- After all these years... All our adventures... We're still together... We're still a team! The Greatest Team Ever!
See also: Fantastic Four (Earth-616)/Expanded History.
The brilliant aeronautical engineer Reed Richards inadvertently created the Fantastic Four after deciding to make an unauthorized test flight into space using an experimental rocket of his own design. While the rocket might have made it possible to travel to other star systems, Reed's financiers were losing interest. Reed's girlfriend Susan Storm and her younger brother Johnny insisted on joining Reed on the flight. Reed's old friend Ben Grimm was convinced to pilot the rocket. Once in space, the rocket was bombarded by a wave of cosmic radiation. The craft crashed back down to Earth. Emerging from the ruins of the spaceship, they discovered the radiation had mutated their bodies and had given them remarkable new abilities. Reed gained the ability to stretch his body and limbs, Johnny was able to fly and become engulfed in flames he could control, and Sue was able to bend light around her body and become invisible. Ben gained incredible strength and durability, but his body was tragically transformed. He now had a muscular orange, rock-like hide.
All four decided to use their powers to better humanity, and founded the Fantastic Four. Individually they call themselves Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, the Human Torch, and the Thing. They are not superheroes in the traditional sense, but rather explorers, facing whatever challenges that may arise as a family. The profits from Richard's patents and royalties fund the team's activities.
The Early Years
Operating from Central City, California, the first menace the Fantastic Four were called upon to face was the Mole Man and his ever changing cadre of monsters and sub-human races from below the Earth. They were soon thrown into conflict with the shape-shifting Skrulls, the first of many alien menaces they would battle in their long careers.
The team moved to the Baxter Building, their New York headquarters, and established themselves as mainstream superheroes. Falling out with his teammates after a battle with the Miracle Man, Johnny left the group and encountered the World War II hero Namor, the Sub-Mariner living as an amnesiac in a flop house. Recognizing Namor from comic books, Johnny dropped him into the sea, hoping to restore his memory. The plan worked, but after Namor found Atlantis in ruins, he declared war on humanity. Johnny rejoined the Fantastic Four and together they drove Namor back into the sea. He remained their rival for awhile, vying for the affection of Sue Storm.
Reed's former college rival Victor von Doom returned as Doctor Doom. Doom's attempts at world domination forced the Fantastic Four to face him again and again, making him their deadliest and most persistent adversary.
During a trip to the Blue Area of the Moon, the Fantastic Four battled the Red Ghost and the Super-Apes and made first contact with a Watcher, called Uatu. With the aid of Ant Man, they battled Doctor Doom in Sub-Atomica. During a trip to ancient Egypt's past, they encountered the Pharaoh Rama-Tut, a time-traveler who would become the man known as Kang the Conqueror. When the Sub-Mariner was reunited with his people, the Atlanteans, the Fantastic Four were caught in the middle of an Atlantean attempt to invade the surface world. Other threats from this period included Kurrgo, the Puppet Master, the Impossible Man, the Hulk, the Mad Thinker, the Super-Skrull, and the Molecule Man. Spider-Man made a bid to join the team, but was denied.
They teamed up with Nick Fury to defeat the Hate-Monger, as well as returning a lost alien child which was causing mayhem in New York to its parents. It was during this time that the Invisible Girl discovered her force-field powers just previously to another confrontation with the Mole Man. The Fantastic Four and the Avengers teamed up for the first time when the Hulk attacked New York in his most destructive rampage yet. They also met the other active super team of the era, the X-Men, for the first time when the schemes of the Puppet Master and the Mad Thinker pitted them against each other.
Three of the Human Torch's enemies, the Wizard, Sandman, and the Trapster, joined forces and recruited an amnesiac Medusa to form an evil, mirror counterpart to the Fantastic Four. They called themselves Frightful Four, and battled the Fantastic Four on several occasions.
Doctor Doom used his Emotion Charger machine to mind control many villains to attack the team on Reed and Sue's wedding day, but with the aid of a device given to him by the Watcher, Reed ended the threat. Sue and Reed finally married. The wedding was attended by the Avengers and most of the world's heroes.
New Friends and Enemies
The Fantastic Four met Medusa's family, the royal family of the hidden race known as the Inhumans. Johnny instantly fell in love with Medusa's sister, Crystal. The Inhumans and their king, Black Bolt, were originally distrustful of the Fantastic Four. Tragedy struck when the Inhumans' ancestral home Attilan was separated from the outside world by a Negative Zone barrier created by Black Bolt's mad brother Maximus. The Inhumans were trapped inside, and Johnny and Crystal were separated.
Despite the Watcher's efforts to hide Earth, Galactus came to Earth determined to consume the energy-rich planet. His herald, the Silver Surfer, rebelled. Reed Richards thwarted Galactus by threatening to use an alien device called the Ultimate Nullifier on him, a weapon that could lay waste to the universe and kill even Galactus. Galactus was forced to vow to spare Earth in exchange for the Nullifier's return, and he punished the Surfer for his betrayal by erecting an undetectable energy barrier that prevented the Surfer from leaving Earth.
The Fantastic Four were invited to visit the African nation Wakanda by its king, the Black Panther. They were attacked by the Black Panther, who easily bested them all in individual combat, but was defeated when they teamed up as a group. With the battle over, the Black Panther revealed that it was all a test of their abilities. They helped the Black Panther drive Ulysses Klaw out of Wakanda. Thwarted, Klaw leaped into his massive sonic converter device hoping to gain superhuman powers to combat his foes. His gamble was successful and Klaw was transformed into a creature whose body was composed of "living sound". In his new form, Klaw battled the Fantastic Four and was pummeled into unconsciousness by Mister Fantastic wearing Vibranium knuckle guards and taken to prison.
The original Human Torch's body was discovered by the Mad Thinker. Using his knowledge of androids, the Thinker restored most of the Torch's original synthetic tissue and nervous system. The Thinker partially restored the android's memories but coerced the Torch into battling the Fantastic Four. On realizing the implications of what the Thinker wanted him to do, the Torch sacrificed his artificial life to save the Fantastic Four from a sneak attack by the Thinker's computer Quasimodo. The Thinker fled, and the Fantastic Four left the Torch's body in the Thinker's laboratory in Nevada.
The Silver Surfer was befriended and betrayed by Doctor Doom, who imprisoned him and stole the Surfer's power for himself. Doom attacked and defeated the Fantastic Four and held the world in terror, but Doom lost his new might when Reed tricked him into leaving Earth's atmosphere. Doom collided with Galactus' barrier, and the Surfer's powers were restored. Meanwhile, the Inhumans escaped their prison thanks to Black Bolt's scream, however Attilan was left in shambles. The Inhuman Royal family agreed it was time to enter the world of the humans.
Reed found himself trapped int the Negative Zone after an attack by the Sandman. At that moment, Crystal and Johnny were reunited, and Crystal enlisted the Inhuman Triton to rescue Reed. Blastaar, who once ruled Baluur in the Negative Zone, followed them through a portal. He teamed up with Sandman, but the Fantastic Four and Crystal managed to defeat them and sent Blastaar back to his own dimension.
While trying to take a vacation on a tropical island, the Fantastic Four encountered the Kree Sentry 459, who had been reactivated by an archaeologist. During the fight, Johnny's flame struck the island's energy supply, causing it to explode. The FF and the archaeologist escaped in time, seemingly leaving the Sentry to be destroyed.
A difficult pregnancy for Sue followed, during which Crystal took her place on the team. At the last moment, to save the unborn child, the Fantastic Four had to visit the Negative Zone and borrow the Cosmic Control Rod of Annihilus. Sue's child, Franklin, named after her father, manifested strong and unusual powers almost immediately. When Annihilus kidnapped Franklin to tap those powers, they increased exponentially, and Reed felt he had no choice but to inhibit Franklin's mental activity. Outraged, Sue left Mr. Fantastic and took Franklin with her. During Sue Storm's hiatus, the Inhuman Medusa took her place. The old bonds, though, drew Susan back to the team. When Ben Grimm was transformed into his human self and lost his powers after a battle with the Hulk, he was briefly replaced with Luke Cage. He returned to the team using an exoskeleton constructed by Reed that emulated his old powers, but was transformed into his rock form again during a battle with Galactus.
The team was transported to the distant "Battleworld" by the Beyonder for the first of the so-called "Secret Wars." On that planet Ben Grimm found himself able to change to human form and back. Concealing his discovery of Grimm's mental block for fear of hurting his feelings, Richards claimed that the nature of the planet itself was somehow responsible for Grimm's ability to transform back and forth. Once the "Secret War" was over, Grimm remained on the planet for months. The Thing asked She-Hulk to take his place in the Fantastic Four.
During an extended trip to the Negative Zone, a sort of second honeymoon, Sue conceived another child. This unborn daughter began to give off radiation. Despite the efforts of Mr. Fantastic and several other experts, the girl was apparently stillborn.
Psycho-Man took advantage of Sue's fragile self-control at this point and amplified her negative emotions. She became Malice, with all of the Invisible Girl's powers but none of her restraint, and attacked the Fantastic Four. Mr. Fantastic helped her throw off Psycho-Man's influence, but she lost control again when the Fantastic Four confronted Psycho-Man; she turned his own Control Box on him, which shorted out his nervous system and nearly killed him. This episode would have lasting effects: the Invisible Girl changed her name to Invisible Woman; she discovered how to use Force Objects, and in the long term, she lost a measure of self-confidence, knowing that Malice still lurked inside her.
Johnny found himself drawn to Alicia Masters, longtime girlfriend of the absent Thing. Johnny and Alicia's romance helped estrange the Thing from the Fantastic Four for a lengthy period.
The Thing rejoined the Fantastic Four and She-Hulk returned to the Avengers. When Reed and Sue retired from active Fantastic Four duty to focus on raising their son, they left Ben in charge. He recruited Crystal, who was separated from Quicksilver at the time, and Ms. Marvel (Sharon Ventura) to replace them. Ben served capably as team leader and started a romance with Sharon that deepened after new cosmic radiation exposure further mutated them both, turning Sharon into a sort of "She-Thing" and Ben into an even stronger, more hideous spiky-hided Thing. Their romance continued through several more changes of form (with Ben eventually settling back into his classic Thing form), even after Reed and Sue rejoined the group; but they were estranged after Sharon accepted Doctor Doom's aid in regaining human form.
Johnny's old feelings for Crystal slowly returned, but his love for Alicia enabled him to resist temptation, and Crystal eventually left the team. Eventually Johnny married Alicia. Despite their long and intimate relationship, Johnny was horrified to discover that the Alicia he loved and married was not the true Alicia Masters, but a Skrull impostor named Lyja. Originally sent to infiltrate and destroy the Fantastic Four, Lyja truly fell in love with Johnny, and joined the Fantastic Four in confronting Paibok, the Skrull who had kidnapped the real Alicia. Lyja seemingly sacrificed her life to protect Johnny, but her former lover Paibok nursed her back to health.
Trying to move on from yet another failed relationship, Johnny enrolled at Empire State University; but Devos, Paibok and even Lyja attacked Johnny at ESU, forcing his powers to go nova, burning down a large section of the campus. Johnny briefly became a fugitive until Reed agreed to sell some of his patents to pay for the damages. Lyja returned to Johnny's life again, tricking him into believing she was carrying his baby. When this proved a lie as well, Johnny left her again.
Claiming that Franklin's presence in this timeline would lead to destruction, Reed Richards' father Nathaniel abducted the child into the future. Nathaniel raised Franklin for years in the future, training him to be a warrior and to master his superhuman powers. The adolescent Franklin journeyed back in time, arriving in the Fantastic Four's headquarters mere moments after Nathaniel had abducted him as a child. The teenage Franklin called himself Psi-Lord, and wielded vast psionic powers, although they remained far short of his full potential.
When Reed and Doom seemingly died as a result of their conflict with the alien Hunger, they were actually spirited away by the space-time-warping Hyperstorm, mad son of an alternate-future Franklin Richards. Hyperstorm kept Doom as a tortured captive and trapped Reed in the distant past for months, during which time the world believed both Reed and Doom to be dead. In Reed's absence, Sue took over leadership of the Fantastic Four and served capably in the role, recruiting Ant-Man (Scott Lang) as the team's new scientist. However, she refused to believe Reed was truly dead, and she rebuffed romantic advances from Namor.
During this period, Franklin founded the Fantastic Force, a new super-hero team to carry on his father's work of protecting humanity. Finally, after Reed was eventually rescued, Psi-Lord somehow was removed from the Fantastic Four's time and was replaced by the child Franklin, as he had been at the time that Nathaniel had abducted him. Nathaniel claimed that Hyperstorm must have arranged the substitution, and that the Psi-Lord version of Franklin no longer existed in the Fantastic Four's timeline.
When Franklin Richards was kidnapped by Onslaught, the Fantastic Four joined the Avengers and the X-Men to battle Onslaught in Central Park. An enraged Hulk was able to crack open Onslaught's shell. However, Onslaught remained as pure psionic energy, planning to spread across the planet. Thor plunged into Onslaught, trying to contain him. The Fantastic Four, the majority of Avengers, and even Doctor Doom followed. Thanks to this sacrifice, the X-Men finally managed to destroy Onslaught. The Fantastic Four, Doom, and the Avengers were believed dead, but were instead saved by Franklin, who created a pocket dimension called Counter-Earth to keep them safe. Back on Earth-616, the Thunderbolts moved into the Fantastic Four's headquarters at Four Freedoms Plaza.
After several months away, the missing heroes returned from Counter-Earth and were reunited with Franklin. They set up their new headquarters at Pier Four.
They met Valeria von Doom, visitor from the future, who claimed to be Sue's daughter by Doctor Doom. She proved to be a key to the defeat of Abraxas, an entity related to Galactus. Reed banished Abraxas by using the Ultimate Nullifier, which had an unintended consequence: it returned Valeria to Susan's womb in the present. Everyone learned then, with some dismay, that Franklin had saved his unborn sister by sending her into the future, when technology was available to help her survive the pregnancy. With the help of Doctor Doom, the child was delivered safely. As a condition of his service, Doom named the girl after Valeria, the love of his life.
Later, Doom exploited his special bond with the young Valeria to employ her as a mystical familiar, using sorcery to mount one of his most ruthless and terrifying attacks on the Fantastic Four ever. In the end, Doom was taken by his own demonic benefactors, but not before he hideously disfigured Reed's face as a petty parting gesture. Physically and emotionally scarred, Reed led the Fantastic Four into Doom's now-leaderless Latveria, where he worked obsessively to dismantle Doom's regime, neutralize his arsenal, erase Doom's legacy and create a better state, becoming increasingly tyrannical himself in the process and ignoring threats of international criminal charges from the United Nations. At the same time, unknown even to his teammates, Reed was secretly plotting to retrieve Doom from Hell and place him in a specially prepared other-dimensional prison from which he could never escape; but this transfer was unwittingly interrupted by the rest of the Fantastic Four, allowing Doom to escape long enough to kill the Thing.
Devastated, the remaining Fantastic Four returned to America, where their standing with the authorities and their reputation with the general public had taken a terrible beating due to the Latverian controversy. The Fantastic Four broke up, Reed and Sue split up, and Reed was even forced to sign over most of his patents to the government as part of a deal to escape prosecution. However, Reed was certain that Ben could be resurrected, and he convinced Sue and Johnny to join him in this quest, which ultimately led them to the gates of Heaven itself using a modified model of Doom's old afterlife machine. Persuaded it was not yet his time, Ben agreed to return to the land of the living with his friends-and the Creators allowed it, even healing Reed's facial scars as a parting gift. With the Fantastic Four back together, Reed led them in rebuilding their reputations and their finances.
Civil WarThe super-human Civil War split the team once again. Johnny was beat into a brief coma during a visit to a nightclub, sparked by anger over the Stamford disaster. Mr. Fantastic supported the Superhuman Registration Act, while Sue and Johnny joined the resistance. The Thing announced that while he thought the registration was wrong, he was also not going to fight the government and left the country for France.
During the final battle, however, Mr. Fantastic shielded Sue from an attack by the Taskmaster and was severely wounded. In the aftermath of the war, Sue and Johnny were granted amnesty. Sue and Reed took a leave from the team to work on their marriage, while the recently married Black Panther and Storm filled in for them.
Reed and Sue returned to the Fantastic Four in time for the Skrull invasion. While Sue was on a talking tour in Vancouver, Canada, a Skrull attacked her in her apartment and quickly neutralized her. Meanwhile, Reed and Hank Pym were called in by Tony Stark to study the body of the Skrull Elektra to find out how they became undetectable. When Reed found out, Hank turned into a Skrull and blasted him into goo. While this was happening, the Skrull impersonating Sue walked into the Baxter Building and opened the portal into the Negative Zone, causing it to consume the Baxter Building, with Johnny, Ben, and the two Richards children inside. The Skrull revealed herself to be Johnny's ex-girlfriend, Lyja the Laserfist, who had been trying to keep them out of harm's way.
After dueling with Lyja and learning of the invasion on Earth, Ben, Johnny, Franklin and Val, with the assistance of Lyja, turned to the prison in the Negative Zone to gain the aid of someone to rebuild the portal back to Earth. They sought a man known as the Tinkerer who refused to help, stating that he was captured, despite being retired, while taking his grandchildren out for ice cream and was not given a fair trial. Franklin pleaded with the man, stating that Dr. Reid, the boy's father, would not support the Tinkerer's arrest had he been aware, begging for his aid. Tinkerer, most likely reminded of his grandchildren, agreed to assist. After hours of waiting, the Tinkerer repaired the technology. Lyja chose to stay behind while the remaining Fantastic Four, the children and the Tinkerer returned to a battle-torn New York City.
Reed created a device called The Bridge to explore alternate realities. Meanwhile, Johnny, Sue, and Ben fought off the agents of H.A.M.M.E.R. Reed's machine sent Johnny, Ben and Sue to a different reality where a super hero civil war was happening sometime in the Hyborian Age. Reed continued to study parallel worlds where the Civil War ended differently to find the reason his reality had become the way it was while Ben, Sue, and Johnny traveled throughout collapsed space-time. Reed determined that in all the realities that the Registration was successful, he had acted alone without any input from anyone else.
In the Baxter Building on Earth-616, Franklin and Val prepared to fend off the agents of H.A.M.M.E.R. When Red shut down the Bridge and the others returned, they went outside to find Norman Osborn chasing their children with a gun. Norman was trapped in the Baxter Building with a very upset Susan Richards. She put up a force field that locked everyone else out and him in. He pulled a gun and was about to shoot Reed when Franklin shot him first with a toy gun. They ultimately let Norman go, and Sue told Reed to destroy The Bridge. He did so, but then secretly put it back together, and met beings from another reality who told him how he could fix things. Johnny and Ben wondered how Franklin could have actually shot Norman with a toy gun and thought his powers may have returned.
ThreeWhile Reed and Sue were gone from the Baxter building of their own important missions a group known as the Cult of the Negative Zone successfully made their way into the building and breached the portal to the Negative Zone. Once inside the cult had managed to unleash what seemed to be an endless army of Annihilus Insectoid Soldiers upon Johnny, the currently powerless Ben, and the kids of the Future Foundation. Franklin revealed that he had his powers back by destroying the army; and the group pushed into the Negative zone where the only way to hold the army off from getting through the door was to lock the door from their side and randomize the code so no one could get in or out. Ben prepared to make the sacrifice but Johnny threw him through the portal as he regained his powers. The last image of Johnny was him being covered by the Army.
Johnny was revived by Annihilus three times while he participated in the latter's "gladiator competition". When Annihilus was planning a new Annihilation Wave to enter Earth, Johnny and the Light Brigade rebelled and took Annihilus prisoner, while the Human Torch, using the Cosmic Control Rod became the new ruler of the Negative Zone. After helping the Future Foundation to save Earth from a Kree invasion and the arrival of the Mad Celestials, the Fantastic Four reformed.
Equipment: Gadgets and gear created by Mr. Fantastic
Transportation: For full details see Vehicles of the fantastic four:
- Fantasti-Car MK I (Flying Bathtub) - Obsolete
- Fantasti-Car MK II - Obsolete
- Pogo Plane MK I - Obsolete
- Passenger ICBM - Obsolete
Weapons: None known.
- No special notes.
- Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the Fantastic Four as Marvel Comics' answer to the Justice League of America of DC Comics.
- While the Fantastic Four served as Marvel's answer to DC's Justice League of America, some comic fans claim that Stan's inspiration for starting the Fantastic Four came from DC's Challengers of the Unknown team, while still others maintain that the Fantastic Four were created to closely resemble DC's Sea Devils team.
- Each of the powers (as well as their personalities) of the Fantastic Four correspond to the four basic elements according to Greek philosophy: earth (Thing), wind (Invisible Woman), fire (Human Torch), and water (Mister Fantastic).
- Every member of the Fantastic Four (including all of the former members) has been on an Avengers team at some point in their career. Amongst the central FF, Reed and Sue Richards have been on the main Avengers team, the Thing is currently a New Avenger, but Human Torch has never been on an Avengers team.
- Fantastic Four #1
- Amazing Spider-Man #1
- Amazing Spider-Man #5
- Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 - Cameo Appearance
- Amazing Spider-Man #18 - Cameo Appearance
- Fantastic Four (Vol. 3) #1 – Heroes Return
- Fantastic Four (Vol. 3) #60 - Reed explains why he created the Fantastic Four
- 128 Fantastic Four (Earth-616) Members
- 1,648 Appearances of Fantastic Four (Earth-616)
- 49 Media Fantastic Four (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 162 Images that include Fantastic Four (Earth-616)
- Team Gallery: Fantastic Four (Earth-616)
- Fan-Art Gallery: Fantastic Four (Earth-616)
Links and References
- http://www.teako170.com/ffmovie.html Fantastic force info
- Fantastic Family Tree
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Fantastic Four #1
- ↑ Fantastic Four #2
- ↑ Fantastic Four #3
- ↑ Fantastic Four #4
- ↑ Fantastic Four #9
- ↑ Fantastic Four #5
- ↑ Fantastic Four #10
- ↑ Fantastic Four #16-17
- ↑ Fantastic Four #23
- ↑ Fantastic Four Annual #2
- ↑ Fantastic Four #39-40
- ↑ Fantastic Four #13
- ↑ Fantastic Four #16
- ↑ Fantastic Four #19
- ↑ Fantastic Four Annual #1
- ↑ Fantastic Four #7
- ↑ Fantastic Four #8
- ↑ Fantastic Four #14
- ↑ Fantastic Four #11
- ↑ Fantastic Four #12
- ↑ Fantastic Four #15
- ↑ Fantastic Four #18
- ↑ Fantastic Four #20
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man #1
- ↑ Fantastic Four #21
- ↑ Fantastic Four #24
- ↑ Fantastic Four #22
- ↑ Fantastic Four #25-26
- ↑ Fantastic Four #28
- ↑ Fantastic Four #36
- ↑ Fantastic Four #38
- ↑ Fantastic Four #41-43
- ↑ Fantastic Four #177
- ↑ Fantastic Four Annual #3
- ↑ Fantastic Four #44-49
- ↑ Fantastic Four #48-50
- ↑ Fantastic Four #52-53
- ↑ Fantastic Four #56
- ↑ Fantastic Four Annual #4
- ↑ Fantastic Four #57-60
- ↑ Fantastic Four #61-63
- ↑ Fantastic Four #64
- ↑ Fantastic Four Annual #6
- ↑ Fantastic Four #130
- ↑ Fantastic Four #149
- ↑ Fantastic Four #167
- ↑ Fantastic Four #168-169
- ↑ Fantastic Four #170
- ↑ Fantastic Four #175
- ↑ Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #1-12
- ↑ Fantastic Four #268
- ↑ Fantastic Four Vol 3 #54
- ↑ Civil War #7
- ↑ Secret Invasion Fantastic Four #
- ↑ In Amazing Spider-Man #680 Spider-Man mentions the Baxter Building as the home of the Future Foundation and the Fantastic Four, implying they are reformed, also in FF #16 the four main members have a "4" in their Future Foundation suits, and in Invincible Iron Man #517, Tony stark mentions Fantastic Four and the Future Foundation.
- ↑ see: The Fantastic Four and the Four Elements or an Interview with Rich Buckler