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Pick Your Favorite Super Power: The Fantastic Four

Fantastic 4
Like many superhero squad movies, The Fantastic Four has enjoyed its share of film reboots over the years. Originally, the rights to the franchise were purchased in 1986 by Constantin Film, who produced a low-budget picture that was never officially released to the public (though bootlegged copies do exist), and was solely for the purpose of retaining the license.

Then came the 2005 iteration featuring Human Torch, Chris Evans, who’s since taken on the role of Captain America, and Jessica Alba, whose part as Invisible Girl appeared to forecast the future of her acting career; followed by the sequel in 2007 known as Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Moving ahead to 2015, the reboot of reboots makes its way to theaters this weekend, once again introducing a pretty amazing troupe of superheroes with a strong cast, big budget and slightly new spin on the Fantastic Four’s origins.

So take a look at the powers of these incredible characters, who first grew out of the mind of Stan Lee and the pen of Jack Kirby in The Fantastic Four comic book #1 (November 1961), and decide for yourself – if the world were in trouble, which of the four would you want to be?

Mister Fantastic

Mister Fantastic

Reed Richards, who would later become known as Mister Fantastic, is not only one of the greatest scientific minds of his generation, but also gained the ability to stretch and reshape his body at will after the quartet was exposed to intense cosmic radiation. This elasticity comes in handy over the life of the comic books and movies, allowing him to transform his body into everything from a human parachute and trampoline to giving Richards melee-type hand weaponry, including hammers, maces and oversized fists. It also helps that he’s a black belt in judo, which makes being an expert in space/time travel, robotics, spectral analysis and taking on interdimensional villains even that much cooler.

Invisible Woman

Invisible Woman

The wife of Mister Fantastic, Sue Richards, is at times considered the most powerful of the Fantastic Four, and wields her power as the light-bending hero known as the Invisible Woman. Whether she wants to be partly or wholly undetectable to evildoers, Invisible Woman uses her ability to catch criminals off guard, seemingly disappearing one moment only to appear in a more suitable position for some hand-to-hand combat. But that’s not all – she also holds the talent of generating force fields of every shape and size, making any person or object invisible within a 40,000 cubic foot area, and most importantly, using her psionic ability to create light wave weaponry such as invisible darts, discs and desperado-defeating battering rams.


The Thing

Probably the most mutated of the Fantastic Four crew, The Thing is also one of the more popular superheroes in Marvel history, with some saying he may have served as the forerunner to Hulk’s first appearance in 1962. Budding from the rough-around-the-edges personality of Ben Grimm, The Thing’s abilities are just as fierce, providing him herculean strength and resilience – which include enhanced resistance to extremes in both temperature and combat – as well as an increased lung capacity and stamina. These, together with his nearly superhuman agility and dexterity, make The Thing a formidable (and somewhat irritable) crusader.

Human Torch

Human Torch

Of the members of the Fantastic Four, Johnny Storm’s abilities stand out as some of the most remarkable, though they’re much more short-lived than others from the ill-fated space expedition. Known as the Human Torch, whose powers include covering his entire body in a blazing inferno, Storm can only keep this superpower going for roughly 17 hours under normal conditions, according to comic book tradition. However, along with covering his body with fire, Johnny can also take to the air at supersonic speeds, launch fireballs and other fire-covered projectiles, in addition to being able to manipulate any type of flame present in the surrounding area. Not bad for a part-time superhuman gig.


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