Following the disappearance of Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Woman, the Fantastic Four disbanded.[1] One of the Fantastic Four's foes, the Mad Thinker, interpreted Reed Richards' absence as a calling to fill the void he left. Calling himself Mister Fantastic and adopting a hairstyle like Richards',[2] the Mad Thinker gathered a trio of hired muscles and raided the laboratory of Rachna Koul.[3] Using Koul's equipment, the Mad Thinker bestowed himself and his partners powers similar to those of the original Fantastic Four. The other three members became Goodfire, Lumen, and Smash.[4]

When Koul returned to her laboratory, she stumbled into the Thinker's Fantastic Four. He stole the Multisect from her and used it to take his new team to an alternate universe where the Human Torch and The Thing had become stuck during a multiversal journey in the search for their family.[5] The Mad Thinker intended to eliminate them to consolidate his team, since he believed they needed to declutter the void left by the Fantastic Four from its remnants. Despite the fact that both the Human Torch and The Thing were powerless, they managed to hold their own against the Thinker's team and escaped.[4]

The duo regained their powers before their second encounter against the new Fantastic Four, and easily defeated the villain and his pretenders. Before returning home with The Thing and Mad Thinker's team, Johnny left the villain stranded in this reality, stripped of the equipment that simulated Mister Fantastic's powers, and encouraged him to fill the void of that world's Reed Richards and act selfless.[6] Following the return of the real Fantastic Four, Mister Fantastic visited this universe to retrieve the Mad Thinker, believing it was only a matter of time before he'd only grow to torment this reality's inhabitants.[7]

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