Alicia Masters, Puppet Master (Phillip Masters), a legion of prisoner
Thing (Ben Grimm)
Fantastic Four III#45 (September, 2001)
Powers/Abilities/Functions: Sunshine City itself was a normal Earth city with no inherently strange or superhuman properties. It was populated by prison volunteers who were mentally controlled by the Puppet Master rather than serving jail time.
(Fantastic Four III#45 (fb) - BTS) - Working with the Puppet Master (who brought along his daughter, Alicia Masters), classified government agents worked out a deal with prison inmates in which they would volunteer to be mind controlled into a state of blissful happiness by the Puppet Master in exchange for their actual prison time. Similar to the Witness Protection Program, the government agents had the mind-controlled inmates relocated to the town of Sunshine City, Florida, where the Puppet Master's abilities were amplified by the government to allow him to control the entire town and turn into in a nice, simple town of blissful Americana.
(Fantastic Four III#45) - As part
of his deal to work
with the government, the Puppet Master was allowed to manipulate the
Fantastic Four's Thing from afar, luring the hero to Sunshine City via
a hand-written letter from Alicia requesting the Thing's company. The
Thing eventually decided to visit Alicia in Sunshine City, where he
reunited with Alicia and shortly thereafter sent a letter back to his
Fantastic Four teammates, quitting the team. Suspicious of the Thing's
motives, the other Fantastic Four members visited Sunshine City in
disguise, finding it disturbingly positive. They soon located the Thing
driving a tractor over a field but when they tried to talk sense into
the Thing, the mind-controlled Thing attacked them, wanting to be left alone. The Invisible Woman eventually to leave
on the condition that the Thing transform into his Ben Grimm form and
agreeing, the Thing transformed back into human form. Not under the
Puppet Master's control as Ben Grimm, the Thing realized he was being
manipulated. The Sunshine City townsfolk then turned against the
Fantastic Four, exclaiming that they would not be taken from Sunshine
City. The Human Torch quickly tried to scout ahead but was shot down by
government agents. When the Fantastic Four located the Puppet Master,
the Puppet Master claimed that they could not touch him, as he was
protected. The government agents then revealed themselves and explained
their deal with the Puppet Master. Despite being skeptical of the
Puppet Master's motives, the Fantastic Four agreed to leave him and
Sunshine City be. Before the Fantastic Four left Sunshine City, Ben
Grimm met with Alicia and explained that he no longer had feelings for
her. She agreed that she felt the same way and the two parted as
Comments: Created by Carlos Pacheco, Jeph Loeb, Rafael Marin, Jeff Johnson and Joe Weems.
While the story does not identify
the government agents as S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, they sure looked like it
Profile by Proto-Man.
Sunshine City has no known connections to
Fantastic Four III#45, p7, pan1 (Sunshine City streets, main image)
Fantastic Four III#45, p6, pan6 (Thing arriving in Sunshine City via jeep)
Fantastic Four III#45 (September, 2001) - Carlos Pacheco (co-plotter), Jeph Loeb (script), Rafael Marin (co-plotter), Jeff Johnson (pencils), Joe Weems (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Last Updated: 03/20/14
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