Adventurers. Celebrities. Family. They are the Fantastic Four, the world's greatest Super Hero(tm) team: scientific genius Reed Richards, with the ability to stretch and contort his body into any shape imaginable; the beautiful Susan Storm, who can render herself invisible and create and project powerful force fields; Sue's brother, Johnny Storm, who can engulf his body in flames and take flight at will; and Ben Grimm, whose freakish transmutation turns him into an orange-colored, rock-like, superhumanly strong creature.
Now the Fantastic Four meet their greatest challenge yet, as an enigmatic, intergalactic herald comes to Earth -- to prepare it for destruction. As the mysterious alien being races around the globe, wreaking havoc and leaving utter chaos in its wake, Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Ben must find a way to confront this devastating force...even as a new threat looms in the surprising return of their mortal enemy, Victor Von Doom, who harbors his own deadly machinations for them all....
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April 23, 2007
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Excerpt from Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer by Mark Frost
Susan Storm stood staring at the commercial jet on the airport tarmac, its large belly reflecting the afternoon sun with a powerful glare. The engines of the jet were silent, at least to her, as she watched several figures on the ground loading luggage and moving around the jet with ear protectors fastened tightly to their heads. She lingered on the activity on the ground, the scurrying and the action that she was not a part of, grateful to have something else to focus on. Often she begged her fianc�, Reed Richards, to find some other way for them to travel, some other way that didn't make her feel so exposed, so seen.
Susan blinked away the darker thoughts, turning from the window of the airport terminal and letting her eyes become readjusted from the glare of the afternoon light. Inside the terminal at LAX, all silence was obliterated. A crowd had immediately formed around her and her family as soon as they'd arrived at the gate to wait for their flight back to New York. She tried to block out the squeals of delight from the onlookers, the rush of the crowd that usually seemed to suck all the oxygen out of the room. She attempted to refocus, to ignore the voices gathering around them, the clicking of cell phone cameras, the murmurs and whispers that stuck to her skin so quickly that sometimes she could feel them before she heard them. Before the strange hands touched her arms or shoulders. One time, there'd been a tug on her long blond hair.
Is that them? Oh my God, I can't believe it. They look so different up close. What the hell is she wearing? Do you think she's pregnant?
Of all the things that had changed about Sue's life since the cosmic storm -- the storm that altered her DNA and gave her powers beyond anything imaginable, powers that drew her back into the world of Reed Richards, powers that led to the defeat and death of Victor Von Doom -- it was being thrown into the public eye that remained the most difficult. She disliked it intensely: the constant staring, the roving cameras that followed them wherever they went, the intense scrutiny that came with such attention.
For the most part, she had accepted the fate that had befallen them. If they suddenly had powers that could be useful to mankind, so be it. She was willing to share them and to do her part to make the world a safer place. She wasn't haunted by the changes in her life, the way she suspected Ben Grimm might be; nor did she relish the limelight the way her younger brother, Johnny, did. And Reed? He barely noticed anything beyond a book or his PDA. With the outside world rushing so violently into their private space, she often wondered how he could remain so clueless to the million different ways their lives had been invaded.
Sue felt a small weight in her chest. She rubbed her hands together, staring at the slim band of silver around her finger, trying to dismiss her cranky, cynical thoughts. She knew these weren't the musings of a hero, or of someone grateful for her life and upcoming wedding, or of someone even the least bit fantastic. It happened to her sometimes, when the crush of it all became a bit too much, when she'd retreat inside herself, if only to get a break from the attention and the spotlight. But the thoughts were beginning to stay with her for longer periods of time, and even her power of invisibility, her ability to disappear from their sight, could not make them go away.
She walked over to where Reed and Ben were sitting, waiting for the flight. The airport lounge was large and quite generic, she felt, for such a metropolitan city. They had bypassed the coffee bars and newsstands, hoping to lose the seemingly necessary crowds. But they were unavoidable. She noticed the people all around them and made a note to speak to Reed again about finding a less public way to travel. An overhead television caught her attention as she noticed the people in the waiting area staring intently at the talking flat screen.
The TV showed a typical blond anchorwoman with too many teeth talking about Susan and the team. The anchorwoman stared blankly into space and spoke: "It's being called the wedding of the century. Reed Richards and Susan Storm, also known as Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman, will try again to tie the knot three days from now at a private ceremony at the newly remodeled Baxter Building. They're hoping the fifth time's the charm, as the unlucky couple has repeatedly had to reschedule the event due to 'unforeseen circumstances.' But even the delays haven't dampened the enthusiasm of the couple's fans."
Susan cringed at the thought of her personal life being so vividly displayed for the world to see. She and Reed were in love. It wasn't their fault that things kept intruding on their wedding plans. It wasn't like they were hesitant or filled with doubt, was it?