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Fantastic Four Comics

Reed Richards - always dreamed of exploring the stars. The son of Nathaniel and Evelyn Richards, Reed was a child genius and he excelled in science and mathematics. His father was a brilliant physicist and his mother died when he was seven years old. Already taking college-level courses by the time he was 14, Reed studied at many different college and universities, and gained numerous degrees. Whilst at State University, he shared a room with football star Ben Grimm. They became best friends and Reed shared his dream with Ben of building a starship someday. Ben, who wanted to become a pilot, promised to fly it. Reed never forgot Ben's offer and spent the next few years working on his designs for the ship.

Journey into the unknown - Ben joined the United States Air Force and became a skilled test pilot and astronaut. After leaving the military, he was shocked to learn that Reed had managed to build a starship using government funding and his own family fortune. Just prior to the project's completion, the government threatened to close it down. This infuriated Reed and motivated him to take the spaceship on an impromptu test flight. Ben objected, fearing that the ship didn't have adequate shielding to protect them from cosmic rays. However, Reed's fiancee, Susan Storm, persuaded Ben to change his mind and so Reed, Ben, Sue, and her teenage brother Johnny embarked on a journey that was to change their lives forever.

More than human - During the group's voyage, a solar flare bombarded the ship with an unknown form of cosmic radiation, and they were forced to abort the mission. The ship crash-landed on Earth, and the four adventurers soon discovered that the radiation had altered their bodies and given them fantastic powers. Sue developed the ability to turn completely invisible, and Ben transformed into a thick-skinned, heavily muscled creature. Reed's body had become as stretchy as a piece of elastic, and Johnny grew hotter and hotter until his body burst into flames and he became a Human Torch.

This man, this monster - Ben was furious with Reed for not listening to him about the shielding. He lost his temper and tried to flatten his former roommate! Ben was so angry that it took him a while to realize that his body was undergoing a spectacular transformation. His skin was turning orange and rocklike in appearance, and he gained superhuman strength. Ben became depressed when he realized that, unlike his friends, he couldn't return to normal. The others had gained super-powers, but he had become a monster... a thing.

From tragedy to triumph - It took time for the enormity of their situation to finally hit them. Each of them now had more power than anyone had ever possessed, and they all pledged to use their abilities for the good of mankind. The four adventurers formed a legal corporation and set up offices in New York City, as if they were starting a new business together. As the Fantastic Four, they safeguard the planet from extraterrestrial threats and earthly super-menaces that are too powerful for conventional peacekeepers. The team offers its services without charge and is funded by the patents on Reed's various inventions and scientific discoveries.

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