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Story Title: No Way Out !
Staff: Howard Mackie, Tom Raney, Andrew Pepoy, Wong (story and art), Gina Going (colorist), Chris Eliopoulos (letters), Frank Pittarese (editor), Bob Harris (editor in chief)
The Six respond to a distress call from the Fantastic Four, despite some old bad blood as Sue Richards once had an affair with Havok. Together the teams face and apparently defeat Moot, a supposed conqueror from another dimension. Back in their headquarters, Ice-Man talks with Alex how his teammates the Fallen and Bloodstorm give him the creeps. Especially Ororo, as a full vampire, would have to “feed“, something which she apparently does when she leaves at night. After this, Havok talks to Scotty, who warms up to him once Alex tells him he would like nothing more than to go to his home and bring this reality’s Havok back. Thinking that Reed might be able to help, Alex goes to see him, only to find that Moot has dominated his mind and captured the rest of the Fantastic Four. Moot wants to use Alex as a tool for traveling between dimensions. Havok resists Moot’s influence and frees the other three of the Fantastic Four, and together, they defeat Moot once more. Finally Reed runs some tests on Alex and finds that the only oddity about him is a brain-damage inflicted by his near-death experience. Reed calls Maddie and advises her to take Alex to the psychiatrist Leonard Samson.
The Six travel in the Blackbird, piloted by Bloodstorm. She tells them that there was a distress call ten minutes ago from the Baxter Building to which they were traveling and that they should be there within a minute. While they fly, Havok wonders what he’s doing with the rest of The Six, especially since Scotty knows that he’s not his father. Also, he ponders how to convince them that he isn’t insane so that they’ll help him get back to his world, Lorna, and X-Factor. Bloodstorm interrupts his meditations by informing them to get ready to disembark, since the Fantastic Four need their help.
The Fantastic Four are all in cybernetic suits, which give them their powers. Susan first notices the Blackbird and tells her teammates that The Six have arrived and that now all they need to do is keep Moot and his insectoid army from harming the bystanders. She tells Johnny to use his suit to create a wall of flames, which he says he’s already working on. She then tells Reed, whose suit has four extra arms, that she’s going to use her stealth armor to get through the ranks of the enemy and lead The Six to them. Reed informs her that he and Ben will use their cyber enhancements to create a pathway for her through Moot’s creatures, which he says are nothing more than bio-mechanical life forms. Ben interrupts him, telling him to just clobber instead. Sue gets to The Six and tells Havok that she can’t believe they came, which surprises Alex, who wonders why the FF are in battle armor, deducing that in this timeline they must not have been exposed to the cosmic rays. He reminds himself that this reality is terribly different from his.
As they fight Moot and company, Alex asks Reed what they’re up against, and Reed tells him they’re opposing an expeditionary force led by a being called Moot, who can somehow breach dimensional walls. Reed informs him that he only discovered Moot’s entrance by accident while he was examining that which holds reality together. Havok tells Reed to watch out, since Moot seems to be targeting him directly and they don’t seem to be making much progress against the insectoids. Johnny tells-Ice Man that The Six were the last people they expected to see after what happened between Reed, Sue, and Alex, and Ice-Man replies that killer bugs make for desperate times and that Maddie doesn’t seem to ever mention it anymore. Brute tells Bob that he’s not supposed to talk about that, since it upsets Maddie, and Ben and Bloodstorm agree with him. Ororo apologizes to Susan, who tells her that she’s used to such talk from her little brother.
Moot, having enough of their talk, asks if all humans engage in such banter during battle and then tells Reed that he will be the first to fall, his brain joining the greater good. However Reed placing a neural disrupter around Moot’s head cuts his bombast short, and Susan tells him how nice it is to fight along the smartest man on earth. Susan reminds him to make sure that Moot’s portal is closed before he interrogates him, and Reed agrees. Under Reed’s instruction, Ben takes Moot off to the lab, while Alex tells Reed that he’s happy The Six could help and that he in turn needs Reed’s help with something that’s been bothering him lately. Maddie cuts him off, telling her husband that Reed won’t want to talk to him. She wraps things up with Reed, sending Havok back to the Blackbird with the feeling that he stepped into something very old.
Later, back at the castle, Maddie tells the team to get some rest since they could be called at any time. She tells Alex they need to talk, then angrily drags him off, demanding if there’s anything still going on between him and Susan. He tells her he has no idea what she’s getting at, and she replies that she has to believe him since there’s so much riding on her trust in him, specifically Scotty. She tells him that he’s been tense since his near-death experience but that he’s got to get back to normal. She asks him to check on Scotty, whose been stressed around Havok lately, while she will take a bath.
After she left, Bloodstorm approaches Havok that she’d prefer to spend the evening at her abode, and he tells her that’d be fine. Bob comes along and mentions that Ororo’s turning into mist still troubles him and that he often wonders where she goes at night. He asserts that she is a vampire and she has got to “eat“ something, and Havok asks what he’s getting at. Bob tells him he doesn’t know, but that he isn’t saying that he doesn’t trust her. He goes on to say that Warren is the really creepy one, since Bob’s gotten up in the middle of the night and found The Fallen perched “like some sort of big old gargoyle.” This, he thinks, makes Storm seem normal, and he off-handedly wonders how long it takes her to get wherever she goes. As he says this, Storm already reforms at another location and tells two shadowy figures that she hungers.
Havok walks towards Scotty’s room, thinking to himself that he can cope with the differences between his old reality and this one, except for his having to deal with his supposed son, since he has no experience with children. He opens the door, and Scotty appears to be happy to see him. Alex asks his nanny Elektra to leave for a bit, and she complies, telling Havok that he is, after all, the boy’s father. Though Havok thinks, “You’d think that, wouldn’t you?” Once she leaves, Alex begins fumbling his words with “his“ son, and mentions under his breath how attractive Elektra is. After this, he asks Scotty if he knows who he really is and where he really came from. Also, he reassures the boy that he had nothing to do with the disappearance of his real father and that he doesn’t want to hurt him. He ends by telling the boy that he seems to be the only one who believes him and that he’d like nothing more than to return this reality’s Havok here and himself back home. Scotty tells Alex he’d be happy to help, and Alex asks how he knew he wasn’t who everyone else thought he was. Scotty tells him that he sometimes just knows things, and asks one more time if he’s really going to try to get his real father back. Havok is about to tell the boy that he crosses his heart and hopes to die, but the boy cuts him off, saying that sometimes the last part comes true and that’s bad. He then tells Havok that he’s good and that he trusts him.
From her room, Madelyne watches the interaction between her husband and their child through a magical mirror, though as she turns her back to the scrying glass, a shadowy figure appears, calls her name twice, and tells her that. Then the mirror shatters.
(the next morning)
Havok heads to Reed’s office, thinking that if anyone can help him, he can. A robotic secretary greets him and asks if he has an appointment, he tells it he doesn’t, and it leaves to see if Richards is available to see him. Shortly later, Reed greets Havok, asking what he owes this surprise to. Alex tells him he has a problem he thinks only Reed can fix, and Reed tells him to explain it as they head upstairs. Once they get upstairs, Reed asks Havok if he really just told him that he traveled through the space/time continuum to this world and would like to find a way to get back. When Havok tells him that’s correct, he asks if he’d said his world was similar in many ways to this one, which Alex tells him he knows sounds crazy. Reed tells him it’s a good thing he came to him, and that he just wants to run a few tests. Havok agrees and asks what happened to Moot; Reed replies that Moot turned out to be a sham, just smoke and mirrors. Havok asks if he’s still there, and Reed responds that he had to let him go. He then tells Alex that he might require extensive studying, as his powers might be used to transport an army through realities. Havok begins to get suspicious, especially when Reed tells him he’s going to be dissected.
Shocked, Havok turns to ask what he means by all this, only to see that Reed has transformed into light. Reed tells him that he’s exactly the tool he’s been searching for and that once his insectoids bore into his mind, he can control him. He tells Havok the same happened to Richards, who’s far less intelligent than he (Moot) is. Moot roars that with Havok under his control, he will dominate the multiverse as conqueror of all space and time. As he runs from the insectoids, Havok kicks himself for not realizing that Reed was being far too nice given their history. As he runs, he thinks that he’s got to find the rest of the Fantastic Four and hope that Moot hasn’t controlled all of them, since he couldn’t defeat all of them by himself. He then enters a room where the other three have been captured. Moot, perched over Susan, tells Havok to join his flock, but Sue begs Alex to resist his mind control. Moot tells her to be silent, telling Havok they need to discuss business. Moot tells Havok he can help him get home, that neither of them belong there, that they both want to get home, and that if Havok opens his mind, they can travel across the multiverse together. Sue again beseeches Alex to resist, and he tells her not to worry, that there’s no chance of joining Moot, which he backs up with a plasma blast at the would-be conqueror.
Moot takes off, yelling that he will find a way to dominate Alex since his mind is weak, possessing no psychic barriers. As he leaves, Moot discovers Havok’s weakness: Scotty. Ben tells Havok to get him free so he can show Moot who’s boss, and Havok informs Ben that he needs to be still so that he doesn’t take off his hand while removing the manacles, since on this world, his hide isn’t made of rock. Ben has no idea what he’s talking about, but Havok says there isn’t time to explain, as they need to stop Moot immediately if they’re up to it. Johnny tells Alex that they’re always up to it, even if they don’t have natural powers the way mutants do. Moot taunts Johnny, asking him if he really thought mere flames would stop a space/time conqueror. As Sue back-fists the alien, she tells him that was only a distraction so she could get closer to him. Havok lets loose on Moot, finally taking him down.
Later, Havok and Reed talk, and Richards tells him that Moot is going to The Vault, where they’ll discover what he’s all about. Richards mentions that interdimensional travel seems far fetched, but Alex says he doesn’t know. Reed makes a bad pun, calling it a “Moot” point anyway, telling Alex he’s been working on his sense of humor. Richards tells him he heard from Sue he needed a favor and is willing to help him despite their history. Havok then begins to explain what he needs.
Reed examines Alex, telling him that he’s often believed there could be other dimensions, particularly one composed of anti-matter. He also says that any travel would result in a “genetic scar” that could help to determine where the person originally came from. Shortly later, Havok asks Richard what he found, and Reed asks if his reality is better place. Alex tells him it’s just not better, but just different. It‘s the reality where he belongs and where he knows his place and everybody else’s everyone. Reed tells Alex his results : he found that Alex was perfectly healthy, except for one small thing. Havok thinks it it’s the genetic scar he spoke of earlier and asks if he can help him. Reed tells him he can help, and Havok, in his excitement, tells him that if anyone could help him, it would be Mister Fantastic. Reed isn’t called that in this reality and gets confused. He then repeat that he can help him, but in a different manner than Alex thinks. Now Havok is the one who’s confused. Maddie enters the lab and explains he needs a different kind of help. Reed apologizes, he asked Maddie to come and he agrees with her – none of his tests support Alex’s story of interdimensional travel. Instead he discovered a brain damage, probably from his recent near-death experience. Reed tells Madelyne to take Alex to his friend Leonard Samson, a brilliant physician and psychiatrist soon. As they fly home on the Blackbird, Maddie tells her husband that she loves him and that they’ll get through this.
Bloodstorm, Brute, Fallen, Havok, Ice-Man, Marvel Woman (all The Six)
Ben Grimm, Reed Richards, Susan Richards, Johnny Storm (all Fantastic Four)
Reed’s robotic secretary
Moot and his insectoid army
an unnamed demon
Bloodstorm is welcomes by two male figures who are hidden in shadows. Later issues will establish that she lives at a castle with Kitty and Forge as her servants. Forge might be one of the two men, but the question remains who the other is.
In the main Marvel Universe, the Fantastic Four too have a robotic secretary by the name of Roberta. She looks like the average human making many visitors think that she is a real person., while the version of the Mutant X reality is easily recognized as a robot.
The dimension of antimatter that Reed Richards is talking about is the Negative Zone. In the main Marvel Universe, this was among the first of Mr. Fantastic‘s discoveries, here Reed hasn’t found an access to it yet.
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