Eleven years before, a young Reed Richards discovered an alternate universe and created a device that would transport objects into it. A half a year later, Reed brought his invention to a science fair, which brought him to the attention of Mr. Lumpkin and the think tank at New York’s Baxter Building. Lumpkin encouraged Reed’s parents that the boy was too advanced for normal school, and they very eagerly agreed to allow their child to join the think tank and be taken away from home. On a tour of the think tank, Reed was shown a massive viewer of his alternate universe, which they called the N-Zone, where the Baxter Building’s technicians showed him his toys that he sent over the years, floating in space.
Reed continued to work at the Baxter Building, alongside its head, Dr. Franklin Storm, and became very close friends to his daughter, Susan Storm, and her brother, Johnny. Reed’s project was to use the N-Zone to transport objects from one part of his own universe, to another. Years later, he cracked the necessary calculations, along with the help of an egotistical Victor Van Damme, and they soon prepared to test the transporter in the deserts of Nevada. Reed’s childhood friend, Benjamin Grimm, showed up to watch the trial and find out how his friend continued to avoid having to attend high school and college. But at the last moment, Reed dismissed an argument that Victor put to him regarding their calculations, and the Baxter Building’s scientists were unaware that Victor had changed the proper calculations behind their backs.
When the test commenced, a strange accident occurred, and instead of transporting the apple that they had meant to, the machine transported Reed, Susan, Johnny, Ben, and Victor into the N-Zone, and back out again-where they landed at random points across the globe. Reed appeared next to the transporter, but changed, and the military automatically fired on him, thinking him an alien from the N-Zone. They soon realized that he had transformed into something fantastic, a barely human being with the ability to stretch any part of his body to amazing lengths. They soon found most of the rest of the group; including Ben; who landed in Mexico and was changed into a super-strong, rocky monster; as well as Johnny; who appeared in France, with the ability to light himself on fire, fly, and emit these flames in powerful blasts. Reed, Johnny, and Ben later found Sue after a towering, underground monster rose from the New York streets and they were forced to reveal themselves in public and stop it; then they followed it under the streets where an old teacher of theirs, nicknamed the Mole Man by his students-due to his nasty appearance-held Sue to investigate her own abilities, which allowed her to turn invisible to the naked eye and use the same invisible force to create shields and solidify it for offensive means. The burgeoning group saved Sue from their ex-teacher, and then fought off his genetically engineered, plant-creatures. They returned to the surface where the military restrained them to the Baxter Building.
The government continued to keep Reed’s team under wraps. They even went as far as to dedicate the entire resources of the Baxter Building to studying their condition, and relocated the rest of the students elsewhere. The four were soon attacked by robot insects, sent by Victor, who had been changed himself into a metal-covered creature with his own enhanced strength and strange powers. After stopping the bugs, the group snuck out of the Baxter Building and flew in a toy car Reed had designed when he was thirteen, called the Fantasticar. They traveled to Copenhagen and confronted Victor, who used his puppet transients to attack them in droves. Reed soon found a way to reverse Victor’s mind control, and turned them back on their master. The military showed up moments afterwards and recalled the team back to America, where they left Victor, but not before Reed used a projectile fired from Victor’s own armor to scratch his armored face.
In order to find a way to reverse their transformations-or at least the transformation of Reed and Ben, as Johnny and Sue were content with their own-Reed decided to transport into the N-Zone himself. The rest refused to let him go alone, and so, against the wishes of Dr. Storm, they traveled into the N-Zone and came up against a creature called Nihil, who explained to them that his native universe was a much older universe; one which faced its own destruction within less than a million years. After Johnny went into a coma as a byproduct of his powers, Reed and Ben returned to speak with Nihil to take their leave, but he attacked them, revealing that he planned to enter their universe and make it his home, as his own lifespan could well outlive that of his dying universe. In a fight, Ben managed to tear off one of Nihil’s wings, and they escaped back home. But Nihil followed him in an organic spaceship and exited the N-Zone transporter in Nevada. The two ships finally landed thousands of miles further on, in the middle of Las Vegas, where they fought with Nihil, who soon killed himself when he tried to pull out a plasma weapon that Reed had jammed in his mouth, by the trigger. Johnny also revived from his coma, as it was merely the normal cycle of his new powers.
On a return to the Baxter Building, a girl named Rhona Burchill, who had been refused a place at the think tank due to her mental instability at the same time as Reed was accepted in, captured the group. Rhona told Reed that she had borrowed a piece of her friend’s brain and shortened the gaps in her own neural synapses, increasing her intelligence to abnormal levels. But thanks to blind luck-in the form of a tumbling helicopter-Reed was freed from his restraints and he beat Rhona with the help of his friends. She escaped, promising to return. The four then freed Dr. Storm and the rest of the staff, to restore the Baxter Building. The group, then calling themselves the Fantastic Four after they had officially been revealed to the world during their fight in downtown Las Vegas, later faced a group of beings called the Inhumans, after Johnny tracked their young princess through her massive, canine companion. The Inhumans were then forced to leave the Earth as they had been revealed to humanity.
A Mister Fantastic from another dimension later contacted Reed and implored his alternate self to help him in a mission that he was gathering the smartest minds in the multiverse for. But when Reed created a portal to the alternate Mister Fantastic’s universe, he found himself trapped in a universe of super-powered zombies. The alternate Reed had tricked him into opening a portal to Reed’s home universe, so that the undead heroes could swarm it, as they had theirs, and feed upon the flesh of the inhabitants. But unaffected Magneto helped Reed, and soon the rest of Reed’s team joined him and fought back the diseased heroes to rescue Reed and some of the remaining humans; though Magneto, himself, was forced to stay behind and destroy the machine. But the zombie Fantastic Four also snuck through the portal, though after a fight, the unaffected Fantastic Four managed to subdue them in a sealed containment cell-originally built to hold their Hulk-in order to study them.
Dr. Storm later revealed to his son and daughter that their mother, who they believed had died in a car accident, had actually been working on a top secret project to discover the sunken city of Atlantis. Dr. Mary Storm had found Atlantis, and she needed the Fantastic Four’s help to investigate it. They did, and found a trapped prince, by the name of Namor, who broke free from his prison and rampaged across the city. He only agreed to stop and return to the sea if Susan-who he was strongly attracted to-kissed him with feeling, which she did. And so he left, and the team regrouped.
Months later, Magneto, who recently lost his two and only children, taught the world a lesson and killed millions. He flooded New York and froze parts of Europe. Reed and Susan climbed to the top of the Baxter Building, where Sue forced the water to go back into the ocean. Reed gave Sue, who was unconscious to Ben. Reed went after Namor, who he believed caused the disaster. Immediately capturing the foe, Reed was then captured by Doctor Doom. Doom devised a Team Up to retrieve Nick Fury. Meanwhile, Ben had to go to great lengths to find a way to save Sue. He went after the Mole man, who loved Sue, and accepted to help. The two used Pym Particles to travel to Sue's brain to take her out of her coma. They met up with small Doombots inside her body, and later found out that Reed installed them to track where they went. Johnny, who was missing since the Ultimatum wave hit, was found in another dimension. Reed was in the supremeverse, which Sue didn't care. She didn't care anymore for Reed at all. When Dormannu came from the dark realm to conquer, Sue and Ben found out that the demon was getting his power from Johnny, who was tied to his neck. Sue was able to stop Dormannu, who turned out to be only but a skinny man. Ben may have later killed him. When Reed returned, he proposed to Sue. Sue declined, and they didn't speak again. Sue got control of the Baxter Building. Reed went back to his parents. Ben started working for S.H.I.E.L.D., and Johnny was a drifter. The Fantastic Four ended because Ultimatum started.