FANTASTIC FOUR #403-409 (1995-1996): 1st Hyperstorm; Reed Richards returns

Reed Richards is dead (sorry, I mean “dead”) and Scott Lang has taken his place, bringing his daughter to the Baxter Building.

Kristoff Vernad Doom designs a new Ant-Man costume.

new ant man

It looks a little too much like Spider-Man, though, dunnit?


Johnny Storm leaves to join the Fantastic Force. At this point, I’m not sure which is worse–this series or the spin-off.

Then Sue and Thing go on a mission in Brazil with Lyja Lazerfist (who is ALSO basically a member of the team now), and are turned into other versions of Thing and…Ugh ugh ugh. Then there’s time travel and Zarrko. And a bunch of “time displaced warriors” (mostly characters that are dead) who work for Zarrko.

Including Conan. This should have been a fun read, but Tom DeFalco appears to have zero respect for the official 616 timeline. These comics give me headaches.

Aaaaand we get our first sight of Hyperstorm, who is YET ANOTHER son-of-Reed from another timeline. Apparently, he’s responsible for this tangled mess.

And he has the real Doctor Doom prisoner. We see parts of his face (most of it is in shadow) and it doesn’t look very scarred up, so chalk this up to: Doctor Doom’s face isn’t really all that bad looking. (This is a longstanding debate among comic nerds, based on different takes on the character between Stan Lee (who wanted a disfigured Doom who wore a mask to hide it) and Jack Kirby (who said Doom actually only had minor scars but his pride made him believe himself to be ugly).

Anyway, none of this is interesting but it does lead to the return of Reed.

Who is a caveman now.

And that’s actual Reed. Not a Reed from another timeline.

And then the reunited team and all these other characters nobody gives a shit about team up to defeat Hyperstorm and rescue Doctor Doom.

We close with the inevitable team-back-together sequence…

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