Fantastic Four: The End
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2006)|
|Fantastic Four: The End|
|Publication date||January–June 2007|
|Number of issues||6|
|Main character(s)||Fantastic Four|
|Creator(s)||Stan Lee and Jack Kirby|
Fantastic Four: The End is a six-issue comic book limited series published by Marvel Comics, depicting a possible future for the members of the superhero team the Fantastic Four as part of their The End series. Written and pencilled by Alan Davis and inked by Mark Farmer, its premiere issue was cover-dated January 2007.
The members of the Fantastic Four are estranged after a battle with a "more machine than man" version of Doctor Doom, resulting in the deaths of Franklin and Valeria Richards, the children of Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) and his wife Susan Richards (the Invisible Woman). Reed's experiments, specifically a system known as the "Methuselah Treatment", help to rid the world of disease, and with the Avengers, the Fantastic Four secure the solar system. Richards lives and works in an asteroid orbiting Earth, while his wife is on an archaeological expedition underwater. Susan's brother Johnny Storm (the Human Torch) is a strike-force leader for the Avengers, while Ben Grimm (the Thing) lives with his wife Alicia Masters and their three children on Mars.
Reed undergoes therapy sessions from She-Hulk on his asteroid base of operations. He is trying to perfect his technology for point-A-to-B wormhole transportation, working with Wyatt Wingfoot and Thundra. The Super Skrull, posing as She-Hulk, penetrates Reed's defenses and in the midst of his attack transports himself and Reed into the Negative Zone where they encounter Annihilus.
Johnny is working with the Avengers in outer space patrolling the galaxy using P.E.G.s (Personal Environment Generators) and telepathy nodes to guard the quarantine zone set in place by Reed. Lately there have been some very mysterious fights with clones of villains who convert to a liquid state upon defeat and float away, later found out to be created by Diablo and the Mad Thinker. Ben and the Inhumans join Johnny and the Avengers right before they run across a Kree Sentry and notice an illegal transmission being sent out of the quarantine zone.
Ben is married to Alicia Masters who has had her sight restored and works as a specialist in the field of terraforming. Ben can revert to human at will. They are seen as royalty in their home on Mars with the Inhumans, and have three children, all of whom exhibit superpowers: Jacob has super speed; Daniel exhibits a power similar to Susan's that he uses in very specific styles, i.e. the form of a suit of armour with mace-shaped fists and stilts allowing for the appearance of flight, containers or tubes for pushing liquids through; Yancy has the power of a "sonic scream". Ben is worried about being separated from his family, especially after the loss of Franklin and Valeria.
Sue is on an underwater expedition and stumbles into Namor who aids her in her analysis until she runs across Kree writing in an abandoned temple. An attack by Attuma is short-lived when it is apparent Sue's powers have matured in intensity, with undocumented abilities such as modulation to separate molecules (specifically shown to allow for breathing underwater) and even reducing gravity allowing for more "true" flight-like capabilities than just an illusion using invisible platforms. After abruptly leaving Namor, Sue attempts a dangerous descent into a volcanic conduit. Sue's ship is incapacitated and she is apprehended by the Mole Man who mentions his plan to find the "Orb of Gnomon". She escapes by jumping onto a lake of molten lava, encased in a force field, thanking the Mole Man for inadvertently pointing her in the right direction in her own search for the orb. During her submersion she experiences a flashback to a message Valeria projected into the air (written in the Kree language) right before her death.
Sue retrieves the Orb and transports back to Stephen Strange's residence. Using arcane spells, Sue, Strange and Strange's daughter Clea teleport to the FF asteroid, where a battle has broken out between Earth's heroes and Kree and Shi'ar forces. Using the Orb, Strange and Clea pull Franklin and Valeria into the present, along with Doom. Doom then proceeds in attacking the Fantastic Four, constantly claiming he is superior. Realizing he cannot win, Doom escapes into the collapsing Negative Zone portal, which subsequently self-destructs. The Kree and Shi'ar forces evacuate after the appearance of Galactus within the Solar System. The Fantastic Four then reunite with the Richards children as the other heroes reach their location. Valeria reveals that she knew these events were going to happen and that she told Franklin about them and that eventually there will be sixteen members of the team, including Ben's children and the seven children that Johnny and Crystal will have.
The final page of the comic shows that Doom survived the collapsing Negative Zone gateway and that he killed Annihilus, making himself the ruler of the Negative Zone.