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A woman is trying to make it to the Baxter Building for help, and nearly does, before being attacked by a shadowy figure just outside the building.
Inside the building, Ben and Johnny Storm (the Human Torch) are squabbling as per normal before heading down to meet a woman who'd left a message for them. Downstairs, Ben finds the woman being loaded into an ambulance, and she warns him of the dangers of "The Word." Johnny, on the other hand, sees a good looking babe and goes off to hit on her. She is Ultima, daughter of the Word, and she is responsible for the hospitalization of the other woman, but she just gives Johnny the brush-off and leaves.
Ben and Johnny meet up in the Baxter Building again, and Ben digs out information on Ultima and the Word in the computer. Johnny promptly recognizes Ultima as the woman he hit on in the park. Ben contacts Nick Fury, who is able to give them some probable contact information, and the two head off to find the Word. As they drive towards the Word's compund, their car is blown up, they are shot at, and then eventually gassed. They wake up as prisoners, in metal shock collars, and are sent off to work in the mines...