The Life and Times of Franklin Richards
In a fit of revenge, Annihilus kidnapped Franklin and amplified his powers with a cosmic ray gene transmuter. As such, Franklin’s powers threatened to release psychic energy strong enough to kill every living creature in the solar system. With no time to act and no other options, Reed used an experimental and defective antimatter weapon that stopped the power buildup, but left Franklin comatose. Months later, a psychic assault by the robot Ultron-7 against the Avengers, Inhumans and the Fantastic Four inadvertently restored Franklin; his unconscious mind retaliated against Ultron, neutralizing the robot, and Franklin awoke with his powers dormant.
His childhood was free of powers for a time as he traveled with the FF however, his powers reemerged when Franklin’s mystical nanny Agatha Harkness and the FF were taken captive by Nicholas Scratch and Salem’s Seven. Franklin’s unconscious mind was strong enough to free Agatha, New Salem’s entire population, and his family from Scratch’s control. Scratch later possessed Franklin, using his powers against the Fantastic Four, but the team freed him with Agatha’s help. Developing limited conscious control over his powers, Franklin wielded them against the alien Brain Parasites, which controlled Sue and others during their vacation to Lost Lake resort.
Still trying to understand and control Franklin’s powers, Reed and his colleague Dr. Abe Jankovitz used biofeedback to rouse the boy’s abilities without stressful stimuli. Though Franklin’s unconscious mind projected his powers into an energy globule that transformed the human, Franco Berardi, into Ego-Spawn—a superhuman manifestation of Franklin’s repressed frustrations, until Sue deactivated the biofeedback machine.
Reed took more covert actions after that, creating robotic babysitter HUBERT, which monitored Franklin for superhuman activity. Soon after, Franklin subconsciously accessed his powers to solve a complex puzzle toy and then aged himself to adulthood, becoming the virtually omnipotent but amnesiac Avatar. This form psychically assaulted the Fantastic Four while the group sought to learn his identity. After Sue recognized him, Franklin restored himself to childhood, placing psychic dampers in his brain to limit his access to his powers until he matured to control them. Losing his powers again gave Franklin as normal a childhood as possible in a life where he could be whisked off across galaxies without notice.
Sue became pregnant again, this time with a girl named Valeria Meghan Richards, but the pregnancy ended with an apparent stillbirth. Franklin felt a deep loss over the sister he would have had; unconsciously guided by Omniversal Guardian Roma, he secretly uses his vast psionic powers to travel back in time and save his sister, sending her from her native reality (Earth-616) to “someplace else” — an alternate future (Reality-99315).
While his parents tried again to give him a more normal childhood, their encounters with super villains sometimes awaken Franklin’s nascent powers: in a battle against Mephisto, Franklin temporarily destroyed the powerful demon, scattering him across multiple dimensions, though he soon returned and used Franklin as a pawn against the Asgardian death-goddess Hela.
After the Baxter Building’s destruction at Kristoff Vernard’s hands, Franklin and the Four stayed at Avengers Mansion during construction of the FF’s new headquarters. Avengers butler Edwin Jarvis functioned as a caretaker for Franklin, developing a warmly affectionate relationship with the lad.
Franklin’s powers soon emerged again, this time in a more controlled form: He began precognitive dreaming. One dream was of the Kymellian Kofi flying to Earth to warn the young super-hero family Power Pack (Alex, Julie, Jack and Katie Power) of an imminent attack by the High Snark Jakal, only to be shot down near the Statue of Liberty. The morning after that dream, while in Central Park with Jarvis, Franklin spotted the Powers and warned them, leading them to Kofi; Jakal attacked the six, and it was ultimately Franklin who devised a strategy to defeat him. The grateful Powers asked Franklin to join Power Pack, giving him his own unstable molecule costume; Katie, only slightly older than Franklin, had forged a bickering but friendly rivalry with him, and dubbed him Tattletale. The newly confident Franklin now preferred to be called “Frank,” and Power Pack gave him friends nearer his own age; he also enjoyed visiting a “real family” where he could watch movies, eat popcorn, and actually fight as he had “never got to argue before.”
With the FF off in space again, Frank spent Thanksgiving with the Power children, Tyrone Johnson, aka Cloak, and Dagger, Beta Ray Bill, the X-Men’s Logan/James Howlett, aka Wolverine and Kitty Pryde, also meeting future friend Leech (and Leech’s guardian Annalee) there. Frank began having waking visions too, usually of events only a few seconds ahead, inadvertently revealing his power to Jarvis when he stopped a man from being run over.
When the Snarks again attacked Power Pack, Frank pursued them in the Pack’s Smartship Friday. His growing power now allowed him to project a visible “dream-self,” which enabled him to guide Kofi to safety despite pursuing Snarks. Together the trio rescued Power Pack and saved the Snark emperor from Jakal and his mother Maraud.
Frank and his parents were later reunited in the Powers’ living room, which helped forge a friendship between the two families, enabling Frank to spend more time with his friends, on one occasion encountering the rapidly healing Madcap with Katie. Frank was attacked during this period by the rogue Sentinel Master Mold, which believed that Frank was “the Twelfth” (“Ultiman”), one of twelve mutants instrumental in humanity’s future. The mutant Apocalypse (En Sabah Nur) later claimed this information was false, but in any case, Tattletale and Power Pack temporarily destroyed Master Mold.
Unfortunately for Franklin, his parents left the Fantastic Four and moved to Stamford, Connecticut in an attempt to give him a safer life. Victor von Doom, aka Dr. Doom, attacked during their departure and kidnapped Franklin, needing his powers to free Doom’s dead mother’s soul from Mephisto. Doom won Franklin’s trust but betrayed him to Mephisto, who jumped at the chance for vengeance. Reed followed Franklin into Hell and released Franklin’s psychic dampers, forcing Mephisto to return them both. Franklin nearly condemned Doom to Mephisto’s realm in retaliation before Reed stopped him.
Franklin joined the Powers on and off helping them defeat the likes of Kymellian warriors Force Four and the Circus of Crime. When Power Pack’s Alex seemingly transformed into a Kymellian, Power Pack sought a cure though Franklin’s father Reed was unable to help Alex. Franklin stayed with the Powers as they visited England, where Franklin defeated Nightmare, and the Caribbean, where Franklin calmed a misunderstanding between the Quon Mowfus (the “Monster from the Lost Lagoon”) and local sea explorers. When the Power Pack continued their search for a cure for Alex, Tattletale’s time with Power Pack came to an end. After returning to Earth, the Powers eventually moved to Washington state, ending Franklin’s association with them altogether.
In the alternate “Days of Future Past” reality (Earth-811), a maturing Franklin attended Xavier’s Academy, joined the New Mutants, and romanced Rachel Summers before being slain by Sentinels. When this future Franklin’s body died, he sent a dream-self back in time to Earth- 616 (mainstream Earth), tapping the younger Franklin’s powers and altering reality. It harmed young Franklin, so the dream-self voluntarily discorporated, again unlocking Franklin’s potential. Franklin’s grandfather Nathaniel returned and seeing Franklin’s presence as a threat to the timeline, he transported him away. They returned with Psi-Lord, an adult Franklin who had been trained for years to control his powers. His mother Sue regarded him as an imposter in this form but gradually accepted Franklin’s transformation.
Psi-Lord aided his family against several threats, and even formed his own team, Fantastic Force, but eventually Hyperstorm (the child of Franklin and Rachel Summers in another divergent future, Earth-967) eliminated Psi-Lord through time travel. The child Franklin was restored, diverging his future from that of Psi-Lord, whose fate is unrevealed.
While the Four fought Hyperstorm, Franklin faced the evil psychic entity Onslaught who absorbed him and the powerful mutant X-Man (Nate Grey) into himself. While Nate and Franklin escaped from within, the FF, the Avengers and other heroes sacrificed themselves to stop Onslaught from without. Franklin emerged alive to find his family seemingly dead though Franklin had subconsciously created a pocket realm within a blue globe complete with another inhabited Earth, and he had shunted the lost heroes there.
After a ceremony honoring the fallen, Franklin attended Emma Frost’s Massachusetts Academy branch of Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. He studied with children his own age and made friends. He deflected attacks on the school by unconsciously creating a dimensional gate which transported the Man-Thing (Ted Sallis) there, and Franklin, along with the Man-Thing, Leech, Artie, Tana Nile, and Howard the Duck became lost in a succession of fairy-tale-like dimensions, such as Nevernevernarniozobia.
During this same time, Franklin, who had been in denial over losing his parents, created the shadowy Dark Hunter, which pursued the group of “Daydreamers.” though its sole goal was to force Franklin to accept the truth. Franklin’s powers created friendlier realities for the group and Franklin ultimately merged with Dark Hunter, accepting the loss of his parents.
The Celestial Ashema soon approached Franklin, showing him that his parents (and Earth’s other heroes) were alive within the blue globe Franklin carryied with him. Ashema tried to convince Franklin to choose one of the worlds, melding with his consciousness, but ultimately 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 the Franklin-created Earth and return to their own world. Franklin’s alternate Earth was later transported to Earth-616’s solar system by Dr. Doom and placed in orbit on the far side of the sun, where it was named Counter-Earth (an earlier Counter-Earth had been created by the High Evolutionary and removed by the Beyonders).
Reunited with his family, Franklin moved into Pier Four, the FF’s new waterfront headquarters. The Omniversal Guardian Roma, allegedly concerned about Franklin’s untrained reality-warping powers following his creation of Counter-Earth, sent minions to kidnap him, but Franklin’s uncle Johnny convinced her that his family was best suited to keeping Franklin’s powers in check.
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 Valeria von Doom (the apparent Earth-9903 daughter of Susan Richards, but actually the sister Franklin had sent “elsewhere,” now grown to a teenager on Earth-9903) joined the family. Franklin and Valeria were sent to Haven when catastrophe loomed and while there Franklin dreamt of of Valeria’s death at the hand of the cosmic force Abraxas. He and Valeria returned to Earth, and when Abraxas attacked, Valeria and Franklin followed instructions given to them by Roma to combine their powers to resurrect the only being capable of stopping Abraxas: Galactus.
Having learned from Roma who Valeria truly was, Franklin apparently exhausted his remaining powers to restore her to his mother’s womb as an infant. After Valeria’s subsequent birth, Franklin felt ignored and unloved, and his attempts to regain his parents’ attention inadvertently led to the creation of the mathematical menace Modulus after he tried to use his father’s Personal Digital Assistant device. Just as Franklin readjusted, he was transported to Hell by Dr. Doom; though quickly rescued, Franklin was severely traumatized by the incident, even believing he was still in Hell but his family’s love got him through it. Franklin has since sought a more normal childhood, attending private academies, going on New Jersey camping trips with friends his own age, and even playing Little League baseball.
After another kidnapping by Impossible Man and Woman, Child Welfare Services briefly considered placing Valeria and Franklin in protective foster care, feeling that constant attacks on the Baxter Building endangered them, but was soon convinced that the children would be at risk away from their parents’ personal protection. Later, Franklin became slightly jealous of his sister’s advanced intellect, resenting her, and secretly hoped for powers like the rest of his family. While his mutant gifts remain mostly dormant for now, with his family’s guidance, Franklin Richards has the potential to become one of the most powerful beings in existence.