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Mister Fantastic

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mister_fantastic.jpg

Alter Ego: Reed Richards

Notable Aliases: Invincible Man, Reed Benjamin

First Appearance: The Fantastic Four #1 (November 1961)

"I've done it! I'm drifting into a world of limitless dimensions!! It's the crossroads of infinity — the junction to everywhere!"
Reed Richards, Fantastic Four #51, "This Man, This Monster", written by Stan Lee

Reed Richards, better known as Mister Fantastic, is a Marvel Comics character created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, first appearing in The Fantastic Four #1 (dated Nov. 1961).

Dubbed one of the smartest people in the Marvel Universe, Reed was a mild-mannered scientist who —alongside his girlfriend Susan Storm, Best Friend Benjamin Grimm, and Sue's younger brother Johnny— gained fantastic powers and abilities together while on a mission in outer space. In a classic example of superhero irony, the accident turned obstinate, rigid Reed into a Rubber Man with super-flexibility.

In the years since becoming Mister Fantastic, Reed has married Sue, became a father, joined The Illuminati, and reconstructed the multiverse with his family. In many ways, he's the father of the Marvel Universe, and is perhaps the most well-known superhero dad in all of fiction.

While far from a joke character in the truest sense, Reed has a reputation of being somewhat ineffectual (and least in comparison to how he should be changing the world), and is the trope namer of Reed Richards Is Useless. By contrast, he's also the namer of Alternate Universe Reed Richards Is Awesome, which is references the popular opinion that alternate universe versions of himself (such as the villainous Maker of Ultimate Marvel) are superior to the original.

As one of the first true Marvel characters, Reed has appeared quite often in other media. In the Fantastic Four films, he has been portrayed by Alex Hyde White, Ioan Gruffudd, and Miles Teller.


Mister Fantastic has appeared in:

Notable Comic Books

  • Fantastic Four (various runs):
    • vol. 1 (1961 — 1996, 2002 — 2012, 2015)
    • vol. 2 (1996 — 1997)
    • vol. 3 (1998 — 2003)
    • vol. 4 (2013 — 2014)
    • vol. 5 (2014 — 2015)
    • vol. 6 (2018 — present)
  • FF vol. 1 (2011 — 2012)
  • New Avengers vol. 3 (2013 — 2015)
  • Secret Wars vol. 2 (2015 — 2016)

Film

Animation

Video Games


Mister Fantastic contains examples of:

  • Absent-Minded Professor: Sometimes extending as far as Ditzy Genius. Whenever there's a Broke Episode, Reed is usually the culprit.
  • Action Dad: He spent most of his Super Hero career while also being a father to his two kids, Franklin and Valerie. Reed might be overall one of the most famous examples of a Super Hero father in comics.
  • Action Hero: He is actively involved in the battles of his heroic team.
  • Aesop Amnesia: He learns during the arc with the Council of Reeds and the Four Cities not to do everything alone and that he should rely on and involve people and heroes he knows who can help. He promptly ignores this while remaining a member of The Illuminati and completely forgets it during the Incursion crisis. In fact it can be said for such an intelligent man Reed consistently finds a reason to ignore the lessons he's learned to screw things up by himself for not trusting his family.
  • Affectionate Nickname: He's prone to refer to Ben as "Old Friend".
  • Age Lift: In the classic Marvel Universe, Reed (and Ben Grimm and Doctor Doom) is a middle-aged man around a decade or two Sue and Johnny's senior and the white in his hair is the result of age. Both the original Heroes Reborn and the Fantastic Four (2005) film series depict him as closer in age to Sue and the latter had the white streaks by by-product of the accident that gave the Four their powers (and in the former, all of Reed's hair stayed brown). While also closer in age to Sue, Ultimate Fantastic Four and Fantastic Four (2015) depict Reed (and Ben and Doom) as a teenager or in his early 20s.
  • Alliterative Name: Reed Richards.
  • Alternate Universe Reed Richards Is Awesome: In Alternat eUniverses when Reed is not bound by Status Quo Is God, he's capable of even more amazing scientific accomplishments than in the main 616 verse. Gets deconstructed in Hickman's run, where every other Reed Richards is awesome because they've either morally corrupt arseholes, or they abandoned their families in the name of the Greater Good.
  • Always Someone Better: Mixed with Always Second Best when it comes to Tony Stark. As Reed explains to Steve Rogers, when it comes to problem-solving a single problem, Reed is just a little bit smarter than Tony, but when it comes to multi-tasking, Tony has the advantage.
  • Anti-Villain: Becomes this in the 'Perfect world' storyline. While he still has good intentions and didn't push the button himself; it doesn't change the fact (as he himself points out) that he helped murder an entire team of superheroes and destroy an inhabited planet.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Depending on the Writer, Reed will have a hard time accepting any phenomenon being simply "magical".
  • Arch-Enemy: With Doctor Doom. While Doom is the overall Arch-nemesis to the Fantastic Four as a whole, Reed and Victor hold a special enmity, having been scholarly rivals even before they became superhero and supervillain. Although Reed notably doesn't have the hate in his heart that Doom has for him.
  • The Atoner: At the start of Mark Waid's run, Reed revealed to his infant daughter Valeria that he still felt guilty for the circumstances that led to the creation of the Fantastic Four, and that he made them celebrities in part to make up for robbing them of their normal lives.
  • Awesome by Analysis: His preferred method of fighting involving analyzing his opponent's moves, powers and fighting style in order to think up a counter to them.
  • Badass Beard: Reed has begun to be consistently drawn with a full beard starting in the late 2000s, under the tenures of Slott and Hickman.
  • Badass Bookworm: Something that tends to get lost in many adaptations. People often forget that he's a war vet, and in his younger days he did some very Indiana Jones-esque missions for the US government and, oh yeah, stole a rocket and tried to fly to the moon. Reed actually considers his intellect to be his primary asset as a Super Hero, seeing his Rubber Man powers as useful, but expendable.
  • Battle Couple: With his girlfriend-turned-wife Susan Storm, both of them being one of Marvel Comics' most prominent examples of this trope, having fought for years alongside each other as members of the Fantastic Four. Even during their brief stint as Avengers, they fought together as a couple.
  • Best of All Possible Worlds: Jonathan Hickman's run shows that while Reed has made many a bad decision, and isn't necessarily the best person in the world, he's a severe step-up from all the other Reed Richards out there, who without a father turned into cold manipulators, willing to do all manner of things in the name of the greater good, and eventually left their families.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: His aloof and serious personality often contrasts with his wife's more gentle and caring one.
  • Celebrity Superhero: Reed, along with the rest of the Fantastic Four, is considered a celebrity and they don't have secret identities. Reed has actually deliberated crafted this image in an attempt to ease the lives of the rest of his family.
  • Chosen Conception Partner: Double Subversion. His college sweetheart, Alyssa Moy turned him down because she believed that she should try and have children with less intelligent men to smarten up future generations. When this didn't work out, she became interested in Reed again, but by this time, he was Happily Married.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Reed has no qualms about using underhanded tactics to defeat or trick his opponents.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: Recently, some artists have given Reed a resemblance to John Krasinski.
  • Constantly Curious: Partial justification for his ditzy, shortsighted or otherwise callous actions. Notably, one evil scientist that stole his intellect began suffering Sanity Slippage, as he couldn't stop questioning how things worked and how to improve them. He found being disintegrated a relief from the stress.
  • Crazy-Prepared: He often has some absurd back-up plans for the most unplausible scenarios.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Victor von Doom was Reed Richards' college roommate and scholarly rival. Richards corrected one of Doom's experiments; Doom, furious, switched it back to the way it was, then it exploded, scarring Doom's handsome face. Naturally, Doom blamed Richards. However, Doom is actually a subversion of this trope. Reed's actions actually didn't make him a villain, Doom just blames him for his own mistakes. In fact, Reed could have probably prevented Doom from becoming a villain if Reed's warnings hadn't been ignored. It's later revealed, however, that due to Doom's poor treatment of Reed, Ben Grimm sabotaged his machine on purpose to teach him a lesson.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: After the combined forces of the Fantastic Four, The Avengers and Doctor Strange prevent a starving Galactus from destroying the Earth, Reed Richards shows the Devourer of Worlds mercy. In exchange, Galactus calls Richards "friend" before vowing that Earth need no longer fear his hunger.
  • Depending on the Writer: Reed's disposition varies from series to series. Sometimes he's nice but a bit unnecessarily gruff, sometimes he's a complete Jerkass, sometimes he's just absent-minded.
  • Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: Reed used to smoke a pipe from time to time, before the dangers of smoking became well-known.
  • The Dreaded: Over time, Reed grew this reputation with alien communities, due to foiling several alien invasions on Earth, including Galactus himself. Once, Reed contacted an alien invasion fleet right before they were about to attack Earth. In the middle of introducing himself, the aliens realized who he was and wisely got the hell away from Earth.
    Reed: So I said to them "I am Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four, and I..."
    Susan: Go on.
    Reed: Actually, that's as far as I got. It was enough to send them running.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • Happens a lot with major antagonists for Reed, such as with Doctor Doom and Galactus.
    • Notable when Reed's daughter Valeria brokered a deal with Doom. Doom will work with the Future Foundation to bring down a group of amoral alternate Reed Richards. In exchange, they would heal his super-intelligence crippling brain damage. Doom upon being restored gathers a summit of the FF's most intelligent enemies to work on strategies to kill the Reeds. At the Foundation's headquarters.]
  • Family Man: Despite his Workaholic tendencies, Reed is extremely devoted to his family.
  • Fatal Flaw: His devotion to his scientific or Super Hero pursuits coupled with his arrogance has often lead him to have an Omniscient Morality License, leading him to make questionable decisions for the "Greater Good", such as being a member of The Illuminati behind his family's back, and being pro the Superhuman Registration Act during Civil War. Even at his best, his devotion also often leads him to make his family feel emotionally neglected.
  • Flanderization: Reed Richards was originally a tad eccentric and rather emotionally stunted, but was Flanderized in the late 1990s/2000s into a borderline savant who doesn't understand human social behavior. This pretty much is part and parcel of Reed's slow derailment from a many-layered, infamously trope-defying character into a generic scientific supergenius strawman.
  • Flexibility Equals Sex Ability: Reed's Power Perversion Potential is known, and is considered highly attractive.
  • Foil: To his brother-in-law Johnny. Reed is law-abiding hero with a sense of duty who plans things ahead for his teammates, while Johnny is a reckless Leeroy Jenkins hero who has little care about laws and want to do what is right. Both Reed and Johnny also took different sides during the Civil War events.
  • For Science!: Reed is known to experiments with all kinds of dangerous or weird things purely for his own curiosity, although if he can turn it into something beneficial for himself or his allies, he will. Some of his Alternate Universe versions descends into villainy purely because of this, such as his Marvel Zombies counterpart, who infected the rest of the Fantastic Four with the zombie plague, just because he was fascinated with the virus and believed it could be the next step in human evolution. As Ben once put it:
    The Thing: If an alien stubbed his toe, Reed would want to spend ten years studying it.
  • Game of Nerds: Reed makes the occasional baseball analogy.
  • Guile Hero: Reed often uses his smarts to defeat his opponents, either by tricking them or hatching plans to counter whatever they're capable of doing.
  • Happily Married: Played With. Ever since their well-publicized wedding in Fantastic Four Annual #3, back in 1965, Sue and Reed have been one of Marvel's power couple. But they also have had a series of rough patches, usually involving Reed being a neglectful spouse and Sue feeling unappreciated. How much this is seriously threatening their marriage varies Depending on the Writer, but they ultimately always work things out in the end.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: The first issue of the comic has him stop a fighter plane missile and save a falling Johnny's life all in a single page. The use of his somewhat less flashy powers (which, given that one member of the team creates invisible constructs, is saying something) just gets crazier and more creative from there.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partner: He and Ben have been close Best Friends since they were roommates in college, and their lives and been closely tied together ever since.
  • Hollywood Autism: Susan once speculated that Reed's eccentric behavior and genius intellect to be due to autism.
  • Informed Attribute: His genius intellect and World's Smartest Man shtick can often come across as this, as he can only be as intelligent as his writer and has to pick up the Idiot Ball and make dumb mistakes in order for the plot not to be instantly solved.
  • Immune to Bullets: Being a Rubber Man, he's naturally impervious to bullets or most kinetic projectiles.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: Reed has sometimes been shown as so smart that he feels even his loved ones can't really understand him. Fortunately, he overcame it enough to romance his wife and love his son. This intelligence and isolation also makes him quite ignorant to the point of disobedience of his fellow superhero allies and even placing his son, Franklin Richards, into a coma state.
  • It's All My Fault: Reed tends to blame himself for a lot of things that happen to his family. Part of it is semi-justified because the accident that gave them their powers and effectively ruined their quiet, ordinary lives really was his fault. However, he also believes that because he is so incredibly intelligent, any misfortune that they can't avoid is automatically his fault for not pulling a brilliant solution out of his ass. Naturally, his Arch-Enemy, Doctor Doom, is not only one of the most rabid adherents of this trope's diametric opposite, he also further aggravates Reed's issues by narrowing his Never My Fault down to Always Reed Richards' Fault.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: It really depends on the era the book was written and who is writing it. In the 60's he came off as bit offish and the early 70's had him as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, Afterwards, he's been consistently portrayed as the Nice Guy.
  • Labcoat of Science and Medicine: If he's not in his Fantastic Four suit, then he's most likely wearing a white scientist labcoat.
  • Lack of Empathy: At his worse, Reed can come across as having little empathy for what he considers "lesser issues" in name of the "Greater Good". He most infamously had this characterization during Civil War.
  • The Leader: He's the leader of the Fantastic Four and is usually in charge of making the team's tactical decisions and tries to look out for all of them.
  • Licked by the Dog: By the rest of the team. Especially Sue and Ben though.
  • Like Parent, Like Child: He and Valeria are the most alike in their family, due to both being geniuses.
  • Logical Weakness: As a Rubber Man, his body doesn't react well to being frozen.
  • Magic Versus Science: Reed has a lot of issues with magic, and will often claim that it doesn't exist or that it's just another branch of science. It's been proven multiple times that despite being the World's Smartest Man, Reed has never been able to get a proper grasp or understanding of magic, but he does often square off against it with his scientific mind when utilized by various villains. For the record, Ben once called Reed out on this tendency, and suggested the real reason Reed never acknowledges magic as real is that he's no longer the smartest man in the room whenever the subject comes up. He also points out that after meeting countless sorcerers and mages over the years, Reed's insistence that magic isn't real has long since crossed the line from reasonable skepticism and into outright stubbornness.
    The Thing: Fer cryin' out loud, Franklin's nanny was a witch!
  • Manipulative Bastard: He's not above manipulating his enemies or even his allies, if he thinks it's for the greater good. This can often put him at odds with his teammates, especially Susan and Johnny.
  • Married to the Job: One of Reed's struggles is his {Workaholic}} dedication to science and Superheroing coming into conflict with being a present husband and father to his family.
  • Master of Disguise: Mr. Fantastic has infrequently used his stretching powers to assume a different face.
  • May–December Romance: Downplayed. Sue met Reed when he was 19 and she was 12, getting a Precocious Crush on him at first sight. Thankfully, they got together much later in life.
  • Military Superhero: An oft-overlooked in adaptations fact about Reed and Ben is that they served in the army. In the early comics, it was World War II until Comic-Book Time made that impossible and it spent decades dropped. In 2019, it was reinstated as part of the Siancong War.
  • Mirror Character: With Victor. Although they're on opposite ends of the good vs. evil thing, both Reed and Doom are insanely intelligent, somewhat condescending, and often only care about completing whatever task at hand will best benefit whatever, tossing aside everything else. They both also fall into the same spectrum in the Order Versus Chaos area (being the "lawful" type character).
  • Mr. Exposition: Being The Smart Guy, he's often the one to explain some of the Applied Phlebotinum in the plot to the other character (and the audience). Usually with a lot of Technobabble or Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness. It's a bit of a Running Gag that Reed is all too often explaining what a certain plot-relevant piece of machinery does rather than actually putting it to use, which causes The Thing endless annoyance, since he's the one doing the heavy lifting when they could be done by now.
  • My Greatest Failure: Being responsible for changing Ben into the Thing, as well as his failure in being able to reverse it, gives Reed a lot of grief. To a lesser extent, he feels like he wrecked Sue and Johnny as well, having ruined all three of their chances to live normal lives; it being his idea to steal the starship that led to the events granting them their powers. His formation of the Fantastic Four and turning the team into celebrities is his attempt to make up for it.
  • My Suit Is Also Super: The costumes of the Fantastic Four were all explicitly made by him to adapt to their "unstable molecules", in his case it allows him to stretch as much as he wants without tearing them off.
  • Nay-Theist: As a "man of science" Reed is stated to be a humanist, although he does believe in the existence of God, as he has actually met God face to face (in the form of Jack Kirby, incidentally) and he even brought Ben Back from the Dead.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability:
    • Mister Fantastic's skin is virtually impervious to laceration or punctures unless he willfully relaxes his reflexive control over small areas of his body. In that case, scalpels and ordinary needles can penetrate his skin.
    • Due to the great malleability and elasticity of his molecular structure, Mister Fantastic is able to absorb the impact of any type of man-made ballistic projectile by deforming his body along the path of the projectile's trajectory at the point of initial impact. He can also contain explosions by enveloping them and allowing their force to expand him.
  • Odd Friendship: Prior to the accident that forced them together forever, Reed and Ben were a near-perfect personifications of the Hollywood Nerd and (seemingly) Dumb Jock, yet were the absolute Best Friends ever. Reed never missed one of Ben's football games, and Ben gave Reed the championship-winning game ball. And despite not knowing the significance, Reed kept the ball forever.
  • Official Couple: Reed and Susan have been Marvel's power couple ever since they married, and are the iconic couple of the Fantastic Four franchise.
  • Omniscient Morality License:
    • He saved the life of Galactus, the devourer of worlds. When a group of aliens put him on trial for crimes against the universe, it's handwaved that Galactus is somehow necessary to the survival of the universe (it later turns out that Galactus is the can for a Sealed Evil in a Can named Abraxas). How, or even whether, Reed knew this when he saved Galactus is debatable, though it should be mentioned that what brings the decision in favor of Galactus is the embodiment of the Universe itself showing up to testify in Galactus' favor. This was more Honor Before Reason, though. He could have been extrapolating from nature. Remove a predator from an environment and often the environment will become overrun with its prey. It's still hard to justify since Galactus and his victims are often sapient and free-willed.
    • Reed Richards exemplifies the trope again during the Civil War, using a Shout-Out to the central concept of Isaac Asimov's Foundation series; the fictional mathematical science of psychohistory (wherein one can, with enough time and mathematical expertise, predict the generalized "future history" of mankind through mathematical formulae). Using his new mathematical science, Reed Richards discovers that if the new Superhuman Registration Act, which would require all superhumans to register their identities with the government regardless if they rely on the identities' secrecy for their own or loved ones' safety, doesn't pass and come into law the resulting fallout would lead to the deaths of billions. This discovery is what prompts Reed's decision to support the act. A couple of supplementary stories have people telling Reed point-blank that human nature is the biggest Spanner in the Works of any possible psychohistorical theory and he needs to take more heed on that detail, but not only does Reed not cares about this (even when his wife leaves him because she's fed up with his attitude) because as far as he knows the math checks ok, but a couple of arcs later on provide glimpses of worlds where the SHRA passed (and is still working) without any issues—and the factor that made such a thing happen was that Reed worked on the SHRA all by himself (the 616 version conspired alongside Tony Stark and Hank Pym).
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Reed is an expert in biochemistry, human and alien biology, chemistry, communications, computers, electronics, energy generation, electrical, mechanical and aerospace engineering, extra-dimensional travel, holography, mutations, all levels of physics, robotics, space travel, spectral analysis, synthetic polymers, time travel, transportation, and more. He's the namesake for an in-universe science award for excellence in multiple disciplines.
    • This was also lampshaded in the mini-series Fantastic Four: True Story, where Reed said at one point; "This will require me to create an entirely new field of scientific study. Give me a couple of days."
    • Middle-lampshaded when Reed told Hank Pym he's the best biochemist in the world, so he would need weeks to be as good as him. Pym comments it's no wonder that people hate Reed.
    • Has come up in other stories; Reed once went to great lengths to recruit the aid of Doctor Octopus to help during the last stages of Sue's second pregnancy (the first time around) because he recognized that Otto Octavius had superior knowledge of radiation compared to him, and in another storyline that saw the FF work with Spider-Man to deal with an alien invasion that had mutated most of the human race, Reed noted that Spider-Man was better suited to view the problem from the perspective of a biologist than Reed was.
  • One True Love: With his wife, Susan Storm. Reed has shown no romantic interest in basically any woman aside from Susan, apart from flashbacks from before they met, while Sue has had the choice between Reed and other guys and always goes with Reed. The two of them have also been together in the comics since 1965 with their wedding issue and have never actually broken up since which is something of an anomaly for comics. Even when their marriage is strained, they still find their way back to each other.
  • Papa Wolf: Don't mess with his kids.
  • Parental Abandonment: Reed's parents died when Reed was only 7.
  • Personality Powers: The cosmic radiation which gave the Fantastic Four their powers affected them in a certain way based on their personalities. Mr. Fantastic developed stretching powers because of his desire to go to any [ethical] lengths to acquire scientific knowledge.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Reed can stretch any part of his body — and yes, it has come up in subtext that this is why he and Sue are so Happily Married.
  • Power Stereotype Flip: Reed is a stubborn and strict man. He's also a Rubber Man.
  • Put on a Bus: Reed (along with Doctor Doom) were killed off for two years straight during Tom DeFalco's Fantastic Four. Naturally they're both brought Back from the Dead shortly before DeFalco departed the book, when they were revealed to have been exiled to the distant past by a villain called Hyperstorm.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: The Trope Namer. A certified super-genius and one of the smartest people in the whole universe, he regularly invents mind-bending devices that tell physics where to shove it, but almost never devotes his considerable talents to anything other than superheroics. While Marvel has attempted to justify his lack of world-changiness in various ways, including that his inventions are too expensive and that nobody else can understand them, the real reason is that allowing him to make a real difference would make the world far too different to reality and Status Quo Is God.
    • The justification being used in Jonathan Hickman's run on Fantastic Four and F.F. and by Bendis in the Ultimate Marvel universe, is that it's his family which prevents Reed from putting all his efforts into changing the world. He has to choose between being a loving father and husband and devoting himself to advancing humanity (although why Reed can't take a middle ground has yet to be explained). It's implied that the world is lucky when Reed takes the first option since, if he doesn't or if things don't work out between him and Sue, he becomes a Knight Templar (Hickman's books) or full-on villain (the Ultimate 'verse).
    • Other justifications given (making this both the Trope Namer and the Unbuilt Trope) is that while a lot of Reed's stuff does get patented, he avoids a lot of dangerous superhero stuff like the death rays and portals to hell that can't be trusted to the general public or any government. Also, many companies pay him explicitly not to patent his stuff because they know they can't keep up with his inventions, which would put millions of people out of work.
    • Subverted in that he does invent many things that have everyday uses. Most of them are bought by companies with competing products in order to keep them from hitting the streets and putting them out of business.
  • Rubber Man: He possesses the ability to convert the mass of his entire body into a highly malleable state at will. How his body's respiration and circulatory systems function at these distorted extremes is as yet unknown. He can alter his form in a matter of seconds, often much less (depending on the complexity of the shape), and revert to his normal humanoid shape within a similar time. The greater the distance he stretches or the more extended the size of the object he becomes, the weaker his overall strength becomes.
  • Science Hero: He uses science in the name of heroism and has always considered his mind to be his true super-power.
  • Sealed Evil in a Duel: Tried to protect the world from Doctor Doom once and for all by trapping them both in a pocket dimension where Reed could keep watch over his one-time friend and lifelong nemesis. Forever.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Reed tends to talk in an overly complicated manner and with fancy words, in order for the writers to show how smart he is. His loquaciousness usually results in ribbing from the Johnny or other snarky heroes like Spider-Man. Susan or Ben will more frequently request for Reed to [[Layman's Terms: dial it down a notch]], or even act as a Translator Buddy so everyone else can understand. Memorably lampshaded in Secret Wars (1984) just after the heroes were teleported into deep space by the Beyonder's machines. (Note: At the time of Secret Wars, Captain Marvel was the Monica Rambeau version, Iron Man was James Rhodes instead of Tony Stark, and the Hulk had Bruce Banner's mind.)
    Captain Marvel: H-how'd we get here? I mean, one minute we're checking out this giant whatchamacallit in Central Park, then *POOF* the Final Frontier!
    Mr. Fantastic: This much I can tell you, Captain Marvel — This device apparently caused sub-atomic particle disassociation, reducing us, as we entered, to proto-matter, which it stored until it teleported us here, to preset coordinates in space, where it reassembled us inside a self-generated life-support environment!
    Hulk: That's obvious Richards!
    Iron Man: Obvious? What'd he say?
    Human Torch: Just hang out, Iron Man. Reed will get tired of talking in five-dollar words in a minute, and then he'll explain in English. Then he'll explain it again to the Thing in one-syllable words!
    The Thing: Hey Torch — why don'tcha just shut up and look awestruck like the rest of us?
  • Secret Public Identity: While none of the core Fantastic Four members have Secret Identities, they do have Codenames that they're most know by, but Reed codename Mr. Fantastic, in particular, is seldom used by either the public, his allies or his enemies. He's almost universally known as "Reed" or "Dr. Richards".
  • Sex God: Susan is highly appreciative of how Reed uses his powers in bed.
    Susan: [laying in bed post-sex] Have I ever mentioned what a... wonderful set of abilities you acquired from those cosmic rays?
  • Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing: His Rubber Man powers don't extend to his clothes, unless they're made using his "unstable molecules".
  • Skunk Stripe: His hair includes grey temples.
  • Small Steps Hero: What originally made Reed different from Doctor Doom. While Doom believes Utopia Justifies the Means, Reed will forego scientific progress if it harms too many people. Later stories, however, started to revoke this.
  • Smart People Build Robots: Every other week, it seems like, The Baxter Building is frequently filled with all kinds of robots that assist Reed and the others with all sorts of tasks, sometimes even mundane ones. Most famously, he did build both his assistant bot(s) H.E.R.B.I.E. and the F.F.'s robot secretary Roberta — but just how sentient those two are is a major case of Depending on the Writer, though.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Against Doctor Doom. With no board. Finishing a game started decades before. While setting things in motion to thwart Doom. Who's basically doing the same thing.
  • The Smart Guy: Even by Marvel standards where everyone seems to have a minimum IQ of 240, Reed is recognized as the go-to guy for intelligence. He is one of the most intelligent beings on the planet.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Reed was like this with Sue for a while after their son Franklin was born. He would insist that she stay behind on more dangerous missions, on the grounds that she was "the mother of my child". This didn't last long (Sue put her foot down), and it was specific to Sue — he had no problem with the female Crystal or Medusa taking her place on such occasions. His worst moment being his infamous "Wives should be kissed, and not heard" line.
  • Stock Superhero Day Jobs: Reed is a scientist before and after he made a career in Superheroing.
  • Strong Girl, Smart Guy: Reed is a genius in nearly every field while his wife Susan has been repeatedly noted to be the most powerful of the Fantastic Four. ​
  • Super Hero: He's one of the earliest career superheroes in the Marvel Universe, along with the rest of his Super Family Team.
  • Super Intelligence: Often held as the standard for Super Intelligence in the Marvel Universe. It's generally accepted that Reed is the World's Smartest Man. It is generally accepted that his powers really do give him this, as while he is naturally a scientific genius with an Improbably High I.Q. without them, the fact that his brain is literally malleable gives him an intelligence boost even to that. On the rare occasions he loses his powers he sometimes gets slightly dumber - still super-smart, but not solving problems quite as easily as he could before.
  • Taking the Bullet: Due to being Nigh-Invulnerability he often tries to protect his allies using his own body, usually covering them with his elastic powers.
  • Team Dad: He sees himself as The Patriarch of the Fantastic Four and does his best to protect every member of hgis extended family. While he can act neglectfully at times, it's usually because he's working on something that will protect his family from the many threats they face.
  • Technical Pacifist: While Reed is not above using force, he usually attempts to use diplomacy on his enemies.
  • Teen Genius: Entered university at age 14, had doctorates by the age of 20.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Reed is a humanist and has a great respect for all sentient life, and is against killing. He famously even spared the life of Galactus himself, despite him being a great universal threat.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: Often finds himself in this situation, particularly in regards to Doctor Doom's Diplomatic Impunity. Unfortunately, he often ends up siding in the "lawful" in many of these situations as evident with his hesitation trying to break international law to capture Doctor Doom and the events during the Civil War events where he sided with the Pro-Superhuman Registration Act superheroes.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: He's able to use his elastic powers to shape himself into various different forms, such as a makeshift parachute, glider or bouncing ball. And while he's not able to transform into vastly different people, he can re-shape himself into a man with similar hair and skin tone.
  • Weak, but Skilled: His Rubber Man powers don't make him as powerful as Susan or Johnny, and he doesn't have the sheer brute strength that Ben has, but combined with his Super Intelligence and imagination, he can put his stretching abilities to good use.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Reed will usually always pick out the easiest solution, not giving any foresight to matters such as tact, emotions, feelings, practicality, or possible future consequences (such as permanently shrinking an alien race to evacuate them off a doomed planet, or turning Skrulls into livestock cows without considering the ramifications of ingesting alien flesh or the morality of it). When this happens, Sue will usually call him out on it.
    • One of the interesting common threads in alternate-universe Marvel stories is that in the event something terrible happens to Sue, Franklin, and/or Valeria, Reed will immediately go straight off the deep end. He's relying so heavily upon his family to keep him in check that if the unthinkable happens, he rapidly goes through all the stages of grief and right into insanity. This can be seen most clearly in the What If? where Sue died while giving birth to Franklin; Reed ignores the baby in favor of going on a suicide run against Annihilus. In more modern stories, Reed goes instantly nuts in the Marvel Zombies universe when Franklin and Valeria are killed.
    • Made a plot point in Jonathan Hickman's run. Reed is faced with two choices. One: run off and join an interdimensional Council of Reeds from different universes committed to making creation itself a better place—ahem, by any means necessary, up to and including murdering Beyonders, killing Galactuses and carving up solar systems. The other choice is to stay at home in the 616 with his loving family and be the father to Franklin that Nathaniel never was to Reed. The Council of Reeds is by far the more logical choice—Valeria and even Nathaniel (a little) call him out on it—but Reed stalwartly refuses. Why? One reason: Franklin. The one thing our Reed created that all those other Reeds, with all their science and vast machinery and good intentions never could.
  • Workaholic: Reed is utterly devoted to his scientific work, and often neglects his family by spending too much time in the lab, with Susan often having to drag him out of there. This is Justified In-Universe by his immense guilt in having been responsible for the incident that changed their lives forever, especially Ben who is stuck into being The Thing, and Reed works tirelessly in order to find a cure for him, or to improve the lives of his family.
  • World's Smartest Man: Reed Richards is usually recognized as the smartest man in the Marvel Universe, being the most esteemed mind in the scientific community. In fact he himself considers his intellect to be his real superpower rather than his elasticity.
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    The Invisible Woman 

The Invisible Woman

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/invisible_woman2.jpg

Alter Ego: Susan "Sue" Storm-Richards

Notable Aliases: Invisible Girl, Captain Universe, Susan Benjamin, Malice, Mistress of Hate, Baroness Von Doom, Tabitha Deneuve

First Appearance: The Fantastic Four #1 (November 1961)

"You're pathetic. One of the best minds on the planet and you waste it for years, doing magic tricks - then trying to best a man who'd never really harm you, despite your endless provocation. But that's the difference between my husband and me. He doesn't understand revenge. Me? I can't decide which of the many ways I can hurt you I'm going to use."
Sue threatening The Wizard

If the Fantastic Four can be considered the "first family" of the Marvel Universe, then Sue Storm is their first lady. While she's not technically the first female superhero created by the company note , Sue was the only one with any sort of substantial focus for quite some time. By comparison, Jean Grey hit the scene nearly two years after Sue's introduction, though many think she didn't hit her own stride until The '70s.

Sue, alongside the rest of the F4, is a classic case of Silver Age science fiction. While on an expedition in outer space, Sue —with her younger brother Johnny, boyfriend Dr. Reed Richards, and his friend Ben Grimm— experienced cosmic radiation, gaining invisibility (and later, force fields) as a result. With them, she became a founding member of the Fantastic Four, using their powers for the betterment of humanity.

In the following decades since her superhero genesis, Sue goes through lots of character development, including (but not limited to) marrying Reed, becoming a mother, and being tasked with the reconstruction of the multiverse. Oh, and a secret agent. She also notably transitions from being the Invisible Girl to the Invisible Woman, which is reflected by a mixture of her increase in confidence and self-esteem and, after being possessed by Malice, a feeling that she's lost her innocence.

As one of Marvel's first family, Sue has obviously appeared quite frequently in other media. She's been a leading character of every Fantastic Four movie made to date, most notably portrayed by Jessica Alba and Kate Mara in their 2005 and 2015 film adaptations.

Not to be confused with The Invisible Woman, a spinoff of the classic horror film The Invisible Man (1933).


The Invisible Woman appears in:

Notable Comic Books

  • Fantastic Four (various runs):
    • vol. 1 (1961 — 1996, 2002 — 2012, 2015)
    • vol. 2 (1996 — 1997)
    • vol. 3 (1998 — 2003)
    • vol. 4 (2013 — 2014)
    • vol. 5 (2014 — 2015)
    • vol. 6 (2018 — present)
  • FF vol. 1 (2011 — 2012)
  • Secret Wars vol. 2 (2015 — 2016)
  • Invisible Woman (2019)

Film

Animation

Video Games


The Invisible Woman provides examples of:

  • Custom Uniform: Early on, Sue experimented with a miniskirt variation that didn't last. Then came the Stripperific outfit in the 90s, followed by a more modest variation.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She's nowhere near as snarky as Ben or even Johnny, but she's definitely a lot more deadpan than either of them.
  • Deadly Force Field: Sue Storm is the poster girl for Took a Level in Badass precisely because of this trope. In the original comics, she had a more passive role, often playing the Damsel in Distress. The writers gave her invisibility powers a force field aspect to make her more active and useful, other writers gave her more creative ways to use them, and now "lil' Suzie" is one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe, period. Notably, she can deal out all four main manners of death this trope describes: cutting, crushing, popping, and internal blockage.
  • Disability Immunity: While her powers normally lend themselves to stealth and subtlety, such efforts are occasionally foiled by those who could not see her to begin with and are not thrown off by the lack of visual cues from her force fields
  • The Dreaded: She is sometimes depicted as the scariest member of the Fantastic Four. The Black Cat has stated that Sue is the most terrifying thing in the Baxter Building and specifically waited until Sue was away to go through with her plan to steal a book from Reed's collection.
  • Dressed Like a Dominatrix:
    • As Malice, Sue wore a very skimpy black leather costume, a spiked collar, opera gloves with spiky bracelets, thigh-high high-heeled boots, a spiked gimp mask, and a cape.
    • In an alternate universe where she became Madame Hydra, Sue wore a green thigh-cut evening dress, a green choker, opera gloves, high-heeled boots, and carried a whip.
  • Dude Magnet: Sue is married to Reed and both Namor and Doom have shown attraction to her. She also went on a date with Spider-Man once.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Sue has been desired by many men in the Marvel Universe other than her husband Reed, and her long blonde hair is one of her defining physical traits.
  • Evil Costume Switch: At one point, Susan got Brainwashed and Crazy, courtesy of Psycho-man and Hate-Monger, which prompted her to start calling herself Malice, Mistress of Hate, use her force-field powers in new and unpleasant ways, and walk around in a black Hell-Bent for Leather dominatrix outfit that was covered in spikes.
  • Fashion Model: Her original backstory had her being a fashion model and an actress before she became a career Super Hero. Her being a model seems to have Retconned away, although her being an amateur actress has endured.
  • Faux Action Girl: She started off as one of these, but Character Development kicked in.
  • Female Fighter, Male Handler: In an out-of-continuity comic, she briefly joined S.H.I.E.L.D., due to feeling underappreciated in her own team. She turned out to be quite a badass superspy, what with her invisibility powers and force fields and whatnot. Her handler was Nick Fury himself.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Invisible Girl or Invisible Woman doesn't quite strike fear in the hearts of evildoers. Then again her name isn't what makes her so dangerous.
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Most versions of her Fantastic Form uniform are a skintight spandex that adorns her curves.
  • Guile Heroine: She's often better at solving problems with her head then even Reed, due to her emotional intelligence. As any real chessmaster/manipulative bastard/guile hero would tell you, the greatest achievements in theses tropes is to make certain that your opponents don't realize you are a social expert.
    • She shamed Ben Grimm into piloting the ship during the first issue.
    • She was also told to distract many of the Silver Age male supervillains.
    • After Psycho-Man temporarily turned her into Malice she used her knowledge of Reed and Psycho Man's personalities to track him down and take revenge on him.
    • When Dr. Doom stole the power cosmic from the Silver Surfer, she tricked him into flying into a mountain.
    • During the Civil War, she spied on Reed.
    • This trope returns in full in Mark Waid's Invisible Woman miniseries. In issue 2, Sue and the Black Widow go to a bar in Madripoor to get some information on Sue's missing CIA partner. The owner Changdoa agrees to help them if Sue can win a drinking game with one of his men. As it turns out, Changdoa had been ordered to kill Sue and had poisoned the liquor they were drinking. Sue then reveals that she never drank the liquor at all but simply made it look like she did by turning the liquor invisible.
  • Happily Married: Played With. Ever since their well-publicized wedding in Fantastic Four Annual #3, back in 1965, Sue and Reed have been one of Marvel's power couple. But they also have had a series of bumps and issues, usually involving Reed being a neglectful spouse and Sue feeling unappreciated. How much this is seriously threatening their marriage varies Depending on the Writer, but they ultimately always work things out in the end.
  • The Heart: Even in her early days before she Took a Level in Badass, she was still portrayed as the emotional core of the team, and the one that kept everyone working together and getting along.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: During the early years, Susan's invisibility made her the weakest of the team, as she was suited purely for situations where stealth was required. This lead to her getting her much more versatile and powerful force fields, which actually catapulted her to be the strongest of the core team.
  • Hot Scientist: A scientist like her husband and a notable Head-Turning Beauty and Ms. Fanservice for Marvel Comics.
  • Imagination-Based Superpower: Sue can mold her force fields into any shape she wants with the added bonus that they are invisible to everyone but her.
  • Instant Armor: She's used her force fields in this way once or twice.
  • Invisible Streaker: Somewhat Averted. Sue's original Invisibility powers only worked on her, she could extend her field to whatever mundane outfit she has on, but it would take effort, but the unstable molecules outfits Reed developed for the team allowed her to do it effortlessly. Once her Invisibility powers have been Retconned into being force fields, this aspect vanished entirely. However, this is played straight a few times in some Alternate Universes, usually purely for Fanservice.
  • Leotard of Power: Her 90s outfit.
  • Lethal Harmless Powers: Susan has the ability to turn invisible and create force-fields. Simple as these abilities appear, Sue is regarded as the most powerful member of the Fantastic Four. She has developed some brilliant applications of her force fields ranging from creating steps to walk on air to massive battering rams, to more messed up applications:
    • In the Marvel Zombies comics, she demonstrated that you kill a zombie by destroying its brain by going Mama Bear on a zombie She-Hulk.
    • Her invisibility extends to those around her as well. And while not lethal, she was able to blind a pack of zombies by making their optic nerves invisible.
    • Also she could make the skin, flesh and skull of a person's head become invisible, allowing ordinary sunlight to directly reach a person's vulnerable brain, rapidly causing heat stroke and slowly lobotomizing them.
    • Invisibility could also make a section of the Earth's Ozone Layer become invisible (as in it does not distort or deflect solar radiation), allowing the full might of the Sun to burn whatever she wanted.
    • In Four, at one point she creates a forcefield surrounding herself and her family, protecting them from the villain. Then she creates another forcefield encompassing her and the villain. Then she starts extending the first forcefield, crushing the villain into the second one until he surrendered.
    • Sue (while evil) also once threatened to kill a man by creating a tiny force field in his carotid artery, which would cause a massive and probably fatal stroke.
    • Sue Richards' force fields are hyperspace-sourced. Hyperspace is, in the Marvel Universe, the source of all energy. This allowed her to destroy a Celestial's physical form. The Celestials are a race of Physical God Eldritch Abomination Precursors that outstrip even Godheads like Odin or Zeus. Their antibodies are strong enough to hurt Thor and their bodies are so durable entire pantheons of gods fail to even scratch them in a fight. Sue obliterated one of them effortlessly. She is the only mortal who has ever accomplished such a feat.
  • The Load: In her early years, she was frequently useless unless the situation required a bit of stealth, and not only she wasn't particularly great at stealth either, it would usually tire her out to even use her not-very-useful Invisibility powers. She was also frequently being a Damsel in Distress.
  • Love at First Sight: When she was 12-13, she met a 19-year-old uni student and got a Precocious Crush on him. Fortunately, they didn't hook up until she was much older.
  • Lust Object:
    • Namor has had an on-again-off-again Stalker with a Crush thing on Sue for a long time, and it hasn't always been completely one-sided, and she has admitted he himself is a lust object to her, and has almost left Reed for him on a couple of occasions (and has done so in a few Alternate Universes).
    • She once went Skinny Dipping with T'Challa and later confessed during a Girls' Night Out Episode with her hero friends she has been more tempted by him than she ever was with Namor.
  • Mama Bear: DO NOT mess with her children. Biological or adopted.
    • At one point in the comics the government bars Reed and Sue from their home and their children. They call in the Avengers to do so. Ten of them, in fact, which might look like overkill at first. And then Sue loses her temper, and one panel later anyone not named Thor or Hulk is knocked flat. The original Torch intervenes before she seriously injures anyone.
    • When she believes that the Super Skrull has abducted her child, The Thing has to remind her that it's the Fantastic Four and not the Fantastic One because she's already beating the tar out of the Super Skrull by herself.
    • In Enemy Of The State, Wolverine is under Hydra mind control and is sent to attack Sue and her family at their home. Sue actually demonstrates how dirty she can fight if she wants to, by turning his retinas invisible, thus blinding him, then wrapping force fields around his lungs and threatening to crush them. That Wolvie was under HYDRA's mind-control didn't stop her from subverting the "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight to hell and back, and she even hammers this in with something along the lines of: "I don't care who's controlling you, you come into my home, threaten my children, did you think I'd go easy on you?"
    • In X-Factor (2006), Sue was held captive by Doctor Doom, who strapped into a Lotus-Eater Machine that made her live out her fantasies with Namor. Monet is only able to break the illusion by telepathically entering Sue's head and telling her of the potential danger her family is in.
  • Master of Illusion: Sue's ability to turn herself and other things invisible is a manipulation of light waves. The Mark Waid miniseries has her develop the ability to manipulate light in a way that alters color after a conversation she had with her daughter Valeria. She uses this new trick to make her skin tan and turn her blonde hair brown.
  • May–December Romance: Downplayed. Sue met Reed when he was 19 and she was 12, getting a Precocious Crush on him at first sight. Thankfully, they got together much later in life.
  • Most Common Super Power: Sue is one of the most powerful woman in the Marvel Universe and also one of the most stacked.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Her regular costume(s) already flatter her with her Form-Fitting Wardrobe and Most Common Superpower, but her sex appeal often gets dialed up in Alternate Universes, especially ones where her Invisibility is tweaked to work as an Invisible Streaker and put her in Naked People Are Funny situations (as seen in 1602 and the Fantastic Four Duology), much to her embarrassment.
  • My Suit Is Also Super: How Susan's powers interact with her clothing can vary Depending on the Writer. Sometimes her Invisibility can only affect herself and she has to be an Invisible Streaker outside of her suit, and she's able to transfer whatever makes her invisible to anything she picks up. After Susan got her Force Field powers, it became a Retcon that her Invisibility was a result of the force fields, and she can make anyone/anything Invisible, making her technically the only core member who doesn't need a "special" costume anymore.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Her evil split personality goes by Malice, Mistress of Hate.
  • Nephewism: She was raised at her aunt's boarding house along with her brother after their father got himself jailed when they were children.
  • Not Quite Flight:
    • Sue can create floating discs or bubbles to carry herself and whoever is traveling with her through the air or jump around on invisible platforms into the sky.
    • In the Marvel Adventures setting, she keeps pace with Johnny's Flying Firepower by making a force-field hang glider and gliding on the heat his flaming aura produces.
  • The Nudifier: Played With. She can use her powers to turn clothes invisible, but they are technically still there. Most notably she has used this on to give Doctor Doom a Shameful Strip, baring his grotesque face while he was broadcasting live to the world. She even made his hands invisible to prevent him from covering himself with them. She has also on occasion used this on herself in order to tease Reed. As a teacher, she once got her students in line by threatening that she could make all their clothes invisible.
  • Number Two: After she Took a Level in Badass, she became to act as Reed's second in command, and would often become The Leader in case he's absent.
  • Official Couple: Reed and Susan have been Marvel's power couple ever since they married, and are the iconic couple of the Fantastic Four franchise.
  • One True Love: With her husband, Reed Richards. Reed has shown no romantic interest in basically any woman aside from Susan, apart from flashbacks from before they met, while Sue has had the choice between Reed and other guys and always goes with Reed. The two of them have also been together in the comics since 1965 with their wedding issue and have never actually broken up since which is something of an anomaly for comics. Even when their marriage is strained, they still find their way back to each other.
  • Only Sane Woman: She keeps Reed in check, and in the team's earlier day was usually the only thing keeping Johnny and Ben from each other's throats.
  • Parental Abandonment: Dr. Franklin Storm, Sue and Johnny's dad, went mad from grief when his wife, Mary, died in a car crash. He turned to drink and gambling, and accidentally killed a loan shark who came looking to collect. He refused to contest the judge's sentence of twenty years. Sue got Promoted to Parent and they went to live in their aunt's boarding house. Sue never told Johnny, who apparently never heard a thing about any of this, and just assumed his dad was dead.
  • Personality Powers: The cosmic radiation which gave the Fantastic Four their powers affected them in a certain way based on their personalities. Originally, Sue was very shy and her invisible powers showcase her introverted nature. Later, her forcefields became incredibly powerful - as in, strong enough to stand off punches from the Void at the height of his power, and hold off the Worldbreaker Hulk (until her concentration got broken) - which symbolises how protective she is of her family.
  • Precocious Crush: Sue met Reed when he was 19 and she was 12, during the time he was one of her aunt's boarders, getting a crush on him at first sight. Thankfully, they got together much later in life.
  • Promotion to Parent: After Susan and Johnny's father, Franklin Storm, turned to drinking and gambling and ended up being sent to prison for manslaughter, Sue was responsible for raising Johnny. To the point where Johnny has stated that he doesn't even remember his mother, and believes his father to be dead.
  • Psychic Nosebleed: When Sue is holding a forcefield against a particularly strong opponent or is overextending her powers, this gets manifested by blood coming out of her nose.
  • Rags to Riches: Her father lost their family fortune and she became a ward of her aunt, but Sue has never been wealthier after marrying into the super-rich Richards household and other than an occasional setback their fortune has grown even more after the cosmic ray accident.
  • Resign in Protest: During Civil War, Susan temporarily quit the team along with Johnny after learning that her husband and the other scientists of the Pro-Superhuman Registration Act side had created a clone of Thor and set it loose against their friends-turned-opponents, resulting in the death of Black Goliath.
  • Riches to Rags: When she and her brother were kids, their mother died and their doctor father turned to alcohol and gambling, eventually squandering the family fortune. killing his loan shark and getting jailed. Sue and Johnny were forced to live with their aunt.
  • Religious Bruiser: She's one of the strongest heroes in the universe. She's also a very devout Christian, though her brother, Johnny Storm/Human Torch, says she's quiet about it. Indeed, every Christmas and Easter, she goes to the St. Patrick’s Cathedral (which implies she's specifically Catholic), lights the candles, and prays to her deceased parents. That being said, in an issue before entering into Heaven to get Ben Grimm back, she expresses skepticism that it even exists.
  • Required Secondary Powers: As revealed in issue four of the Mark Waid miniseries, Sue's entire optic structure is very different from a regular person's. While normal people's retinas register objects using reflected light, Sue's eyes also interpolate shapes based on ambient cosmic energy in the atmosphere. This is how she is able to see her constructs or anything else that is invisible and it allows her to see even when the villains cut off the flow of blood to her retinas.
  • Science Hero's Babe Assistant: Sue was basically this for Dr. Reed Richards in the early years. While not the only non-scientist on the team, she existed primarily to need rescuing and be ignored by Reed in favor of whatever experiment he was obsessed with at that moment. This was before she Took a Level in Badass and became a scientist herself.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains:
  • Sibling Team: She and her brother Johnny make up half of the core Fantastic Four members.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Storm siblings Johnny and Susan have this relationship. He's Hot-Blooded and brash, she's calm and motherly. Both have incredibly destructive powers and care deeply for their family. However, while Sue is fiercely loyal to her husband Reed, Johnny is The Casanova who Really Gets Around.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Her relationship with Reed.
  • Sole Survivor: During the book's tie-in to Age of Ultron, the entire team except for Sue end up killed by Ultron's invasion. Sue and Wolverine use a Timey-Wimey Ball to punch the Reset Button hard, resurrecting the team and all the other heroes who died.
  • Sky Surfing: By shaping the matter she creates into discs to stand on, Sue can fly across the air.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The sole female member of the original Fantastic Four.
  • Spontaneous Weapon Creation: One of the many possible uses of her force fields. In one X-Men/Fantastic Four miniseries, she has a Mama Bear moment and uses a force sword to slay a Brood queen in close combat, leaving the males of both teams rather shocked.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Her outfit as Malice included a spiked collar, spiky bracelets and a spiked gimp mask.
  • Strong and Skilled: She has a very versatile and deadly power set which she uses with great skill and creativity. This easily makes her the most dangerous of the Fantastic Four.
  • Strong Girl, Smart Guy: Susan has been repeatedly noted to be the most powerful of the Fantastic Four. while her husband Reed is a genius in nearly every field.
  • Stripperific:
    • Unusual for a comic series in that the team's main female member only rarely falls under this trope, preferring a modest blue bodysuit identical to the ones Reed and Johnny wear, but it does happen - like when she wore a certain costume for a few years in the 1990s with a 4-shaped Cleavage Window. The change was widely panned by fans and removed.
    • As Malice, she had an Evil Costume Switch and wore a leather S&M-inspired outfit.
  • Supernatural Suffocation: One of the ways she can use her force fields is to envelop her opponent's head in a force bubble so she can suffocate them. She usually only does it until their unconscious, but she can do it lethally if she wants it.
  • Super Hero: She's one of the earliest career superheroes in the Marvel Universe, along with the rest of her Super Family Team.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Malice is an evil personality created by Psycho-Man preying on Sue's vulnerable emotions after she lost her child. Malice used her powers in a much more aggressive style such as creating explosions and forming spikes.
  • Superpower Lottery: Susan originally started out as the most useless member of the Fantastic Four, with only basic Invisibility powers. Then she developed the ability to create force fields. Seems impressive enough but then she was able to create more complex shapes like swords, battering rams, discs, darts and bullets. She can also do some messed up thing with them, such as creating a force field inside a body and expand it with lethal - and messy - results. She also has the ability to make other people and objects invisible, as demonstrated when she once tricked Doctor Doom into crashing into a mountain she made invisible. She was even able to kill a Celestial because her powers draw from the same source that made up the Celestial's armor. Today, Susan Storm is considered the most powerful member of the Fantastic Four and is surpassed in power level within her family only by her son Franklin.
  • Swiss-Army Superpower: Her force fields act as this. Basically, she's become an Invisible Lantern over the years, being able to shape her invisible forcefield into any sort of constructs she wants but with the added advantage that her enemies can't see them. She's been shown enclosing an opponent's head in a force bubble to suffocate them into unconsciousness, wrap objects within a force field to move them around and even project a pin-sized force bubble into a zombie's head that she rapidly expands to basketball size, destroying the zombie. She's also, on a suggestion from her daughter, learned how to use them to create a limited glamour effect by changing how light reflects on her - so she can't change her features, but she can change her hair color and skin tone, which are convenient for disguise.
  • Team Mom: Reed is usually more focused on his latest project, Ben sulking about his appearance or fighting with Johnny, and Johnny... is Johnny. Sue's usually the one keeping them all together (or in Johnny and Ben's case, apart).
  • That Man Is Dead: This is how Sue feels about her old Invisible Girl Codename. In Comic Book/Fantastic Four #284, when Sue gives a speech about her newfound maturity at the end:
    Sue: There is no Invisible Girl anymore, Reed. She died when the Psycho-Man twisted her soul.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: Suffered from this before getting her force field power because her only power was Invisibility. If you're a spy, a thief or an assassin, or just a phenomenally skilled martial artist, being able to turn invisible at will would be quite useful by itself, but Sue is none of those things, and an otherwise ordinary human who can turn invisible isn't much help against enemies with superhuman strength. It's only when she gained her force field powers that she Took a Level in Badass: and became a Barrier Warrior with an Imagination-Based Superpower.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Sue Storm/Invisible Woman is the poster girl of this trope. Originally, as the Invisible Girl, she was very meek, and her power was only personal Invisibility. She was by far the least powerful Fantastic form member (not many opportunities for stealth came along) and even her modest Invisibility power were difficult and stressful for her to use, requiring a lot of concentration and she would often overextend herself when turning large objects invisible. The best her writers could say in response to constant fan outcry against The Load (even in-universe) was, "Sue pulls her own weight, even if you refuse to acknowledge her contributions only because she doesn't fight aggressively enough for you". It got so bad that a comic had them address the complaints In-Universe. Her force field power was added (less than two years after her introduction), and she gradually became better and more versatile with it, especially under John Byrne. To the point that Doctor Doom himself considers her the strongest of the Fantastic Four. More dramatic was the shift from her original meek personality to her current confident one, which her new choice of Codename signifies. The reason for this was the culmination of quite a few arcs: after another time-traveling stint, her, Reed and their kid, Franklin, damn nearly ended up in the hands of Mephisto, and the arc immediately after had a Doctor Doom fallback destroy their entire home apartment building. The proceeding arc was the biggest reason: where the Psycho-Man kidnapped Sue and turned her into Malice, a Brainwashed and Crazy evil version of her using her force field powers with incredible strength, including substitutes of gravity crushing attacks and the ability to cut off a person's air supply with those powers. It took the rest of the FF with some assistance from Daredevil to snap her out of that, and when they went to capture the Psycho-Man, he ended up capturing them and subjecting Sue to incredibly traumatizing Mind Rape, where she believed that her incompetence caused the death of her family, which she retaliated by killing the Psycho-Man with his own mind-raping devices. At the very end of that arc, she replaced the "Girl" part with "Woman" to reflect on the fact that all those events killed the innocence in her.
  • Tragic Stillbirth: Her second child with Reed was a stillbirth. This greatly impacted Sue, allowing the villain Psycho-Man to take advantage of Sue's fragile self-control to turn her into Malice. Sometime later, Franklin's Reality Warper powers reverted his stillborn sister back within Sue's womb, and Valeria was eventually born.
  • Translator Buddy: Frequently has to translate Reed's Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness into something other people can actually understand.
  • True Blue Femininity: Blue is the color of the Fantastic Four's costume and Sue is Team Mom.
  • Unstable Powered Woman: She was once subjected to a Psycho-Man's mental manipulation and developed a dark personality called "Malice", which caused her to dress in darker, skimpier, bondage-themed clothes and a more evil, sinister personality. Infamously, she is literally freed from the villain's control by her husband Reed slapping her across the face.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: It's a horrible idea to mess with Reed when Susan is around.
  • Women Are Wiser: Susan is often the voice of reason in the team, being more practical and more responsible than all the rest of the team put together and she frequently gives all of them good advice.
  • Xenafication: She was originally The Chick of the team with a near-useless power of Invisibility. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby took partial steps to fix that early on giving her force field projecting powers. However, it was John Byrne who really powered her up by having her nifty new ways of using her powers and learning to get aggressive enough to really use them well. Today, she is now considered one of the most powerful superheroes of the Marvel Universe and even the character of Doctor Doom underestimates her at his peril.

    The Human Torch 

The Human Torch

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/human_torch_2.jpg

Alter Ego: Jonathan Lowell Spencer "Johnny" Storm

Notable Aliases: Invisible Man

First Appearance: The Fantastic Four #1 (November 1961)

An impulsive (and soon, literal) hothead, Johnny is the younger brother of Sue Storm, the Invisible Woman. A classic case of Silver Age science fiction, Johnny was part of an outer space expedition that —alongside Sue, her boyfriend Dr. Reed Richards, and his associate Ben Grimm — granted him special powers via cosmic radiation. In his case, Johnny gained fire-based abilities, including flight. With them, Johnny became a founding member of the Fantastic Four, using their powers for the betterment of humanity.

In the following years, Johnny would join up with varying factions of the Marvel Universe outside the F4, including the Avengers and Inhumans. He's also become synonymous for his friendship with Spider-Man, as well as his antagonistic (but still loving) rapport with Ben, now known as The Thing.

As a member of Marvel's founding family, Johnny has appeared quite frequently in other media. He's perhaps most remembered for his role in the 2005 Fantastic Four film (and its 2007 sequel, Rise of the Silver Surfer), as portrayed by (a pre-Captain America: The First Avenger) Chris Evans. Johnny also features in the 2015 Fantastic Four reboot, portrayed there by (a pre-Killmonger) Michael B. Jordan. Apparently, playing the Human Torch in a subpar feature film prepares you for roles in better superhero movies. Who knew!

Not to be confused with the original Golden Age Human Torch, Jim Hammond.


The Human Torch appears in:

Notable Comic Books

  • Fantastic Four (various runs):
    • vol. 1 (1961 — 1996, 2002 — 2012, 2015)
    • vol. 2 (1996 — 1997)
    • vol. 3 (1998 — 2003)
    • vol. 4 (2013 — 2014)
    • vol. 5 (2014 — 2015)
    • vol. 6 (2018)
  • Human Torch (various runs):
    • vol. 1 (1974 — 1975)
    • vol. 2 (2003 — 2004)
  • FF vol. 1 (2011 — 2012)
  • Secret Wars vol. 2 (2015 — 2016)
  • Uncanny Inhumans (2015 — 2016)
  • Uncanny Avengers vol. 3 (2015 — 2017)
  • Marvel Two-in-One vol. 2 (2017 — present)

Film

Animation

Video Games


The Human Torch provides examples of:

  • Action Hero: Perhaps one of the most energetic of this trope, whatever he goes up against he goes straight to attack-mode without any thought or caution. Ben lampshades that Johnny was the one who strung the Fantastic Four.
  • Always Someone Better: Has actually once felt this way about Spider-Man, since Peter was smart enough that he could keep up with Reed's scientific lectures, developed a friendly rapport with Sue and Ben, and was even good with watching Franklin and Johnny began to resent the fact that Peter was practically more of a member of his own family than he was. They eventually worked this out, though.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Johnny Storm, in addition to doing things like dating non-binary aliens, it was strongly hinted that he and Daken had a fling in Dark Wolverine. While the comic never confirmed the exact nature of their relationship, when a fan asked author Marjorie Lu if Johnny and Daken were sleeping together, she replied with: "They better have been, given all the hard work we put into creating sexual tension between their characters."
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: To his Older sister Susan. Johnny's impulsive and reckless attitude frequently annoys and frustrates her, and she constantly tries to make him be more responsible.
  • Anyone Can Die: Was killed off in the "Three" storyline, but got better. As it turned out, almost immediately after, too. He just spent the equivalent of several years fighting and dying at the hands of Annihilus, who had the means to bring him back.
  • Arch-Enemy: Johnny used to have the Wizard as this in his solo adventures, but Wizard has since gone on to become an enemy for the team in general and their personal enmity mostly faded.
  • Attention Whore: Out of all the Fantastic Four members, he's the only one who truly basks in the fame and prestige that comes with being a career Super Hero with no Secret Identity.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Johnny Storm.
  • Badass Driver: Johnny always loved Cool Cars and picked up driving as a hobby, which he excelled at, even becoming a professional car racer at some point. Due to his Flying Firepower these skills rarely gets utilized, unless the writers make up a situation where Johnny needs to drive.
  • Battle Couple: He fought alongside his girlfriend Crystal, who became a temporary member of them team while Susan was on maternity leave.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Became one of Spider-Man early on in Spidey's career, almost accidentally. A speech Johnny gave in Peter's college basically served as his Heroic Second Wind in his first fight with Dr. Octopus.
  • Big Sister Worship: While he sometimes finds her a little too nagging, there's no opinion he values more than Susan's and he deeply respects her, especially since she basically raised him.
  • Body Horror: Johnny getting revived by worms, after he died in the Negative Zone Even he is grossed out by it.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Quick to brag about his abilities during battle, yet more Downplayed compared to Hercules or Thor.
  • The Bro Code: Johnny dating and marrying Alicia Masters, Ben's ex-girlfriend, became a bitter thorn in their friendship, and would estrange the Thing from the Fantastic Four for a lengthy period. The whole Love Triangle became a moot point when it was revealed Johnny never dated Alicia in the first place, and he actually romanced a married a Skrull imposter the whole time.
  • Brother–Sister Team: He and his older sister Sue are half of the Fantastic Four.
  • Burning with Anger: Since his fire powers are tied to his mental control, sometimes they can manifest on his body as heat or flames when he actually gets angry.
  • The Casanova: If it isn't him fighting in battle or talking smack, it's him flirting with almost any attractive female within his vicinity.
  • Catchphrase: He customarily shouts "Flame on!" whenever he activates his fire powers and gets Wreathed in Flames. In Mexico and Latin America, his catchphrase is translated as ¡LLAMAS A MI! (Roughly translated from Spanish as "(I invoke the) Flames to me!") and it has become a Memetic Mutation there.
  • Celebrity Superhero: Johnny, along with the rest of the Fantastic Four, are considered celebrities. They don't have secret identities and Johnny often capitalizes on his fame.
  • The Charmer: A frequent charmer of the ladies, judging by the amount of girlfriends he had, he's quite successful. Although sustaining a relationship with of a Love Interest with him is another thing.
  • Chick Magnet: He has accumulated quite a few Love Interests over the years, and quite a few more casual hook-ups. A few of them became Amicable Exes or came back to be a New Old Flame. Some of his Love Interest include: Dorrie Evans, Crystal, Zsaji, Lorrie Melton, Medusa, Kourtney Keaton, Frankie Raye, Julie Angel, Lyja, Sharon Selleck and Sky.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Willing to flirt with almost anyone under the sun (including one's not his one), but is respectful when he's rejected and knows more how to back off even in his youth.
  • Cool Uncle: He loves Reed and Sue's children, who in turn love him in return. Ironically, they think he's cool because of his powers which are anything but.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Johnny can safely carry people and objects by extinguishing the flame on his hands. Being right next to the rest of his flaming body is apparently not a problem (though, admittedly, it would be much hotter above the Torch than next to him). It has been said that The Human Torch can control who/what he burns with his flame. It's not always followed, though.
  • Custom Uniform: Wore a red-and-gold variation of the team costume in the mid-70s.
  • The Dandy: Sometimes dialed up into Camp Straight, such as in World's Greatest Heroes.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: As The Human Torch, Johnny can release a blast of nova-intensity heat, which was very dangerous to do in his earlier days (one issue even stated that releasing it at maximum power would instantaneously kill every living thing in the same hemisphere of Earth as him). Later subverted as he learned to control it better, making collateral damage no longer a serious problem.
  • Dating Catwoman:
  • Deadpan Snarker: Generally with Ben, has shades of this with Spider-Man or when he feels the need to crack wise about the situation.
  • Death Is Cheap: Got killed by Annihilus's army, came Back from the Dead less than a year later (in real-time, that is).
  • Depending on the Writer: Johnny Storm has alternated between self-obsessed prima donna and self-obsessed whiny asshat. Some Fantastic Four writers, most notably Tom DeFalco, have tried to give Johnny some Character Development to at least being savvy about his powers and status. Later ones felt the need to make him dumb and dumber both.
  • Destructive Saviour: Due to a combination of the naturally destructive nature of his powers and Johnny's reckless and impulsive personality, he can often cause a lot of property damage, even if he ultimately manages to defeat the villain and save the day.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Due to him being a Chivalrous Pervert, he's prone to getting distracted by sexy villainess or Girls Of The Week, often to his and the team's detriment. One notable example occurred in Fall of The Hulks while he was fighting Savage She-Hul/Lyra, and got all of her clothes burnt off. She didn't care and deliberately took advantage his gawking to take him down.
    Lyra: That was a mistake.
    Johnny: Um... not from where I'm standing.
    Lyra: They told me you had a weakness for women.
    Johnny: And that's a bad thing... WHYYYYYYYGGHH!
  • The Ditz: On his worse days. Admittedly, when a regular twenty-something's standing in a room with Reed Richards, they're going to look a little dumb.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: With Lyja, who lied about her identity multiple times in order to trick him into a relationship with her, as well as with Ravonna, Zodiac, and multiple others who kiss him against his will.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: A recurring theme in his relationship with Sue and Reed is for Johnny to make a good point, even though he's either doing it by accident or for purely selfish reasons.
  • Dumb Blonde: A male example Depending on the Writer. Johnny is consistently the least intellectual member of the team and is known for making poor decisions, and it's usually at least Book Dumb. The only area is portrayed as being good at is as a mechanic.
  • Early Installment Character Design Difference: The Golden Age Human Torch was originally drawn as a human-shaped blob of flames, before his design was refined so that his physical body was clearly outlined, with largely vertical black lines to define his musculature. When Johnny Storm became the new Human Torch, Kirby initially drew him with an even more vaguely human-shaped blob of flames than the original Torch in his earliest appearances. Kirby soon updated Johnny's appearance to the "classic" Torch design but made Johnny's facial features visible to distinguish him from the earlier Torch.
  • Elemental Armor: When he's Wreathed in Flames, he can make his flames so hot that, that some projectiles melt before they can reach him.
  • Elemental Baggage: Johnny's power source in creating flame to the point he can set his whole body on fire, yet there's not usually any actual fuel for said fire. And then there's the part about his body and his powers both needing oxygen to function. There have been times when he's been trapped in airtight spaces, causing him to pass out when his flame powers used up all the oxygen. Occasionally justified by him feeling tired or very hungry after using extremely hot flames. The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe tried to justify the Original Johnny's flames in a different way, saying that they're a pyrokinetic ability to create a superheated plasma. The Word of God follow-up justification for why his flame goes out when the air supply is cut off is that he can only heat up oxygen molecules, which has been contradicted time and time again in the actual stories.
  • Energy Absorption: The Human Torch can absorb flames and heat into his own body with no ill effects.
  • The Engineer: Depending on the Writer, Johnny's love for cars goes beyond the superficial aspect of things. He started tinkering with cars in high school and actually became pretty competent mechanic who was able to overhaul a car's transmission as a teenager. He has also helped Reed build countless of vehicles, including the Fantasti-car. Johnny even says himself that if he wasn't The Human Torch, he'd be working at a garage.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Due to his natural body heat, Johnny seems to have a degree of resistance to cold as he showed no signs of cold or discomfort while dressed in only a jacket and a bathing suit while in the freezing Antarctica.
  • The Face: He's the Fantastic Four member who enjoys interacting the most with the public, due to his friendly persona, charming personality and attention-seeking ways.
  • Fantastic Fireworks: One of the ways he uses his fire powers as a Mundane Utility is by using them to create fireworks, usually on celebratory occasions.
  • Fireballs: He can throw fire projectiles at his enemies, with various body parts, usually from his hands.
  • Fire/Ice Duo: Iceman outside of X-books, has teamed up with Johnny several times. A memorable occasion had them fight Equinox, a villain with fire and ice powers. When meeting in the Days of Future Present Crisis Crossover, they lampshade this trope:
    Bobby: Yo! Ice and fire...
    Johnny: The unbeatable combo!
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Unlike Reed, Ben and Sue, Johnny didn't have a close relationship with Ben and Reed before the cosmic rays incident that turned them into a Super Hero, he only grew close to them over time as they worked together.
  • Fire Is Masculine: Johnny is one of the male members of the Fantastic Four and is the one who gained fire powers, which are tied to to his playboy attitude, passion, hot-heated and reckless nature.
  • Fire Is Red: When Wreathed in Flames, his humanoid form most commonly becomes red while underneath the flames. The Custom Uniform he wore in the mid-70s was a red-and-gold variation.
  • Fire/Water Juxtaposition: Namor the Sub-Mariner had a rivalry with the original Human Torch, and this carried over to Johnny when Namor became frequent supporting character/ antagonist in books featuring the Fantastic Four. Namor, a proud, overbearing monarch known for his stoic personality, provides the perfect foil for the compassionate, fun-loving daredevil Johnny Storm.
  • Flames of Love: Johnny's fire motif is also associated with his burning libido and passionate lifestyle, as he's a known playboy who Really Gets Around.
  • Flaming Emblem: While the rest of the team has to use a Flare Gun to create the signal to summon the rest of the team, Johnny prefers using his fire powers to do it, especially on celebratory occasions. Sometimes he even uses his Flying Firepower to write the symbol in the sky with his fire trail.
  • Flanderization: Johnny Storm started off as a somewhat-conceited daredevil hero of the teamnote . Since the eighties, he's become increasingly more stupid and narcissistic, to the point where he can appear to be The Ditz.
  • Flying Firepower: The Human Torch's plasma has a high hydrogen content, and is surrounded by an exuded cloud of mono-atmoic hydrogen atoms. The hot cloud provides sufficient positive buoyancy for him to float. With mental stimulation of his flame, he can provide enough lift to carry around 180 pounds. By forming a jet from his feet, directed behind him, he can achieve a normal flight speed of 140 miles per hour.
  • Foil: To his brother-in-law, Reed. Johnny is a reckless Leeroy Jenkins hero who has little care about laws and wants to do what is right, while Reed is law-abiding hero with a sense of duty who plans things ahead for his teammates. Both Reed and Johnny also took different sides during the Civil War events.
  • Friendly Rivalry: With Spider-Man. Though at first, it was just that Johnny couldn't stand the guy. They become less competitive with each other as they get older, but there's still an element of ragging on each other/trying to outdo each other there, only now mixed with actual respect - to the extent that Johnny left instructions for Peter to replace him on the team in the event of his death.
  • Fun Personified: In a good mood, he's cheerful, easygoing and quick to celebrate with his friends.
  • Future Badass: A future version of Johnny had the ability to burn white-hot and shut off his younger self's flame.
  • The Gadfly: Johnny often enjoys messing with people purely to amuse himself.
  • Glass Cannon: Johnny is extremely powerful, as he can light up supernovas, decimate large areas like mountain ranges, and absorb the energy of atom bombs. However, all of his powers are directly related to fire and nothing else, which means Johnny has no Super Strength or Super Toughness inherent to his own body, and thus is vulnerable to those who do possess augmented physical abilities.
  • Grass Is Greener: He admits to some jealousy of Peter Parker. Johnny is aware that he has it much better in terms of public standing, admirers, and financial security (all things Spider-Man often lacks), but Peter always had Aunt May to go home to. Watching Peter and May hug in Spider-Man/Human Torch #1 makes Johnny think how he'd give up anything to be hugged by a parent.
  • Grease Monkey: Johnny likes tinkering with cars as a hobby is actually quite a competent mechanic, and doesn't mind getting down and dirty when tinkering with his machines.
  • The Hedonist: Depending on the Writer, Johnny partygoer personally can reach the point where he constantly goes on drinking on binges—preferably with tons of girls nearby.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Johnny does this to save his niece and nephew. He succeeds, but dies in the process. But Death Is Cheap, so he came back in no time at all.
  • Hidden Depths: Not quite the superficial himbo slacker he seems, this one. As immature and impulsive as he can be, Sue learns he invests a lot of self-control in keeping his powers in check when she ends up with them.
  • Hot-Blooded: Like his powers, he's a very temperamental person and it doesn't take much for him to go berserk on things with his powers.
  • Hunk: Johnny is a handsome young man with an athletic physique.
  • Ignorant About Fire: Just because Johnny has fire powers doesn't mean he knows how to use them efficiently, or how they might interact with certain situations, and combine with Johnny reckless nature, he can sometimes make a situation worse with his powers, especially when he's inexperienced. Over time he got better at it due to Reed's tutelage on the matter.
  • Immune to Fire: After gaining his powers, Johnny became naturally immune to fire and heat, and can even easily absorb fire and explosions. Considering Johnny gets Wreathed in Flames when he uses his powers, this is pretty much a Required Secondary Powers, else he'd died the moment he first manifested them.
  • Improbable Age: He was only 16 years old when he accompanied Reed, Sue and Ben into their dangerous experiment in outer space, which sounds quite absurd that anyone would just let him tag along. Most adaptations age him up and give him a better reason for him to go on the trip, such as making him an astronaut.
  • Interspecies Romance:
  • I Work Alone: Downplayed. Johnny is the Fantastic Four member that's most prone to working alone (Such as his solo adventures in Strange Tales) and is usually the one that has trouble with teamwork. But most of his Super Hero career is still as part of the Fantastic Four team.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Frequently petulant, childish, selfish and bone-dead stupid, but his heart is in the right place.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: When the series started, he was the teenager in a cast of adults. Early on in the series, he was extremely popular and was the Breakout Character with his own spinoff within a year after the series started. His popularity was one of the reasons why Marvel created other teen superheroes like Spider-Man and the X-Men.
  • Kid Hero: He was actually only 16 years old when he first got his powers and became a Super Hero under Reed and Sue's careful tutelage.
  • Large Ham: Usually his default mode in battle, but also with Ben or Spider-Man.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Due to his hot-headed and impulsive nature, Johnny Storm has a tendency to FLAME ON and barrel forth recklessly against whatever villain the team is facing this time, usually getting his ass kicked in the process, much to his team's chagrin.
    Mark Waid: The Avengers' battle cry is "Avengers, Assemble!" The Fantastic Four's battle cry is "Johnny, wait!"
  • Legacy Character: The Human Torch was originally a Golden Age character from Timely Comics, who was on the cover of the first issue of their flagship title ("Marvel Comics"). He was a Frankensteinian android who could catch fire and fly. When Timely became Marvel in the '60s and Stan and Jack created the Fantastic Four, they reused the Torch's design, this time making him a young human. Eventually, Marvel started bringing back their Golden Age characters, which inevitably led to the two Torches being involved in a Let's You and Him Fight situation.
  • Logical Weakness: The level of available oxygen affects the Human Torch's powers, as well as a good soaking. The Venom symbiote once blasted him with a huge amount of sand that smothered his flame. The Thing has proven that super strong lungs can blow out Johnny's flame. Plus his powers are unreliable in a vacuum.
  • Love at First Sight: Johnny fell in love with Crystal the moment he saw her in Among Us Hide... The Inhumans!. And Crystal fell in love with him, as soon as she saw he had powers.
  • Love Hurts: Despite being The Casanova who Really Gets Around, Johnny is actually a big believer in finding his One True Love, yet things always end up falling apart between him and his Love Interests.
  • Made of Iron: While Johnny's powers seemingly don't give him any Super Toughness, he has taken hits from beings such as Galactus that would likely kill a normal human being, which outside of his fire powers he is supposed to be.
  • Monochromatic Eyes: When his body is covered in fire, his eyes usually become Monochromatic, with the color varying between white and different shades of yellow.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Of course the Human Torch is hot! Johnny has been portrayed as one of the Marvel Universe's most eligible bachelor. His powers have also often been used to put him in fanservice situations, via Clothing Damage.
  • My Blood Runs Hot: His body temperature is actually abnormally hot, even when he isn't using his powers.
  • My Suit Is Also Super: His powers incinerate any clothes that weren't created with Reed'd unstable molecules, which has often put him one some funny or embarrassing situations. His suits can often even protect whatever he's carrying from getting burned. His skin itself is naturally immune to his powers.
  • Name's the Same: Johnny had a complicated In-Universe example with the first Human Torch was a Golden Age character from Timely Comics, before they became Marvel in the '60s. Johnny's Human Torch design was recycled from the first one, and not meant to be a Legacy Character. But then Marvel started bringing back their Golden Age characters, which inevitably led to two Human Torches, which eventually became a Retroactive Legacy where Johnny did name himself after the original Human Torch because he was a fan.
  • Nephewism: He was raised at her aunt's boarding house along with his sister after their father got himself jailed when they were children.
  • Never Live It Down: People constantly reminding or making fun of Johnny for getting married to a Skrull became a Running Gag In-Universe.
  • Odd Friendship: With Spider-Man. Two kid heroes who started their superhero careers at roughly around the same time (the Fantastic Four are almost always depicted as the first heroes on the scene in the "modern Marvel universe") but grew up with two completely different lifestyles. Spidey was always on the 'barely scraping by' side financially while Johnny enjoyed the riches and fame that came with being a publicly beloved hero. Then there's their personalities: while Peter is more of a Humble Hero, Johnny is more or less a show off. Yet, they are arguably the closest superhero friends and consider each other as family.
  • One Steve Limit:
    • Johnny Storm and Johnny Blaze both have fire powers.
    • There was also Pyro, John Allerdyce.
    • Johnny Storm himself isn't even the first Jonathan Storm in the Marvel Universe. That would be Professor John Storm, a scientist who first appeared in Mystic Comics #5 (1941). His sole contribution to the Marvel Universe was transforming Laslo Pevely, a man who had been injured in a car accident, into the Terror.
  • Papa Wolf: Well, Uncle Wolf in his case. Just to round it off; although he doesn't take that much seriously, messing with his nephew and niece is a good way to increase your chances of being reduced to charcoal in the near future.
  • Parental Abandonment: Dr. Franklin Storm, Sue and Johnny's dad, went mad from grief when his wife, Mary, died in a car crash. He turned to drink and gambling, and accidentally killed a loan shark who came looking to collect. He refused to contest the judge's sentence of twenty years. Sue got Promoted to Parent and they went to live in their aunt's boarding house. Sue never told Johnny, who apparently never heard a thing about any of this, and just assumed his dad was dead.
  • Personality Powers: The cosmic radiation which gave the Fantastic Four their powers affected them in a certain way based on their personalities. Johnny is hot-headed and impulsive, which goes along with his power of fire.
  • Playing with Fire: This is Johnny's main powerset. He can generate shapes composed of fire from any point on his body (He usually employs his hands to "sculpt" the flames, occasionally as a lasso to ensnare enemies). He can form fire into long streams, spheres, or even more complex shapes like letters in skywriting. These flames-objects will only remain their shapes as long as he concentrates upon them. The objects will only burn about 3 minutes before expiring unless the Torch continues to infuse them with energy.
  • The Prankster: Johnny really enjoys playing pranks at people, often really immature ones, with his favorite targets being Ben and Spider-Man. It has sometimes lead to an Escalating War Prank war. Johnny most famous prank being when he gave Peter a Cheap Costume made of a Fantastic Four uniform, a Brown Bag Mask and a kick-me sign on his back, which promptly got Spidey to become as "The Amazing Bag-Man" and "The Bombastic Bag-Man".
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: He's the Red Oni to Susan's Blue Oni, being hot-headed and impulsive in comparison to her level-headed and gentle nature.
  • Really Gets Around: He has had a lot of Love Interests over the years, both serious and casual. In Dan Slott's Fantastic Four, when Skye asks him to list all the girls he has been with before her, he took some hours to list them all.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Johnny is completely Immune to Fire or heat, else he would have been killed the moment he first activated his fire powers, since his entire body gets Wreathed in Flames. He can also control how much heat he emanates, else nobody could stand getting close to him.
  • Resign in Protest: During Civil War, Johnny temporarily quit the team along with Susan after learning that Reed and the other scientists of the Pro-Superhuman Registration Act side had created a clone of Thor and set it loose against their friends-turned-opponents, resulting in the death of Black Goliath.
  • Resurrection/Death Loop: He once got trapped into an agonizing loop of being painfully killed and resurrected by Annihilus. The experience was so traumatic, Johnny still periodically haunted by the memories of the event.
  • Retroactive Legacy: Fantastic Four #132 had Johnny get a new costume based on the one worn by the Golden Age Human Torch, with Johnny claiming that he was a huge fan of the original Torch as a child. It was even implied that Johnny's subconscious desire to be like his idol may have somehow influenced his transformation into the new Human Torch way back when the Four first got their powers from the cosmic rays. This had never been brought up before in any other comic, and in fact, when the Human Torch met his Golden Age counterpart back in the 60s, he seemed to have absolutely no idea who the hell he was.
  • Riches to Rags: When Johnny and his sister were kids, their mother died and their doctor father turned to alcohol and gambling, eventually squandering the family fortune. killing his loan shark and getting jailed. Sue and Johnny were forced to live with their aunt.
  • Ring of Fire: Since his fire powers are naturally lethal, trapping his opponents in a ring of fire is one of Johnny's common tactics, although it usually only works on really mundane enemies or Mooks.
  • Sibling Team: She and his brother Sue make up half of the core Fantastic Four members.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Storm siblings Johnny and Susan have this relationship. He's Hot-Blooded and brash, she's calm and motherly. Both have incredibly destructive powers and care deeply for their family. However, while Sue is fiercely loyal to her husband Reed, Johnny is The Casanova who Really Gets Around.
  • Sleeps in the Nude: Johnny has been seen sleeping in the buff a couple of times. Once when Spider-man caught him sleeping naked in his bed, Johnny explained that he is hot-natured, so he likes to sleep like that.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Johnny's intelligence can vary Depending on the Writer. Sometimes he's a completely vapid Dumb Blonde, sometimes he's merely Book Dumb, sometimes he's just average and simply looks stupid because he's the youngest member in a team made of scientists. His skill as the The Engineer can also vary on how impressive it is.
  • Speed Demon: While not strictly a speedster, the Human Torch is the fastest on the Fantastic Four team. He loves the adrenaline of flying fast through the air using his fiery powers and tends to leave others behind. If he actually focuses on him, he can get fast enough to break the sound barrier.
  • Status Quo Is God:
    • Johnny dying a year before the FF's 50th anniversary. Yeaaaah, that'll stick. All part of the plan - Johnny ends up in the Negative Zone leading a Five-Man Band to overthrow Annihilus and gains control over the Annihilation Wave. Took a Level in Badass indeed.
    • There have been dozens of "Johnny-learns-to-act-more-mature" stories over the decades. Then the next writer comes along and it starts all over again.
  • Stock Superhero Day Jobs: Has taken advantage of being Immune to Fire to work as a firefighter during a period where the Fantastic Four were short on cash.
  • Super Hero: He's one of the earliest career superheroes in the Marvel Universe, along with the rest of his Super Family Team.
  • Super Speed: If he really focuses on it, he can use his Flying Firepower to fly so fast as to break the sound barrier, but it does take out a lot of his energy to do it.
  • Tagalong Kid: Johnny Storm was in high school when he took part in the fateful space flight that turned him into the Human Torch, and he really had no other reason for tagging along in Reed's dangerous experiment other than being Sue's little brother. Some adaptations give him an Age Lift and try to give him a better reason for being part of the experiment.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: During Hickman's run, Johnny invites himself to live with Peter Parker. Peter gets increasingly irritated by Johnny's antics over the next few weeks, finally reaching his breaking point and kicking Johnny out when he finds Annihilus sitting on his toilet.
  • Thrill Seeker: One of the reasons Johnny loves being a Super Hero is that he simply enjoys the adrenaline rush. He's often characterized as this even before getting his powers.
  • Token Flyer: Johnny is the only member of the team who can fly under his own power. His sister has Not Quite Flight but can't reach the heights and speeds Johnny can.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds:
    • With Ben. They spend most of their time either sniping and snarking at each other, planning increasingly elaborate practical jokes on each other, or lambasting each other with creatively brutal threats about what they'll do to the other (which are hardly ever followed through) after said practical jokes. They are, of course, practically inseparable.
    • And Peter Parker. Spidey and the Torch's team-ups usually consist of them trying to one-up each other, with the expected volley of insults and snark. But at the end of the day, Spider-Man is probably Johnny's closest superhero friend outside of the Fantastic Four.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Perks: One of the odd perks of being able to get his body Wreathed in Flames is that he destroys any dirt or germs stuck on his body, making it unnecessary for him to brush his teeth or even bathe.
  • Wreathed in Flames: He has the physical ability to transform his entire body, or portions of his body into a fiery, plasma-like state of will. He can also ignite or turn off at will any part of his body, in order to prevent burning his allies accidentally if he needs to touch them.

    The Thing 

The Thing

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fantastic_four_vol_6_1_the_thing_variant_textless.jpg

Alter Ego: Benjamin Jacob Grimm

Notable Aliases: Blackbeard the Pirate, Angrir: Breaker of Souls, Dr. Josiah Verpoorteen, El Morrito

First Appearance: The Fantastic Four #1 (November 1961)

"My point, an' I got one, is this: Safety ain't all it's cracked up t' be. Not if ya live a life worth th' risks. Sure, I coulda wallowed over one lousy break instead o' facin' th' world. An' some days, I still do. I backslide. And yer gonna do that, too. It's hard not ta. Yer gonna get lost in th' bad. But so long as ya got folks around who love ya, ya gotta remember tomorrow c'n always be better."
Ben talking to Franklin Richards

Idol O’ Millions, The ever-lovin’ blue-eyed Thing, one-fourth of Marvel’s First Family.

The Super Team Big Guy. "IT'S CLOBBERIN' TIME!"

A quintessential tough guy and Ace Pilot, Ben was part of an outer space expedition led by Dr. Reed Richards, alongside Susan Storm, and Johnny Storm. A classic example of the Silver Age in science fiction, the group was hit by a wave of cosmic rays, resulting in Ben's skin mutating into a rock-like substance, granting him with superhuman levels of strength, stamina, and durability.

Naturally, Ben is not happy with his new appearance, though eventually grows comfortable with his new-found role as an "idol o' millions".

A founding member of Marvel's first family, Ben is known to show up frequently in other comic books. Most notably, however, he has appeared in the 2005 Fantastic Four film (and its 2007 sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer), as portrayed by Michael Chiklis. Ben also features in the 2015 Fantastic Four reboot, portrayed there by Jamie Bell.


The Thing appears in:

Comic Books

  • Fantastic Four (various runs):
    • vol. 1 (1961 — 1996, 2002 — 2012, 2015)
    • vol. 2 (1996 — 1997)
    • vol. 3 (1998 — 2003)
    • vol. 4 (2013 — 2014)
    • vol. 5 (2014 — 2015)
    • vol. 6 (2018)
  • Marvel Two-in-One (various runs):
    • vol. 1 (1974 — 1983)
    • vol. 2 (2018 — 2019)
  • The Thing (various runs):
    • vol. 1 (1983 — 1986)
    • vol. 2 (2006)
  • FF vol. 1 (2011 — 2012)
  • Secret Wars vol. 2 (2015 — 2016)
  • Uncanny Inhumans (2015 — 2016)
  • Uncanny Avengers vol. 3 (2015 — 2017)

Film

Animation

Video Games


See: The Thing.

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Recruits

    Crystal 

Crystal

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/6249058_crystal_9.jpg

Alter Ego: Crystalia Amaquelin

Notable Aliases: The People's Princess, Crystalia Amaquelin-Maximoff

First Appearance: Fantastic Four #45 (December 1965)

See The Inhumans


    Medusa 

Medusa

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/6554634_medusa_21.jpg

Alter Ego: Medusalith Amaquelin-Boltagon

Notable Aliases: Madame Medusa

First Appearance: Fantastic Four #36 (March 1965)

See The Inhumans


    Luke Cage 

Luke Cage

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/5446084_uykibxy.png

Alter Ego: Luke Cage note 

Notable Aliases: Power Man

First Appearance: Luke Cage, Hero For Hire #1 (June 1972)

See Luke Cage


    Nova 

Nova

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/3169559_nova.jpg

Alter Ego: Frankie Raye

Notable Aliases: Human Torch

First Appearance: Fantastic Four #164 (November 1975)

See Heralds of Galactus


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    She-Hulk 

She-Hulk

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/6984082_she_hulk.jpg

Alter Ego: Jennifer Susan Walters

Notable Aliases: Hulk

First Appearance: Savage She-Hulk #1 (February 1980)

See She-Hulk


    Ms. Marvel II 

Ms. Marvel II

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/6269292_f8fbaa7e_9b43_4140_ab3c_e9bbd104b5f7.jpeg

Alter Ego: Sharon Ventura

Notable Aliases: She-Thing

First Appearance: The Thing #27 (September 1985)

See Ms. Marvel


    Ant-Man II 

Ant-Man II

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/4153676_ant_man_samnee_variant_a2299.jpg

Alter Ego: Scott Edward Harris Lang

Notable Aliases:

First Appearance: Marvel Premiere #47 (April 1979)

See Ant-Man


    Namorita 

Namorita

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/1352591_1262634406_2.jpg

Alter Ego: Namorita "Nita" Prentiss

Notable Aliases: Kymaera, Hard

First Appearance: Sub-Mariner #50 (June 1972)

See New Warriors


    Storm 

Storm

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/6939889_fearless2019002_cov.jpg

Alter Ego: Ororo Munroe

Notable Aliases: Ororo Iquadi T'Challa

First Appearance: Giant-Size X-Men #1 (May 1975)

See Storm


    Black Panther 

Black Panther

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/5011137_blap2016001_cov_d6d2a.jpg

Alter Ego: T'Challa

Notable Aliases: King of the Dead, Mr. Okonkwo

First Appearance: Fantastic Four #52 (July 1966)

See Black Panther


    Powerhouse 

Powerhouse

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/franklin_richards_28earth_61629_from_fantastic_four_vol_6_10_001.jpg

Alter Ego: Franklin Benjamin Richards

Notable Aliases: Powerhouse, Psi-Lord, Ego-Spawn, Avatar, Tattletale, Franklin Benjamin, Richard Franklin

First Appearance: Fantastic Four Annual #6 (November 1968)

Franklin is the son of Reed Richards and Sue Storm. Franklin is an Omega-level mutant with reality-warping abilities; even at a young age he is one of the most powerful beings in the Universe.


  • Astral Projection: Latent. While he is in this trance, he can project an intangible, ghost like image of himself to another location, through which he can see and hear what goes on at the location. What Franklin has called the “dreams” he has while in this state are not truly dreams, but his conscious awareness of the environment into which he has projected his “dream-self.”
  • Breakout Character: Originally a bit character at best, he quickly became popular among fans. As he got older, he gained bigger roles in Fantastic Four books, was featured in the Power Pack and a few events, and even got several spin-offs, the most popular being the non-canon Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius series.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Almost literally happens in issue #25 of the 2018 series. He punches out the Cormorant, an entity from a higher plane of existence, and is the first one to hurt it, something that impresses the Cormorant. Unfortunately, this uses up the last of Franklin's power, making him a normal human. Franklin also failed to actually bring the Cormorant down.
  • Brought Down to Normal: In issue #25 of the 2018 series, Franklin finally runs out of power and becomes normal. Also becomes a Broken Pedestal moment when he can't use the Krakoan gates anymore, meaning the mutants only cared about him because he was a mutant. Issue #26 revealed that this is because Franklin was never really a mutant in the first place. His Reality Warper powers responded to his subconscious childhood wish to be special and made him appear to be a Mutant down to the cellular level. When his powers ran out in the previous issue, his body went back to being a baseline human.
  • Dead Guy Junior: He's named after Sue and Johnny's late father Franklin Storm, who died saving the lives of the team.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: He has "special dreams" which are prophetic. May be symbolic: before a clash among the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and Doctor Doom, he dreamed of the Fantastic Four and the X-Men dying, and his father turning into Doom, which foretold aspects of the clash. May also be literal: in his first meeting with Power Pack, they deduce why an alien is chasing them — Katie Power is carrying an alien artifact that could be traced — he recounts how he had dreamed that the alien chased him, and so they give him the artifact, which leads to their victory.
  • Deus ex Machina: Why Franklin is rarely ever shown fully powered.
  • Emo Teen: Vague Age aside, learning in the 2018 series that he's reached a limit on his powers after recreating the multiverse, that they'll eventually run out, as well the fact that the Griever has destroyed some of the realities he created, he's become angsty and broody coping with the fact that the people and places he created are gone and that he'll eventually be powerless. This is illustrated by him dyeing his hair black.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Downplayed and Played With. While he's not lazy, he's definitely a lot less mature than his sister... in some respects. On the other hand, when they become teenagers in Slott's run, he passes his (flying car) driving test, while Valeria fails, because when they were inevitably attacked, he first ensured that his car was safely parked and his passenger was safe before turning to fight. Valeria... not so much.
  • Future Badass: A future version of Franklin, who he calls Mister Franklin that taught him to regain some of his powers and defeated Mad Celestials alongside Galactus.
  • Giver of Lame Names: When playing superhero with Leech, he gave them the names "Hyperstorm" and "Kid Incredible". A future version of Franklin who happened to be watching commented on the names. Considering that "Hyperstorm" was the name of an alternate future child of Franklin and Rachel Summers, this was probably a nod to that.
  • Goo-Goo-Godlike: Some Celestials once analysed Franklin, and determined him to be an Omega Level Plus Mutant. Omega is as high as Mutant powers are meant to go.
  • Guardian Entity: His will eventually be Galactus or he will be one for him when he grows older but they will be together long enough to witness the end of the universe with each other.
  • Hybrid Power: Franklin is an interesting case because he's a hybrid but not of different species but rather different power sets. It's generally assumed that his natural mutant powers are psychic in nature but this wouldn't explain his Reality Warper powers. This is most likely due to the fact that both of his parents are non-mutant superhumans but also passed on the mutant gene which was recessive in them but dominant in Franklin. Franklin is not only a mutant but is also enhanced by the cosmic powers he inherited from his parents which allows him to do things that even Omega level psychics like Jean Grey or Nathan Summers are incapable of - though his old buddy Nate Grey is shown in Age of X-Man to at least be in the same rough category.
  • Immortality Begins at Twenty: Future Franklin apparently just stopped aging somewhere in his thirties.
  • Intergenerational Friendship:
    • With Nate Grey who's physically 17 when they meet during the Onslaught crisis. Some time afterwards, Nate hung out with the Fantastic Four for a while, looking to get a cure for his genetic degradation and became a big brother figure to Franklin, mentoring him in the use of his powers and discussing their favourite Avengers (Franklin said his was Scarlet Witch, and Nate immediately assumed that it was because of her costume - Franklin was oblivious). When he left, Franklin was visibly upset, and the usually stand-offish Nate hugged him, promising to come back and fulfil his promise to teach Franklin how to make psionic armour. This never came about, partly because Status Quo Is God and partly because Nate 'died' shortly afterwards.
    • He also gets along very well with Jarvis and (to Johnny's annoyance) with Spider-Man.
  • Killed Offscreen: Immortal Hulk #24 has the One Below All reveal to the sentience of the universe that he kills/killed Franklin and Galactus two billion years before the end of the universe.
  • Lamarck Was Right: His parents are powerful superheroes, so he became powerful in his own right.
  • Mind over Matter: Latent. Possesses telekinetic abilities enabling him to levitate and manipulate living beings, inanimate objects, and to some extent energy psionically. This also enables him to fly.
  • Mr. Fanservice: In Dan Slott's run, Franklin has the honor of being the first of the newly aged up Future Foundation to be stripped down to his boxer briefs to show off his toned body.
  • Multicolored Hair: In Dan Slott's run, he dyed his blonde hair blue with black streaks.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Done inconsistently; In the past his creations have generally lasted until he unmade them, but in Dan Slott's run it's revealed that his X-Gene was a forgery created by subconscious use of his powers, with it disappearing when he uses them all up. Yet near immediately after, all the beings from the realities he created are shown to still exist, with their homes only ending because a cosmic being made them end.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: He was born in 1968. Aside from an incident of using his powers to temporarily age himself to adulthood, and the usual range of alternate reality versions, he has remained a child for more than four decades of real-world time. The fact that he was injudiciously given a Story-Breaker Power contributes heavily to the problem of ever letting him grow up. It is very glaring though, because characters that were born long after him are now either teenagers or actual adults. Averted in the 2018 run, where he has been significantly aged up.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: Subverted - Present Franklin and Future Adult Franklin get along great, happily calling each other Kid Franklin and Mister Franklin. Then again, Franklin has the power of being superhumanly well-adjusted, far more than any kid who's been repeatedly kidnapped, has seen every one of his relatives die at least once, sometimes possesses godlike powers, and was once trapped in hell has any right to be.
  • Power Limiter: Psychic blocks keep him from being as all-powerful as his full potential. Whatever his power set at any given time is what leaks through. Naturally, using his full power tends to make any of it unusable for some time. These days, he has no powers and feels like the odd one out with the Fantastic Four as his family and a beyond-Reed-class genius as his little sister.
  • Psychic Powers: As "Psi-Lord", he demonstrated a wide variety of psionic powers.
  • Reality Warper: He's capable of creating his own universes, and that's not the least of his powers.
  • Seers: Can see into the future somewhat.
  • Shout-Out: His own short series was a pretty clear homage to Calvin and Hobbes.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Even in his teen years, he's more energetic, loud and simple than his sister.
  • Story-Breaker Power: A Reality Warper on a cosmic scale, he has been largely kept as a child for decades specifically because it has been demonstrated that his mature power levels would be so far off the scale that he would become virtually unusable as a character.
  • Superpower Lottery: His Reality Warping powers and insane amount of Psychic Powers. When Franklin achieves the conscious use of his full powers, he will have telepathic powers, tremendous telekinetic powers, the ability to fire enormously powerful energy blasts, and the ability to rearrange the molecular structure of matter and energy. His powers are so great that he has been able to create pocket universes, and his abilities have been described as equal to the Celestials. After Secret Wars (2015), he spent a long time recreating the multiverse. He's definitely the most powerful mutant on Earth, and possibly one of the most powerful being in the overall Marvel Universe.
  • Touched by Vorlons: His powers are in part due to the Cosmic Control Rod being used to keep the cosmic radiation he was absorbing from Sue while she was pregnant with him from killing him.
  • The Unfavorite: Reed has a difficult time relating to Franklin, but the two try to bond whenever they can.
  • Vague Age: As mentioned under Timey-Wimey Ball, Franklin's exact age is rather nebulous, usually floating somewhere between six and ten. Writers will occasionally give an exact number but they generally won't stick to it for long. In Dan Slott's run, Franklin and his sister have aged, but neither of them have exact ages - just that they're teenagers, and old enough to get driving licenses.
  • The Worf Effect: In Dan Slott's run, Franklin is one-shotted by Griever in order to build her credibility as a threat.

    Brainstorm 

Brainstorm

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/valeria_richards_earth_616_from_fantastic_four_vol_6_10_001.jpg

Alter Ego: Valeria "Val" Richards

Notable Aliases: Brainstorm, Marvel Girl

First Appearance: Fantastic Four Vol 3 #15 (March 1999) note  Fantastic Four Vol 3 #54 (June 2002) note 

The daughter of Sue and Reed Richards and the younger sister of Franklin.


  • Brainy Baby -> Child Prodigy: She's not even four when she's already equalling/exceeding her father. It's later suggested that she's a mutant and her intellect is her superpower.
  • Characterization Marches On: At first, Valeria was just an ordinary two-year-old. It was Mark Millar who introduced the idea of her being much smarter than she looked, and Valeria's stayed that way since.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Did this to MacGargan, when he was Venom.
  • Enfante Terrible: She has moments that show how much Doom rubbed off on her.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The responsible sibling to Franklin's foolish, though sometimes they flip the script, as when they're learning to drive (when they are inevitably attacked, Franklin first takes care to make sure his examiner is safe. Valeria first takes care to use her occupied car as a weapon).
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She is certainly the most amoral of the group, but she does mean well and tries to be a good person, and gets somewhat nicer as she grows up.
  • Kid from the Future: She was introduced this way as Valeria Von Doom (A.K.A. Marvel Girl), with Doctor Doom as her adopted father (Sue was still her mother), having been sent, alive, to the future by Franklin after she was stillborn. Then Franklin ended up retconning his mother into suddenly being about nine months pregnant with Valeria (It Makes Sense in Context, or about as much sense as it could be expected to when a reality-bending Cheerful Child resurrected his time-travelling sister by knocking up his mother - it's weird enough that even Sue is utterly baffled), with her father being Reed, beyond all doubt. Her current incarnation is named Valeria Richards, yet she still has connections to Doctor Doom, given that he had a hand in her delivery and named her after a girl he loved (and Valeria was even his familiar at one point).
  • Little Miss Snarker: Depending on the writer.
  • Mini Dress Of Power: As Marvel Girl, as her costume had elements of the FF uniform and Doctor Doom's.
  • Morality Pet: For Doctor Doom, who is far more moral when around her, and works hard to make her happy.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Up until Mark Millar's run, Valeria acted like a normal toddler, until a version of Sue from a Bad Future called her out on it. Valeria had been doing this because she'd calculated revealing her intelligence would've split the family apart.
  • Odd Friendship: About the only person in the world who can call Doctor Doom 'uncle'. Doom has also declared, among other things, that Valeria has unlimited access to him (she never needs an appointment), and that she is under his personal protection at all times. Everyone in the Marvel Universe knows that this means he will fucking kill anyone who so much as gives her a dirty look...
  • Other Me Annoys Me: After the events of "Forever/All Hope Lies In Doom" arc(s), both the future adult Valeria and current child version Valeria seem to dislike each other for no reason. One reason may involve her status as a Token Evil Teammate. When child Valeria was writing up a plan on conquering the Kree Empire for fun in her computer, her older self browbeat her into deleting it, implying that her older self dislikes how amoral she used to be.
  • The Runaway:After the events of the family's cosmic vacation, Valeria upset over being lied to about the family's situation runs away to stay with Uncle Doom.
  • Science Hero: During Axis, she thwarted a hate plague in Latveria with SCIENCE (and a ray gun).
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: In a few stories, she'll have a very colorful vocabulary, full of long words.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Is more poised, reserved and morally questionable than her brother.
  • Smitten Teenage Girl: Has shades of this in Slott's run. She was willing to take the Future Foundation into a collapsing universe to save one boy.
  • The Spock: Always advocates the pragmatic or coldly logical choice, and thinks her dad's an idiot sometimes for choosing his family over the "greater good".
  • Token Evil Teammate: Well, not really evil, but her brain is definitely much bigger than her heart and she is mainly ruled by her intellect coupled with childish selfishness. If it comes to the emotional decision against the pragmatic one, Valeria will head straight for the pragmatic choice. This pragmatism often stems towards straight out amorality where she gets to the point where she can work well with Dr. Doom of all people and make up plans to destroy and subjugate intergalactic empires like the Kree for fun.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In a more peculiar example; when we see her future self, she certainly frowns upon Valeria making plans to conquer the Kree, so it's possible that she grew up out of her Token Evil Teammate status as she matured.

    Flux 

Flux

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/2325874_sykes.jpg

Alter Ego: Dennis Sykes

Notable Aliases: Matter, Mighty Dennis, Captain Dennis, Denniserine

First Appearance: Heroic Age: One Month to Live #1 (November 2010)

Unhappy parent & banker, Dennis Sykes was gifted & cursed the day he gained his new superpowers because he was doomed to die after 30 days. He is the main character from Marvel's One Month To Live mini-series.

See Avengers: Honorary Members


    Spider-Man 

Spider-Man

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/4831078_spider_man_1.jpg

Alter Ego: Peter Benjamin Parker

Notable Aliases: Ricochet, Dusk, Prodigy, Hornet, Ben Reilly, Scarlet Spider, Captain Universe, Liar

First Appearance: Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962)

See Spider-Man


    Ms. Thing 

Ms. Thing

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/2549312_ff2.jpg

Alter Ego: Darla Deering

Notable Aliases:

First Appearance: Marvel NOW! Point One #1 (December 2012)

Darla Deering was a trendy socialite who after a romantic encounter with Johnny Storm, wound up as a substitute member of the Fantastic Four. Now as a member of the team, she wears a suit previously used by the Thing when he was de-powered which grants her superhuman strength.



Alternative Title(s): Marvel Comics Human Torch, Marvel Comics Invisible Woman, Marvel Comics Mister Fantastic

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