Ultimate Fantastic Four #23

Issue Date: 
November 2005
Story Title: 
Crossover: part 3

Mark Millar (writer), Greg Land (pencils), Matt Ryan (inks), Justin Ponsor (colors), Chris Eliopoulos (letters), Brad Johansen (production), John Barber & Nicole Wiley (editors), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

At the Baxter Building, the remaining members of the Fantastic Four are attacked by their alternative, Infected selves. Sue manages to hold them back using her powers, while Ben and Johnny escape through a think door. Infected Sue attacks her counterpart, making her blow back to her teammates. They close the door and initiate the safety protocols, meaning they gas their attackers down. Unfortunately, Infected Sue uses a forcefield to protect her and the others. Infected Reed refuses to lose his precious food, and manages to phase himself through the door. He attacks the normal Fantastic Four again, though Sue manages to defeat him by using her powers to give the villain brain damage. Sue decides they have to use the teleporter to go find Reed. Meanwhile, on the alternate world, Reed stretches his body past most of the Infected, checking the situation and getting Mindy her medical supplies. Later, he returns to Magneto and the other rebels. Not long afterwards, they get tracked by the Infected Avengers. Magneto attacks and defeats them, and leads his allies through an escape route. Though once upstairs, they are welcomed by every other Infected! Luckily, on that moment, Sue and the others arrive. Sue uses her powers to make the Infected temporarily blind, giving Johnny the chance to clear them a path to this world’s Baxter Building so they can use it to return home. Along the way, the Thing fights the Hulk, getting his answer if he could defeat the goliath. They finally make it, and thanks to a supply of Magneto’s powers, Reed manages to set the proper coordinates for them to return home. They decide to take Danny, Mindy and Kelly with them in order for them not to get killed. However, Magneto decides to stay behind, as he thinks he better stays here to destroy the teleporter after the others are gone. If not, the Infected surely will still find a way to follow. Once the Fantastic Four and their new friends are gone, Magneto unleashes a final blast against the Infected. Once back home, the kids are welcomed by Professor Storm. Reed fears he’s fired from the Baxter Building, but he isn’t. The Professor actually came to talk to Johnny and Sue, as they got an unexpected visit from… their mother!

Full Summary: 

The Baxter Building…

Ben, Johnny & Sue stare in fear. The Infected Mr. Fantastic calls out to the infected Torch, and he tells his leader he can relax, as he can consider the kids toast. He throws a bolt of fire at the young heroes, but luckily Sue can protect them all by creating a forcefield. Sue warns that both Ben and Johnny have to get out of here, as she doesn’t know how much longer she can hold it up. The infected Sue asks normal Sue what age she is… nineteen, twenty? The infected Sue has been doing her job since Kindergarten. This is Charles Atlas up against a ninety-seven pound shrimp.

Infected Sue throws one of her more powerful forcefields at Sue, who flies through the door Ben and Johnny opened to escape through. Once Sue is back with them, Ben quickly closes the door. Johnny wants to know what’s going on. Sue doesn’t know, but she’s guessing that their attackers came from the parallel universe Reed disappeared to, but she doesn’t really know. She suggests that they call security and tell them they’ve activated the lab’s defenses but need back-up, fast!

Inside the lab, the infected Fantastic Four notice that their food is trying to gas them. She warns her teammates to stay together while she’ll whip up a force field. That should buy them a little more time. Infected Reed tells his Sue to forget about it. They didn’t come all this way to get stopped by a stupid door, so he has been trying to hack the security code.

Johnny noticed that the things that attacked them looked exactly like them. Sue knows, though, their attackers looked older and had something wrong with them. Their skin looked necrotized. Ben warns his friends. Sue goes over to him, and notices that the infected Reed is trying to pull his rubber body through the door! Sue doesn’t know how their enemy is doing this, as that’s five layers of airtight door he just wriggled through. Even the gas can’t get through it.

The infected Reed manages to get fully through it. While Johnny flames on, Ben starts attacking and demands to know what happened to their Reed. Ben holds the infected Reed tight, and Johnny suggests he uses his powers to burn a hole in Reed’s head or something. While Ben holds the infected Reed tight, Sue tells him to hold still and uses her powers to finish the job. Suddenly, the infected Reed faints and gets all soft. Johnny thinks that Sue must have used her powers to do something with the guy’s brain or something.

Sue didn’t. She corrects that the infected Reed just collapsed and left his synapse. She actually brain-damaged the villain. She just popped an entire chunk of his brain. Ben thinks that’s awesome. Finally, the soldiers enter and order everyone to everyone to get down. Sue jokes that everyone already is down and that the help came too late. Johnny warns that the soldiers better not touch their enemy without any gloves, as he might carry some kind of virus. Sue mentions that the same goes for the other three, who are still trapped behind the door. She suggests that nobody opens the door until there’s a confirmation they’re out cold, and full contamination suits are compulsory for any handling.

Johnny wants to know where their dad is. A soldier mentions that he just passed Professor Storm ten minutes ago. He got a phone call and took off outside without even saying where he was going. Sue thinks that’s good. Perfect, actually, because there is no way their dad would let them do what she and the team plan on doing next.

Manhattan, on the parallel, infected world…

Wolverine is sniffing around, trying to look some clues about the uninfected rebels. He doesn’t notice that Reed has stretched his entire body over a long distance, trying to get a clear point about the situation.

Meanwhile, Magneto, Danny, Mindy and Kelly wait for his reply. Kelly can’t believe that Magneto is actually going through with this. It’s suicide. Kelly fears that, the second they show their faces, the Infected are going to be over them like a rash. Magneto corrects that it’s just a chance they’ll have to take. After all, he says, young Reed has opened up a portal between this world and his home dimension. Their lives mean nothing, compared to the people who will die if even one of the Infected makes it through.

Danny doesn’t know what Magneto is talking about. He doesn’t know where Magneto gets off saying their lives mean nothing. Magneto is confused and wants an explanation. Danny explains that his daughter is fifteen years old and his number one priority. Magneto can go play the hero if he wants to, but Danny’s first duty is to Mindy and he isn’t going to risk her life for a bunch of people who he thinks are probably already dead.

Mindy doesn’t agree, and asks her dad what the alternative is. Stay locked up in a train station for the rest of their lives? She has barely got enough insulin to make it through the night. They are living on potato chips and diet soda. If this is surviving, Mindy would rather be dead. Danny doesn’t think his daughter means that. Mindy mentions that the teleporter could also mean their way out.

Reed returns and thinks it’s no use. There must be dozens of the Infected out there and they’ve got every route covered. Danny knew that. Mindy asks Reed if he found a drugstore and managed to find the insulin. Reed did, but they didn’t have the Mixtard Mindy was after. Instead, Reed got some Insulatard and a couple of vials of Novorapid. He also got Mindy some testing strips while he was there. Mindy thanks him.

Magneto can’t believe they never thought of what Kelly just said. Reaching the Baxter Building wouldn’t just stop the Infected from getting through; it would give them a chance to get out of there and could use Reed’s home dimension as a refugee. But, Danny recalls, it’s like Reed said and the Infected have the entire place covered.

Reed confirms, but has discovered that the Infected doesn’t seem to have covered the subway system. And even if they are down there, the confined space would make it easier for them to fight the Infected. He asks Kelly what the nearest route to the Baxter Building is. Suddenly, the ceiling above them gets ripped open… It’s the Infected Avengers! Thor mentions that Wolverine was right, and that the survivors were hiding in the train station.

Magneto orders his allies to duck. They do, and he magnetically lifts up a nearby standing train. He concentrates and throws it against the Avengers, taking out most of them. Magneto warns everyone to move quickly, as they’ve got three escape routes out of this place. This is nothing they haven’t faced before. As they make it outside, Magneto stops, as they have just discovered that the entire former hero population have gather around them. And they are very, very hungry! While the rebels stare in fear, the Infected Giant-Man enters, and calls that he wants to eat the girls.

While Kelly takes out her gun, Magneto informs his friends that he isn’t going to lie to them: this battle will be difficult. Suddenly, Giant-Man screams, as his eyes hurt. More and more Infected start feeling the same pain. Danny notices that they’ve all gone blind. Magneto asks Reed what he did to them, thinking he used another of his powers they haven’t seen before.

The normal Fantastic Four have arrived! Sue wants to know why people always assume that Reed is the only smart one of their group. After all, he can’t make optic nerves invisible like she can. Reed immediately runs towards his beloved and they share a hug. Kelly can’t believe she’s actually seeing a good version of the Fantastic Four. Ben and Johnny start fighting the Infected. The Torch flames up, and burns an entire group of Infected up in ashes!

Sue orders her brother to burn them a path to the Baxter Building, and he should hurry, as she can only keep the Infected blinded for two more minutes. While going ahead, Johnny knows what he’s about to say will sound a little weird, but he’s actually having the time of his life here. A few seconds later, the path is almost finished and the Baxter Building isn’t much further. Reed notices a shadow getting closer. He looks up, and recognizes their attacker: it’s the Hulk!

Hulk angrily shouts that the little people aren’t going anywhere, as he wants to eat them. Magneto warns the others not to worry, as he’s handled the goliath a couple of times before. Though he’s surprisingly resilient, it shouldn’t be that difficult to take him down. Ben tells Magneto to step aside, as he always wondered if he could take down the Hulk. They start fighting and, after a powerful punch, Ben takes the Hulk down! Guess Ben got his answer now.

They finally make it to the building. Ben lifts up a car and throws it against the building so they have an entrance. Reed angrily tells Ben he shouldn’t have done that, as they could have just used the door. Now, Ben just feels stupid. While wandering through the destroyed building, Johnny asks Sue what floor this was on? The fifty-seventh? Sue confirms. Sue can easily carry all six of them, and orders everyone to go stand in a circle. They do, and suggests they better move quick before the bad guys catch up.

While Johnny flies ahead to make a light for Sue, she uses her powers to lift everyone up! Kelly is a bit scared, but Magneto tells her to relax, as these people are super heroes who know what they’re doing. They arrive in the lab, and luckily Reed confirms that the power is on. He informs Magneto that he needs him to generate an alternative electrical supply. Reed asks Magnus how fast he can set something like this up without blowing all the fuses. Magneto reveals he can finish the job in thirty seconds, sixty max. But, Magneto has noticed that the surviving Infected are outside the Building now. He can create a magnetic shield, but it won’t keep them back for any length of time.

Magneto manages to activate the teleporter. Reed sets the coordinates, and warns everyone to stay close and to take off any jewelry, rings and watches in particular as they would just interfere with the transport. Everyone, including Danny, Mindy and Kelly go stand in the middle of the teleporter, but not Magneto. Danny wants to know why he’s waiting. Magneto reveals that he can’t join them, as he just realized he has to stay on this world.

Reed is startled. Magneto explains that somebody has to stay behind and destroy the teleporter or the Infected will find a way to follow them, no matter what. This isn’t him being brave. Magneto doesn’t want to die any more than Reed and the others want to. He is just the only one with the power to destroy the teleporter and stop the Infected from getting a chance to rebuild it.

Ben thinks there has to be another way. Magneto doesn’t think so. Sometimes, things just completely fall apart. He warns his friends to get out now while they’ve still got a chance. Mindy thinks that Magneto is right, and it really is the only way. Magneto thanks Mindy for the compliment, and wishes her goodbye, telling her to be good.

The Fantastic Four and their new friends depart. A few moments later, Magneto unleashes a powerful blast, taking out more Infected.

The Baxter Building, normal Earth…

The heroes safely make it back home. Professor Storm has arrived and thinks he’s going to be sick. Reed knows what the Professor is going to say and he completely understands his decision. He’ll just go pack his things and save the Professor from firing him. The Professor corrects that he didn’t come to fire Reed. Though he is not happy about what he has done, but he does know about the creatures that attacked and have them contained them downstairs. They can talk about Reed’s future later. The Professor actually came here to talk to his two children, Johnny and Sue. It’s about…

A woman with blond hair and glasses cuts in, says hi to her “darlings.” She asks them how life has been treating them for the last fifteen years. Sue and Johnny are startled, as they have just been reunited with their… mother?!

Characters Involved: 

Human Torch, Invisible Girl, Mr. Fantastic, the Thing (all the Fantastic Four)

Professor Storm & his wife (Johnny & Sue’s parents)

various soldiers (all unnamed)

on the infected, alternate world Reed visits:

Magneto (uninfected rebel)

Danny & Mindy Glidewell, Kelly Ridge (uninfected human rebels)

Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, the Thing (all the Infected Fantastic Four)

Beast, Cannonball, Dazzler, Havok, Nightcrawler, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine (all Infected X-Men)

Guardian, Marrina, Snowbird, Vindicator, Windshear (all infected Alpha Flight)

Ant-Man, Black Knight, Crystal, Falcon, Giant-Man, Iron Man, Moondragon, Luke Cage, Quicksilver, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman I, Swordsman I, Tigra, Vision, Wonder Man, Thor (all Infected Avengers)

Black Bolt, Black Cat, Brother Voodoo, Daredevil, Elektra, Hellcat, Hulk, Nighthawk, Nova, Sleepwalker, Sub-Mariner, Triton (other Infected heroes)

Story Notes: 

The story of the Infected continues in Marvel Zombies #1.

First appearance of Sue and Johnny’s mother. So far, only their father had been introduced, as of Ultimate Fantastic Four #1.

Issue Information: 
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