In the world of superheroes, science and compassion sometimes come before justice. Find out how the Fantastic Four handle some of their most terrifying villains with kid gloves.
We begin our adventure with Kang, a conqueror who happens to be a time traveler and descendant of Richard. Despite Kang’s incredible technology, the Fantastic Four, with their scientific ingenuity, could have stopped him for good. But why didn’t they? Perhaps, deep down, they felt some connection to this enigmatic villain.
A complex relationship
Nathaniel Richards, bested by Kang, debuted in The Avengers #8 (September 1964). Kang’s relationship with the Fantastic Four is complicated, as he is probably a descendant of Reed Richards, and refrains from eliminating the team to avoid ruining his own existence. The Fantastic Four, for their part, were also cautious in their treatment of Kang, showing unexpected kindness to who might be their future offspring.
An unpredictable enemy
Terrax the Tamer or Tyros is another example of this trend. First appearing in Fantastic Four #211 (October 1979), this Herald of Galactus has the ability to manipulate rocks and stones, endowed with the Force Cosmic. Despite their sheer strength, the Fantastic Four, especially Mr. Fantastic, were able to find a way to dethrone Terax. But they chose a softer strategy.
A villain who deserves mercy
In Fantastic Four #1 (November 1961) we meet Mole Man Harvey Rupert the Elder. The first villain this Fantastic Four faced was, at heart, a normal, wounded man seeking revenge on the world that wronged him. The Fantastic Four’s sympathy for him was evident, as they chose a compassionate approach, rather than harsh discipline.
An enemy that can be beaten
The Hulk, although often considered a superhero, had his run with the Fantastic Four. Introduced in The Incredible Hulk #1 (May 1962), the Hulk proved to be a formidable adversary, but the Invisible Woman, with her unique abilities, could easily defeat him. However, the team chose not to use their full power against him.
A certain soldier
The super-skrull Kl’rt first appeared in Fantastic Four #18 (September 1963). Although he possesses the powers of the Fantastic Four, his lack of cunning and strategy makes him less dangerous. Again, the Fantastic Four held back, putting up a measured resistance in the face of an easily defeated foe.
A corrupt enemy
Annihilus, introduced in Fantastic Four Annual #6 (November 1968), is another key example. This cosmic control rod-wielding Negative Zone villain could have been neutralized by the Fantastic Four, especially Mr. Fantastic. However, they chose not to do what they could by allowing Annihilus to continue his destruction.
Galactus, introduced in Fantastic Four #48 (March 1966), represents a threat on a cosmic scale. While the Fantastic Four have successfully faced him on several occasions, they have never been able to do so despite their ability to do so.
King of the Atlantic
Namor Submarine, first associated with the Fantastic Four in Marvel Comics #1 (October 1939) in some form, notably by the Invisible Woman. The romantic tension between Namor and the Invisible Woman probably influenced the team’s decision not to go all the way.
A personal tragedy
Maddy Maximus, introduced in Fantastic Four #47 (February 1966), is a tragic character driven insane by the voice of his brother Black Bolt. Realizing this tragedy, the Fantastic Four choose to have more sympathy for him.
A complex rival
Finally, Dr. Doom, who first appeared in The Fantastic Four #5 (July 1962), has a complicated relationship with the Fantastic Four, particularly Reed Richards. Although they were enemies, there were moments of cooperation and mutual understanding, which led to less violent behavior between them.
An exemplary family
The Fantastic Four story is an amazing mix of action, science and empathy. His humane approach to his enemies shows a deep understanding of the duality between hero and villain. In their battles and moral dilemmas, they teach us that true strength lies not only in physical strength, but in knowledge, compassion and the ability to see beyond conflict. These iconic characters continue to inspire generations of fans, reminding us that in the heart of every hero, there is a noble soul fighting for a better world.