Four Freedoms Plaza was the replacement headquarters for the Fantastic Four when their original dwelling, the Baxter Building, was destroyed by Kristoff Vernard the adoptive son of Doctor Doom. It was located at 42nd Street and Madison Avenue in New York City. The title of the building came from a Franklin D. Roosevelt speech urging the Congress of the United States to enter World War II. In it Roosevelt outlined the four freedoms the world would enjoy if it united together to defeat the Axis Power:
- Freedom of speech and expression
- Freedom of every person to worship God in his own way
- Freedom from want
- Freedom from fear
The United Nations General Assembly has adapted the Four Freedoms into both the U.N. Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
By the time of the original Baxter Building's destruction, Reed Richards, brilliant scientist and leader of the Fantastic Four, had already begun to realize that his increasing amount of inventions and equipment was taking up all of the team's available space. After Kristoff Vernard sent the building into space and obliterated it, Reed had the perfect opportunity to rethink his approach to their living space. The result: Four Freedoms Plaza, a 1500', 100 story building of advanced composites, concrete, and glass, designed to Richards's specifications. Of the 100 floors, the top 50 belong to the team, while the bottom 50 belong to the former tenants of the Baxter Building. Reed, realizing the obvious inconvenience of a supervillain destroying your home, offered the tenants increased space under their old terms, including their 99-year leases. Reed Richards oversaw construction in earnest, and the building was rapidly completed in a matter of months. The building was then made open to the public with much fanfare, with a ceremony officiated by the mayor of New York City. After the ceremony, Reed Richards was surprised to find that the majority of his equipment was recovered by Uatu the Watcher prior to the Baxter Building's destruction and returned to him after the building was officially open.
The Four Freedoms remains the Fantastic Four's headquarters for quite some time. During the Infinity War the upper levels were destroyed by a gamma bomb planted by a Reed Richards doppelganger created by the Magus. However, before repairs could be done the Human Torch accidentally set Empire State University during a battle, leading to the Fantastic Four settling out of court to repair the damages. This slowed the repair process for months until the Fantastic Four received a much needed financial boost from their ally the Black Panther. With this infusion of money the needed repairs began, and were completed rapidly.
When the mutant threat Onslaught unleashed an army of Sentinels against New York City, the Fantastic Four teamed with others of Earth's mightiest superheroes to face the threat. Many of the heroes, including the Four, used the Four Freedoms Plaza as a base of operations during the crisis. Ultimately, the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, and Dr. Doom seemingly sacrificed their lives to stop Onslaught. Unknown to the world, Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Woman's son Franklin shunted the heroes to pocket dimension to save their lives. The battle with Onslaught caused structural damage to the Four Freedoms. With the Fantastic Four gone, the building stood vacant for a time. In order to prevent Reed's inventions from falling into the hands of the government. Seeking to prevent this Nathaniel Richards and Kristoff Vernard shunted everything inside into the Negative Zone.
During this period, the villains known as the Masters of Evil reinvented themselves as a superhero team known as the Thunderbolts as part of their leader Baron Zemo's scheme to take over the world. Earning the public trust, the Thunderbolts eventually took possession of the Four Freedoms Plaza and turned it into their headquarters. The trademark 4 emblem on the top floor was replaced with the Thunderbolt's logo. Ultimately, the upper floors of the Four Freedoms were shunted into the Negative Zone during Zemo's failed scheme, the Thunderbolts abandoned the base following this. Not long after this, the Fantastic Four and the other heroes were discovered in the pocket dimension, and returned home. When the Fantastic Four attempted to reclaim their former headquarters, they were denied due to the structural damage caused by the Thunderbolts. As a result they relocated to a new headquarters dubbed Pier 4 which was located along the Hudson River. SHIELD later used the ruins of the Four Freedoms to release Kree prisoners back to their people. This led to an attack on the site by Ronan the Accuser who was confronted by the Fantastic Four. During the ensuing clash Ronan teleported the Four Freedoms Plaza to the Blue Area of the Moon, where it remains to this day. Eventually Pier 4 was destroyed by the Fantastic Four's foe Diablo. Eventually, Noah Baxter constructed a new Baxter Building, which was placed at the former site of the original Baxter Building and Four Freedoms Plaza.
The building is evenly divided between regular tenants and the FF's headquarters. To make up for the inconvenience the tenants suffered when the Baxter Building exploded, Reed offered them increased space in the new building but under the old terms, including the 99-year leases. The original Baxter Building occupants occupy floors 1-50 of the FFP.
- Floors 51-70 are a buffer zone. Tenants on these floors do not have 99-year leases; they must renew on a yearly basis. This provides the FF with room for future expansion when they finally outgrow their present area.
- Floors 71-100 serve as the FF's headquarters. The layout is familiar to the FF in that it matches the old Baxter Building layout. Floor 71 acts as a reception and conference area. The FF's robotic receptionist Roberta guards the entrance to the rest of the building as she sits merged with her desk.
- Floor 72 acts as an inn; guest suites fill this usually unoccupied floor. Two water-filled suites are maintained for aquatic visitors such as Atlanteans. One is filled with fresh water, the other with salt water. These suites are actually entered from corresponding swimming pools on the 72nd floor. The pools can also double as aquatic conference rooms. A watertight elevator connects these suites with the river access tunnel on Sublevel 5.
- The FF's living quarters occupy floors 73-75. There are suites for the Richards' family; Thing (Ben Grimm); Human Torch (Johnny Storm) and Alicia Masters (Lyja); Crystal, Luna, and Maya; Sharon Ventura (Ms. Marvel II); Wyatt Wingfoot; and Jennifer Walters (She-Hulk). Other facilities include the kitchen, pantry, spa, two gymnasia (one for normal strength levels, the other for super-strong users), a large library, and a computerized classroom.
- Floors 76 and 77 function as the team's command center. Meeting rooms, communications stations, links to Starcore and other astronomical organizations, and a computerized medical station are here.
- Floors 78-80 are storage for miscellaneous supplies. These floors serve as future expansion space and as a buffer in case of a disaster in Reed's laboratory. Alicia claimed a section of 78 as a studio for the times she stays in the building.
- Floors 81-99 act as Reed's laboratory and storage for his equipment. These floors are possibly the most dangerous place in New York City. Access is strictly controlled by the founding members of the FF. Recently Ben locked these floors to prevent the newer members of the FF from accidentally activating the equipment there. There is an identical workstation on each floor, enabling Reed to work on any floor. The workstation consists of computer terminals, communications console, and mechanical fabricators. None of these workstations is located overhead any other workstation and no three of them are in a straight line. This minimizes the risk of several stations being destroyed in a battle. The workstations are linked to each other and to a similar console in the Richards' home.
- Floors 90 and 1 contain the Negative Zone Portal. The Portal is in a heavily armored room with walls of Unearthly strength material. A small adjoining hangar houses the Exploratory Module. Floor 95 contains the Microverse access center. The Reducta-Craft and its support services are housed here along with a variety of exotic microscopes capable of perceiving individual atoms and Microversal worlds. In game terms, these viewers have Class 3000 Microscopic Vision.
- Floors 98 and 99 serve as warehouse and machine shops. They support the hangar on 100 and act as a buffer to absorb damage from possible hangar disasters. Fuel tanks for the FF's vehicles are on 99.
- Floor 100 is the FF's hangar. It fills the space under the four immense 4s that top the building. The hangar is now the exclusive domain of the various model Fantasti-Cars and Skycycles, along with parking for visiting aircraft. Because the FAA and the NYC authorities have finally cracked down on the FF's air traffic, the rocket and Pogo-Plane are no longer housed here. However, facilities for their use were included in the FFP construction plans. If the situation demands, the Pogo-Plane's launch platform is usable immediately. The launch platform extends outward after one of the 4s retracts. The rocket silo can be operational in three days. It is disguised as the central column supporting the roof. Firepits below connect directly to a special Negative Zone portal; this transmits the exhaust directly to the Negative Zone.
The FFP's foundation reaches 150' into the Manhattan bedrock. There are ten floors here.
- Sublevels 1-2 are used by the building's maintenance staff. Sublevels 3-4 contain the freight docks and tenant warehouse facilities. A railroad spur enables large masses of freight to be moved in or out without the need to deal with the impenetrable Manhattan traffic.
- Sublevels 5-15 are restricted to the FF. These floors contain special devices and support facilities for floors 71-100. These include a back-up computer system, generators, holding cells, and any large items the FF might not want on the upper floors. Sublevel 5 contains the waterfilled conduit that reaches the Hudson River; this permits aquatic visitors to directly reach the FFP without suffering the indignity of having to swim through the NYC sewer system.
The basic structure of the FFP consists of various combinations of reinforced concrete, steel, and other durable materials. Floors 1-50 are fairly normal construction (Remarkable Material strength). Floors 51-80 are somewhat sturdier (Incredible Material strength). Reed's laboratory floors 81-97 have the highest strength (Amazing). Some internal walls are further reinforced to Unearthly strength; these surround the Negative Zone Portal and Microverse access areas.
Floors 50, 70, and 98 contain the mechanical facilities for the building's ventilation and plumbing systems. The ventilation system contains an auxiliary oxygen supply and air recycling system that can maintain a breathable atmosphere within the building for days.
The FFP is permeated with small tubes 1" in diameter. These run the length of the building. Their purpose is to allow Mister Fantastic to quickly reach any part of the building. The tubes extend into the rented sections of the building where they are discreetly concealed as part of the ventilator system. They are seldom used without warning the tenant beforehand.
An empty elevator shaft runs the height of the building. It is for the use of other members of the FF who need to quickly get to any other floor. It is only for use by those with the means to travel through the air or along walls. Safeguards in the shaft can detect and catch anyone falling down the shaft; sensors are able to differentiate between a freefall and controlled downward flight. In the event of a freefall, nets spring out from the sides.
Trash receptacles are linked to the building's recycling systems. The system has the power of Disruption (Amazing rank) and Matter Animation (Typical rank). Anything dumped into a trash receptacle is broken down into its component compounds or atoms and sorted in the bins on Sublevel 4. Safeguards automatically shut the system down if a living being is placed in it (Life Detection, Incredible rank).
The FFP has a series of breakaway points. These unoccupied floors have special destruct devices that will separate sections of the building. The idea is that if the FF's headquarters were drawn into space like its predecessor, these devices would detach the lower civilian floors, which would hopefully remain attached to the ground. The breakaway points are located on floors 54 and 70.
In the Humorverse, the Four Freedoms Plaza is renamed Four Fritos Plaza
- 337 appearance(s) of Four Freedoms Plaza
- 10 minor appearance(s) of Four Freedoms Plaza
- 13 mention(s) of Four Freedoms Plaza
- 7 image(s) of Four Freedoms Plaza
Links and References
- Four Freedoms Plaza at Wikipedia
- Wikipedia contributors, "Four Freedoms Plaza," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Four_Freedoms_Plaza&oldid=94894259 (accessed January 21, 2007).
- FFPlaza.com Database