Synopsis for “The End of the Fantastic Four!”
The Sub-Mariner is monitoring television broadcasts from the surface to learn that the Fantastic Four have officially declared bankruptcy and are liquidating their assets to pay off their creditors. Learning this Namor is convinced that now is the right time to strike against the group.
At the Baxter Building headquarters of the Fantastic Four, Reed and the others are forced to stand back as creditors begin repossessing Reed’s various inventions. Unable to stand watching this, the Thing decides to leave to visit his new girlfriend, Alicia. However when he tries to get a cab he is refused due to the press about the FF’s recent financial troubles. In anger, Ben impales the cab on a lamp post and then fires a FF signal flare, bringing Johnny in the Fantasti-Car, who gives Ben a lift to Alicia’s house. There, Ben finds his mood soured further when he cannot bring himself to believe Alicia’s words of praise and kindness toward him.
When Ben returns to the Baxter Building later it is just moments after a telegram has arrived from SM Studios offering the Fantastic Four to all act in a film based on their lives, offering enough money to the group for them to resume operations. However, despite this salvation the now penniless super-heroes are forced to hitchhike all the way to Los Angeles to take up the job. When they arrive at SM Studios they are star-struck by all the celebrities upon their arrival. When they meet the owner of the studio they are shocked to find that it is none other than the Sub-Mariner who explains to them that he was able to fund the movie studio by selling sunken treasure on the ocean floor. Although he has clashed with them in the past, Namor managed to lull the Fantastic Four that his intentions this time are altruistic in order to help the Fantastic Four earn the money they desperately need.
After acclimatizing them to the Hollywood lifestlye, the then begin shooting the film. Namor takes Reed out to a Mediterranean island where Reed will be filmed fighting the mythical Cyclops, convincing Mr. Fantastic that the Cyclops is a mechanical construct. However when Reed stretches to the island he soon learns that the Cyclops is the real creature of myth. While Namor leaves the scene, convinced that Reed will die in the conflict, Mr. Fantastic does just the opposite when he trips the Cyclops making the monster fall into a pit that he cannot get out of. Namor then flies the Human Torch to a part of Africa to battle a tribe of natives whom Namor convinces the Torch that he is really fighting actors. However, after Namor leaves, Johnny realizes that they are the genuine article and that he has been tricked into fighting a tribe of natives who are immune to fire. While they capture Johnny, he manages to flame on and break out of his cell and then super heats a volcano causing an eruption of lava that sends the natives fleeing and then escapes.
Namor then meets with the Thing on a Hollywood beach and informs him that it is him that Ben will have to fight. Although Namor gains the upper hand in the battle, Ben quickly realizes that Namor gets his strength from the ocean and pulls him away from the water. The Thing begins turning the battle around when a freak lightning strike hits him causing the Thing to revert to human form. This allows Namor to knock Ben out in a single punch. He then returns to SM Studios where he reveals his entire purpose for bringing the Fantastic Four there was to kill the male members so that he would have Sue all to himself. Sue refuses his advances, but is overpowered by Namor’s various sea-animal spawned abilities. However before he can subdue her the male members arrive alive and well (Ben having reverted back into the Thing). They are about to attack Namor when Sue gets in their way and convinces them to stand down. Having been defeated, the Sub-Mariner agrees to honour his deal to complete the film and pay them the money they need and then returns to the ocean. Weeks later the completed Fantastic Four film is released and is a critical success, earning the Fantastic Four enough money to resume their operations.