Quote1.png I was the Impossible Boy who could dream the future. I was a god. Quote2.png
Franklin Richards[src]

Franklin Richards is the son of Reed and Sue Richards of the world-renowned Fantastic Four.[11] A powerful reality warper, he was one of the most powerful beings in the universe even at a young age.[12] Franklin was long-time believed to be a mutant, when in reality his own powers had caused him to subconsciously alter his anatomy to make it seem like he had an X-Gene.[13] Franklin used his god-like abilities to help restore the Multiverse following its collapse due to the incursion crisis,[14] but as a result he was ultimately depleted of most of his powers.[1] Franklin saved up the remaining of his divinity for emergencies only, and finally became fully depowered after taking a stand against the alien Cormorant.[15] With his powers gone, the simulated X-Gene was also gone, and Franklin stopped being a mutant.[13]

History

Early Years

First, the radiation somehow affected Susan Richards' body in such a way as to give her serious difficulties in giving birth. For unknown reasons, soon before she was to give birth to Franklin, Susan Richards' blood cells were observed to be carrying a strange form of energy that threatened the lives of both herself and the baby. Presumably, this energy effect is linked with Susan Richards' superhuman powers over energy that enable her to become invisible and to create force fields.[11]

Baby Franklin

With Franklin's birth imminent, Reed Richards and his teammates, the Human Torch and the Thing, journeyed into the anti-matter dimension called the Negative Zone to find the only means known to Mister Fantastic of saving his wife and unborn son: the Cosmic Control Rod wielded by Annihilus, one of its most dangerous inhabitants. Mister Fantastic succeeded in obtaining the Rod and drained energy from it into a special container, which he and his two colleagues then brought to their own dimension. Reed Richards succeeded in using the energy from the Rod in bringing the energy in his wife's blood under control, and she safely gave birth to a healthy son.[11] The infant was named Franklin Benjamin Richards in honor of his late grandfather, Franklin Storm, and the Richards' best friend, Benjamin J. Grimm.[16] In his early years the sorceress Agatha Harkness acted as Franklin's nanny and protector.[17]

The cosmic radiation that had given Reed and Susan Richards their superhuman powers also resulted in affecting the genetic structure of their son: Franklin was born a mutant. Unlike most superhuman mutants, whose unusual powers do not emerge until the mutant reaches puberty, Franklin began manifesting his superhuman powers at a very early age. The very first indication of his powers was shown when the Frightful Four had beaten the Fantastic Four, as a toddler Franklin Richards used this power to wake up the Thing and this allowed the Fantastic Four to achieve victory.[18] In the normal course of events, Franklin's psionic powers would presumably increasingly emerge as he grew older until they reach their full, vast potential when he achieved maturity. However, this normal process was ruined by Annihilus, who, during a later conflict with the Fantastic Four, placed Franklin within a machine that triggered the release of his full psionic potential. Franklin was too young and inexperienced to control the vast energies building up within him, and Reed Richards feared that his son would be unable to prevent himself from releasing enough psionic energy to destroy all life on Earth. Unable to find another means of dealing with the problem in the short space of time left before disaster would strike, Reed was forced to use a device that rendered Franklin comatose, and thus unable to project psionic energy.[19]

Months later, while the robot Ultron-7 was attacking the Fantastic Four and other superhuman beings, energy radiating from the robot affected Franklin's mind and caused him to unwittingly release great psionic energies which overpowered and defeated Ultron. Franklin was thus awakened from his coma, and his psionic powers were apparently now back at the level at which they were before Annihilus subjected him to his machine.[20][21]

Later, Franklin used his powers to age himself into adulthood within a very brief space of time. (In this form he became known as Avatar.) Although his psyche remained that of a child, Franklin could now make full use of his psionic potential. Realizing he still lacked the emotional maturity to control his vast powers, Franklin transformed himself back into a child, imposing psychic "dampers" in his mind so he could not use his full powers until he achieved the necessary psychological maturity.[2]

When the symbiote escaped from the Baxter Building with the help of Kristoff Vernard, the symbiote tried to possess Franklin, but Franklin was able to reject the symbiote thanks to his father and Spider-Man's help.[22]

Power Pack

However, Franklin manifested the power to foresee events from alternate futures in his dreams.[23] Unknown to his parents, Franklin became a member of Power Pack, a team of children possessing superhuman powers. He then took the "superhero" name Tattletale due to his ability to foresee the future. In one adventure involving Power Pack, Franklin even journeyed through outer space to the throne world of the alien Snarks and back to Earth. Franklin's "dream" power has also continued to evolve in other ways.[8]

Fantastic Force

Psi-Lord

Later, claiming that Franklin's presence in this timeline would lead to destruction, Reed Richards' father Nathaniel abducted the child into the future. (In fact, Nathaniel had learned about the Fantastic Four's forthcoming disappearance upon defeating Onslaught, although he did not know about Onslaught himself.) Nathaniel raised Franklin for years in the future, training him to be a warrior and to master his superhuman powers. The adolescent Franklin journeyed back in time, arriving in the Fantastic Four's headquarters mere moments after Nathaniel had abducted him as a child.[24] The teenage Franklin called himself Psi-Lord, and wielded vast psionic powers, although they remained far short of his full potential. For a long period Reed Richards was held captive by an enemy known as Hyperstorm. During this period, Franklin founded the Fantastic Force, a new superhero team to carry on his father's work of protecting humanity.[25] Finally, however, Psi-Lord somehow was removed from the Fantastic Four's time and was replaced by the child Franklin, as he had been at the time that Nathaniel had abducted him.[26] Nathaniel claimed that Hyperstorm must have arranged the substitution, and that the Psi-Lord version of Franklin no longer existed in the Fantastic Four's timeline. Ironically, according to Nathaniel Richards, Hyperstorm is the son of the Franklin Richards and Rachel Summers of yet another alternate future.[26]

Onslaught

The malevolent entity Onslaught captured Franklin in order to manipulate the child's latent ability to reshape reality. Ultimately, the Fantastic Four and many of the Avengers dove into Onslaught's energy form in order to disrupt it; when the X-Men then launched a full assault on Onslaught, he was seemingly destroyed. The general public believed that the Fantastic Four and many of the Avengers had perished as well.[27] However, Franklin, who remained safely on Earth, had unconsciously used his vast psionic powers to create a "pocket" universe in another reality, to which he transported the vanished heroes. There the Fantastic Four and the missing Avengers led radically different lives with no memories of their pasts in their native universe.[27]

Daydreamers

The Daydreamers

Franklin subsequently embarked on a journey through other alternate realities with the swamp creature called the Man-Thing, the other-dimensional talking waterfowl Howard the Duck, the alien Tana Nile, and the mutants Artie Maddicks and Leech. Franklin's companions finally realized that Franklin himself had created these worlds with his psionic powers.[28]

Counter-Earth

Franklin was soon approached by the Celestial Ashema, who showed Franklin that his parents (and Earth's other heroes) were alive. Franklin had subconsciously shunted them into a new reality, another Earth which resided in the blue globe Franklin had been carrying with him since Onslaught. Ashema forced Franklin to make a choice: one of the worlds had to die. Literally fleeing from this awful choice, Franklin plummeted over a cliff, nearly dying. To resurrect him, Ashema melded with Franklin's consciousness, acquiring his human perspective on life and death. Through Franklin, a compromise was struck: both worlds could live, but Earth's heroes had to leave Franklin’s creation and return to their own world.[29] Franklin's alternate Earth was later transported to our solar system by Dr. Doom and placed in orbit on the far side of the sun, where it was named Counter-Earth.[30]

Valeria

Reunited with his family, Franklin moved into Pier Four, the Fantastic Four’s new waterfront headquarters.[31] Franklin got a pet, a dog-like creature named Puppy who seemed a younger, smaller twin to the Inhumans' Lockjaw, and a new caretaker, the dimensionally displaced Caledonia. Franklin also acquired a sister when the time-dancing Valeria von Doom (claimed daughter of Susan Richards) joined the family. Franklin’s time at Pier Four proved brief; when catastrophe loomed, Reed and Sue sent Franklin, Puppy, and Caledonia to Haven, a school located on the far side of the universe, where they were soon joined by Valeria.[32] When Franklin dreamed of Valeria’s death at the hand of the cosmic force Abraxas, he and Valeria returned to Earth. When Abraxas did appear, Valeria and Franklin combined their powers to resurrect the only being capable of stopping Abraxas: Galactus. Franklin learned that Valeria was the sister he had sent elsewhere, and he exhausted his remaining powers to restore her to his mother’s womb as an infant.[33]

Ordinary Human

In the wake of Mr. Fantastic's activation of the Ultimate Nullifier to destroy Abraxas, Franklin lost all his powers in the process of reforming Galactus and thus became a normal child.[34] After Valeria’s birth, Franklin felt ignored and unloved, and his attempts to regain his parents attention inadvertently led to the creation of the mathematical menace Modulus.[35]

Shortly afterwards, Doctor Doom made a pact with the Haazareth Three, to gain vast magical power. During Doom's attacks upon the Fantastic Four, Franklin was sucked into Hell by the Haazareth. After the defeat of Doom, his parents rescued him. Franklin had a hard time coping with the traumatic experience of being tormented in Hell. With help from the Thing and Franklin's mother, he made a complete mental recovery.[36][37]

Because of the danger of their adventures, child Welfare questioned the safety of the Baxter Building, due to the numerous super-villain attacks on it.[38] After much reluctance, Reed and Sue agreed that if necessary, their children could be taken away.[39] However, an initial condition was that a "dummy" safe house was to be set up, and a press release to be announced that the children had already been moved. It is uncertain exactly which of the FF's enemies carried out the attack, or why (there is speculation that Reed carried out the attack himself to allow him and Sue to keep the kids), but it was enough to convince Child Welfare.[40]

Onslaught Reborn

When the Scarlet Witch used her powers to depower countless mutants, including Magneto and Prof. Xavier, the power lost by Magneto and Xavier combined and restored Onslaught (whose consciousness still remained lingering after his death), who was now determined to kill Franklin Richards and every hero in existence. Onslaught took control of both the Human Torch and Mister Fantastic in an attempt to get Franklin but was interrupted by the Thing and Invisible Woman.[41]

When Franklin fled to Counter-Earth, Onslaught followed him. While the Avengers assessed their new threat which did not exist until Franklin appeared, they took into account what the boy said about Onslaught. However, they were in disbelief that he was the son of Susan Storm and Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four as they were not married in their reality. After a brief skirmish, the heroes and villains decided to work together to defeat Onslaught, but it was Rikki "Bucky" Barnes who defeated him, using a Fantasti-Car to send them both through the Negative Zone barrier in the Fantastic Four's lab, trapping them. Franklin returned home, Bucky found herself on Earth-616, and Onslaught was last seen floating outside Prison 42 in the Negative Zone.[42]

Secret Invasion

Lyja (Earth-616) and Franklin Richards (Earth-616) from Secret Invasion Fantastic Four Vol 1 3 001.jpg

In the beginning of the Skrull strike on Earth, the Skrull Lyja, impersonating Sue Richards, sent the entire Baxter Building into the Negative Zone with Franklin, Valeria, and Johnny Storm inside. Franklin and Valeria teamed up with Johnny and the Thing to fight the Skrulls. Benjamin Grimm asked the help of the Tinkerer, who was an inmate in Prison 42 within the Negative Zone. The Tinkerer refused, seeing no reason to help the people who arrested him as he was taking his grandchildren out for ice cream, and sent him to prison without due process. Franklin and Valeria pleaded with the Tinkerer and strongly reminded the old man of his own grandchildren. He was moved to tears, repented and agreed to help, in exchange for his freedom and reunion with his grandkids.[43][44]

Facing the news of mutant and anti-mutant riots in San Francisco, Franklin asked his mother and father why people hate mutants and if that meant they hate him.[45]

Dark Reign

Defending the Baxter Building

Franklin found himself along with his sister under siege by Norman Osborn, Venom and a high number of H.A.M.M.E.R. agents. The siblings were on their own due to their father's experiment which left him unreachable and the other members of the Fantastic Four stranded in alternate realities.[46]

Valeria managed to separate Osborn from the rest of the H.A.M.M.E.R. agents by using a bureaucratic technicality and by having them underestimate her. Osborn was led into a room where he faced Franklin wearing a Spider-Man mask and called him a villain, making him chase them in the building and intending to shot them down.[47]

The Fantastic Four have resurfaced by this point with an angry Invisible Woman telling Osborn "Step away from the children". Angry, he snapped that she should try to make him. Sue obliged by smashing him against a wall using one of her invisible force fields. Osborn retaliated by summoning H.A.M.M.E.R. agents and Venom. None however managed to pass through Sue's barrier.[48]

Mr. Fantastic informed Osborn to leave the Baxter Building and not to come back, dismissing him. Infuriated, he attempted to shoot Reed, only to be shot by Franklin in turn. Although all are shocked, none understood how Franklin managed to shoot Norman since Franklin was only wielding a toy gun (both Johnny and Ben examine the gun once it was shot) hinting that perhaps some of Franklin's reality altering abilities had resurfaced.[48]

Franklin creating a universe

An alternate version of himself from the future returned, and stated "Rest ... and remember what you are." Moments later after being put to bed, Franklin created a Universe with his powers, hinting that his nigh unlimited power had returned.[49]

Fear Itself

Franklin, against his father's prior wishes, used his reality-warping powers to free Ben Grimm from the possession of an Asgardian warrior general named Angrir, Breaker of Souls by transforming him back into the Thing.[50]

The Future Foundation

Franklin Richards (Earth-616) from Fantastic Four Vol 5 6 001.jpg

When Franklin created a pocket universe, a mysterious imaginary friend appeared who advised him and helped him to use his powers. Not long afterwards, the Human Torch seemingly died at the hands of Annihilus to save his family. The Fantastic Four disbanded and became the Future Foundation.[51]

Due to the threat of the Interdimensional Council of Reeds, Mr. Fantastic made an alliance with many villains such as Mad Thinker, AIM, the Wizard, Diablo, and the High Evolutionary to plan how to stop them. They took the battle to High Evolutionary's city where one of the Reeds escaped with Doctor Doom and the other two were captured by the Kree army. After returning to the Baxter Building, Richards reunited other heroes to fight the Inhumans in Attilan, but at the time they were preparing to go at the rooftop, a Kree invasion started. Reed used Iron Man's armor and Sue's power to create a force field around Manhattan, at the same time the Cult of the Negative Zone opened the portal to the Negative Zone after Spider-Man failed at stop them, the portal revealed a living Johnny Storm with an enslaved Annihilus.[5]

Johnny gathered the team together, drawing with fire the symbolic "4" in the sky above the Baxter Building. Reed, Sue, Ben, and Peter boarded one of the Annihilation Wave's ships controlled by Johnny, who used the rest of the ships to battle the Kree army until the Inhumans asked to finish them by their own hand.[52] Meanwhile the other heroes on Earth were dealing with the scraps of the battle which could damage the Earth. Reed and Sue summoned Galactus, who destroyed the Kree army. At that moment, the Mad Celestials appeared to destroy this universe. Although the team tried to use the Hub (a weapon of mass destruction created by the Reeds), they couldn't defeat the Mad Celestials. However, future versions of Franklin and Valeria appeared as part of Nathaniel Richards's plan.[53] Future Franklin used his powers to heal Galactus and destroy the Mad Celestials, saving the day.[54] Later, the Baxter Building was rebuilt and Mr. Fantastic showed a new secondary headquarters called Foundation and new costumes were given to the members of the Future Foundation, also with the new additions of the future Franklin and Valeria, with the Franklins getting the number 5 on their costumes.[6]

Multiversal Collapse

With the Multiverse coming to its inevitable end, caused by the incursions, the Illuminati tried to find numerous ways to save Earth-616 from its destruction. One of their ideas consisted of using a machine to access and harness the full measure of Franklin's latent powers to create a pocket universe that the inhabitants of Earth could be relocated to. The plan did not succeed.[55] Following the incident, Sue informed Reed that Franklin was under the impression that he "disappointed" his father; Reed replied, "I should never have done that. I should never have asked."[56]

When it was realized the Multiverse was truly doomed, Franklin and the Future Foundation began constructing vessels that would allow a small number of humans to survive.[57] As the final incursion between Earth-616 and Earth-1610 took place, Franklin's father Reed gathered every person he could upon the life raft including members of the Future Foundation, Franklin, and the rest of his family. When the vessel approached the central point of the incursion, it suffered a hull breach that led to the deaths of Franklin, his family minus his father Reed, and the members of the Future Foundation aboard.[58]

Eight years later, Reed gained the omnipotent power of the Beyonders from the Molecule Man after stripping them from Doctor Doom. With his new powers, Reed brought his family, including Franklin, and the Future Foundation back to life. Franklin and his family then began helping his father and Molecule Man restore the Multiverse, while also creating entirely new realities.[14]

Depowerment

Years into the Future Foundation's multiversal adventures, Franklin became depleted of his ability to create entirely new realities. At this moment the team was confronted by an abstract entity called the Griever at the End of All Things who repudiated their mission of creating new universes. She caused the collapse of the hundreds of universes charted by the Future Foundation, forcing the team to make a final stand. The Fantastic Four were reunited when Mister Fantastic tricked the Griever into giving them the chance to summon the remaining members of the Fantastic Four for backup. In addition to teleporting Ben and Johnny, Reed also brought every superhero who had been part of the team at one point in order to defeat the new foe.[1] After the Griever was driven away, the Future Foundation continued their multiveral travels, but Reed, Sue, Franklin and Valeria returned with Ben and Johnny to Earth, where only months had passed since the Foundation's years-long journey.[59]

As his father Reed was unable to fix his power loss, Franklin began to doubt his father's intentions. Around this time, Charles Xavier had established a new mutant-only nation in Krakoa, and his desire to have Franklin join them became a point of contention between the X-Men and the Fantastic Four.[60] When Franklin attempted to visit Krakoa, he was intercepted by Doctor Doom, who took him to the hidden mutant territory Doom Island and offered him to fix his powers.[61] With Reed's reluctant blessing, Franklin agreed to undergo a procedure to restore his powers. However, when the X-Men's intervention in Doom Island prompted Victor to unleash his Latviathans,[62] Franklin interrupted the procedure to stop the muderous robots, and his powers remained broken.[63] With the Fantastic Four and the X-Men setting aside their differences, Franklin became a citizen of Krakoa.[63] He would regularly visit the mutant nation and immerse himself in mutant culture.[64]

Franklin wearing an X-Men uniform

During the Fantastic Four's confrontation against the unstoppable alien Cormorant, Franklin used the last remains of his powers in an attempt to stop the enemy, but failed. When Franklin attempted to use a Krakoan Gateway, he was unable to pass through.[15] When the Fantastic Four came in the possession of the Forever Gate, a programmable doorway into every point in space and time, Franklin attempted to use it to travel to Krakoa. He was interrupted telepathically by Xavier, who informed Franklin of the discovery that his mutant status had been a result of his powers subconciously altering his anatomy in a cellular level. With his powers gone, Franklin was no longer a mutant, and his acceptance into Krakoa was revoked.[13]

Powers and Abilities

Power Grid[86]
Intelligence4
Strength1
Speed2
Durability3
Energy Projection7
Fighting Skills2

Powers

Physical Strength

Franklin Richards possesses the normal human strength of a boy of his age, height, and build who engages in moderate regular exercise. Based on the ability of some reality warpers to increase their strength (such as Mad Jim Jaspers[81] and Freedom Ring[82]), we can presume that Franklin can augment his strength to incalculable levels by manipulating reality or using telekinesis. However, it remains a potential ability.

Weaknesses

  • Power Loss: Franklin's powers can be burned out through overuse.[34][1] However, while on Krakoa his powers fade to a much slower extent.[63]
    • Franklin expended the rest of his powers in battle in a single punch, currently making him a depowered mutant. Due to this, the Krakoan gates do not recognize him as a mutant, and he is unable to use them.[15]
      • It turns out, Franklins cosmic powers made him into a mutant subconsciously, and when he lost them, he didn't become a depowered mutant, but instead just a depowered human mutate, as he truly was before.[13]

Paraphernalia

Equipment

Notes

Franklin's age is the age not spoken

  • Franklin's age, which is the subject of much controversy within the Marvel Comics Scaling Timeline, has never been fully stated, although often joked about or hinted at.[49]
  • Ben Grimm and Alicia Masters are Franklin's godparents.[citation needed]
  • While on Krakoa, Franklin expelled less energy, making his power loss slower than normal at the time. Krakoa has been known to react to mutant energies, and as Franklin isn't a mutant, it is unknown why this occurred.[63]

Trivia

See Also

Links and References

Marvel Directory

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Fantastic Four Vol 6 #2
  2. 2.0 2.1 Fantastic Four #245
  3. Fantastic Four #228
  4. 4.0 4.1 Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four #1
  5. 5.0 5.1 Fantastic Four #600
  6. 6.0 6.1 FF #16
  7. Fantastic Four Vol 3 #51
  8. 8.0 8.1 Power Pack #24
  9. 1939 Daily Bugle #1
  10. Fantastic Four Vol 6 #5
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Fantastic Four Annual #6
  12. History of the Marvel Universe Vol 2 #3
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 Fantastic Four Vol 6 #26
  14. 14.0 14.1 Secret Wars #9
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 Fantastic Four Vol 6 #25
  16. Fantastic Four #94
  17. Fantastic Four #103
  18. Fantastic Four #130
  19. Fantastic Four #140-141
  20. Avengers #127
  21. Fantastic Four #150
  22. Spider-Man / Fantastic Four #2
  23. Fantastic Four #282
  24. Fantastic Four #376
  25. Fantastic Force #1-17
  26. 26.0 26.1 Fantastic Four #414
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Onslaught Marvel Universe #1
  28. Daydreamers #1-3
  29. Heroes Reborn: The Return #1-4
  30. Fantastic Four Vol 3 #25
  31. Fantastic Four Vol 3 #1
  32. Fantastic Four Vol 3 #24
  33. Fantastic Four Vol 3 #46-49
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 Fantastic Four Vol 3 #49
  35. Fantastic Four Vol 3 #62
  36. Fantastic Four Vol 3 #67-70
  37. Fantastic Four #500
  38. Fantastic Four #528-529
  39. Fantastic Four #533
  40. Fantastic Four #535
  41. Onslaught Reborn #1
  42. Onslaught Reborn #2-5
  43. Secret Invasion #1
  44. Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four #1-3
  45. Dark Avengers / Uncanny X-Men: Utopia #1
  46. Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1-4
  47. Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4
  48. 48.0 48.1 Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5
  49. 49.0 49.1 49.2 Fantastic Four #574
  50. Fear Itself #5
  51. Fantastic Four #587
  52. Fantastic Four #602
  53. 53.0 53.1 Fantastic Four #603
  54. 54.0 54.1 Fantastic Four #604
  55. New Avengers Vol 3 #29
  56. Avengers Vol 5 #37
  57. Free Comic Book Day Vol 2015 #Secret Wars
  58. Secret Wars #1
  59. Fantastic Four Vol 6 #3
  60. 60.0 60.1 X-Men / Fantastic Four Vol 2 #1
  61. X-Men / Fantastic Four Vol 2 #2
  62. X-Men / Fantastic Four Vol 2 #3
  63. 63.0 63.1 63.2 63.3 X-Men / Fantastic Four Vol 2 #4
  64. 64.0 64.1 Fantastic Four Vol 6 #24
  65. 65.0 65.1 Heroes Reborn: The Return #4
  66. X-Men: The 198 Files #1
  67. House of X #1
  68. 68.0 68.1 FF #13
  69. Fantastic Four #585
  70. Fantastic Four #572
  71. FF #14
  72. Fantastic Force #17
  73. [1]
  74. [2]
  75. [3]
  76. Fantastic Four #277
  77. [4]
  78. [5]
  79. 79.0 79.1 Fantastic Four: Road Trip #1
  80. Empyre #6
  81. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #6
  82. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #4
  83. Fantastic Four Vol 6 #27
  84. New Brevoort Formspring - Tumblr
  85. Future Foundation #5
  86. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 9
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