Hello nerds and true believers. This week we’re taking a trip through Marvel History with Marvel’s first Family, the Fantastic Four. So put on your space suit and get ready for this fantastic bio.
Watch our fellow nerd Steve break down The Fantastic Four above… or if you’re not the video viewing type. Check out their biography here:
The Fantastic Four made their debut appearance in November 1961 with Fantastic Four #1. They were the first Marvel Superhero team created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The Fantastic Four were one of the major contributors to the early days of Marvel, which helped the company grow into the powerhouse it is today.
The story goes as follows. DC’s Justice League of America comics were sitting atop the comic sales. Marvel issued Stan Lee to create a “Superhero team” and thus the Fantastic Four was born. Fantastic Four was an unexpected success and persuaded Stan Lee to stay in the comic book industry (Lee felt he was done with the comic book field at the time.) So in a way, every Marvel fan owes it to The Fantastic Four for possibly keeping the company afloat.
Profound Scientist and leader of the team, Reed Richards was working on a science experiment to the outer reaches of space. The government cut funding to Reed’s experiment, thus leading it to be cancelled. Before the announcement was made, Reed sneaked aboard with his girlfriend Sue Storm, her brother Johnny, and his former college roommate and ship’s captain Ben Grimm. While in space, the team’s shuttle was hit by a cosmic ray storm, causing them to crash land back on Earth. After exposure to the cosmic rays, the team exited their shuttle with superhuman abilities. Richards became Mister Fantastic with the ability to stretch his body. Sue became The Invisible Woman, which (as her name suggests) gained the ability to render herself completely invisible and create force fields. Johnny Storm became the Human Torch, with the ability to generate fire, engulf himself in flames, and fly. Lastly, Ben Grimm’s skin turned to rock-like flesh, donning him with the name The Thing, and giving him superhuman strength and invulnerability. The team decided to use their powers for the good of mankind and even later exposed their true identities, making them celebrities in the ever expanding Marvel universe.
The family resides on the top 5 floors of the Baxter Building. The Baxter Building supplies the team with all the tools and necessities they need to carry out their missions. The building houses fan favorite vehicles such as the Fantasticar.
Reed and Sue married several years later and quickly became the most popular celebrity couple. A few years into the marriage, Sue gave birth to a son named Franklin Richards, born an Omega Level Mutant with Psionic powers and reality manipulation abilities.
The team has its share of recurring villains including Mole Man, Galactus, and their arch nemesis Doctor Doom. Fantastic Four were also the first in the Marvel universe to encounter the Kree, the Skrull and the Inhuman races, as well as discover the hidden African country of Wakanda (home of Black Panther.)
Throughout their history, the Fantastic Four have had members come and go. In fact, at one point, Reed, The Thing and The Human Torch are thought to be dead. Sue created a “New Fantastic Four” comprised of Spider-Man, The Hulk, Ghost Rider, and The Thing. Most of the time when members are absent or thought dead, it is the doing of the shapeshifting Skrulls posing as certain members or allies.
Although they have had their share of roster changes throughout the years, the original team is almost always reunited. The Fantastic Four will be remembered forever as Marvel’s original superhero team and first family.