Fantastic Four (1st series) #545

Issue Date: 
June 2007
Story Title: 
Reconstruction: Chapter 2 - Don’t Make Me Embarrass You In Front Of Your Friends

Dwayne McDuffie (Writer), Paul Pelletier (Pencilier), Rick Magyar (Inkers), Paul Mounts (Colorist), VC’s Rus Wooton (Letterer), Molly Lazer (Assistant Editor), Tom Brevoort (Editor), Joe Quesada (Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Reed and Sue Richards fly toward their second honeymoon. When a holographic image of Mentor appears, Sue realizes that they are going to Titan, one of Saturn’s moons. She wonders if she should check on the kids and the others, but Reed assures her that they’re alright.
Elsewhere in space, the new Fantastic Four find themselves confronting the Silver Surfer. As the Surfer informs Epoch that Galactus will be feeding upon her, the team prepares for their space battle. The Thing is the first to confront him, but quickly needs to be rescued by the Human Torch. Storm then takes her shot at the Surfer, blasting him hard with lightning.
Epoch accelerates the speed of Gravity’s chrysalis and forces him to be reborn prematurely. He has a hard time getting his head around him having died and now being the Protector of the Universe. Epoch releases the knowledge forcefully into his head once Gravity tells her he wants no part of it.
The Black Panther takes his turn at the Surfer and puts him in an arm lock that even the Surfer’s great strength can’t break. A sneak attack from Stardust frees him, and the Surfer decides to listen to what they have to say. Once T’Challa explains that they need information from Epoch about the whereabouts of the body of Gravity, he grants them a limited time to complete their mission.
The Thing, and soon the Human Torch and Storm as well, cannot allow Galactus to consume Epoch. The Black Panther believes it is none of their concern, but is convinced by Storm. In moments Galactus arrives and their time grows short. T’Challa calls to Michael Collins in their ship and the two leave. As the Thing is stunned by this, he does what he does best and moves in to fight the Silver Surfer. The two are interrupted, however, by the new all-powerful Gravity.

Full Summary: 

Out in space, a craft carries Reed and Sue Richards to their second honeymoon. Sue begs Reed to tell her where they’re going, and as he refuses he realizes they’re there. On the video screen a projection of Mentor appears and explains that he is just a recording and that as agreed, the Richards have full use of his home on Titan. As the two marvel at the view of Saturn’s moon, Sue explains that she’s still upset with him, but the honeymoon is helping. She then suggests they call and check in on Ben, Johnny, and the kids. Reed explains that there’s nothing they can’t handle.

Elsewhere in space, the Fantastic Four sit in their spacecraft watching the arrival of the Silver Surfer. Outside the craft Epoch pleads with the Surfer, but he simply will not listen.
Inside, the Black Panther tells everyone to put on their life-support bracelets. Storm wonders if they’re actually going to lose atmosphere, and T’Challa just explains that he likes to be prepared. He then tells the Human Torch that there’s only a 14 hour supply of oxygen when Johnny’s not using it as fuel, which to Johnny’s surprise, is why the Black Panther suggests he wears extras.
As the team prepares, the Thing heads outside in the hope to talk with the Silver Surfer. The Surfer greets Ben and wishes that their meeting were under different circumstances. Ben tells him just to make them different then. The Surfer tells the Thing that distractions will not work and that soon the entire area will be consumed. He tells Ben that he should leave quickly.
Inside the craft the Human Torch laughs as he knows this will certainly get Ben agitated. Storm wonders if the Thing is actually going to try and fight the Silver Surfer. Back outside, Ben lunges from the craft to a nearby asteroid flinging chunks at the Surfer. As the Surfer blasts back, Ben quickly remembers that Reed isn’t there to outsmart him this time. As the Thing is blasted off the asteroid, the Human Torch catches him and flies him to another piece of rock. The Surfer approaches, informing them that he gave them the opportunity to avoid this battle.
Suddenly he pauses, wondering why the vacuum of space suddenly feels thicker. He turns to Epoch believing it to be her doing, when Storm appears and informs him that she is gathering stray hydrogen atoms and drawing them to this area. Storm apologizes for the lousy conditions, but explains she prefers to be in an atmosphere. She offers him the chance to concede, to which he merely calls her foolish. Storm smiles and says it looks like rain. Suddenly, an enormous bolt of lightning tears through space and crashes into the Silver Surfer throwing him from his board. Black Panther watches and states that he’s sure Ororo got the Surfer’s attention.

As the battle continues on, Epoch looks at the chrysalis she has been protecting. She apologizes for making it short and then blasts it with a bright light from her eyes. The light accelerates time around the chrysalis until a bright white light bursts from with in it and the hero known as Gravity is reborn. He wonders what happened to him and Epoch explains that you universe has chosen him for a great honor. Greg Willis, however, simply wonders if he is dead.
Epoch informs him that he was, but now he has the power to shake the cosmos. Gravity is taken aback, as he was joking about being dead. Epoch tries to explain that when he sacrificed his life to save other heroes, he merged with the universal power of gravity. but Greg merely wonders if he’s a drug addict and can’t remember due to all the drugs. Epoch yells for him to focus, and confirms that he is not on drugs.
Epoch explains that when Gravity died, he merged with the gravitational force. Had his chrysalis been allowed to mature, he would have emerged eons from now. Gravity becomes angry and yells that he doesn’t care, he just wants to get home. Epoch explains that his predecessor, Quasar, is dead and the universe needs a new protector. She apologies to Gravity and then releases the knowledge he requires into him, causing Gravity to scream out in pain.

The Silver Surfer continues his battles against the Fantastic Four. As the Human Torch attempts to blast the Surfer, his board takes Johnny out of the fight. T’Challa hopes on the surf board as it returns to the Surfer.
The Black Panther grabs hold of the Silver Surfer as he passes by and puts him in a tight arm lock that, despite the Surfer’s strength, he cannot break. The Black Panther begins to explain that they were looking for Gravity, and before anything happens to Epoch, they wish to know where his body is. A blast from above hits the Black Panther and releases the Surfer.
Stardust appears and yells at T’Challa for even touching a herald of Galactus. She blasts again as the Thing joins the fight against her. She locks him in a sphere and hurtles him away toward the sun. The Surfer steps in and explains that Ben is a friend and he wants to hear more of what T’Challa was going to say.
Stardust returns the Thing and quickly states that she doesn’t think this is wise. The Surfer then threatens Johnny, Ororo, and Michael Collin, who is still in their ship, stating that if they attack, he will survive, but T’Challa will not. As the Surfer realizes that these heroes truly believe Epoch is responsible for stealing Gravity’s body, he grants them a short period of time to complete their mission.
Ben is forced to wonder why the Surfer is working for Galactus again, since the Surfer is one of the good guys. The Surfer tries to explain that the ends justify the means sometimes. He then questions Ben’s use of violence to protect those who can’t protect themselves. Ben tells him that he sounds like Reed. The Surfer agrees that Reed is a wise man that must make difficult decisions.
The Thing decides that he has to make a choice. He can’t stand by and let Epoch get eaten. The Black Panther attempts to explain that this is not their concern, but Johnny and Ororo agree with Ben. T’Challa puts his foot down and tells them that they will accept the Surfer’s offer and do no more. The Thing gets angry and moves into T’Challa’s face, but before the two can get into it, Storm interrupts hoping to talk to T’Challa.
Storm tells him that they will not walk away without getting involved. When the Black Panther still doesn’t agree, she threatens to embarrass him in front of the others. T’Challa then moves to the Surfer and informs him that Epoch is under their protection. The Surfer and Stardust look up and tells them to inform Galactus themselves.
Galactus looms overhead as he approaches. The Surfer informs them that they have thirty-five minutes to complete their mission. T’Challa states that he has a plan and then calls for Michael to bring the ship down. He springs onto the ladder and as the Human Torch asks what the plan is, T’Challa merely tells him whatever he wants, and the ship quickly leaves.
Ben and Johnny stand agape at the fact that the Black Panther just abandoned them. Storm tells them that it was the most strategically sound move. The Surfer once again informs them to leave. The Thing turns and states that he’s no coward and is ready to fight. As the Thing and the Silver Surfer move in to fight one another, the sky above grows bright and a voice tells them that the fight is over. Gravity appears with his new powers, glaring down at them.

Characters Involved: 

Black Panther, Human Torch, Storm, Thing (All Fantastic Four)

Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic (On Leave Fantastic Four)
Michael Collins (Deathlok)



Silver Surfer


Holographic Image of Mentor

Story Notes: 

This issue is part of the Initiative crossover dealing with the fallout of Civil War.

The Black Panther and Storm joined the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four #543 because Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman decided to take a leave of absence to work on their marriage. Also, in Civil War #7 the Wakandan Embassy, where T’Challa and Ororo had been staying, was destroyed.

Stardust became a Herald of Galactus off panel. Unlike many of Galactus’s heralds Stardust attempts to slaughters those beings who try to escape the planet that Galactus will feed upon.

Gravity died in the 6 issue mini-series Beyond. Deathlok was also present in the series, hence his involvement.

Epoch is the daughter of Eon, a giant, sentient planet-like creature. He was around from nearly the creation of the universe.

Mentor is an Eternal. He is the father of Starfox and Thanos.

Quasar was killed in Annihilation: Nova when Annihilus drained the energy out of his Quantum Bands. He was previously the protector of the Universe.

Issue Information: 
Written By: