Fantastic origins of ‘Fantastic Four’ | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022




BASED on the 60-issue comic-book series “Ultimate Fantastic Four” released in 2004, the latest “Fantastic Four” film reimagines the origins of the four superheroes. The story features four people teleporting to an alternate universe, which alters their physical form and grants them new abilities.

In the aftermath of the Baxter incident, the government quickly ushers the four young people to a top-secret facility known as Area 57, where over the course of three years they are contained, stabilized, probed, and analyzed.

While Washington D.C.’s political and military industrial brass assess and attempt to harness their newfound powers, the four young people must band together as they grapple with their new abilities and, ultimately, save Earth from the mysterious and powerful force.

Directed by Josh Trank, “Fantastic Four” stars Miles Teller as Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic); Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm (Human Torch); Kate Mara as Susan Storm (Invisible Woman); and Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm (The Thing).


Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, “The Fantastic Four” issue No. 1 debuted in November of 1961.

The groundbreaking creation of Marvel’s first superhero team humanized and brought humor to comics and ushered in the Marvel Age, preceding other iconic Marvel characters such as Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk and The X-Men.

In that historic period of creativity in the early 1960s, Lee and Kirby were inspired by the atomic-bomb scares that were part of the zeitgeist of the Cold War. The speculative effects of radiation from the bombs became the root of the superpowers possessed by many of their iconic characters.

The “Fantastic Four” stories are about characters who did not have to wear masks, and who sometimes clashed with each other. The comics were set in the real world so readers could identify even more with the Four.


Like many modern-day inventors and geniuses, Reed Richards has humble origins.

At age 12, he toils countless hours in his mom and stepdad’s garage in their suburban home in Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York.   There, the young inventor designs a unique matter-transportation device that he cleverly cobbles together from parts scavenged from the salvage yard of his classmate, Ben Grimm.

The tabletop-size device, a “cymatic matter shuttle,” can transport objects from one place to another.

Another member of the team, Johnny Storm, is a young, hotshot adventure-seeker who wants nothing to do with his father Dr. Storm’s science program.

But when he gets in trouble during a street-racing accident, his father insists he join Baxter, and so Johnny becomes an unwilling participant in the Institute’s latest project. Following the botched mission, Johnny is transformed into a flying human fireball.

New abilities

Johnny’s stepsister Sue Storm was an orphan from Kosovo adopted by Dr. Franklin Storm. As a young adult, she develops the skill to see patterns in everything and everyone.

As a result of her proximity to a catastrophic event, Sue also obtains new abilities in which she can render herself invisible and harness her new powers to create powerful force fields.

The fourth member, Ben Grimm, lives with his mother and older brothers in a small house at his family’s home business, Grimm Salvage Yard, on the wrong side of the tracks in Oyster Bay.

Years later, after Reed enlists Ben to join his ill-fated teleportation mission at the Baxter Institute, Ben is transformed into a super-strong, six-foot-and-eight-inch, thousand-pound being whose body is covered in rock.

A 20th Century Fox presentation, “Fantastic Four” opens on Aug. 5 nationwide.

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