Frightful Four

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Frightful Four

The Frightful Four, victorious over Human Torch, The Thing, and Storm.
Art by Michael Turner.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Fantastic Four #36 (1966)
Created by Stan Lee
Jack Kirby
In-story information
Base(s) Various
Member(s) Hydro-Man
Klaw
Medusa
Sandman
Thundra
Titania
Trapster
Wizard

The Frightful Four are a group of fictional characters in Marvel Comics who serve as the antithesis to the Fantastic Four.

Publication history[edit]

The Frightful Four first appeared in Fantastic Four #36 (March 1965), and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

The team subsequently appears in Fantastic Four #129 (December 1972), #177 (December 1976), Spectacular Spider-Man #42 (May 1980), The Amazing Spider-Man #214-215 (March–April 1981), Fantastic Four #326-328 (May–July 1989), Fantastic Four Unlimited #5 (March 1994), Incredible Hulk (vol. 2) #418 (June 1994), Deadpool (vol. 3) #35 (December 1999), Fantastic Four (vol. 3) #29 (May 2000), and Fantastic Four #514 (August 2004), and #547-549.

The Frightful Four received an entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update '89 #3.

Fictional team biography[edit]

The Frightful Four first appeared in Fantastic Four #36, consisting of the Wizard, the Sandman, Paste-Pot Pete (the latter two who freed the Wizard), and Medusa (who had amnesia at the time). The villains were originally fairly successful, almost defeating the Fantastic Four during Sue and Reed's engagement party in their first appearance. They captured all the members except the Torch, who was able to free the others.[1] The Frightful Four even stole the Fantastic Four's powers which later almost killed them in their second appearance.[2]

When the Fantastic Four disappeared, the Frightful Four attempted to break into the Baxter Building, but were accidentally scared off by Norse God Balder believing him to be the Human Torch.[3]

The Wizard later uses a hypnosis device on the Thing in order to make him their obedient slave. When the Fantastic Four find a lead on where Ben is, they travel to New Jersey and are soon attacked by the Frightful Four. During the fight, Thing arrives and attacks his former comrades. The Thing's added strength is what the Frightful Four needed to defeat the Fantastic Four, while all the members are bound by different booby-trapped restraints. While Mister Fantastic is glued to a wall with the Trapster's paste, the Wizard convinces the Thing that it's Reed's fault that he's a monster and convinces him to kill Reed.[4] Human Torch and Invisible Woman managed to free themselves from their respective traps and counterattack the Frightful Four giving Mister Fantastic enough time to free himself from Trapster's paste. However, while fighting the Thing one on one, Ben manages to catch Reed and smash him into an urn. During the fight, Johnny is captured and Sue chases after the urn with Reed inside. While the Frightful Four brainwash Johnny, Sue frees Reed and they get a hold of a number of the Wizard's anti-gravity discs. Using them to disorientate the other Frightful Four members, they use one to make taking Ben back to base easier. However, although the other members are caught up, the Wizard and Johnny are still free and chase after Reed, Sue and Ben.[5] While being chased by Wizard and a mind-controlled Human Torch, Mister Fantastic and Invisible Woman manage to escape from them. The Frightful Four incapacitate Human Torch when they find out that he was pretending to be mind-controlled. Meanwhile, Reed tries to use a device to reverse the brainwashing on Ben. Ben, however, tries to destroy the machine in order to get free, causing an explosion that exposes him to a near lethal dose of radiation. Although it works and Ben is changed back to normal, he's put in a bed to see if he will live or die. The Frightful Four then return to the Baxter Building and attack Mister Fantastic and Invisible Woman, showing them that they have Human Torch hostage. However, the Thing revives just long enough to crush the Wizard's body armor, giving Human Torch the chance to free himself from the gigantic anti-gravity disc he is tied too. The Fantastic Four then easily defeat their opponents, and capture Wizard, Trapster, and Sandman. Medusa, however, manages to escape. After the three remaining members of the Frightful Four are turned over to the police, Thing decides to rejoin the Fantastic Four with hopes that if Mister Fantastic and Invisible Woman can endure this sort of daily danger and be married, then maybe someday he can be normal again.[6]

The Frightful Four gets back together and spies on the Fantastic Four during their visit to child-rearing expert Agatha Harkness. That time, they planned to kidnap Mister Fantastic and Invisible Woman's newborn son Franklin Richards. This time, they are defeated by Agatha who revealed to the Fantastic Four that she is also a witch.[7]

Electro joins up with the Frightful Four when they are planning revenge on Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four.[8] After Dr. Curt Connors cures Spider-Man of his Spider-Lizard form, the Frightful Four begin their revenge plot against Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four[9] The Frightful Four later arrive at the Statue of Liberty where Spider-Man and Human Torch meet. Electro uses a specially-made suit that imitates Human Torch's powers and uses it in order to lure Spider-Man to them. Spider-Man is caught off-guard because of this and ends up overpowered. He then plans to have Trapster pose as Spider-Man.[10] After Trapster's infiltration, the Frightful Four then attacks the Baxter Building taking out the Fantastic Four. The Wizard, Trapster, and Sandman reunite in order to look for a fourth member after Medusa regained her memories. Recruiting Electro as their fourth member, their plot involves them capturing Spider-Man[10] and impersonating the web slinger to infiltrate the Baxter Building, taking out the Fantastic Four one at a time. Although they are able to take the other three by surprise, they are defeated when Spider-Man escapes and comes to Mister Fantastic's aid. Spider-Man tricks Electro into knocking out the Wizard before he and Mister Fantastic trap Sandman and Electro in a vacuum cleaner and a fire-hose respectively. Trapster surrenders when he is confronted by the other three Fantastic Four members after they regain consciousness.[11]

Thing is later attacked by the Frightful Four with Thundra as their fourth member. Medusa aids Thing only to be roped up by Trapster.[12] They then attacked Mister Fantastic and Invisible Woman as Franklin unleashes energy that ends up awakening Thing. Thing manages to fight off the Frightful Four who managed to get away.[13] While away from the Frightful Four, Thundra later kidnaps Alicia Masters in order to fight Thing at Shea Stadium.[14]

Wizard, Sandman, and Trapster reunite to hunt down the Fantastic Four after returning from Atlantis. The Fantastic Four managed to turn the tides against them.[15]

The Frightful Four takes over the Baxter Building and captures the Fantastic Four. They then hold an audition for a fourth member much to the disappointment of the Baxter Building's landlord Walter Collins. Texas Twister was the first to audition, but declined when he learned that they aren't going to pay him for his services. Captain Ultra was another person to show up at the audition and showed off his powers only to faint when one of the Frightful Four members lights a match. Then another person called Osprey auditioned in order for them to give him superpowers which caused Wizard to attach a hover-disk to Osprey sending him flying out of the Baxter Building. Wizard announced on the PA stating that those that don't have superpowers don't need to audition...or else. When Tigra arrives and frees the Fantastic Four, Wizard announces that whoever can defeat them can join the Frightful Four. Out of the villains that left, only Brute remained.[16] Brute joins the Frightful Four and assists them in fighting the Fantastic Four.[17]

Wizard is later freed from his prison on Ryker's Island by a mysterious person who has joined up with the Frightful Four. As they make their escape, the guards come after them only to be stopped by a sea monster summoned by the mysterious person. Wizard is impressed as the two head to land to hunt down Spider-Man. Wizard uses a giant mechanical spider on the World Trade Center in order to draw out Spider-Man who ends up knocking the giant mechanical spider off the World Trade Center. The device that was on the mechanical spider enabled Wizard and his ally to track down Spider-Man's Spider Senses to his apartment building where they end up rounding up the tenants. Spider-Man attacked them from a different direction. After rescuing the tenants, Spider-Man goes after the two.[18] Upon meeting up with Trapster and Sandman, the mysterious ally of Wizard is revealed to by Llyra. Spider-Man learns of this when Namor comes to town.[19] Spider-Man and Namor engage the Frightful Four and managed to defeat them.[20]

Wizard later assembled Hydro-Man, Titania, and Klaw as the Frightful Four when attacking the Four Freedoms Plaza following Sandman's reform. During the battle, Thing regresses to his human form.[21] The Frightful Four managed to take down the other Fantastic Four members as Klaw is defeated.[22] When Dragon Man is brought in as Klaw's replacement, Thing ends up having to rescue his teammates and stop the Frightful Four.[23]

The Fantastic Four ended up fighting the Frightful Four that consisted of Wizard, Klaw, Red Ghost, and She-Thing.[24]

Wizard gathers Absorbing Man, Living Laser, and Mister Hyde together as an unofficial Frightful Four. They attacked the wedding of Rick Jones and Marlo Chandler only to end up fighting the Hulk.[25]

At some point, the Wizard assembles a Frightful Four consisting of himself, Deadpool, Taskmaster, and Constrictor as a test team.[26]

Wizard later assembled Trapster, Dreadknight, and Man-Bull together as the Frightful Four when it came to abducting Dr. Cargill and forcing him to use his expertise for the Wizard's endeavor. They ended up opposed by Spider-Man, the Rangers, the Right Riders, and Dr. Cargill's daughter Turbine.[27]

At the time when Doctor Doom switched minds with Mister Fantastic, Wizard led the Frightful Four (consisting of himself, She-Thing, Trapster, and Punisher robot) in an attack on the Baxter Building. Due to the appearance of Doctor Doom and not knowing what happened, Wizard ordered a retreat not wanting to fight Doctor Doom.[28]

Another version of the Frightful Four (consisting of Wizard, Hydro-Man, Titania, and Trapster) appears to challenge the Fantastic Four again, only to find themselves dealing with the additional presence of the Black Panther and Storm, who had temporarily joined the Fantastic Four while Reed and Sue were on a second honeymoon to work on their marriage after their separation during the "Civil War".[29] When Klaw's body was restored to normal by Wizard and joins up with him, the group becomes the Frightful Five.[30]

When the Thing recently got engaged, his fiancé received a wreath from the Frightful Four with a card saying "See you at the wedding."[31]

At the time when Thing was fighting Red Hulk, a new line-up of the Frightful Four (consisting of Wizard, Klaw, Lyra, and Trapster) attacked the Baxter Building.[32]

A flashback recalled by Spider-Man and Invisible Woman had Spider-Man pulling down Human Torch's pants before the Frightful Four (consisting of Wizard, Trapster, and Beetle) attacked them. Invisible Woman managed to pull their pants down and was arrested alongside them for indecent exposure. Lucky for her, Spider-Man and Human Torch bailed her out.[33]

Membership[edit]

First appearing in Fantastic Four #36, and led by the Wizard, the team was put together to fight against the Fantastic Four.

Character Real Name Joined In Notes
Known members
Wizard born Bentley Wittman; legally changed to Wizard Fantastic Four vol. 1 #36 The founder and leader of the team. Only member who has been a member of every incarnation of the team.
Sandman William Baker Fantastic Four vol. 1 #36 Has also been a member of the Sinister Twelve, Sinister Six, Outlaws, an Avengers reservist, and the Wild Pack.
Trapster
(formerly Paste-Pot Pete)
Peter Petruski Fantastic Four vol. 1 #36 Has also been a member of the Lethal Legion and Sinister Six.
Medusa Medusalith Amaquelin Boltagon Fantastic Four vol. 1 #36 Inhumans, a Queen of Attilan, wife of Black Bolt; was suffering from amnesia during her membership.
Thundra Thundra Fantastic Four vol. 1 #129 A warrior woman and time traveler from the 23rd century. Has also been a member of the Grapplers. Some time later, mole of the Fantastic Four.
Constrictor Frank Payne Deadpool vol. 3 #35 The Test Team member. Has also been a member of the Sinister Syndicate, Six-Pack, Masters of Evil, S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Initiative.
Deadpool Wade T. Wilson Deadpool vol. 3 #35 A human (mutate), mercenary and assassin. The Test Team member. Has also been a member of the Six Pack, Weapon X, Heroes for Hire, Great Lakes Initiative, Maggia, and Agency X. He is currently a member of Thunderbolts
Taskmaster Anthony "Tony" Masters Deadpool vol. 3 #35 The Test Team member. He will work for nearly anyone for the right price. Has also been a member of the Thunderbolts, Agency X. and the Fifty State Initiative.
Brute Reed Richards Fantastic Four vol. 1 #177 An alternate version of Mister Fantastic.
Electro Max Dillon The Spectacular Spider-Man vol. 1 # 42 Has also been a member of the Sinister Twelve, Sinister Six, Emissaries of Evil, and Exterminators.
Llyra Llyra Morris The Amazing Spider-Man # 214 Mother of Llyron, a member of the water-breathing Homo mermanus who dwell in Lemuria, and Rhonda Morris, a surface woman who inherited her father's oceanarium in Hawaii.
Hydro-Man Morris Bench Fantastic Four vol. 1 #326 Has also been a member of the Sinister Twelve, Masters of Evil, and Sinister Syndicate.
Titania Mary "Skeeter" MacPherran-Creel Fantastic Four vol. 1 #326 Has also been a member of the Masters of Evil.
Klaw Ulysses Klaw Fantastic Four vol. 1 #326 Black Panther's enemy. Has also been a member of the Masters of Evil and Fearsome Foursome.
Dragon Man N/A Fantastic Four vol. 1 #328 An android built by Professor Gregson Gilbert of Empire State University as an experiment. Has also been a member of the New Enforcers.
Absorbing Man Carl "Crusher" Creel Incredible Hulk #418 An unofficial team member. Husband of Titania. Has also been a member of the Masters of Evil.
Living Laser Arthur Parks Incredible Hulk #418 An unofficial team member. Has also been a member of the Mandarin's Minions, Batroc's Brigade, the Lethal Legion, and MODOK's 11.
Mister Hyde Calvin Zabo Incredible Hulk #418 An unofficial team member. Father of Daisy Johnson. Has also been a member of the Masters of Evil.
She-Thing Sharon Ventura Fantastic Four Unlimited #5 Also known as Ms. Marvel. Has also been a member of the Thunderiders and Fantastic Four. Former girlfriend of the Thing.
Red Ghost Ivan Kragoff Fantastic Four Unlimited #5 A Soviet scientist who assembled a crew of three apes — Mikhlo the Gorilla, Igor the Baboon, and Peotr the Orangutan.
Dreadknight Bram Velsing Spider-Man: Chaos in Calgary #4 When the criminal Black Knight died fighting Iron Man, Dreadknight was likely meant as a new/legacy version of the villain.
Man-Bull William Taurens Spider-Man: Chaos in Calgary #4 Has also been a member of the Death Squad.
Blastaar Blastaar Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Comics Magazine #10 A member of an alien race of the planet Baluur in the Negative Zone. Enemy of Annihilus, another Fantastic Four villain.
Punisher N/A Fantastic Four vol. 3 #29 A cyborg created by Galactus.
Cole Cole Fantastic Four #514 A daughter of Wizard and Salamandra. Current whereabouts is unknown.
Salamandra Unknown Fantastic Four #514 Mother of Cole. Former wife of Wizard.
Lyra Lyra Hulk vol. 2 #19 Hailing from Earth-8009, Lyra is the genetically engineered daughter of Thundra and the Hulk of Earth-616. Has also been a member of A.R.M.O.R..
Beetle Abner Jenkins The Amazing Spider-Man #657 Beetle was seen in a flashback as a member of the Frightful Four when they ambushed Spider-Man and Human Torch.
Karl Malus Karl Malus Superior Carnage #2 Recruited to help Wizard gain control of the symbiote Carnage, Malus soon finds himself forcibly made into Carnage's new host.

Wannabees[edit]

The wannabees were a group of superhumans who gathered in response to an advertisement to join the team.[34]

Other versions[edit]

Earth-98[edit]

An alternate universe Frightful Four consisted of Wizard, Blastaar, Quicksand and the Hooded Haunt.[35]

Marvel 1602[edit]

The Marvel 1602 miniseries 1602: The Fantastick Four includes the Four Who Are Frightful, comprising Jacobean versions of the four original members. This version was created by Peter David.[36]

  • The Sandman resembles his Earth-616 counterpart, except for pale skin and glowing eyes, and can conjure up nightmares. This is a reference to another comic book Sandman that was also created by 1602 originator Neil Gaiman.
  • Medusa has snakes for hair, and can turn men to stone like her namesake.
  • The Trapster wears forester's clothes, and is described by the Wizard as an "expert huntsman".
  • The Wizard, in addition to seeing himself as the greatest scientist of the period, is also an actual magic-user.

They joined up with Otto Von Doom when they stated that they have been to Bensaylum (the Earth-311 version of Atlantis) even when Otto had the Vulture-Fliers abduct William Shakespeare to be his chronicler. They were opposed by the Four from the Fantastick.

Marvel Adventures[edit]

In an unidentified alternate universe visited by the Earth-20051 Human Torch in Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four #25, the Frightful Four consists of Mr. Devious (Reed Richards), the Unstoppable Woman (Susan Storm), Monsterman (Ben Grimm), and the Human Pyre (Johnny Storm). Blaming non-existent enemies for the accident that transformed them, the paranoid villains attempted to take revenge on the entire world. They are opposed by the Iron Man-like hero Doc Iron, secretly mild-mannered research scientist Victor von Doom.

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

In the Ultimate Marvel universe, the Frightful Four are zombie counterparts of the Fantastic Four from the Marvel Zombies dimension. It should be noted that Zombie Reed himself was the one who named his team, and he did so with a sarcastic tone. They possess all the powers of the Fantastic Four, along with many more years of experience, but are in a state of gradual decay, and a hunger for living flesh. They have repeatedly stated their goal is to spread the virus they carry on to the superhumans of the Ultimate universe.[volume & issue needed]

The Four were captured upon their arrival to the Ultimate universe, and have been kept in a special holding cell designed by Mister Fantastic to contain the Hulk.[volume & issue needed] They escaped in Ultimate Fantastic Four #31, tricking the guards into thinking they'd teleported out when really they had merely turned invisible. They were quarantined to the top 40 levels of the Baxter Building where they kill and eat anyone who was trapped with them. The group begin work on a portal which would allow their fellow zombies to gain access to this universe.[volume & issue needed]

In Ultimate Fantastic Four #32, The Ultimates gathered at the foot of the Baxter Building as plans were made to drop the field and attack the zombies, when Mister Fantastic in Van Damme's body returned. Using the distraction of a genuine threat to Johnny via Van Damme's magical knowledge, Van Damme/Reed gains access to the building. Further using magic, he swiftly defeated the entire Frightful Four. Reed was sent what remained of their bodies back to their dimension before switching his body back with Van Damme.[volume & issue needed]

What If?[edit]

The recent Mike Wieringo tribute issue What If This was the FF?, showed a world where the new Fantastic Four consisting of Spider-Man, Wolverine, Ghost Rider, and the Hulk remained a team due to the death of their predecessors. Doctor Doom attempted to destroy them and hence the legacy of the original FF by enlisting the aid of Mephisto to empower a new Frightful Four with demonic energies, the new team consisting of Sandman, Venom, Sabretooth, and Abomination only for all four to die during the fight due to the demonic energy Mephisto had placed within them.

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • The Frightful Four appeared in the 1978 Fantastic Four episode "The Frightful Four". The line-up consists of Wizard, Trapster, Medusa and Sandman.
  • The Frightful Four appeared in the 1994 Fantastic Four episode "And the Wind Cries Medusa". The line-up consists of Wizard, Trapster, Medusa and Hydro-Man.
  • The Frightful Four appeared in Ultimate Spider-Man.[37] In this incarnation the team consists of Wizard, Klaw, Thundra and Trapster. In the pilot episode "Great Power", Wizard, Klaw and Thundra attack Midtown High in search of Spider-Man due to a tracking device planted by Trapster during a prior altercation. Although Spider-Man successfully fends off the Frightful Four that escape, Harry Osborn is badly injured in the process. The remaining Frightful Four return in the episode "Great Responsibility" where they ambush Spider-Man and attempt to capture him upon trapping him. They are defeated by the intervention of White Tiger, Power Man, Iron Fist and Nova, and are presumably arrested by the authorities. It is revealed that the Frightful Four were hired by Doctor Octopus under Norman Osborn's orders. In the episode "Reveal", the Frightful Four invade an OsCorp warehouse and end up fighting Spider-Man's team. It soon turns out that the Frightful Four had set a trap where they escape while Spider-Man's team are attacked by Doctor Octopus's Octobots. In the episode "Second Chance Hero", Spider-Man finds Iron Patriot (Norman Osborn) fighting the Frightful Four on a rooftop. During the fight with the Frightful Four, Trapster places the bombs on Iron Patriot which disables him, causing Spider-Man to resume the fight. However, this was just a strategy play by Iron Patriot to defeat the Frightful Four. Osborn was trying to make amends for the incident where they attacked Midtown High.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fantastic Four #36
  2. ^ Fantastic Four #38
  3. ^ Journey into Mystery #116
  4. ^ Fantastic Four #41
  5. ^ Fantastic Four #42
  6. ^ Fantastic Four #43
  7. ^ Fantastic Four #94
  8. ^ Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #39
  9. ^ Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #40
  10. ^ a b Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #42
  11. ^ Fantastic Four #218
  12. ^ Fantastic Four #129
  13. ^ Fantastic Four #130
  14. ^ Fantastic Four #133
  15. ^ Fantastic Four #148
  16. ^ Fantastic Four #177
  17. ^ Fantastic Four #178
  18. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #213
  19. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #214
  20. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #215
  21. ^ Fantastic Four #326
  22. ^ Fantastic Four #327
  23. ^ Fantastic Four #328
  24. ^ Fantastic Four Unlimited #5
  25. ^ Incredible Hulk #418
  26. ^ Deadpool #35
  27. ^ Spider-Man: Chaos in Calgary #3
  28. ^ Punisher vol 3. #29
  29. ^ Fantastic Four #547
  30. ^ Fantastic Four #548
  31. ^ Fantastic Four #568
  32. ^ Hulk vol. 2 #19
  33. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #657
  34. ^ Fantastic Four vol. 1 #177
  35. ^ Fantastic Four Annual 1998
  36. ^ [1][dead link]
  37. ^ http://www.stitchkingdom.com/disney-sneak-peek-ultimate-spiderman-19870/

External links[edit]