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A reboot/reimagining of the classic superhero team for Marvel Comics Ultimate Marvel line, it sees Reed Richards, Sue and her brother Johnny, as well as Ben Grimm, reimagined as young adults housed in the Baxter Building after an experiment in Inter-Dimensional Teleportation gives them all special abilities. Reed Richards is a young scientist, part of a government think-tank, charged with creating new technologies for the spy agency SHIELD. An unsuccessful attempt at teleportation transforms the physical forms of himself, the children of the think tank director, his best friend Benn Grimm, as well as his colleague Victor Van Damme, into beings that are no longer human.
Now a team of superheroes, the Fantastic Four spend their days fighting off intergalactic and inter-dimensional threats, many of which come about due to Reed's experiments, while they're hidden from the public eye, forced to live out their days in the Baxter Building under the eye of Dr. Franklin Storm.
The series lasted for sixty issues, from February, 2004 to April, 2009. As of Ultimatum, the series was canceled and the Four have broken up: Sue continues her research at the Baxter Building, Ben's a test pilot for SHIELD, Johnny's moved in with Spider-Man, and Reed moved back in with his family. In the "Ultimate Doomsday" trilogy of miniseries, it was discovered that Reed had become disgruntled, turning villainous in wanting to change the world by force. Meanwhile, Ben has shed his stone skin, becoming physically human again but having unknown energy powers. Johnny later became a member of the Ultimate X-Men.
This series provide examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Both Reed and Victor.
- Academy of Adventure: The Baxter Building, before the accident that empowered the Four. (Though Reed pointed out that "it wasn't Hogwarts", as the military was there in case people had to be protected from the students.) Afterward, the other kids were sent to another facility.
- Action Girl: Right off the bat, Sue is much more assertive, is a biologist at the Baxter Building and almost immediately realizes her full potential as the most powerful member of the team.
- Adaptational Villainy: Reed Richards.
- Always Save the Girl: Subverted HARD. In Ultimatum, Reed leaves an ill Sue behind to face Dr. Doom. She was pissed when she got better.
- Animated Armor: How Doom sees himself at least. A perfect suit of Wallachian armor.
- Badass Grandpa: Crimson Dynamo, doubles as a Retired Badass.
- Beware the Nice Ones: One of the most brilliant people in the world, who grew up bullied and unappreciated, thinks he has the answers to every problem that comes his way, and wants desperately to make the world a better place but feels interminably frustrated at being under the military's thumb. What could go wrong?
- A Birthday, Not a Break: Victor finds out about his family history.
- Body Horror: Red Ghost
- Ben and Reed count as well. Ben has stone skin, and it's apparently a miracle that he can even breath...and Reed has no internal organs.
- Breakup Breakout: Johnny's the only one of the Four to make regular appearances since Ultimatum.
- The Bro Code: In Ultimate Enemy, Ben confesses to Sue that he's fallen for her, but had refused to act on or acknowledge those feelings because she was with Reed. After some consideration, Sue realizes that she felt the same way. Though we never get to see how this might have effected Ben's friendship with Reed, since the team had already dissolved by the time Ben confessed, and by the time Sue and Ben got together, Reed was trapped in the N-Zone, apparently presumed dead.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Strange Josie was mentioned as one of many Baxter Building students with weird hobbies before appearing as an actual character.
- Clock Roaches: The Argiopes
- Elemental Powers: Like the original versions, the Four's powers are said to correspond to the four elements, though comparing Reed to water is kind of a stretch.
- Everyone Is a Super: When Reed fixes the accident via time travel, humanity achieves first contact with the Skrulls, who provide them with special pills that turn everyone on Earth into a superhuman. Ben is the only one on Earth who doesn't take them. Good thing too, since they have some rather nasty delayed effects.
- Evil Makes You Ugly: Happened to Victor Van Damme early on, transforming from surly pretty boy into a metallic Satyr. This is also the ultimate fate of Reed Richards, when it's revealed he has been behind everything in the Ultimate Doom Trilogy. Crosses over into Fridge Brilliance when you realize that he has in effect become Ultimate Doctor Doom.
- Expy: After the events of Ultimate Enemy, it looks as though Ben has evolved into Ultimate Wonder Man.
- And Evil Reed can be compared to Kang The Conqueror.
- Fakeout Escape: There's a sequence (imported from the original comics) where Sue turns invisible when government officials come to check on her, then runs out the doorway during their confusion.
- Freaky Friday Flip: Doom blackmails Reed into doing this during the 'Frightful' arc. Reed turns it around by attempting to pull a Heroic Sacrifice, and revealing the truth just before doing so: Doom reverses the switch rather than let Reed take the credit.
- Flechette Storm: Doom did this with pieces of his armor.
- Gaia's Vengeance: Red Ghost even refers to her crusade as "Gaia's judgment".
- General Ripper: General Ross, complete with at least one Shout-Out to Doctor Strangelove.
Sue: Ross is so crazy he got shot or blown up or something and then came back to life. On the slab. And do you remember what he said to the mortuary attendant?
Reed: "Hands off my precious bodily fluids, soldier."
- Gentle Giant: Ben, except for when it's clobberin' time.
- Giver of Lame Names: Reed (the "Fantasti-car"), Johnny (the "Awesome"), and Ben (the "Awesome II")
- It's a Costume Party, I Swear: Johnny does this to Ben. He doesn't take it well, and seeing how far Ben's sunk into depression convinces the others to try and Set Right What Once Went Wrong.
- Made of Iron: Doom literally after the accident.
- Mauve Shirt: Lt. Lumpkin.
- Mommy Had A Good Reason For Abandoning You: Susan and Johnny's mom faked her death so that she could study Atlantis. Susan is unimpressed.
- Motor Mouth: Rhona Burchill (the "Mad Thinker")
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: The Thing lampshades this when the crew meets Ultimate Annihilus for the first time.
Thing: Dude, we meet our first alien, and his name is like "E-Vill" or something.
- Never My Fault: Victor blames Reed for the accident that transformed the five of them, saying that Reed's work was so wrong, that even he couldn't fix it. The "President Thor" arc showed what would have happened if he hadn't messed with the equipment.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Reed created the Cosmic Cube to defend Earth against Thanos... which is exactly what Thanos was manipulating him to do.
- Finally subverted in the Ultimate Power crossover. At first it looks like Reed's probes triggered the disaster that ravaged the Supreme Power universe, but in fact it was a conspiracy between Doom and Emil Burbank.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Victor changes the figures in Reed's N-Zone experiment, and winds up transforming himself and the Fantastic Four. Turns out that if Victor hadn't altered the calculations, Reed would have made first contact with the Skrulls and doomed the human race to extinction.
- Nigh Invulnerable: Ben. Even more so after be evolves.
- Nightmare Face: Rhona Burchill, courtesy of self-inflicted brain surgery to boost her own intellect.
- Not So Different: Reed and Victor both share a similar back story, suffering at the hands of abusive fathers, pouring all their energy into science at a young age. Unlike Victor however Reed had a loving mother and younger sister, as well as a best friend in the form of Ben Grimm, that kept his life from being a living hell.
- Ultimate Mystery and Ultimate Doom shows us that even a loving mother, sister and best friend isn't enough to keep Reed from going over the deep end to the point where the heroes are wondering if he's just Doom II.
- Oh Crap: The Super Skrull gains his powers by copying the abilities of any other mutant/metahuman in the area. At the end of an alternate universe arc, he gloats to a powerless Ben Grimm that the last Earthling aside from himself just died and Ben is now the last man alive. Ben responds by slowly taking off his coat and cracking his knuckles. Then, the Super Skrull realizes how screwed he is.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Dr. Storm.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: Sue calls herself on this (the others are just confused).
- Series Continuity Error: The Maker Reed shows to Falcon how he keeps his intellect always a few steps ahead of The Children by enlongating his brain, that shouldn't be possible or even necessary; to elaborate: in the first run of UFF Sue ran some tests on Reed and found out that his organism was completely mutated, he became a worm-like being with just a core, no organs other than that, and later Sue's mother remarked that Reed was getting smarter by the minute due his mutation; so in the spam of a thousand years Reed would be evolve his genius naturaly, and there would be no brain for him to enlongate.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Reed tries to use time travel to make sure the transporter test goes as planned. It works, but the new Ben Grimm ends up traveling back in and time and sabotaging it himself due to what happens.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Sue and Reed. Or so it first seems, before their relationship ends disastrously and Reed turns out not be such a good man. Played straight in Ultimate Enemy, when Sue finds a much healthier relationship with Ben.
- Stable Time Loop: Reed disposed of the Cosmic Cube by sending it back in time, where Thanos first found it.
- Team Mom: Sue, as usual
- Un-Sorcerer: The "President Thor" arc.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: Revka Temerlune Edifex Scyros III ("Psycho-Man"), enslaved an entire world by making them unable to feel anything but happiness, and did the same thing with the human-race after the populace of his home-world were brought out of his mind-control and their first encounter with negative emotions caused them to kill themselves and each other.
- In Ultimate Enemy, Reed Richards decides that blowing up buildings with tentacle monsters is a good way to stop people from using science for the wrong reasons.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: In the post-series Ultimate Enemy trilogy, Reed turns into one.
- What Does She See in Him?: Both Strange Josie and Namor have wondered enviously why Sue is dating Reed.
- Why Are You Not My Son: Reed's father very much prefers Ben to his own son, apparently for his athletic abilities, and because he finds Reed's genius to be a nuisance.
- You Do NOT Want to Know: Ben can still go to the bathroom, but you don't wanna know the details.
- It's even worse when he has gas.
- Zombie Apocalypse: The debut of the Marvel Zombies reality.