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Comic Book / Ultimate Fantastic Four

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Ultimate Fantastic Four was a reimagining of the classic superhero team for Marvel Comics Ultimate Marvel line. It saw Reed Richards, Sue and her brother Johnny, as well as Ben Grimm, reimagined as young adults housed in the Baxter Building after an experiment in Inter-Dimensional Teleportation gives them all special abilities. Reed Richards is a young scientist, part of a government think-tank, charged with creating new technologies for the spy agency S.H.I.E.L.D.. An unsuccessful attempt at teleportation transforms the physical forms of himself, the children of the think tank director, his best friend Benn Grimm, as well as his colleague Victor Van Damme, into beings that are no longer human.

Now a team of superheroes, the Fantastic Four spend their days fighting off intergalactic and inter-dimensional threats, many of which come about due to Reed's experiments, while they're hidden from the public eye, forced to live out their days in the Baxter Building under the eye of Dr. Franklin Storm.

The series lasted for sixty issues, from February, 2004 to April, 2009. After Ultimatum, the series was cancelled and the Four broke up: Sue continued her research at the Baxter Building, Ben became a test pilot for S.H.I.E.L.D., Johnny moved in with Spider-Man, and Reed moved back in with his family. In the "Ultimate Doomsday" trilogy of miniseries, it was discovered that Reed had become disgruntled, turning villainous, wanting to change the world by force. Meanwhile, Ben has shed his stone skin, becoming physically human again but having unknown energy powers. Johnny later became a member of the Ultimate X-Men.

A new volume was launched in 2014, following the Cataclysm crossover. Dubbed Ultimate FF (as in Future Foundation, not Fantastic Four), the new series starred the Invisible Woman, Iron Man, The Falcon, Machine Man, Phil Coulson and Doctor Doom. After the disappointing sales of the first two issues, Marvel cancelled the book, effectively turning it into a 6 part mini-series.

Very loosely adapted into Fantastic Four (2015).

Ultimate Fantastic Four provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents:
    • Gary Richards. It's no wonder Reed turned out so mentally stable with a dad as loving and supportive as this guy. Gary is from the first issue shown to be verbally and emotionally (if not physically) abusive toward Reed, having no interest or tolerance for Reed's tinkering, yelling at him from turning the phone into a device, then throwing it at Reed's dinner. A later issue suggests Gary was physically abusive as well. Thanos manages to torture Reed by conjuring an image of Gary prepared to beat him.
    • Mary Storm. She's the reason for much of Susan's volatility and trust issues. She abandoned her husband and two children, Susan and Johnny, before faking her death via car accident in order to pursue her career. She eventually came back to her family's lives due to her long sought discovery of Atlantis which required their aid in excavation. She outright stated to Sue she only came back to see her family because she needed their expertise and did not regret her decision after Sue called her out on her fake pleas of parental affection.
    • Thanos to his three children. He physically abused Ronan to make him subservient, and removed all the skin from his daughter's arm, just for talking back. Hearing Atrea trail off describing his parenting style causes Ben to remark that he sounds like Reed's father.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • Reed's father went from Nathaniel to Gary.
    • Doctor Doom's last name was changed from "Von Doom" to "Van Damme".
    • Mole Man's name is changed from "Hervey Elder" to "Arthur Molekovic".
    • Norrin Radd is called "The Silver Searcher", not "The Silver Surfer".
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: The event that gave the Four their powers is changed from a space flight into a teleportation experiment and merges it with Doctor Doom's origin story (in which a dimensional portal experiment blew up in his face because he refused to take Reed's advice, leading to him adopting his trademark metal mask). Here, Doom tinkers with the settings on Reed's teleporter experiment because he believes he knows better, causing it to blow up in their faces and transform the five of them into superpowered beings.
  • Adaptational Dumbass: Reed's father was a fellow scientist in the mainstream comics. Here, he's a Jerk Jock who frowns upon brains.
  • Adaptational Superpower Change:
    • Ben Grimm eventually gains the ability to change between forms, unlike his 616 counterpart, who is stuck in the Rock form.
    • Victor Von Doom gains ghastly scars on his face in the original continuity from an experiment backfiring on him, to hide these scars he wears a heavy armor. Here, Victor Van Damme's entire body turns to metal and he gains cloven feet like a demon, corrosive acid breath and the ability to fire off metallic skin-shards in the same accident that gave the Four their powers.
  • Age Lift: All of the titular four are teenagers, as opposed to just Johnny Storm being a teenager.
  • Alternate Universe Reed Richards Is Awesome:
    • In When Ben goes back in time to avoid being turned into the Thing, he changes time such that Reed and the Skrulls modernize the world even more and give everyone superpowers. It does not end well, but only because of the Batman Gambit of the Token Evil Diplomat.
    • Reed works for a government think-tank, but eventually gets so frustrated at not being able to change the world for the better in this position that he decides to MAKE things change. By force. He's since conquered most of Europe, destroyed Washington, D.C., killed nearly all the Asgardians, and now rules a nation notably more powerful than the United States. Until he was stopped by Tony Stark's sentient tumor.
  • Always Save the Girl: Averted during the Ultimatum storyline. Reed Richards chooses to confront Doctor Doom and save the world at large, abandoning his dying girlfriend, Sue. Eventually, she calls him out for it and breaks up with him. He explains that he made the "logical" choice, as saving the world would ultimately mean saving her as well. Sue remarks that she always felt that their love defied logic, and leaves him.
  • Arson, Murder, and Lifesaving: A variation of this occurred with General Ross and Reed Richards.
    Ross: "I agree to One. Simple. Test. And you trash a shuttle, wreck Vegas and reveal yourselves to the public in a way we cannot hide or go back from... and for what? For what, Mr. Richards?"
    Reed Richards: "That's a hand-held death ray, General. Pretty easy to reverse-engineer and produce."
    Ross: "...I love you, boy."
  • Bamboo Technology: When he and the rest of the Frightful Four (Zombie Fantastic Four) were locked in a vault so the Fantastic Four could save the day, Zombie Reed Richards bragged to the guards that using highly improbable materials ("Did you know you can make a keyboard out of hair?"), he and the rest of the Frightful Four had now built a functional teleporter out of a pen, and would be leaving now for Central Park where they'd gobble up whoever they came across, thank you very much and goodbye. The Frightful Four joins hands and disappears, the guards rush in... and then Zombie Reed Richards tells Zombie Sue Storm she can turn off their invisibility.
  • Bait-and-Switch: "Crossover" starts with Ultimate Reed trying to build an interdimensional gate to what appears to be the Classic Marvel Universe, being helped by his Earth-616 counterpart through some form of interdimensional communicator. At the end of the issue it is revealed to be a ruse from the Zombieverse Reed Richards.
  • Benevolent Alien Invasion: The Skrulls shared technological secrets with the human race, gave Reed the means for everybody to achieve superpowers, and wanted to enlighten the human race to join them in the stars. Subverted, it was all a charade.
  • A Birthday, Not a Break: Victor Van Damme, aged 11, had his father drop his entire family history on him, and then leaves him alone in the parlor. Several hours later, Victor realizes that it's his birthday.
  • Body Horror
    • Ben has stone skin, and it's apparently a miracle that he can even breath.
    • Reedís transformation removed most, if not all, of his internal organs.
    • Johnny has to hibernate occasionally so that the layers of his skin that have been over-exposed to flames can flake off.
    • In the beginning, Sue had trouble staying completely visible or invisible, so while her skin disappeared her nervous system, her skeleton or her muscles were still visible.
    • Doctor Doom has become a being of living metal with a frankly demon-like appearance (including goat legs and a reptilian tail). Also, his organs are rotting into a noxious slime inside his body because he doesn't need them anymore; he can blast opponents with this slime or the fumes from it if he pleases.
    • Rhona Burchill augmented her intelligence by literally placing some of her brother's brain matter in her own brain, causing her head to become hideously disfigured in the process.
  • Breather Episode: "God War" is an arc filled with Cast of Snowflakes aliens, disjunction, weird trajectories, Timey-Wimey Ball, and several bad guys all wanting a non-descript MacGuffin that doesn't exist yet with a rushed ending. It's followed by the fairly straightforward "Devils" which involves Diablo kidnapping the Four's loved ones, and them going into the past and beating him up.
  • The Bro Code: In '"Ultimate Enemy", Ben confesses to Sue that he's fallen for her, but had refused to act on or acknowledge those feelings because she was with Reed. After some consideration, Sue realizes that she felt the same way. Though we never get to see how this might have affected Ben's friendship with Reed, since the team had already dissolved by the time Ben confessed, and by the time Sue and Ben got together, Reed was trapped in the N-Zone, apparently presumed dead. Reed has since become aware of their relationship and regards it with a mixture of ambivalence and malice.
  • Brought Down To Bad Ass: After the Fantastic Four alter history so that their accident never happened, Ben Grimm is naturally no longer a giant rocky monster... but he's still badass enough to beat the crap out of the Skrull leader.
  • The Call Put Me on Hold: Inverted in an arc, where an alternate Ben Grimm puts himself on hold. The gist is that Time Travel creates an alternate timeline where an alien pill grants everyone on Earth super-powers... except for Ben Grimm, who decides not to take it because he's happy with himself just as he is. Various characters remark that he's the most well-adjusted person they know, which makes his current situation as the suicidally depressed Thing even more tragic. In that timeline, the pill ends up killing everyone who had taken it, leaving Ben to apply some more time travel to clean up the pieces. For bonus angst, the way the situation's set up means that he accidentally causes himself to get eaten by the local Clock Roaches and then die hundreds of years ago in an ancient Mayan Temple. On the bright side, when the Skrull leader comes to Earth with the ability to copy the power of any superhuman within a huge radius, Ben points out that if the only human left on Earth has no powers, than neither does the Skrull leader. Ben then proceeds to kick the now powerless Skrull's ass. Epically.
  • Clock Roaches: The spider-shaped Argiopes, who would eat any time travel-created doubles to avoid paradoxes.
  • Come with Me If You Want to Live: When he was stranded in the zombie universe, Reed was rescued by Magneto. Let's remember that Ultimate Magneto, the one that this Reed is familiar with, was the highest Big Bad of the Ultimate Universe, the leader of an anti-human terrorist group, with none of the shades of grey of the Magneto from the mainstream universe.
  • Composite Character:
    • The Maker/Reed Richards shares many elements with Doctor Doom. He's also likened to be the counterpart of Avengers foe, Kang the Conqueror.
    • Kang is a Future Badass version of Sue Storm instead of Iron Lad of the Young Avengers.
  • Continuity Snarl: In Ultimate Spider-Man and The Ultimates the Fantastic Four are referenced and Reed Richards is a notable enough scientist to have a building at ESU named after him, but very early on in Ultimate Fantastic Four, before the team comes together, there are references to The Ultimates. This is because of a change in plans. Originally, the Fantastic Four we were seeing in Ultimate Spider-Man and The Ultimates were going to be adults, while Ultimate Fantastic Four would take place a decade or so in the rest of the line's past, establishing the FF as the first super heroes and cornerstones of heroic society in the Ultimate Universe. The plan got muddled and changed, but it's very apparent when Sue Storm, 16-ish here, shows up during Ultimate Spider-Man's "The Clone Saga" and is clearly in her late 20s/early 30s.
  • Cool Kid-and-Loser Friendship: Ben Grimm had this relationship with Reed Richards in school, with Reed being an unpopular nerd regularly tormented by bullies, while Ben was the popular athlete respected by his peers who would pummel anyone who messed with Reed.
  • Deadly Gas: The N-Zone's atmosphere is acidic.
  • Decomposite Character:
    • Phineas Mason (based on Phineas Mason/The Tinkerer of the classic Marvel Universe) appeared in Ultimate Fantastic Four Annual #2. However another character, Elijah Stern, had already taken the Tinkerer identity in Ultimate Spider-Man.
    • The Silver Searcher is based on the Silver Surfer from the main Marvel Universe being Norrin Radd from the planet Zenn-La. However previously Ultimate Extinction had already introduced Gah Lak Tusís heralds as silvery beings also based on the Silver Surfer.
  • Defector from Paradise: In the First Annual Issue, Crystal decided to run away from Attilan, that's described by herself as a flawless super-society without crime or disobedience and essentially a Heaven on Earth, because she did not want to go through with her prearranged marriage to Black Bolt's brother, Maximus. The prospect of her living in a "boring perfect kingdom" while spending the rest of her life married to Maximus caused her to immediately defect.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Early issues of The Ultimates seemed to imply that the Fantastic Four were already around and well-established as heroes before the Ultimates were even formed. Here this is contradicted by showing that the team's origin took place long after the formation of the Ultimates, with the Four themselves reimagined as a group of inexperienced teenagers.
  • Easily Forgiven: Ross is furious. He has authorized a test. Just! A! Test! And now the FF have totaled a space shuttle, cause grave devastation in Las Vegas, unleashed an alien invasion, revealed themselves to the public in a manner that can not be concealed or refused... and then Reed hands him a souvenir from the alternate universe. A hand weapon with a death ray, easy to reverse-engineer and produce in high numbers. All was suddenly forgiven.
  • Elemental Powers
    • Like the original versions, the Four's powers are said to correspond to the four elements, though comparing Reed to water is kind of a stretch.
    • The same thing applies to Doctor Doom, who has been likened to the elemental of Metal.
    • Namor seems to have a dash of Making a Splash powers alongside his Flying Brick set.
  • Everyone Is a Super: In one storyline, Reed went back in time and prevented the teleportation experiment by fixing the calibration of the teleporter so that Ben Grimm wouldn't have to be The Thing. The result was an alternate world where humanity achieves first contact with the Skrulls, who provide them with special pills that turn everyone on Earth into a superhuman, with Grimm being the only one on Earth who doesn't take them and quite happy about it. Until it turned out to be the aliens' way of killing the entire human race, and Ben had to fix it.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly:
    • Happened to Victor Van Damme early on, transforming from surly pretty boy into a metallic Satyr.
    • This is also the ultimate fate of Reed Richards, when it's revealed he has been behind everything in the ''Ultimate Doomsday Trilogy''. Crosses over into Fridge Brilliance when you realize that he has in effect become Ultimate Doctor Doom.
  • Expy
    • Reed Richards become one of Doctor Doom, after he turns evil. His FaceĖHeel Turn mimics the 616-incarnation of Doom, even resulting in a scarred face that he hides behind a metallic helmet.
  • Eye Scream: Sue needs to use a needle with Ben, but all his body is indestructible, except for...
  • Fakeout Escape: There's a sequence (imported from the original comics) where Sue turns invisible when government officials come to check on her, then runs out the doorway during their confusion.
  • False Innocence Trick: Namor is found in the ruins of Atlantis and he tells the Four that he was its ruler long ago, in a nod to the mainstream version. Things go south when Reed translates the warnings on the building Namor was found in and realizes that Namor was being held in a prison. For good reason, since he's the kind of evil jerk who would threaten to flood New York unless Sue gave him a kiss.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Chitauri are apparently an outcast caste of Skrull. Calling a Skrull Chitauri is insulting seeing as they're different.
  • First-Contact Math: When Reed makes contact with some residents of the N-Zone, their first few exchanges are conducted in binary. After Reed sends them Pi and the human symbol for 'hydrogen', their computer takes over and downloads the first contact package he prepared.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Doctor Doom blackmails Reed into switching bodies with him during the "Frightful" arc. Reed turns it around by attempting to pull a Heroic Sacrifice, and revealing the truth just before doing so: Doom reverses the switch rather than let Reed take the credit.
  • Freudian Excuse:
    • In Ultimate Fantastic Four #7, it is explained that on Victor Van Damme's tenth birthday he was presented with his family history dating back to Vlad Tepes Dracula and the blueprint for his villainous mindset, and from that day on at dinner he was required to recite said family history from memory, receiving beatings when he got it wrong and being forced to start over until he got it right. The last page of the flashback shows 10-year-old Victor sitting in the chair where he received the original lecture and instruction in five panels depicting it slowly getting darker. In the last one, he says "It's my birthday."
    • Played straight with the Maker as well; Reed Richards. Abused by his father, not respected by his peers, bullied in high school, and the world didn't change the way he wanted it to.
  • Giant Spider: The Clock Roaches in this reality are big black and yellow spiders, the size of a Volkswagen truck.
  • Giver of Lame Names:
    • In one comic, Ben, Sue, and Johnny all complain that Reed can't name things (the example they give being "The Fantasti-car"). Dr. Storm then says they should let Johnny name the shuttle Reed's reinventing. He names it the "Awesome". Reed is not amused.
    • And later, just before the title got cancelled, Ben is on his own and helps set up a shuttle to save Sue. He comments that "I finally got to name one of these doohickeys myself" while we see that the shuttle sports the name "Awesome II".
  • Grounded Forever: Dr. Storm threatens Sue with this.
    Dr. Storm: You're grounded 'till you're thirty!
  • Human Outside, Alien Inside: This is used to explain some of the team's powers. Reed, for instance, looks like a normal human being but no longer has internal organs, merely possessing a "bacterial stack" in its place. Oh, and he no longer craps.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Namor refused to return to the ocean and stop destroying New York until Sue kissed him and meant it — in front of Reed. Since Namor clearly had the upper hand and wasn't going to be removed by force, Sue is forced to go along with it.
  • Inexplicable Language Fluency:
    • Downplayed. Namor demonstrates this trope after spending nine thousand years of being sealed inside a sarcophagus prison. Being from an ancient civilization of Atlantis that predates the modern English language, he initially has no idea what his new captors are saying when they find him. However, thanks to his psionic powers he proves to be a frighteningly fast learner and is able to learn English within an hour to understand modern American English and casually deliver threats and demands.
    • Happens again when the Four meets the Silver Surfer who is able to understand English perfectly the instant he arrives to Earth for the first time. He justifies this by stating can decipher electromagnetic signals in the air to learn alien tongues in seconds.
  • Internal Homage: The issue with the Inhumans, drawn by Jae Lee, starts with a similar image to the first issue of the Inhumans miniseries, also by Lee.
  • Invisible to Normals: The Argiopes are spider-like creatures who attack the sources of time paradoxes to protect the timestream, and can only be seen by time travellers.
  • It's a Costume Party, I Swear!: Johnny Storm pulls this on Ben Grimm in one issue. Despite the thorough humiliation of showing up at a fancy party dressed as Carmen Miranda when he's already a gigantic rock-skinned thing, Grimm hooks up with Alicia Masters shortly afterward. Before getting over the prank and meeting Alicia, he reveals that he's tried and failed to kill himself due to his invulnerability and wonders if Reed can find a way to kill him. Then they try to time travel to undo his origin story. Johnny's prank tore open a still fresh wound.
  • Jock Dad, Nerd Son: Played for drama. Gary Richard's is a huge sports nut and obsessed with "manly" behavior. His son — Reed's quiet nature and fascination with science elicits his scorn, to the point that he openly regards Ben Grimm as being the son he wanted but never had.
  • Knight Templar:
    • The Psycho Man mind controls a world to feel happy and content, while the Silver Seacher argues that they are merely happy slaves.
    • Dr. Doom is always working on creating his "utopia", even if it means destroying the world as we know it.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: About half of Issue 21 teases that a crossover between 616 and the Ultimate Universe was going to happen via Ultimate Reed meeting with 616 Reed...well, the end of the issue smugly says it best:
    Zombie!Reed: Ever felt like you've been had?
  • Legacy Vessel Naming: Johnny is given the opportunity to name the team's new shuttle. He goes with "The Awesome". Despite Reed's objections, the name sticks. Near the end of the series, Ben is making his own shuttle, and we see that he decided to name it "Awesome II".
  • Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard:
    • Subverted in an issue. The confined Frightful Four announce that they've made a teleporter made from a ballpoint pen, hair, paper. Zombie Susan just turned them invisible. She lampshades how stupid the guards would be to fall for it. They do.
  • Long List: At age 10 Victor Van Damme had to be able to recite his ancestry starting from Vladimir Tepes.
  • MacGyvering: Subverted in the "Frightful" arc, where zombie Mr. Fantastic convinces the soldiers guarding the Frightful Four's cell that he's built a teleporter out of stuff lying around the cell and they promptly disappear. Turns out Zombie Invisble Woman had just made them all invisible so that the guards would open the cell to investigate, whereupon they were eaten.
  • Magic Genetics: Attempted to be justified, at least with Mr. Fantastic and the Human Torch. Johnny's powers come from his nuclear fusion, using his body as an energy source. Reed is able to stretch and not crush his organs because all he has in the way of organs is a colony of symbiotic bacteria who take in food and air and give his body nutrition. Their origin is justified as well now too, as their powers are not from cosmic radiation anymore, but rather from swapping bodies with a double from another universe.
  • Meanwhile, in the FutureÖ: This happens at the beginning of a storyline (before they go back to prevent Ben's transformation to the Thing.) Reed is in contact with Sue and Johnny who are both in different time periods. Their communicators are apparently acting as a Portal to the Past for communication.
  • Never My Fault: Victor Van Damme interfered with Reed Richards' prototype teleporter. The resultant energies resulted in the creation of the Fantastic Four, and his own transformation into a demonic-looking being of living metal. Doctor Doom insists that the transformation is not his fault, but rather that Reed's calculations were "so bad even [he] couldn't fix them".
    The fact Reed lays the blame for the transformation squarely on van Damme is supposed to show that they're similar, but it kind of falls flat when we see that, in an Alternate Universe where van Damme kept his grubby fingers to himself, nobody was transformed. Of course, that universe also resulted in humanity being wiped out by the Skrulls when they appeared as benefactors and gave everyone superpowers... with deliberately flawed technology that caused them to all die afterwards... but what's that saying about omelets and eggs?
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Reed created the Cosmic Cube to defend Earth against Thanos... which is exactly what Thanos was manipulating him to do.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Victor changes the figures in Reed's N-Zone experiment, and winds up transforming himself and the Fantastic Four. Turns out that if Victor hadn't altered the calculations, Reed would have made first contact with the Skrulls and doomed the human race to extinction.
  • No Conservation of Energy: Warren Ellis tries to avoid this; he still has Reed "eating" air. Invisible Woman's explanation consists of a Lampshade Hanging, and Ben's power goes unmentioned. The Human Torch's bio-fusion is highly implausible but at least gives a Hollywood Science Hand Wave to his energy source.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: During Warren Ellis' run, the team traveled to Denmark to capture Doctor Doom and turn him over to the U.S. military. The story ended with the Danish military not only protecting Doom, but then forcibly ejecting both the Fantastic Four and the American soldiers from their country. Governments don't respond well to foreign groups barging onto their property to take an affluent citizen.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Diablo pulls this on Reed, saying they're both alchemists just looking for answers.
  • Oh, Crap!
    • The Skrull leader gains his powers by copying the abilities of any other mutant/metahuman in the area. At the end of an alternate universe arc, he gloats to a powerless Ben Grimm that the last Earthling aside from himself just died and Ben is now the last man alive. Ben responds by slowly taking off his coat and cracking his knuckles. Then, the Skrull realizes how screwed he is.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten:
    • Doctor Doom considers the experiment this, especially being blamed for it.
    • A comical version is Reed being a Giver of Lame Names which gets a lot of riffing the first time, and the second time he's made something he gets asked "So what's this one called, the Wonderbus?"
  • Power Tattoo: Victor applies nanobot-laced versions these on his minions and followers, allowing him to have command over them.
  • Put on a Bus: Victor Van Damme is stranded in the Marvel Zombies universe at the end of the "Frightful" arc.
  • Psychic Nosebleed: Sue suffers from these.
  • Rent-a-Zilla: Just like their 616 counterparts, a giant lizard bursting from under the street is the first threat they face.
  • Required Secondary Powers: A lot of emphasis is put on how the four now function after the accident.
    • Reed Richards has his body transformed into an undifferentiated "bacterial stack" with no internal organs or tissues, so he has no need to worry about, for example, his stretched arms going numb because his heart had to try to pump blood the length of a football field. How he gets energy without eating is glossed over.
    • Sue Storm lampshaded the impossibility of her powers, pointing out that there's no conceivable reason why she should be able to see things while invisible. Luckily, she's a bio-geneticist and thinks the mystery is fascinating.
  • Retcon: The "President Thor" story arc would reveal that the Chitauri, who were revealed to have been also known as Skrulls, are a radical splinter group of the actual Skrulls who appear in this series.
  • Rule of Cool: Mark Millar was explicitly told by Stan Lee to remember that the name of the book was "Fantastic Four." Not "Realistic Four."
  • Say My Name: It's nearly a multiversal constant with Doctor Doom, isn't it? RICHAAAAAARDS!!
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Sue Storm calls herself on this in the first arc, to the confusion of her teammates. "I screamed like a girl! That's so disappointing."
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!: Namor's plan is simply to walk away from confinement, visit the city and do whatever he pleases. Who is going to stop him?
  • Series Continuity Error:
    • The very first story arc established Reed and Sue as 21 years old when they first became superheroes. Later issues would inexplicably claim they were no older than 18 at the present.
    • The Maker/Reed Richards shows to Falcon how he keeps his intellect always a few steps ahead of The Children by elongating his brain. That shouldn't be possible or even necessary. To elaborate: in the first run of the series, Sue ran some tests on Reed and found out that his organism was completely mutated; he became a worm-like being with just a core, no organs other than that. And later, Sue's mother remarked that Reed was getting smarter by the minute due his mutation. So in the span of a thousand years Reed would be evolving his genius naturally, and there would be no brain for him to elongate.
  • Shout-Out:
    • "Sue's sick! And Moley is Hugh Laurie in this situation."
    • The death ray Reed picks up from the N-Zone looks suspiciously like a Gaffi Stick.
  • Stable Time Loop: The final pages of Ultimate Fantastic Four #53 show that Reed sends his Cosmic Cube back in time 30,000 years to the planet Acheron, where Thanos finds it, which precipitated his rise; when he lost it, he influenced Reed to create it.
  • Take That!: When dealing with a bunch of dock workers who were mutated after exposure to a parallel dimension Tony Stark was sure that they could reason with them as they were New Yorkers only to go Oh, Crap! when Falcon told him they were in Jersey.
  • The Extremist Was Right: It was lamphshaded by Nick Fury that despite his multiple acts of mass death and destruction, Reed Richards did manage to commit more good in the world in the short time he controlled the world than Nick or any of his associates have done in years. Even Sue admitted Reed was making the world into a better place while he was in control, but it was the means he undertook to get to that point that made everyone hate and attack him.
  • There Was a Door: In the "Crossover" arc , Reed Richards finds himself trapped in the Marvel Zombie universe with Magneto and a handful of human survivors. They are found by the rest of the Fantastic Four and hurry to escape the building. Ben heroically breaks down a wall so they can get out and Reed points out that the door was right there.
    Reed: Ever heard of a door, jackass?
    Ben: Okay, now I feel stupid.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Said word for word by Reed as the Fantasticar gets shot down.
  • Time Abyss:
    • Namor has been imprisoned over 9000 years. The worst this has done to him was cause some atrophy in his muscles, like astronauts suffer from (which is terrifying in and of itself, considering how strong he still is).
    • Likewise the Super-Skrull, the oldest living Skrull is over a billion years old.
  • Un-Sorcerer: The "President Thor" arc. It details a world where the Skrull have given everyone superpowers; except Ben Grimm. The superpower gift is revealed to be a virus that feeds power into the Super-Skrull. It also can be activated to kill the carrier. The Skrull King activates the killer gene, but without any power source, the Super-Skrull is easily defeated by Grimm in a powersuit.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means
    • Revka Temerlune Edifex Scyros III ("Psycho-Man"), enslaved an entire world by making them unable to feel anything but happiness, and did the same thing with the human-race after the populace of his home-world were brought out of his mind-control and their first encounter with negative emotions caused them to kill themselves and each other.
    • In Ultimate Enemy, Reed Richards decides that blowing up buildings with tentacle monsters is a good way to stop people from using science for the wrong reasons.
  • Why Are You Not My Son?: Gary Richards very much prefers Ben Grimm to his own son, Reed. Admiring Benís athletic abilities, whilst finding Reedís genius to be a nuisance.
  • Written Sound Effect:
    • One example is when an explosion goes FWAAASH.
      Sue Storm: Why didn't you tell me there'd be a FWAAASH?
    • And later; SCHRAMMMM.
      Ben: That's the noise I make when I rip a steel door off its hinges.
      Reed: That's more of a KROOOOM this was more of a SCHRAMMMM.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: The cumulative passage of time during the first arc would make Reed Richards and Sue Storm 21 years old at the beginning their crime-fighting careers. Despite this, both heroes are explicitly stated to be no older than 18 in later issues.