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Fantastic Four Vol 3 12

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Quote1 Chief Anderson must have sacrificed herself to stop them. And by doing so, she may well have also saved her nation. Quote2
-- Mr. Fantastic

Appearing in "Once More, O Green & Pleasant Land"Edit

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Synopsis for "Once More, O Green & Pleasant Land"Edit

Sue Richards, Johnny Storm, and Ben Grimm have found their minds transferred into the bodies of Crucible's minions Farisa Mansour, Harry Soong, and Jomo Kimane and have just narrowly avoided death while escaping from imprisonment just moments after Soong -- in Johnny's body -- unleashed the full power of the Human Torch's nova flame and lost control. Working their way through the wreckage in the city, they recount how they came to Genosha seeking out Mister Fantastic who was kidnapped by the Press Gang and how they were captured by Crucible and his ally Ayesha which led to their current body swap situation. Before they press on, Johnny needs to stop and take a look at the damage caused by his powers. Recalling how Crucible didn't heed his warnings, Johnny tearfully wonders how many people perished in the blazing explosion. When Sue tries to comfrot her brother, Johnny tells her how this is his greatest fear realized -- losing control of his powers -- a fear he had ever since his powers first manifested the day they became the Fantastic Four. He reminds her how his powers flared out of control and how the others were saved from being burned if it had not been for Sue suddenly erecting an invisible force-field to protect them.

Ben interrupts their moment when he spots a massive airship flying over the area. While the three members of the Fantastic Four run for cover they watch as rebels exchange fire with the air ship but eventually give up and surrender only to be gunned down anyway. They then notice as a car speeds away from the scene, taking bullets as well before crashing into some debris. Rushing toward the wreck to check for survivors. Before they can get close they notice Pipeline teleport some soldiers into the area. As they start executing any survivors of the battle, the trio check on the car. While the driver (a Genoshan Magistrate) is unconscious the passenger (a Mutate) is dead. However they discover that there are Mutate children alive in the back seat. As they try to get the children out of the car the driver wakes up. She tells them that there is a safe haven in the sewers. While Sue and Johnny get a head start with the children, the Magistrate and Ben rig the car to explode when the kill squad comes looking for them and follow after the others. When Ben catches up to the others her realizes that they are being taken prisoners.

The three members of the Fantastic Four find themselves being interrogated by Chief Tam Anderson and Hackshaw who don't believe their story. Suddenly the interrogation is interrupted by Mister Fantastic who wants to question the three captives and determine their true identities himself. After hearing Sue's appeal to trust them, Reed is convinced that this is his wife and his friends trapped in bodies that are not their own. Later Reed explains that recent upheaval caused by the mutant terrorists known as the Acolytes caused much of the current unrest in Genosha. Reed explains that when the Avengers and the X-Men proved unavailable the Magistrates sought him out instead hoping that his genius could help them end hostilities. However, Reed explains, thanks to Crucible his genius no longer exists. Reed then admits to his team that for the longest time he suspected that his last battle against Crucible did something to his mind to steal his intelligence so that he would be ineffectual against any threats in the future. Although Reed believes that the odds are against them the rest of the team is not willing to give up as they want to reclaim their bodies. Just as the Fantastic Four all unanimously agree to fight against Crucible no matter what, their base of operations is attacked by Crucible's forces in the Fantastic Four's bodies who give on ultimatum: surrender to the Enclave or die.

As the attack intensifies Reed tells them that they must restore their bodies and stop Crucible, and is certain the modules built into his costume can assist in those tasks. Using his devices to mimic the transmat device, both Reed and Tam open a portal to take them to Crucible's citadel. Meanwhile the Fantastic Four find themselves fighting their own bodies. Their foes are confident they can defeat the three heroes with their own powers, but they soon find this a task that is easier said than done. Farisa Mansour believes she can use the Invisible Woman's powers to her advantage however is no match for the martial arts training that Sue had recently received from Iron Fist, and she is easily trounced. Ben clashes with Jomo Kimane who is ill prepared for the Thing's massive form and it proves his downfall when Ben lures him into adhesives created by Reed. Johnny meanwhile bests Harry Soong with a flame resistant suit. Using the module devices created by Reed, the Fantastic Four are able to get into close contact and reclaim their bodies.

Meanwhile at Crucible's headquarters, Tam keeps the soldiers at bay while Reed infiltrates Crucible's lab. There he find that Crucible is trying to replicate the Enclave's experiments in creating artificial life. There he finds Enclave member Maris Marlak who is wearing a Crucible costume. He explains how he was the recipient of Reed's intelligence but as a side effect he cannot stop thinking ever and is going quite mad. When Marlak attacks Reed he is suddenly blasted from behind and seemingly killed by his associate Wladyslave Shinski who is apparently the true Crucible. Soon a battle erupts between Reed and Crucible. While outside Tam is confronted by Ayesha, who proves impervious to Anderson's weapons. Suddenly the rest of the Fantastic Four come bursting in and quickly correct Crucible when he initially believes that their bodies are still under the control of his minions. Seeing that his plan is crumbling, Crucible decides to flee. Before the rest of the Fantastic Four can go after him Reed tells them that they need to free Crucible's test subjects first. Crucible finds Ayesha still struggling with Tam Anderson and tells her that they need to retreat. Before they can, Tam activates a detonator to a black hole bomb she set up in the building. As the Fantastic Four get the last of Crucible's victims into a blimp they just barely manage to escape before the entire facility explodes.

A few days later, back home at Pier Four, the Fantastic Four have another meeting with NSA Metahuman Affairs Director Valerie Cooper. She explains that while the United States unofficially sanctioned their mission the United Nations was furious that the Fantastic Four violated the Genoshan Embargo but hopes they will not persecute the group for their actions. Although they saved lives the Fantastic Four learn a hard lesson on international politics. With Reed's genius level intellect restored to normal, Reed tells Ben that the Fantastic Four have to be ready for whatever the future has in store. When Ben asks him if he is going right back into his various experiments that have been put aside due to his lost intelligence. Ben is surprised when Reed decides to take Sue and Franklin out to a Yankees game instead.

Continuity Notes

  • Johnny's recounting of the moments after the Fantastic Four got their powers (circa Fantastic Four #1) are different from past accounts in that this is the only account where Johnny's explains his powers flare out of control when he first used them. This story also states that Sue was able to generate an invisible force field that early on. While Fantastic Four #22 infers that Sue didn't gain the ability to generate force fields until much later, Fantastic Four: First Family #1 indicates that Sue always had this ability from the start, but didn't have any fine control over these abilities until later.
  • Ben's comments that the X-Men's impressions about Genosha being a "dump" is because the X-Men have had many first hand encounters with the mutant bigotry that occurs on the island first starting in Uncanny X-Men #235-238.
  • Reed recounts how the Enclave was interested in creating artificial life. This is a reference to the events of Fantastic Four #67-68 wherein their first attempts at this created the being known as Him.
  • Although Marlak, Shinski and Ayesha all appear to die here, Marvel Encyclopedia: Fantastic Four states that they were merely trapped in a black hole and eventually escaped. Ayesha was reverted back to normal and was seen again in Marvel Universe: The End #5 while Shinski and Marlak were seen alive and working with the Enclave again in Warlock Vol 6 #1, both having abandoned the Crucible identity.


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See AlsoEdit


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