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Fantastic Four #500 ! Anniversary Issue ! Direct Issue ! 2003 ! by Marvel !

Fantastic Four #500 ! Anniversary Issue ! Direct Issue ! 2003 ! by Marvel !
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Fantastic Four #500 ! Anniversary Issue ! Direct Issue ! 2003 ! by Marvel !


Title: Fantastic Four

Author(s): Paolo Rivera, Mark Waid

Publisher: Marvel

Date: 2003

First Printing: YES

Comic Age: Modern

Issue #: #500

With his son trapped in Hell and his family prisoners of Doctor Doom, Mister Fantastic has been left by his foe in a massive library of mystical books owned by his greatest foe. However, Richards cannot get himself to understand any of the magic spells before him. Suddenly the books begin to swirl about and one snaps open. The astral form of Doctor Strange emerges from within and tries to communicate. Strange gets Reed to complete an incantation to complete the spell allowing Strange's astral form to full appear in the room. Strange explains that Doom has his body incapacitated so he cannot lend much help against their foe. With time running out, Reed asks Doctor Strange to teach him how to use magic as he was taught to years earlier.

In the other room, Doctor Doom continues to torture the other members of the Fantastic Four. Doom explains that that was all because Reed prevented him from acting on his plans unopposed. Doom doubts that Richards will be able to master magic well enough to defeat him, but hopes that his long time foe at least make the battle ahead memorable. Back in the library, Doctor Strange agrees to try and teach Reed but not there as Doom can detect his presence. Finding a teleportation spell on a scroll, Strange coaches Reed on casting the spell. Strange warns Reed that he must be delicate when casting a spell, but Richards goes into it like a scientific equation. Although Reed manages to teleport himself back to New York City, but instead of inside Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorium, Reed is teleported onto the street right out front and is struck by a car. When Reed recovers, Stephen chastises him over the dangers of not treating magic seriously and treat it less as something that he can absolutely control.

Inside Strange's Sanctum, they approach the Orb of Agamotto and witnesses Franklin in Hell. They see him in the company of the Haazareth Three, the demons that Doctor Doom made a deal with for his new mystical mastery. Sensing that they are being observed the three demons openly mock Reed and Strange. When Reed demands that they rescue his son, Strange explains that they must first free his teammates and they begin working on a spell to do so. Back in Latveria, Doctor Doom wonders what he should do with baby Valeria when he is done with her family. Suddenly, Doom is struck by mystical bolts that are drawn out of the other members of the Fantastic Four, but they scream in pain. From his vantage point in Greenwitch Village, Reed complains about how imprecise the spells are and how they are torturing his friends instead of helping them. Strange tells Mister Fantastic that he needs to let go of his analytical thinking if he seeks to utilise magic properly. The next bolt from his teammates still cause them pain and Doom begins to realise that it is Richards attacking him. Back in New York, Doctor Strange continues to berate Reed for understanding what needs to be done but not following through because he refuses to believe in magic.

When Doctor Doom blasts open the door to his library of mystical spells and finds that Reed is gone, Strange detects this. With no other choice, Strange summons a mystical ringlet, but before he can explain to Reed what it is and how it works, Doom incapacitates Doctor Strange's body causing his astral form to fade away. Still able to see Frankin being tortured by the demons in Hell, Reed tries a number of magic words to activate the device. It's only when he admits that he is an idiot does the mystical device fire a bolt of mystical energy. Meanwhile Doctor Doom teleports himself and Valiera to New York City. Trying to figure out how he made the device to work, Reed cause it to fire a mystical bolt when he admits that he cannot figure it out, allowing him figure out how it does work. When Doctor Doom blasts his way into Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum he finds Reed and the rest of the Fantastic Four -- restored to normal -- to face him. Blasting Doom with the mystical device, Reed gets Valeria back and takes her to safety.

The Fantastic Four keep Doom off his feet until Reed comes back with the mystical device and begins decimating their foe with mystical blasts. However Doom manages to catch his second wind and blasts Reed back. Then he tries to incapacitate Sue and Ben, and survives a nova blast from Johnny before defeating them as well. When he approaches Reed again, he uses a spell to silence his foe so he cannot use the mystical device anymore. However Reed quickly realises that he doesn't need to verbilise to use the object and uses its power to knock Doom away. Confronting Doom, Reed tells him he is a failure and will never be anything more than a mid-level magicain needing the power of demons to get to where he is now. When Doom verbally admits to trying to reneg on his deal, Reed makes sure the Orb of Agamotto is nearby so that the Hazareth Three hear him. Not liking this at all the demons open a portal and drag Victor into Hell with the Fantastic Four fast on his heels. There they quickly recover Franklin and the incapacitated body of Doctor Strange. As the others flee out the portal, Victor begs Reed for help telling him that he is sorry. Reed sees right through this and can tell that Doctor Doom is lying. Reed then tells Victor that while he is rotting in Hell he'll have an easy time forgetting him. Doom tells Reed that he very much doubts that and reaches out for Reed's face with a hand crackling with mystical energies.

As Johnny and Sue console Franklin, Ben pulls Reed's body out through the portal. There, Reed tells the others he had one last encounter with Doctor Doom. Looking in the mirror, Reed smashes it when he sees that Doctor Doom left half his face scarred.

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