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Tear Jerker / Fantastic Four

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  • Throughout Jonathan Hickman's run, it's shown that Reed gets along with Val better than with Franklin, because she's smarter. However, he does love Franklin for who he is, and he and Franklin, on morals, seem similar. Val... When she tells Doctor Doom about the Council of Reeds. she specifically says he made the wrong choice by picking his family over the multiverse. While this could be her manipulating him, it comes up again once it's explained that Reed choosing his family allowed for Franklin to fully manifest and save the day. Val, almost tearfully, still says that he made the wrong choice. The look on Reed's face is just heartbreaking.
    • And even after that, after he's met the future Val who seems to turn out okay and has moved on from that particular issue... it turns out that she really never got over it, and that she helped Nathaniel and Franklin in part so she could gain access to the dimension between space the Council of Reeds used. And plans to continue the work of the Council of Reeds herself.
  • Fantastic Four #587, The Last Stand of Johnny Storm. the Human Torch, Ben Grimm, and the Future Foundation go through a portal to the Negative Zone to try to stop the Annihilation Wave. Johnny's niece, Val, knows that the only way to close the portal is for one person to stay behind and close it manually. Ben, who has taken a formula that makes him human for a week, volunteers to stay behind. However, Johnny pushes Ben through the portal back to Earth, sacrificing himself. The part that really makes it is Johnny's pure defiance and bravado until the very end.
    Human Torch: A billion to one... you think I'm afraid of that? YOU THINK I'M AFRAID OF THAT? FLAME ON!
    • The aftermath is even worse, especially the reactions of Franklin and Valeria. They're just kids, but because of their powers and intellect they think they could have prevented Johnny's death. Franklin confesses to Spider-Man that he thinks he could have saved Johnny if he had a better handle on his Reality Warper powers. Spidey tells him he can relate, since he also failed to save his uncle. Valeria's way of dealing with it is both sad and disturbing. She writes up an agenda for the Future Foundation with Annihilus' assassination as a top priority. It's sad because she can't grieve like a normal little girl. It's terrifying because little girls should not be planning assassination attempts.
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    • Reed Richards takes the death of his brother-in-law hard despite trying to stay strong for his wife and children's sake. The first moment he gets in private, he storms off to his vault, retrieved the ultimate-nullifier, and reaches through the negative zone to point it at Annihilus in a fit of pure, unadulterated rage. He's only brought out of it by Annihilus holding up Johnny's tattered uniform, grief causing Reed to pull away and close the gateway.
    • The worst of all though is how the ever loving blue eyed Thing mourns. He meets with Thor and Bruce Banner and the two try to show him a hologram of Johnny. Ben grows furious and attacks Thor. Thor is about to fight back when Banner stops him and transforms into the Hulk. The Hulk stands completely still as he lets Ben punch and attack him until The Thing tearfully collapses. For two characters defined by looking like monsters, this show of utmost humanity is absolutely gut wrenching.
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  • Then there's Fantastic Four #267. Sue's pregnant with her and Reed's second child, but radiation due to exposure to the Negative Zone is threatening both of their lives. Reed calls in the experts in radiation - Bruce Banner, Walter Langkowski (Sasquatch of Alpha Flight), and Michael Morbius, but they're not enough. Langkowski suggests bringing in Otto Octavius, who's currently locked up and on meds, and when Reed goes to retrieve him, Otto is only too happy to once again be given a chance to help people instead of hurting them. Unfortunately, though, Reed just happens to drive the Fantasticar past an anti-Spidey billboard from the Daily Bugle, which sets Doc Ock off, and he jumps ship, forcing Reed to battle him. Reed eventually gets Octopus to settle down and agree to help again (though still in full Doc Ock persona), and they rush to the hospital, where Sue is saved, but... the final page, one panel enclosed in black, tells it all.
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  • Over in the '90s cartoon, there's the ending to Season 2's "And A Blind Man Shall Lead Them." The team's powers are restored, Doctor Doom is driven off, and the city is safe, but Ben loses his chance to be normal again.
    Ben: Well, guess I better go tell Alicia that I'm not her dream man anymore.
    Sue: Oh, Ben, Alicia loves you for who you are, not what you look like.
    Ben: Yeah? Lucky her. [crushes a wedding ring and walks away]

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