Founding Members: Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch, and The Thing
First Appearance: Fantastic Four #1 (November 1961)
Created By: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Did You Know: The Fantastic Four are often considered the first superhero family in comics.
A Little History
Before the Justice League of America and The Avengers, there was the Fantastic Four. Not only are they considered one of, if not the first team in comics, but they are also considered the first family.
The origin story illustrates Reed Richards and his never-ending desire to create and send a rocket to the furthest depths of space. Unfortunately, at the conclusion of his creation, the Government unnecessarily cut his funding. Sadly, his argument about its now completion went on deaf ears, and his dream was cut short.
Unwilling to let this setback defeat him, Reed decided to move up what was supposed to be the launch date. He did this so as to send his rocket into space before the Government’s decision could be announced to the world.
His time was limited, so he immediately set out to put together a team of individuals to accompany him on his quest. Without giving it too much thought, he invited his former college roommate-turned-test pilot, Ben Grimm, his girlfriend Susan Storm, and her brother Johnny Storm.
Before he could get his rocket launched, Reed incurred another setback. Concerned over the potential of cosmic rays, his flight was canceled by the space board. Not wavered by the setback, Reed and his team snuck into the facility and prepared for launch. As the quartet pushed into the depths of space, their ship was, as feared, bombarded by cosmic rays. The rays broke through the metal of the ship and forced the team back to Earth.
After landing, the four quickly realized that the rays had changed them, and they now possessed powers they didn’t have before.