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Fantastic Four

Official Name
Fantastic Four
Team Aliases
The Four, The F.F., First Family of Heroes


Team Identity



Base Of Operations
Baxter Building, New York, New York. Formerly Four Freedoms Plaza; Antarctic Laboratory; Pier Four

Team Leader(s)

Four friends mutated by cosmic radiation banded together to battle evil and explore the universe.

Place of Formation

First appearance

Fantastic Four #1
(November, 1961)


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 flame, 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 super heroes 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

Fantastic Four

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.[1] They were soon thrown into conflict with the shape-shifting Skrulls[2], 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.[3] Falling out with his teammates after a battle with the Miracle Man, Johnny left the group and encountered amnesiac 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.[4]

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 again, making him their deadliest and most persistent adversary.[5]

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.[6] With the aid of Ant Man, they battled Doctor Doom in Sub-Atomica.[7] 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.[8] 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 the Puppet Master[9], the Impossible Man[10], the Hulk[11], the Mad Thinker[12], the Super-Skrull[13], and the Molecule Man]][14]. Spider-Man made a bid to join the team, but was denied.[15]

The team teamed up with Nick Fury to defeat the Hate-Monger.[16] The Invisible Woman discovered her force-field powers just in time to use them against the Mole Man.[17] The Fantastic Four and the Avengers teamed up for the first time when the Hulk attacked New York in his most destructive rampage yet[18]. They met the X-Men for the first time when the schemes of the Puppet Master and the Mad Thinker brought them together.[19]

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.[20]

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.[21]

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.[22]

Despite the Watchers 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.[23]

The Fantastic Four were invited to visit the African nation Wakanda by it 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.[24] 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.[25]

The original Human Torch's body was discovered 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.[26]

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 Bolts scream, however Attilan was left in shambles. The Inhuman Royal family agreed it was time to enter the world of the humans.[27]

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.[28]

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.[29] 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.[30] During Sue Storm's hiatus, the Inhuman Medusa took her place. The old bonds, though, drew Susan back to the team[31].

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.[32]

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 as the team's new scientist. However, she refused to believe Reed was truly dead, and she rebuffed romantic advances from Namor. Reed was eventually rescued.


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 destroyed 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.

Heroes Return

After several months away, the missing heroes returned from Counter-Earth and were reunited with Franklin. The 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.[33]

Later, Doom would exploit 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 War

Fantastic Four
The 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 [34], 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.

Secret Invasion

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.[35]


Equipment: None known.
Transportation: For full details see Vehicles of the fantastic four:

Weapons: None known.


  • No special notes.


Animated Series

  • Fantastic Four (1967 TV series) - Produced by Hanna Barbara
  • Fantastic Four (1978 TV series) - Produced by DePatie-Freleng (featuring a H.E.R.B.I.E. Unit in place of the Human Torch)
  • Fantastic Four (1994 TV series) - a main feature of the "Marvel Action Hour" with introductions by Stan Lee
  • Fantastic Four (2006 TV series) - a Cartoon Network exclusive

Fred and Barney Meet the Thing was an animated television series that aired in 1979. Each hour-long episode of the series had two distinct segments: one featuring The Flintstones and the other featuring a very loose adaptation of Marvel Comics' character The Thing.

The first segment consisted of stories following the Thing as a boy named Benjy Grimm who transforms into the rock-skinned superhero by touching together magic rings and reciting the words "Thing ring, do your thing!" This was a complete departure from the comic book version of the Thing: jaded adult Benjamin "Ben" Grimm who is permanently trapped in his rock-like form and is a member of the adventurers the Fantastic Four. In this series The Thing is the only character from the Marvel Universe and has no relation to the Fantastic Four.

Recommended Readings

See Also

Links and References

  1. Fantastic Four #1
  2. Fantastic Four #2
  3. Fantastic Four #3
  4. Fantastic Four #4
  5. Fantastic Four #5
  6. Fantastic Four #13
  7. Fantastic Four #16
  8. Fantastic Four #19
  9. Fantastic Four #8
  10. Fantastic Four #11
  11. Fantastic Four #12
  12. Fantastic Four #15
  13. Fantastic Four #18
  14. Fantastic Four #20
  15. Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 #1
  16. Fantastic Four #21
  17. Fantastic Four #22
  18. Fantastic Four #25-Fantastic Four #26
  19. Fantastic Four #28
  20. Fantastic Four #36, Fantastic Four #38, Fantastic Four #41-Fantastic Four #43
  21. Fantastic Four, Annual #3(1965)
  22. Fantastic Four #44-Fantastic Four #49
  23. Fantastic Four #48-Fantastic Four #50
  24. Fantastic Four #52-Fantastic Four #53
  25. Fantastic Four #56
  26. Fantastic Four Annual #4
  27. Fantastic Four #57-Fantastic Four #60
  28. Fantastic Four #61-Fantastic Four #63
  29. Fantastic Four Annual #6 (1968)
  30. Fantastic Four #130 (January 1973)
  31. Fantastic Four, Vol 1, #149 (August 1974)
  32. Fantastic Four #268 (July 1984)
  33. Fantastic Four, Vol 3, #54 (June 2002)
  34. Civil War #7 (January 2007)
  35. Secret Invasion Fantastic Four


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This article uses material from the "Fantastic Four (Earth-616)" article on the Marvel Database wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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