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