Fantastic Four Summary
Investor, astronaut and scientist Dr. Reed Richards' lifelong dream is close to being realized. He is spearheading a trip to outer space, to the center of a cosmic storm. There he hopes to unlock the secrets of the human genetic codes for the benefit of all humanity. Extensive government grant cutbacks nearly dashed the visionary's hopes of the historic flight, until Reed accepted a financing deal with his old college rival, Victor Von Doon, now a billionaire industrialist. Reed's crew for the mission includes his best friend, astronaut Ben Grimm; Sue Storm, Von Doom's director of genetic research and Reed's ex-girlfriend; and Sue's hot-headed younger brother, pilot Johnny Storm. With benefactor Von Doom in tow, the four set off for the exploration of a lifetime. The mission is uneventful--until Reed discovers a miscalculation of the speed of the approaching storm. Within minutes, the event threshold is upon them. The space station is engulfed by turbulent clouds of cosmic radiation which genetically transforms the crew. Their DNA is irrevocably altered--and so is their future. Back on earth, the effects on the exposure are quickly revealed. Reed gains the ability to stretch and contort his body into any shape he can imagine and, as leader of the group, is given the name Mr. Fantastic; Sue is able to render herself invisible and to create and project powerful force fields as Invisible Woman; Johnny becomes known as The Human Torch, as he can now engulf his body in flames and take flight at will; and Ben, whose freakish transmutation is the most shocking, becomes an orange-colored, rock-like, superhumanly strong creature, The Thing. Together, they turn tragedy into triumph and catastrophe into coalition, using their unique and formidable powers to thwart the evil plans of their now steely-eyed, iron-fisted nemesis Dr. Doom and to protect the citizens of New York City against any threat that may arise. Astronauts. Superheroes. Celebrities. To the world, they are the Fantastic Four. To each other, they are a family.