The Fantastic Four are a team of superheros who were given powers through cosmic rays.
While attempting to investigate a strange disturbance in space, Reed Richards, his wife Sue, her brother Johnny Storm and Reed's best friend, Ben Grimm were thrown off course when their ship was bombarded with cosmic rays.
The accident altered their bodies in strange ways, Reed could now stretch and mold his body into any shape he pleased; Sue had the ability to turn herself and objects around her invisible; Johnny could create and manipulate flames and Ben was permanently turned into an large, orange rocked creature with superhuman strength. Together, with their newfound powers, they began battling evil and exploring the unknown.
An intelligent and determined scientist, Reed Richards was startled when he discovered a strange cosmic disturbance in space. Eager to discover what the disturbance was, Reed jetted off into space, foolishly ignoring pilot Ben Grimm’s warnings that the new vessel had no shielding from any cosmic radiation.
Reed, along with his wife Sue, her brother Johnny and his best friend Ben Grimm flew into space together. Unfortunately, the ship was bombarded with cosmic rays and the ship crashed back down to earth. Miraculously, the 4 survived. Upon leaving their craft, they realized they had gained fantastic new powers.
Reed gained the ability to stretch his body. Opting to call himself Mr. Fantastic, the 4 often saved the world from the it’s enemies, including Reed’s former college room mate, Victor Von Doom.
Whilst his wife and brother in law reveled in their newfound powers, Reed concentrated on both funding their exploits and inventing devices to help them fight crime. He also tried to find a cure for the very powers that made him a superhero, in order to help The Thing revert to Ben Grimm. He blames himself for his friend’s tragic appearance.
Refusing to allow her husband to fly into space alone, Sue accompanied her husband and brother and Reed’s friend Ben. Upon crashing, Sue discovered she had the ability to turn her entire body and objects around her invisible and to generate force fields of any shape or size.
Arguably the glue that holds them team together, she has been looking after her younger brother Johnny since their parents died when they were young. Sue often brings her husband back down to earth after he has spent too long in his lab, as she often feels he spends too long in there, and doesn’t spend enough time with her.
No one is quite sure why Jonathan Spencer Storm decided to go into space with the rest of them, but upon landing, he realized that he had the ability to set himself alight, controlling the flames. His newfound powers also allowed him to fly.
Upon returning to earth, Johnny felt lonely. His newfound powers denied him from having any real friends. Reed and Sue had each other, Ben had Alicia, but he had no one. After meeting Crystal, from the Inhuman World, the two fell in love, but Crystals family refused to allow them to be together because Johnny was an outsider, not one of them. Maximus The Mad created a wall over the inhuman’s city that no force could penetrate, whilst Johnny remained lonely on the outside. Only Blackbolt’s almighty voice could destroy the wall, and upon its collapsing, Johnny and Crystal were finally reunited.
Best friend of Reed Richards, Ben Grimm refused to allow Richards to pilot the shuttle, Grimm, as a pilot officered to do the job himself. After Reed ignored his pleas to protect the craft from cosmic radiation, the shuttle was bombarded by the cosmic rays and crashed back to earth.
Upon landing, Ben, was turned into a hideous creator made of rock, and one of the strongest creatures alive. After returning to New York, Ben’s mind was taken over by the Puppet Master, in an attempt to destroy his friends. Once his mind was restored, the Puppet Master fell out of a window, to his death. His blind daughter, Alicia Masters, moved into an apartment in the Baxter Building and the two developed a romance.
He still fought crime, hoping that one day Reed would find a cure for his condition so that he and Alicia could marry.
The Thing and Hulk had a long running grudge by the time Hulk and She Hulk returned to New York. Banner hoped to find Reed Richards and ask for his help with a cure before The Leader’s intervention caused him to Hulk out.
Ben, lonely after being separated from Alicia, was uninterested in She Hulk, despite her best efforts. She and Ben managed to defeat Leader’s minions, and Hulk and Thing settled their differences.
In the Secret War, Spider-Man realized that there was an opponent he knew nothing about, Dr. Doom. So he called upon The Fantastic Four, who had previously defeated Doom several times. After some disagreements, they later agreed to help Spider-Man.
They later separated, with the Four launching an attack on Doom by themselves. Upon traveling, Ben was kidnapped by one of Doom's Doombots. They later learned that Doom had no intention of harming Ben, instead he cured him by creating a device which gave him the ability to turn back into Ben Grimm. He did this so that Ben would tell him why they were transported to the alien planet. After being told, Doom transported to The Beyonder and used the same device he cured Ben with to steal The Beyonder's powers.
Ben later used the same device to separate Doom from The Beyonder's powers and The Beyonder sent everyone back to earth. However, they were all left with no memory or evidence that the war ever occurred, thereby leaving Thing without the device of changing back to Ben Grimm.
Others seen in the Marvel Animated Universe who have joined the team at one time or another in the comics include Ghost Rider, Spider-Man, Medusa, Storm, Black Panther, Namor, She-Hulk, Hulk, and Wolverine.