Of all the superheroes in comic book history, the Fantastic Four have been one of the most extraordinary teams. First by Marvel Comics launched in their self-titled comic book series in 1961, Mister Fantastic with his stretching abilities, Sue Storm with her invisibility and force fields, the Thing’s massive strength, and the Human Torch’s flame powers have combined to taken on a wide variety of villains over the decades. With a team that powerful, their enemies have to be major-league threats. The FF have fought everyone from purse snatchers to literal gods and come out winners.
In the aftermath of 2015’s “Secret Wars” crossover, the Fantastic Four was finally disbanded, but their enemies remain. With them in mind, CBR is here to round up the 15 most powerful members of their rogues’ gallery.
15. Namor the Sub-Mariner
Namor actually predates the Marvel Universe itself, having his debut in 1939’s “Marvel Comics” #1 as the son of a human sea captain and a princess from the fabled undersea world of Atlantis. He’s been a hero over the years, but also became a villain when he returned in 1962’s “Fantastic Four” #4, enraged at the destruction of Atlantis by nuclear testing. He’s even allied himself with supervillains like Magneto.
Namor is often referred to as Marvel’s “first mutant” because of his unique abilities that go beyond his human or Atlantean heritage. He has the power to fly and superhuman strength that has allowed him to pick up and throw an ocean liner, and even fight the Hulk. He can also command sea life, sending aquatic armies to attack on his command. He’s been an ally and an enemy of the Fantastic Four on many occasions, and is a force of nature in battle.
In 1979’s “Fantastic Four” #211, the cosmic being Galactus transformed the tyrannical ruler of an alien empire into Terrax the Tamer, a herald to seek out planets for Galactus to devour. While Terrax was one of Galactus’ most successful heralds, he also defied Galactus many times, trying to use his cosmic power to enslave other worlds. He also fought the Fantastic Four for control of Earth. Terrax was ultimately killed by the Phoenix Force, but not before wreaking havoc across the galaxy.
Terrax had the power to control the molecules in rocks and soil. That simple power allowed him to do something as simple as move some sand and as impossible as raise the entire island of Manhattan, as well as cause volcanic eruptions and earthquakes in between. Thanks to Galactus, Terrax gained cosmic powers like flight, resistance to injury, and the power to create force fields and energy beams. He’ll betray anyone or anything to gain more power.
Giganto made his first appearance in “Fantastic Four” #1 in 1961, and it was a memorable one, being the green monster on the cover of their first issue. The monstrous Giganto was sent by the underground villain, Mole Man, to destroy chemical plants in different countries around the world. Giganto continued to be used as a weapon by Mole Man to attack other heroes like Iron Man, but the Fantastic Four have been his most common enemy.
Giganto’s power lies in his enormous strength and durability, which allow him to burrow through the Earth underground and survive there or even at the bottom of the ocean floor. When he decides to surface, he can destroy entire city blocks with Giganto’s sheer size making him a huge threat to anyone who tries to fight him. Basically, he’s on par with Godzilla, except that he can be controlled more easily.
In “Fantastic Four” #18 (1963), the Super-Skrull became one of the Fantastic Four’s most dangerous enemies. He comes from the alien race called the Skrull, who can change their shape to disguise themselves, and had tried to conquer Earth, but were stopped by the Fantastic Four. The Skrulls chose one of their warriors to give all the combined powers of the Fantastic Four, and that warrior became the Super-Skrull.
Like all Skrulls, the Super-Skrull can change his appearance, but also he has the strength of the Thing, the malleability of Mister Fantastic, the flame powers of the Human Torch, and the invisibility and force field powers of the Invisible Woman. In fact, he has all those powers to a greater degree than the Fantastic Four. He can wield them all in combination, making his super-strong fist invisible or stretching himself in a flaming band. He can also control people’s minds sort of like Charles Xavier, making him a threat five times over.
“Fantastic Four” #363 (1992) introduced Occulus, a ruthless tyrant of the Inniverse, an alternate dimension that had been ravaged by war. Occulus was one of the precious few who learned how to use power gems and conquered his world. When he tried to gain more power, the Fantastic Four stood in his way, forcing Occulus into deep space, and later trapping him in the Negative Zone. Along the way, he also fought other heroes like Spider-Man.
The gems of the Inniverse give Occulus the power to create force fields, shoot energy beams, fly and see invisible objects (like the Invisible Woman) with his augmented eye. With the power of Franklin Richards added to his own, Occulus could form energy constructs, and increased his strength and durability. When you throw in his body armor and mastery of martial arts, Occulus has both the power to conquer worlds and the will to do so.
First appearing in “Fantastic Four” #406 (1995), Hyperstorm comes from the alternate future of “Days of Future Past” where mutant-hunting robots called Sentinels conquered the Earth and imprisoned mutants and humans. Hyperstorm is the son of Franklin Richards and Rachel Summer, giving him psychic powers on a massive scale. He used them to take over his Earth and all the known inhabited planets in his universe. Having conquered his era, he went back in time to the present to conquer that as well.
Hyperstorm has an incredible degree of psychic power that allows him to alter the fundamental forces of the universe, which allows him to rebuild or destroy all matter on the subatomic level. He also has the usual psychic powers of reading thoughts and the ability to move objects through telekinesis. Besides his incredible power, he’s also a brilliant scientist who’s able to create weapons and a time machine, and a level of intelligence capable of outsmarting Reed Richards.
Mephisto isn’t the Devil, but he plays one in the comics. First appearing in “Silver Surfer” #3 in 1968, he looks like the Devil, and he lives in another dimension he calls Hell. He’s basically the Devil, except Marvel has taken pains to say he’s not. He spends his time gathering human souls to torment in his dimension, and is especially interested in the souls of superheroes. In particular, he’s tried to get the soul of Franklin Richards, son of Reed and Susan Richards multiple times.
Mephisto has vast power, including the usual assortment of strength, speed and durability, as well as the ability to shoot and control flames. That’s nothing compared to his magical power, which he’s used to be able to teleport, create illusions and trap the souls of beings in his dimension. One of his greatest feats was to alter reality itself in the case of 2007’s “One More Day,” where he erased Peter Parker and Mary Jane’s marriage from existence.
Annihilus made his first appearance in “Fantastic Four Annual” #6 (1968) when Sue Storm was about to give birth, and the cosmic radiation in her body threatened her life. To save her, the remaining three members of the Fantastic Four traveled to the Negative Zone to find Annihilus’ Cosmic Control Rod, which grants him immortality. Annihilus is obsessed with avoiding his own death and gaining more power, trying to invade Earth and find new sources of energy.
He has immense power, thanks to his Cosmic Control Rod. He’s superhumanly strong and fast, especially since he gained strength from the Hulk. His exoskeleton can stand up to radiation, great pressure and heat, and he can fly through the vacuum of space for up to a year without a scratch. The Cosmic Control Rod itself is his greatest resource, since it allows him to slow his aging, heal injuries, fire energy blasts and manipulate matter.
7. Ego the Living Planet
First appearing in “Thor” #132, Ego the Living Planet is, well, a living planet. It’s an organism that grew to the size of a planet, complete with organs such as the brain that gives it sentience. Ego started out trying to conquer other worlds, but eventually became a friendly living planet until the cosmic entity Galactus tried to eat him. Ego tried to get revenge on Galactus, including trying to destroy Earth, forcing the Fantastic Four to attack him.
Ego has complete control over its entire surface, allowing it to change the terrain and even the ecosystem. It can adjust its own temperature to become burning hot, and become as rich and green as a paradise or a barren rocky surface, entirely at will. Most often, it likes to form a huge face to talk to other beings. Ego also has immense psychic power, which it can use to fire blasts of energy. Ego will be appearing in the 2017 movie “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.”
Among the many powerful races in the Universe, the Watchers stand apart from it all. An immortal race that are sworn to observe but never interfere, the Watchers’ code was badly broken by Aron. Aron saw the Fantastic Four and decided he wanted to be an adventurer as well. He went rogue, interfering with and even making clones of the Fantastic Four to ruin their reputation. He was eventually turned to energy by another Watcher, Uatu.
As a Watcher, Aron has powers that seem god-like to humans, but he’s not an actual god like Thor. He has psychic powers of telekinesis, telepathy, teleportation and the ability to fire blasts of cosmic energy. He’s also able to create force fields and change his appearance at will, but there’s no known limit to those powers. His biggest weakness is that he’s relatively young for a Watcher, and doesn’t have the control and wisdom of older ones.
Galactus is a cosmic being who’s been cursed since the beginning of time with a burning hunger that can only be eased by consuming energy from planets, which becomes a problem if there are people living on the planet. He first appeared in 1966’s “Fantastic Four” #48, where he tried to consume the Earth. The Fantastic Four managed to stop him, but he’s continued to try to devour Earth and other worlds.
Galactus wields the “Power Cosmic,” which basically gives him almost infinite power. He’s used the Power Cosmic to change matter, produce force fields, transport objects across space, create life and resurrect the dead. His most famous power is to create “heralds,” creating and transforming people into cosmic beings who can travel the universe to find worlds for him to consume. The Fantastic Four has always challenged Galactus and won, but it’s been a tough fight every time.
4. Impossible Man
In 1963, “Fantastic Four” #11 introduced the aptly named Impossible Man. The Impossible Man is an alien from the planet Poppup with the ability to change shape at will. His zany antics cause chaos, sort of like a cross between the Joker and Mister Myxzpltk, only without the evil intent. The Fantastic Four has managed to stop him each time he’s returned, coming back again and again to disrupt events around the world.
The Impossible Man has control over every molecule in his body and can take on any shape he wants. He can become something as complex as a spaceship to travel the universe or as simple as a hammer to bash the Thing over the head. He’ll often copy the physical appearance and powers of different Marvel superheroes just for fun. His only real desire is to spread humor through the universe, but his idea of comedy is more like chaos.
3. Doctor Doom
Doctor Victor Von Doom started out as a normal human being, but with an extraordinary intelligence, a lack of any moral code and a ruthless desire for power. That was enough to make him a threat greater than some cosmic beings. First seen in 1962’s”Fantastic Four” #5, Doom has tried multiple times to conquer the world. Doom also has a grudge against Reed Richards, as they were competitive roommates in college and because he blames Richards for the explosion that damaged his face.
One reason Doom is so powerful is that he’s a master at both science and magic. He’s a scientific genius, one of the smartest humans in the Marvel Universe, and has created countless weapons and machines to fulfill his wishes. He wears a mask and armor at all times, which give him superhuman strength, defensive force fields and fires energy blasts. He’s even managed to manipulate events to give himself god-like powers.
2. Molecule Man
Debuting in “Fantastic Four” #20 (1963), Molecule Man was a lowly lab technician exposed to a mysterious radiation that gave him the power to control all matter, right down to individual molecules. He became a criminal who used his powers to fight many superheroes like the Avengers, but primarily he went up against the Fantastic Four. Over time, he reformed and began using his powers to protect the universe against cosmic threats like the Beyonder, but really he just wants to live a comfortable life.
At first, Molecule Man believed he couldn’t affect living matter and thought he needed a wand to control his power. But later on, Molecule Man discovered only his mind limited his power and he didn’t need the wand at all. He can change and destroy objects, create energy beams and force fields, and transform the very fabric of reality. He’s even destroyed and recreated his own body. It’s been said that Molecule Man is a cosmic entity, so thankfully, he’s mostly reformed in terms of his villainy.
1. The Beyonder
If God was a supervillain, he would be the Beyonder. In 1984’s “Secret Wars,” several major superheroes and supervillains were transported from Earth to another world. They were taken by the Beyonder, an omnipotent and all-powerful being who created an entire planet for them to pit them against each other in battle. The Beyonder promised to fulfill the wishes of anyone who won the war.
Despite what Professor X says, he’s not an Inhuman. Rather, the Beyonder is the sum total of an entire universe, and has virtually unlimited power, able to alter time and space at will. In “Secret Wars,” the Beyonder destroyed entire galaxies and created a new universe. Later, he was able to travel from his own dimension to the Marvel Universe, and destroyed and recreated the entity of Death, repelled Galactus with very little effort, and almost destroyed the multiverse itself. He was recently re-tooled with greatly reduced power, but remains an awesome threat.
Who do you think is the most powerful Fantastic Four villain? Do you have a favorite we haven’t mentioned? Let us know in the comments!