Fantastic Four #348 – Where Monsters Dwell! released by Marvel on January 1, 1991
Tricked into thinking the Fantastic Four have been murdered, Spider-Man, Wolverine, the Hulk, and Ghost Rider have been gathered by the Skrull renegade De’Lila (disguised as Susan Richards) and sent on a mission to collect the item she is searching for, under the false pretense that they are seeking out the Fantastic Four’s “killers”.
Going over how “Sue” had shown them the “dead bodies” of the Fantastic Four, the so-called New Fantastic Four race off in a rocket cycle using a tracking device that will allow them to find what they think is their intended target. As they speed off, De’Lila — still disguised as Sue Richards — begins the next phase in her plan. She begins looking into the Fantastic Four’s database on the Skrulls to see if there is any reference to the device she is looking for. With little time and her ability to navigate Reed’s devices being limited, De’Lila decides to use his family as hostages in order to force him to do her bidding.
Meanwhile, on Monster Island, the Skrulls are monitoring the status of the monsters they used from the island to attack the world in an effort to flush De’Lila out. The commanding officer hopes that they can accomplish their mission without anyone discovering their involvement. However his hopes are not going to happen as the Mole Man and one of his Giganto beasts are observing the alien ship that has landed on his island. Discovering the intruders are not from Earth, the Mole Man orders his creature to attack.
Back at the Four Freedoms Plaza, De’Lila has tied up the rest of the Fantastic Four and Alicia Masters and leaves them trapped in the elevator. She then goes back to the medical lab where she revives Reed, and using her telepathic abilities, she begins pushing Reed to assist her in her search for an Inorganic Technotroid, a powerful robot that is hatched from an egg. With his family’s life at stake and his mind falling under the influence of De’Lila, Reed has no choice but to help her. As Reed continues to work on searching for her query, he can’t help but find De’Lila attractive while in the form of his wife.
At that very moment the New Fantastic Four are flying onward to their destination. Wolverine checks the news reports and learns that monsters are attacking Moscow, San Francisco, and Mexico City. Near Washington D.C. the heroes spot a commercial airliner that is being attack by the monster known as Skreeal. The Hulk dives from their ship to attack the creature head on. With the cabin of the ship breached, Spider-Man dives down and uses his webbing to seal the damage, while Ghost Rider unleashes a fury of Hell-Fire infused chain links at the monster. As the battle rages, the Skrulls on Monster Island finally locate De’Lila in New York City. Before they can arm their weapons to destroy the city from afar, the ground under the alien ship suddenly collapses into a massive sink hole.
Back over Washington, the New Fantastic Four force Skreeal to flee the scene and they follow it all the way to the Bermuda Triangle. There they pass through a strange distortion field that brings them to Monster Island. There they spot the hole in the ground where the Skrull ship sank and follow their readings down there. Back at the Four Freedoms Plaza, Reed has discovered a possible clue as to what happened to the Inorganic Technotroid after discovering a tabloid report about a strange monster that was spotted grabbing a UFO matching her description, near the Catskill Mountains. Believing that this might be the Technotroid, Reed and “Sue” head out immediately. As he leaves, Reed tells his robotic receptionist that he is leaving for a “day trip” and tells her that everything is fine and she should tell that to his “friends in the marines”. They soon fly a sky-cycle to the location where the monster was reportedly seen. There they find a cave entrance that has been sealed. De’Lila uses her blaster to clear the rubble and they make their way inside.
Deep below the Earth in Subeterranea, the Mole Man has Giganto shake all the Skrulls out of their ship. He then begins blasting at their feet with his power staff, making demands to know what they are doing with his monsters. At that moment the New Fantastic Four are trying to sneak into the scene, but give themselves away when the Hulk accidentally walks into Giganto. When the Hulk tries to fight the creature it grabs him, but it eventually flees when Wolverine sticks one of his claws between its toes. The Mole Man has noticed their presence by this point and demands to know what they are doing intruding in his domain as well. Seeing the army of Moloids out number them, Spider-Man decides that diplomacy is the best avenue and explains to him why they are down in his domain. Learning that the Skrulls have been captured, Spider-Man asks to see them. When they are brought to the prisoners, the Mole Man notes that their commanding officer is missing. Recalling how Skrulls are shape-shifters and nobody could have escaped from the cavern, the New FF deduce that the commanding officer must have disguised himself as a rock. When they start smashing rocks, the Skrull commander loses his nerve and reveals himself before he can be pulped by the Hulk’s massive fist.
With no time to waste, the Ghost Rider uses his Penance Stare to force the Skrull commander to explain why he and his crew are on Earth. He explains how they have come to Earth to prevent De’Lila, a Skrull renegade, from obtaining an Inorganic Technotroid, a powerful weapon that is used to defend the ruler of the Skrull empire. When Spider-Man reveals the device they used to track the Skrulls and how they got it from a “lady in New York”, they suddenly realize that “Sue Richards” must have been De’Lila in disguise. Recognizing the device, the Skrull commander explains that it can be reconfigured to find her. Just as they do so, they soon realize that De’Lila is on her way and she soon arrives with Reed Richards still in her thrall. When the Hulk orders Reed to stand aside so they can deal with the Skrull renegade, Reed is now fully convinced that the Skrull is his wife and refuses to turn her over, telling the Hulk that it will be over his dead body. The Hulk informs Reed that they have already seen Reed’s “dead body”, implying that Reed is also a Skrull in disguise and that he is going to get his wish.