A full moon bathes Dr. Stephen Strange’s impressive townhouse in New York City. He is meditating, hovering in mid-air, when he suddenly gasps and drops to the ground. Something is wrong with the world. He calls for his assistant, Wong, and informs him that he was expanding his perceptions to make sure that everything was right with the world. As his awareness widened and his perceptions grew, he could sense an urgency, indescribably compelling him to expand his awareness further and further, until he detected something horrible. He cannot rest until he discovers what has achieved such a feat. He uses a tiny portion of his magical powers to levitate a spell book into his hand, and asks the hand of Vishanti to guide him. He has a long night ahead of him, and he asks Wong for some tea.
(the next morning at the Baxter Building)
Moon Knight glides past the building, as Johnny Storm, better known as the Human Torch, exits the shower and erupts in a fit of anger. He wants Ben Grimm - now! He emerges from the bathroom with green hair, and though it looks good, it’s still green. Reed Richards is playing with a doohickey at the breakfast table, as his wife, Sue, feeds little Valeria. Johnny flames on, and Reed comments on how pleased he is that the towel he’s wearing is made of unstable molecules. He asks Johnny what the problem is. Johnny points to his hair. It’s pretty obvious.
Reed finds it amusing, but Johnny has a date with Kourtney later on and is sick of Ben’s constant antics. Sue replies that he gives as good as he gets. Ben makes a timely appearance. “Mornin’ kiddo. Heh, I see you found the shampoo,” he quips. Johnny flames on and the two go at it hammer and tong. Reed manages to wind his way between them, and reminds them that they’re adults. After a little more bickering, the stern voice of Sue Richards manages to bring the scrap to a halt. She tells them that they’re acting like children. A fight here could well lead to Franklin or Valeria getting hurt. She tells Ben to stop messing with Johnny, and Johnny to stop overacting. Suddenly, an alarm sounds.
Reed spring into action, using his elastic body to head for a control panel. He calls for his wife to get the kids to safety, but there is no time, as Dr. Doom suddenly crashes through the roof. Energy sparks everywhere, and Sue quickly erects a force field between them and Doom. He says her pitiful force field won’t hold him for long. Sue asks Reed to take care of the kids; she’s a little busy now. Reed agrees but, before he departs, he looks at Doom and says his name. He grabs the kids and whisks them away through a teleportation device, depositing them with Crystal in Attilan. He apologizes for this, but says they have an emergency on their hands. He tells the kids to behave, and returns to the Baxter Building.
When he gets back, he’s just in time to catch Sue, who has finally succumbed to Doom’s power. The Thing attacks but is blasted away with a powerful blast from Doom’s gauntlet. Violet energy crackles around Doom, and even the Human Torch’s controlled flame attack fails to rattle him. However, Johnny’s very appearance does. “Johnny Storm! It can’t be. It can’t be you!”
Johnny replies that it’s him alright, right down to the flames scorching his hide. As Reed wraps his body around Doom’s, Doom tells Johnny that he saw him die. Reed asks him what he’s talking about, but Johnny is in no mood for rhetoric. He asks Reed to hold him while he gets a clear shot. Doom suddenly behaves uncharacteristically. He says this isn’t right; something’s not right. Ben wants to paste him one, but Doom suddenly unleashes a burst of energy from his armor, felling the big guy. “I don’t understand,” he cries.
With that, he flies out through the hole he arrived through, and into daylight. The Fantastic Four pick themselves up, and Reed cares for his wife. Johnny thinks he could catch him up, but Reed replies that he’s in no shape to face him alone. He’ll be back - he’s sure of that.
Ben wonders what all that was about. The last time he checked on ol’ ironsides, he was six feet under, twice over. He asks Reed how he thinks he came back. Out of nowhere, Dr. Strange appears above them, floating in mid air. “How indeed.” He lands, and tells Reed they need to compare notes.
Government troops have sealed off an area of land, and their commander asks his troops to get ready. Their target is headed their way. He reminds them to remember what they’re up against. A massive ‘Va-throom!” and a blinding flash rocks the entire area. In a huge crater, a naked man lays smoking. Appearing behind him is the incredible Hulk.
(later, New York City)
Dr. Strange and the Fantastic Four have flown into the city. After hours of study and meditation, Strange discovered a spell that allowed him to follow the trail their adversary left from his violent entry into this dimension. That led him to the Baxter Building. Sue Richards adds that, now, it’s allowing them to track him to wherever he went after their encounter with him. She thanks Strange for his help, and says it would have taken Reed at least an hour to invent a way to track him. Jokingly, Reed replies that she wounds him.
Strange asks them to stay on guard. The trail continues to dissipate the longer he’s in their dimension, but he senses he is close by. The Thing is itching to take another crack at him. Johnny can’t believe Doom is back, again. He doesn’t feel he’s ready for this. Strange’s eyes light up, and he warns Johnny that he’s going to have to. Doom’s heading their way.
Powered by rocket-propelled boots, Doom flies in swiftly and attacks Dr. Strange. He says that he knew Strange had a hand in this. The Fantastic Four prepare for battle. Reed knows Doom isn’t acting like himself; he’s got no doomsday machine or enhanced powers. There are no innocent lives at stake; so today they take Doom once and for all.
Dr. Doom crushes Strange into the ground and asks what the sorcerer has done to him. Strange begins to speak, surprised at the ferocity of the attack, but Doom stops him. He wants to know if he’s put him under one of his spells. Nothing makes sense. In a crackle of magical energy, Strange vanishes, and Mr. Fantastic throws Doom into the air, whilst the Invisible Woman uses a localized force field around Doom’s head to prevent him from breathing. He heads in the Thing’s direction, and Ben is only too happy to lay a massive clenched fist on him.
Doom is thrown back with enormous pace, and crashes into a building. The Human Torch flies after him, and focuses all his power at Doom, who withstands the attack and manages to douse Johnny’s flame. Sue catches him as he falls, and turns them invisible to evade Doom. The Thing follows up his punch by laying into his opponent, trying to crack his armor. Mr. Fantastic asks Doom how he managed to come back this time. Suddenly, Doom once again hurls them away with a burst of energy emanating from his armor. The two heroes lay on the ground, beaten, and Sue calls after them.
Doom stands his fallen foes, and tells them that he thought they would be expecting that after last time. Richards disappoints him. “I half-anticipated…” He stops in mid-sentence. “Reed,” he continues, “It just occurred to me; you called me Doom, didn’t you?”
Ben wants one last shot, but Reed asks him to wait. Doom tells them it’s all starting to become clear. He slips his facemask up and over the top of his head, and asks Reed, “Am I to understand that you don’t recognize your former colleague - Tony Stark?”