Powers and insane abilities are vast in comic book media, especially in the superhero genre. The biggest events and stories in comic books are always marked by one or two extremely powerful individuals who ultimately decide on the fate of the multiverse. Franklin Richards is one of those superheroes, the son of notable members of the Fantastic Four, Reed Richards and Sue Storm, who is responsible for some of the biggest comic book storylines of Marvel Comics. The way he was portrayed since his first appearance in 1968 varied over the years, and at one point, the powerful mutant even lost his powers. This article will discuss whether Franklin Richards is immortal and if he is omnipotent.
Franklin Richards currently isn’t immortal or omnipotent, or at least we’re not fully sure as of ‘Fantastic Four’ vol. 6 issue #44, where we see Valeria Richards and her brother being the Thought Space, a dimension where any thought is manifested into reality. In this issue, Franklin confesses that he feels empty without his powers and wants to stay in this powerful dimension with his old powers. Franklin eventually joins his family on Earth and suggests that he wished for black hair so he doesn’t have to dye it, possibly hinting that Franklin has his powers back, but Ryan North’s new ‘Fantastic Four’ run suggests that the boy is still very much powerless.
Franklin Richards’ powers were always skewed and strange since his first appearance in Marvel Comics. It is always hard for any writer to have a god-like being having difficulties or problematic storylines that put him in a vulnerable position. We will try our best to explain Franklin Richards’ powers, so buckle up if you’re interested in this topic.
Is Franklin Richards immortal and omnipotent? Powers explained
Fantastic Four is Marvel’s first official family of superheroes, which gained their powers during the explosion that exposed them to vast levels of cosmic radiation. They are still among the most powerful superheroes who combine their powers and save the multiverse multiple times.
In the 1960s, Fantastic Four was one of the first superheroes fighting cosmic threats like Galactus and Silver Surfer, but as time passed, bigger and more threatening forces started attacking Earth and the whole universe.
However, besides Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Ben Grimm, and Johnny Storm, who first came into prominence in 1961, we quickly saw another “unofficial” squad member joining the Fantastic Four family, Franklin Richards, the son of Invisible Woman and Mr. Fantastic.
We already mentioned how Fantastic Four gained their powers – the cosmic radiation mutated their bodies, which later proved to cause difficulties for Sue Storm, especially during the birth of her son. Just before his birth, it was discovered that Sue had a strange form of energy affecting her blood cells that threatened her life and the baby.
The situation was so dangerous that the rest of the Fantastic Four had to go to the Negative Zone and acquire a Cosmic Control Rod from the interdimensional insectoid and tyrant, Annihilus, that contained special energy from it. Mr. Fantastic drained the energy from the artifact and brought it home to stabilize Invisible Woman’s blood cells, ensuring the safe birth of his son Franklin.
Franklin’s birth, strange circumstances, and his parents being superhumans made the young boy a really powerful individual, and since his earliest age, he started manifesting his powers – which were already extremely powerful.
After Annihilus accidentally releases Franklin’s full power, Reed Richards decides to shut down Franklin’s mind and stop him from using his powers, which would prove to be devastating.
It was later revealed that Franklin Richards is an Omega Level Mutant, and even above that level – beyond anything even X-Men had witnessed before. Franklin Richards’ powers include reality warping, matter manipulation, time traveling, telekinesis, telepathy, precognitive dreams, forces manipulation, and so much more. Of course, since he is the son of superhumans, Franklin possesses superhuman physiology that includes mostly durability.
Reality Warping, matter manipulation, and time traveling are Franklin’s most devastating powers since, from a young age, he could create literal universes. In ‘Fantastic Four,’ run from 1982, we see Franklin Richards defeating Ultron with ease and proceeding to age himself into an adult, consequently becoming the Avatar.
In that state, now-adult Franklin could use his psionic powers to their full potential, but after seeing that he isn’t mature enough to control himself, the boy transformed himself into a young boy again.
However, his warp reality powers are showcased during the Onslaught’s attack on Earth and the consequent capture of the young boy to use his powers and change reality by his wishes. After Fantastic Four and Avengers release the attack on the villain and destroy them, the public suspects the superheroes sacrificed their lives for the cause. However, it was revealed that the young Franklin Richards unconsciously created a pocket universe and consequently saved the lives of his family and the other superheroes.
The consequences of Franklin Richard’s pocket universe lead to the boy making a hard choice – sacrificing one of the universes since both cannot exist simultaneously. However, after the Celestial Ashema sees the human perspective of the young boy, he decides that both universes could exist, but superheroes need to leave Franklin’s pocket universe and return to Earth.
After the superheroes returned to Earth, Dr. Doom placed the pocket universe in our solar system, later named the Counter-Earth.
During ‘Dark Reign’ storyline, we saw the future and adult version of Franklin Richards returning to the present to warn the young version of himself of the imminent threat that awaits the superheroes and suggests that the boy isn’t a mutant – his powers and cosmic radiation made his genes look similar to mutant gene.
In the ‘Future Foundation’ storyline, the Future Foundation (Fantastic Four team but in space) fights against the Mad Celestials, which sees the future incarnation and an adult Franklin Richards seeking help from the young counterpart, who later helps to destroy the cosmic beings. Even one of the Celestials suggested that Franklin is beyond powerful and more than any classification.
After the Mad Celestials are destroyed, Franklin Richards and Galactus have a conversation that confirms that the son of Reed Richards and Sue Storm will stand with the World Devourer and watch another cycle of the multiverse rebirth.
However, even the most powerful creatures lose powers, and Franklin Richards is one of them – the god-like son of Reed and Sue Richards became powerless.
This means that Franklin Richards isn’t immortal and omnipotent – at least anymore.
Did Franklin Richards lose his powers in Marvel Comics?
At the end of the ‘Secret Wars’ event, we discovered that Franklin Richard’s powers are dwindling. Molecule Man, Reed Richards, and Franklin himself joined their forces to restore the whole Multiverse, and the younger Richards had to recreate every single universe by hand. It was later revealed that Franklin was losing powers because he used them too much.
Multiple restorations of the universes and fighting against the biggest cosmic threats aren’t good even for powerful individuals, and Franklin learned that the hard way. In the ‘X-Men/Fantastic Four’ comic book story from 2020, we discover that the young boy is losing powers; Professor Xavier suggests that Franklin join the remaining mutants on Krakoa, where he will potentially restore his powers to full capacity.
However, Franklin returns home because Xavier didn’t find any solutions to the problem and fully loses his powers in Dan Slott’s ‘Fantastic Four’ vol. 6, where the supervillain Cormorant, wants to destroy the Earth. Reed Richards and Doctor Doom conclude that Franklin can destroy the villain with his insane powers, but when the young boy punches the powerful being, he fails to defeat him, showcasing that his powers are fully gone.
Further, in the same run, we learn that Franklin Richards temporarily restored his powers in Thought Space, a dimension where every thought becomes a reality. However, after convincing his parents and sister Valeria, Franklin goes through Forever Gate and seemingly doesn’t have powers – he does state that he made his hair black and that his family needs to deal with his change.
Dan Slott’s Fantastic Four run wasn’t that favorable among the fans, and they thought that the writer didn’t know what to do with young Richards and just threw another curveball to create another storyline.
Marvel Comics is currently releasing vol. 7 of ‘Fantastic Four’ run, written and drawn by Ryan North and Iban Coello, and we still didn’t see Franklin Richards and the state of his powers. The young Richards will most likely appear in newer chapters, and until then, we won’t know if Franklin will get his powers back.
Franklin Richards was a god-like character, who could reach immortality and omnipotency since his powers let him do whatever he wished for, but the current version of the character is merely human, who is extremely intelligent like his parents but lacks superpowers.
What are your thoughts on the current version of Franklin Richards in the comics? Let us know in the comments below!