Characters Appearing: Black Panther, Captain America, Crystal, Dr. Doom, Gorgon, Hawkeye, Henry Pym, Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Iron Man, Karnak, Medusa, Mr. Fantastic, Scarlet Witch, Sub-Mariner, Thing, Thor, Wasp
Fantastic Four #11-12
Issue(s): Fantastic Four #11, Fantastic Four #12
Actually, in terms of "keeping the door open", issue #11 has Sue telling Reed that she is pregnant, which is a weird thing to do if you know the series is ending (and aren't going to somehow use that development as part of the ending; imagining what a Grant Morrison or Warren Ellis would do with Sue becoming pregnant with Franklin in a pocket universe created by Franklin). I said at the beginning of these entries that i had come to the conclusion that the creators knew all along that this experiment was going to end. And it was based on two key data points:
1) The characters CONSTANTLY notice that they are, in fact, in an alternate universe
As i've thought about it, though, i've run into some key counter-evidence. First there's the weird last minute need to "fix" things, like the revelations about Thor and Nick Fury, re-revisions to Cap's origin, etc.. And then there are the developments, like Sue's pregnancy, where there's isn't time to do anything with them unless they thought they were going to get more issues. (Another in this category is in the Iron Man book, where Jennifer Walters and Doc Samson are exposed to gamma radiation just in time for them to appear as super-heroes exactly once in that book's final issue.)
Anyway, issue #11 is basically a prelude to the Heroes Reunited crossover, which involves the coming of Galactus and his heralds.
Notice the introduction of a new Herald: Plasma. She first appeared in a subplot/build-up scene in issue #10. To my knowledge she's never had an analogue outside the Heroes Reborn universe. But there's always been a loose tendency to base Galactus' Heralds on the Classic Elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water). It's never really taken off, i think because the original herald, the Silver Surfer, doesn't fit the model. Is he water because he has a surfboard? Air because he flies through the air or something? Nothing works. And that's a good thing. But Air-Walker, Firelord, and Terrax all correspond neatly to the Elements. So the temptation is there. It's solved here by having Galactus having no less than five Heralds at once, with the new one, Plasma, representing water, and the Silver Surfer being outside the classic elements as a kind of uber-Herald.
Nothing comes of this. I just have an interest in Galactus' Heralds so i thought i'd point it out. Anyway, at first it seems like having befriended the Silver Surfer earlier, which causes him to switch sides here, would be enough to defeat Galactus. But it isn't, and everyone dies.
Everyone except Dr. Doom, that is. We'll find out that he's used his time machine to go back and try again with the info he's learned.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is part one of Heroes Reunited. Part two is in Avengers #12. I should note that from a character tagging perspective, this crossover is a little weird. When Mr. Fantastic appears in the Avengers issue, for example, it's not after he appears here, but rather instead of. So technically i should probably only be tagging Dr. Doom until the final part, since that's the version that sticks. But i'm not going to worry about it.
Crossover: Heroes Reunited
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
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