WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Fantastic Four #2, by Dan Slott, Sara Pichelli, Elisabetta D'amico, Marte Gracia and Joe Caramagna, out now.
The Fantastic Four are finally reunited in this week’s Fantastic Four #2, but as we’re reintroduced to the Richards family we see that a lot has changed for the superheroes, not least of which being Franklin Richards. The oldest child of Susan and Reed Richards is a good few years older than the last time we saw him, looking less like a shy 10-year-old and more like a scrawny, awkward teenager. His looks aren’t all that’s changed, though.
Ever since his birth in 1968’s Fantastic Four Annual #6, it’s been clear that Franklin Richards is more than special -- his powers are literally off the charts. He’s been defined as an omega-level mutant, the most powerful category there is, due to both of his parents’ exposure to cosmic rays.
Unlike most mutants, though, his powers manifested when he was a toddler, and since then he’s been a veritable force to be reckoned with. He’s been abducted by everyone from Annihilus and Onslaught to Doctor Doom, and all have been eager to harness his reality-warping powers for their own.
Perhaps due to the sheer overwhelming extent of his powers, or perhaps as a way for writers to give as much creative room as possible, Franklin’s full strength has never been revealed, but after seeing some of the things he’s done in the past, readers could get a sense for just how strong he is.
Not only did he save all of the Avengers and Fantastic Four in the late ‘90s by creating an entire pocket universe in which they could live, he’s spent the last few years expanding the multiverse with his powers, aided by Molecule Man and his father, Mister Fantastic.