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Franco Berardi (Earth-616) from Fantastic Four Vol 1 228 page xx

Franco pre-transformation. [1]

Franco Berardi was a student of Seaboard University in Massachusetts. One day while out on a date he spotted the Fantastic Four's Human Torch out on a date with his then-girlfriend Lorrie Melton at a local burger restaurant while his teammates were busy at the university. Instantly jealous of the Torch's fame and popularity, Berardi complained to his girlfriend who tried in vein to keep his tempers in check. Later when they went to the local lovers lane, Berardi was angered further when the Torch arrived with his date and put on a fireworks display with his flame powers. Deciding to try and pick a fight with the Torch to prove he could beat the hero in a fist fight, Franco challenged Johnny to a one-on-one fight. The Torch tried to diffuse the situation, but Berardi kept on pressing his luck by kicking the portion of the Fantasti-Car that Johnny was piloting.

At that very moment, the rest of the Fantastic Four and Mister Fantastic's colleague Abe Jankovitz were conducting a test on Johnny's nephew Franklin to determine the extent of his mutant powers. This experiment caused Franklin's powers to manifest as an orb of energy that was drawn to Johnny's conflict with Franco. Upset that Johnny left the university to go on a date, this aspect of Franklin's powers took possession of Franco's body, transforming him into the Ego-Spawn.

While Reed and the Thing went to help Johnny combat the Ego-Spawn, Reed's wife the Invisible Girl and Abe tried to shut down the experiment, but Franklin's powers were keeping them at bay. While the Ego-Spawn proved nearly impossible to contain due to his sheer power, Sue managed to stop its threat by turning invisible long enough to shut off the device that Franklin was hooked into. The Ego-Spawn energies returned to Franklin's mind and became dormant again, while Franco was restored to normal with no memory of what had happened. [1]

While Franco has not been seen since, the Ego-Spawn has manifested many times thereafter, still choosing to adopt his appearance based on Franco's physical appearance. [2][3][4][5]

Powers

As the Ego-Spawn, Berardi could fire beams of energy from his hands, he had enhanced strength, and was impervious to flame.



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