Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four #3

Issue Date: 
November 2010
Story Title: 
Bizarre Love Triangle

Christos Gage (writer), Mario Alberti (artist & cover artist), Jared K. Fletcher (letters), Thomas Brennan (editor), Stephen Wacker (supervising editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer), Mayela Gutierrez (production)

Brief Description: 

On the surface of Monster Island, members of the Fantastic Four, the “new” Fantastic Four and a small cadre of Skrulls prepare to leave the island. Before they do, Dr. Doom arrives and powers De’Lila (a rogue Skrull) up. Once powered up, De’Lila kills two Skrulls and turns Hulk, Wolverine, the Thing, the Human Torch and Mr. Fantastic against Invisible Woman, Spider-Man, Ghost Rider and She-Thing. Using the power of jealousy, Spider-Man kisses She-Thing and Invisible Woman, snapping Mr. Fantastic, Human Torch and Thing out of their trances. Thanks to Ghost Rider, She-Thing and Thing, they are also able to snap Wolverine and the Hulk out of their trances as well. They all face off against De’Lila, who surrenders. With that complete, Spider-Man and Sue share their mutual respect for each other. In another location, Dr. Doom considers this a success. He was able to gain a piece of the Technotroid’s indestructible armor before it hardens. Now he can achieve his goal – the total subjugation of the Fantastic Four!

Full Summary: 

A few years ago on Monster Isle, as the Fantastic Four (Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, the Thing, She-Thing and the Human Torch), the “new” Fantastic Four (Ghost Rider, Hulk, Wolverine, and Spider-Man), a cadre of Skrulls and their captive De’Lila prepare to leave, Mole Man emerges from the ground on the back of one of his giant monsters. As he does, he tells everybody present that they have invaded his home, wreaked untold havoc. Now they have to pay the price!

One of the Skrulls says he knew they couldn’t trust a human. He then tells them to do their worst, misanthrope. They’ll find Skrulls do not die easily. Spider-Man turns around and tells them to slow down and asks what’s with the action-movie clichés all of a sudden? He thought everyone agreed to leave peacefully. Mole Man tells Spider-Man not to be an idiot. He didn’t want open warfare in his underground kingdom. But now that they’re on the surface, the aliens must answer. For seizing control of his subjects. Trespassing on his domain. Attempting to destroy it with their infernal bomb. If he lets them go, who’s to say they won’t do it again?

Invisible Woman steps up and answers that she does. He has her word and her promise. She doesn’t agree with their methods, but these Skrulls are their world’s police. They came there to stop a terrorist, De’Lila. She’s a rebel bent on assassinating the Skrull emperor. She came there to steal a weapon of mass destruction and she did it by impersonating her. De’Lila is a low-level telepath who can mesmerize others, especially men. She convinced Spider-Man, the Hulk, Wolverine and Ghost Rider that the Skrulls had killed Reed, Johnny, Ben and She-Thing and then tricked them into helping her “bring them to justice.” She was really after the ultimate Skrull weapon, an indestructible robot life form called the Technotroid. But the newborn Technotroid imprinted on one of the Mole Man’s creature.

Mole Man agrees. It considers her its mother. And he’s no fool; he knows these aliens will return, in greater numbers, to retrieve so powerful a resource. Susan asks why bother? Once it’s chosen a parental figure, the Technotroid will never obey anyone else. It’s useless to them. And the Skrull Empire doesn’t take kindly to failure. So it’s in the best interests of the Skrull soldiers to go home and report the Technotroid destroyed. She’d imagine that’s the only way they’ll avoid agonizing torture and execution.

One of the Skrulls says that there is wisdom in her words. They shall do as she suggests. Sue then tells Mole Man that he gets to keep the Technotroid, the Skrulls get to keep their prisoner, who’s in a trance suffering the torments of Ghost Rider’s penance stare and she gets to go home, break out a pint of Haagen Dazs, and hope chocolate can burn the sight of her husband kissing that Skrull witch out of her brain.

As she talks, Reed uncomfortably pulls his collar away from his neck. Sue asks Mole Man can’t they agree that’s fair or does he really want them (Ghost Rider, Wolverine, Hulk, the Thing and She-Thing) running wild in his house. Lamenting, Mole Man tells Susan Richards that she is a formidable woman. He warns that if any of them violate his kingdom again… Spider-Man finishes his sentence – yeah, they know. With the monsters and the destruction and the vengeance.

Once Mole Man departs, Reed turns to one of the Skrulls and says to him that they should go over what he’s going to tell his emperor. It has to sound credible. He’s got a few ideas on how the Technotroid could have been destroyed. The Skrull tells him that he will listen and then orders two of his Skrull soldiers to get the prisoner aboard and prepare for departure.

Inside the Skrull ship, two Skrulls talk amongst each other. One of them says that he has no right to talk to them that way. He hears he only got his job because he has holo-vids of the general indulging his disgusting fetish for Kree females. The other Skrull replies he doesn’t know. He can see the appeal. They’re the enemy, forbidden fruit. And you know what they say – once you go blue…

As they talk, in the back of the ship, Dr. Doom appears and makes his way towards De’Lila. He tells her that sorcery has brought her to this sorry state and sorcery will set her free. With that, Doom touches De’Lila’s face and she is free. Once she frees herself and begins to make her way to the front, one of the Skrull pilots asks his buddy, Dr’zzt, if he heard something.

Just then, outside the ship, Ghost Rider informs the others that innocent blood has been spilled. Spider-Man asks him what? Where? Is he talking, like, the mainland or…? Ghost Rider replies these souls cry for vengeance nearby and points to the aircraft. Turning to the Skrulls, Thing tells them to stay there. This could get… ugly…

At that moment, De’Lila emerges from the ship and exclaims no… beautiful. She then tells them to look at her and asks is she not their heart’s desire? Don’t they want to do everything she says? Don’t they burn with the lust to kill each other? Unleashing a force field blast, Sue is able to take De’Lila out. Once she does, she asks if everyone is all right. Spider-Man replies that he’s peachy, his spider-sense warned him to look away. Ghost Rider replies that he’s the spirit of vengeance; her charms are useless against him. She-Thing adds she’s fine, put it down to girl power. Turning around, Spider-Man asks Thing, Hulk, Human Torch, Mr. Fantastic and Wolverine if they are doing okay. When they reply only in guttural roars and yell out “Kill You!” Spider-Man quips that he hates men and then asks what happened to “Clobberin’ time?” He liked “Clobberin’ time.”

As it becomes Ghost Rider, Spider-Man, Invisible Woman and She-Thing vs. Wolverine, Hulk, Thing, Human Torch and Mr. Fantastic, the Skrull warriors take the opportunity to rush the ship. From inside her protective force-field bubble, Sue mentions to Ghost Rider that his flame freed the Skrulls from De’Lila’s influence earlier. Ghost Rider replies yet it fails against the Human Torch. The Skrull witch’s power has been magnified somehow.

As She-Thing gets attacked by both the Hulk and Thing, Sue calls Spider-Man over to her. Once he gets there, she says to him that their side is drastically out-powered. Their only hope is to outsmart them. And that’s up to him and her. Ghost Rider’s a loose cannon, and it’s all She-Thing can do to keep Ben and the Hulk from killing them, plus she’s clearly distraught at having to fight the man she loves. After Spider-Man asks her “Aren’t you,” Sue admits that it hurts but Reed and her have been together a while. This isn’t the first time this has happened. Their love’s strong. If they can survive, so can their marriage. Spider-Man remarks that she just gave her an idea. Alien hoochie mama mind-zapped him earlier. He knows what it feels like. She uses their love to manipulate them so he’s gonna steal her gimmick. He then tells Sue to drop her force-field.

Once she does, Spider-Man narrowly dodges Wolverine’s claws. While he does, he tells him that’s the last time he’s on a team with him. After Spider-Man slides underneath She-Thing’s legs and simultaneously shooting his webbing into Wolverine and Hulk’s faces, She-Thing tells him that they’ll tear off his webbing in no time. Spider-Man replies hopefully they won’t need that long and then asks her if she can knock Ben back for a second. Punching the Thing, She-Thing answers sure, but she can’t hurt him. Even if she could, she can’t.

Pulling his mask up, uncovering his mouth, Spider-Man tells her she won’t have to, not physically anyway. Making his way over towards her, Spider-Man says he apologizes to her and a certain redhead back home. She-Thing asks him what he’s doing but before she gets an answer, Spider-Man kisses her. After Ben watches them kiss, he angrily slams his fist into the ground, narrowly missing Spider-Man. Leaping out of the way, Spider-Man remarks great, it didn’t work. Holding back the Thing, She-Thing tells him that she doesn’t know about that.

Enraged, Thing yells at Spider-Man and calls him a back-stabbin’ two-timin’ girl-snatchin’ gigolo. He’s gonna moiderize him. He’ll clean the gutters ‘a Yancy Street with his face. Spider-Man apologizes to him and tells him he can “moiderize” him later. But if he’s himself again, they need his help. Slamming into the Hulk, the Thing tells Spider-Man that he’s still gonna get clobbered. Spider-Man replies that by the time he’s done, he’ll have to get in line.

Leaping over to Sue, Spider-Man tells her that he thinks she knows what has to happen. Believe him, if there was any other way… Walking over to him, Sue tells him to stop apologizing and kiss her. When she does, both Mr. Fantastic and Human Torch snap out of their trance. Holding his face, Johnny Storm exclaims that his eyes are shut but he can’t stop seeing it. It’s burned into his brain! Reed tells him to calm down. Spidey and Sue were clearly doing it to shock them into their right minds. Sue adds that they’ve still got a couple of huge problems who really don’t care who’s swapping spit with who. The Hulk’s bad enough, but if they can’t stop Wolverine soon, he’s liable to kill someone.

Ghost Rider interjects and tells Sue to allow him. Now that he is free of distractions, he believes he can end this, though not without suffering. His penance stare forces a man to experience the pain he has inflicted on others. And Wolverine has dealt much sorrow in his long, long life much of it warranted. Thus he hesitates to take this step but he sees no other way. He will be merciful. He shall feel the agony he caused on just one day during World War One.

Just then, Wolverine grabs his head and yells out in pain. Putting his arm on his shoulder, Spider-Man asks Wolverine if he is… Wolverine tells him to get off, he’s fine. Nothin’ he don’t live with every day. She-Thing asks if she can point out they still have a rather large loose end. Ben tells her not to worry ‘bout nuthin’. He, bashful Benjy just got hisself an idea. That Skrull chick wants the spaceship so she can lam outta there, right? With that, She-Thing and Ben tackle Hulk towards the direction of the ship.

Noticing this out of the corner of her eye, De’Lila stops battling the Skrulls and calls out to them to stop. They’ll wreck it. Flying over to them, De’Lila calls Hulk a monster and tells him to calm himself before he destroys her only way off this miserable mudball. Sue thanks De’Lila and says to her that she hopes she’ll continue to show good sense and accept that her little jailbreak is over. Looking around, and realizing her situation, De’Lila hangs her head and surrenders. As she does, the proceedings are watched by an unknown individual.

Shaking Reed’s hand, one of the Skrulls tells him that De’Lila will be kept under constant guard. He then adds that he thanks all of them, unofficially of course. Officially, they are enemies of the Empire who must die screaming. Reed replies of course. Making his way over towards Spider-Man, Ben Grimm slaps him on the back and says to him that he just wanted ta say no hard feelins for smoochin’ on his gal. ‘Course, if he tries it again, it’s clobberin’ time. Spider-Man tells him point *urf* taken.

Turning his attention to the rest of the heroes, Ben tells them that the “new FF” guys were pretty decent pinch-hitters. If they ever get laid up again… Hulk tells him to stop right there. He better hope that never happens. Spider-Man remarks the big guy’s right. If this crew ever gets back together, it’ll mean things have gone completely off the rails. Walking away, Wolverine adds amen. It’s time to get outta there. He has another team-up… with a case ‘a beer.

After they leave, Spider-Man turns and tells Mrs. Richards he just wanted to say… Sue tells him that he can call her Sue, the way he always has. She then adds that she really hopes he won’t feel strange around her just because they shared… Well, let’s face it, the most awkward kiss in the history of mankind. Spider-Man tells her that he is so relieved to hear her say that. He means, no offense, but it was just weird. Not that she’s not beautiful and all…

Sue thanks him and says that he’s… Well, his costume covers him from head to toe, so he has no idea what he looks like. Spider-Man replies that in his world, that’s a compliment he’ll gladly accept. It’s just, he’s usually a little, well, uncomfortable around women. After Sue smiles and tells him she never would have guessed, Spider-Man says “zing.” Sue tells him no. She means it. He’s always been perfectly at ease with her. Spider-Man says that’s just it. Ever since he met her, she’s been with Reed, so he never thought of her that way. He means, she knows he hits on her that time, but it was really only to annoy her brother. Sue tells him that she never would have guessed. That was her being sarcastic.

Spider-Man tells her seriously, though, it’s been nice. Because they got to become friends without any of the usual sweaty palms and sudden-onset-Tourette’s he gets around girls. And probably not coincidentally, from day one she’s treated him like a man, not an annoying kid or a loser or a menace. Just to pick a few words at random. It was just cool, that’s all. Sue tells him that she knows exactly what he means. When Spider-Man asks really, Sue tells him that she’s always appreciated the way he approaches her as an equal, not just equal to him, but to the rest of the Fantastic Four. Spider-Man replies well, duh. She’s the most powerful member of the team. Sue says maybe. But the boys, to them, she’s wife, sister, mother. She’s family. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. She loves that they want to protect her and keep her safe. But she also likes that she has something different with him.

After a brief moment of silence, Spider-Man asks Sue if he can still hit on her sometimes to irritate the Torch. Sighing, Sue answers “sure.”

Deep underground, Mole Man watches everybody on the surface through a periscope. While he does, he says at last, they’re all leaving. He’d hoped they might kill each other but he supposes small victories are victories nonetheless. As Mole Man and his subterranean followers depart the area, an unknown individual takes a sample, unnoticed, from the Technotroid.

Elsewhere, elsewhen, Dr. Doom stands in his lab and says to begin recording. Mission log #622. Success. While those idiots were distracted, he was able to retrieve a sample of the newborn Technotroid’s indestructible shell before it had fully hardened. At last he’s assembled all he requires to achieve his goal – the total subjugation of the Fantastic Four!

Characters Involved: 

Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, She-Thing (Sharon Ventura) and the Thing (all Fantastic Four)

Spider-Man, Wolverine, Hulk, and Ghost Rider (“new” Fantastic Four)


Various unnamed Skrulls. Only one named is Dr’zzt.

Mole Man and one of his unnamed monsters that reside on Monster Isle

Unnamed Technotroid

Story Notes: 

This issue takes place immediately after the incidents in Fantastic Four (1st series) #349.

Ghost Rider, Wolverine, Hulk, and Spider-Man took over as the new Fantastic Four for the first time in Fantastic Four (1st series) #347-349.

De’Lila took the real Fantastic Four and its allies captive back in Fantastic Four (1st series) #347 and was able to convince Ghost Rider, Hulk, Spider-Man and Wolverine that they were dead.

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