Real Name: Randolph James

Identity/Class: Human mutate

Occupation: Currently unrevealed; former scientist, explorer and prisoner

Group Membership: Formerly Stranger's prisoners

Affiliations: Alpha the Ultimate Mutant, Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards);
   formerly Blastaar

Enemies: Stranger, unidentified thugs;
   formerly Fantastic Four (Human Torch/Johnny Storm, Invisible Girl/Sue Richards, Mr. Fantastic, Thing/Ben Grimm), Franklin Richards

Known Relatives: Caroline James (wife, deceased)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Currently unrevealed;
   formerly Stranger's laboratory world;
   formerly private laboratory/home across from Manhattan

First Appearance: Fantastic Four I#215 (February, 1990)

Powers/Abilities: Before his transformation into the Futurist, Randolph James was a brilliant expert in a number of scientific fields, presumably in computers, engineering, and genetics. Two tangible examples of his scientific knowledge were the super-computer Compucord Plus (see comments) and his Evolution-Accelerator.

    Using the latter, James evolved himself into the Futurist--a twelve-foot tall, hairless humanoid with a head oversized in proportion to his body. The Futurist fired beams from his eyes, which had a number of observed effects such as: inducing sleep in others, transforming people into animals or insects, and creating beams of concussive force. He could also levitate himself and others for flying, hovering, or walking through the air. He could fly fast enough to escape the pull of Earth's gravity. Presumably, many if not all of the Futurist's superhuman physical abilities originated from his highly evolved brain.

    In addition to these physical abilities, the Futurist had several superhuman mental abilities that definitely derived from his evolved brain. For example, his mental fortitude was strong enough to resist the psychic siren's-call put forth by the powerful Overmind, a composite creature with the mental might of billions of beings. Without using his natural senses, the Futurist could telepathically perceive the presence, intentions, and thoughts of others. Even more impressive, the Futurist could also sense the creation and destruction of galaxies within his mind, implying some form of cosmic-awareness. His great intellect was raised to superhuman levels following his transformation.

    Theoretically, the Futurist could use his powers in a number of  ways yet to be seen, given time and practice; the Futurist quite possibly had more powers yet to be revealed.

Height: (James) 5'9"; (Futurist) 12'
Weight: (James) 150 lbs.; (Futurist) 400 lbs.
Eyes: (James) gray; (Futurist) solid pink (no visible pupil)
Hair: (James) gray; (Futurist) bald

(Fantastic Four I#215 (fb) - BTS) - Mousy and even-tempered by nature in his youth, Randolph James was a classmate and friend of Reed Richards in school; afterward, they stayed in touch for awhile. James went on to become a professor and research scientist of some renown, and a married man; unfortunately, his wife died, which changed James, making him hardened and embittered. Possibly sensing or witnessing reckless abandon on James' part, Reed warned his associate to make better safeguards for his research, given the dangerous nature of his scientific endeavors (see comments).

(Fantastic Four I#215) - Years later, James was paid a visit by his former colleague Reed Richards, now popularly known as Mr. Fantastic, and Richards' current trio of partners -- together, they were collectively known as the super-heroic Fantastic Four. While visiting James' private lab inside his home, the Fantastic Four saved Randolph when the super-computer Compucord Plus inexplicably exploded (see comments). After saving the scientist's life, the Fantastic Four said their goodbyes and left. Almost immediately after the FF's departure, James was savagely attacked by a gang of thugs looking for money. Once they had taken everything of value from the professor's possession and property, the thugs left the researcher bloodied and broken. James crawled to his phone and called Richards as soon as he could.

    But by this time, the FF were already involved in a conflict with one of their enemies, the extradimensional native of the Negative Zone, Blastaar. Fearing the end was near for him, James, in desperation, used his Evolution-Accelerator to heal the severe trauma he received from the beating without the precautions usually provided by his recently destroyed super-computer.  When Mr. Fantastic returned to James' abode, he found the Evolution-Accelerator destroyed and his friend transformed into the Futurist.

Seeing the gang that had just attacked him mere minutes ago still lurking around the neighborhood, the Futurist turned them into rats with his newly-gained power.

(Fantastic Four I#216) - As the Futurist floated towards the Fantastic Four's then-headquarters, the Baxter Building, most of the people he encountered fled from him in terror. A few people attempted to stop him, but they were swatted away like insects. Noticing the raw power the Futurist wielded, Blastaar struck an alliance with him. Using deceit, Blastaar convinced the unwitting Futurist that the Fantastic Four feared their power and wanted them both destroyed, in turn.

   The new allies fought their way into the Baxter Building. Once inside, the Futurist placed their last line of opposition, the Invisible Girl, into a deep slumber, as her young son Franklin Richards watched. No sooner than this was accomplished, Blastaar began to blast the thick, protective barrier that separated him from invading forces that could be brought over from his home dimension. Telepathically sensing Blastaar's evil intent, the Futurist allowed the angered Franklin to direct his own psychic power against Blastaar, with the boy sending him back into his native Negative Zone.

   With Blastaar defeated, and freed from the constraints of his previous identity due to the god-like power granted to him by his evolution, the Futurist sought out new vistas of exploration in outer space.

(Quasar#14 (fb) - BTS) - While wandering through space, the Futurist was captured by the Stranger, who made him the subject of his experiments on his Laboratory World.

(Quasar#14-15) - The Futurist was apparently placed alongside Alpha the Ultimate Mutant. Eventually, while exploring the Stranger's Lab World, Earth-712's Hyperion (Mark Milton) passed through the environment that housed Alpha and the Futurist.  Soon after, these two, like many other of the Stranger's subjects, felt the psychic pull of the Overmind, who sent them to attack the Stranger and any who stood beside him. However, rather than follow the Overmind's bidding, Alpha and the Futurist took advantage of their newfound freedom by escaping the Stranger's Lab World.

Comments: Created by Marv Wolfman, John Byrne, and Pablo Marcos.

Ironically, Reed should have taken heed to the advice he offered James years before, as a lack of effective safeguards during one of his experiments resulted in the mutation and subsequent creation of the Fantastic Four.

Randolph James had an Evolution-Accelerator -- maybe he had some connection with Herbert Wyndham (aka the High Evolutionary).
--John Kaminski

My guess is that the Compucord Plus computer was a product from Cordco Industries (President and CEO Edwin Cord), although it's possible that Randolph James once worked for the company and actually developed the computer system.

No explanation was ever given for why the computer suddenly short-circuited and exploded -- maybe it was caused remotely by Dr. Sun, who was possessing the FF's HERBIE robot at the time, and was known to surreptitiously cause acts of destructive mischief.

And I think James' Evolution-Accelerator somewhat physically resembled young Victor von Doom's "Necrophone". -- Ron Fredricks

Profile by Kyle Sims. Expansion by Ron Fredricks.

Futurist should not be confused with:


The creation of Randolph James, he built it to evolve humankind to its next stage of development; its evolutionary energies were regulated by the Compucord Plus computer, which inexplicably exploded (see comments).

After being assaulted by a trio of thugs, the badly wounded James returned to his lab and sat in the Evolution-Accelerator, in the hopes that it would speed up his body's healing of his injuries. But without the computer to control it, the device's energy evolved him into the god-like Futurist. Seeing no further need for the device, the Futurist then destroyed the Evolution-Accelerator.

--Fantastic Four I#215, 216 (fb)

unidentified thugs

A trio of criminals, they invaded Randolph James' home to rob him. Despite James telling them that he had no money, they still subjected him to a merciless beating. Gravely wounded from the assault, James used his Evolution-Accelerator to heal his injuries, but was evolved into the god-like Futurist.

Later, when he saw the three gang members still lurking around his neighborhood, the Futurist transformed the trio into rats.

The Futurist eventually left Earth, but the fate of the transformed thugs was unrevealed.

(Comment: And while the Futurist was in New York City, he was threatened by a pair of hoodlums, whom he transformed into gnats -- their fate was also unrevealed.)

--Fantastic Four I#215, 216 (fb)

images: (without ads)
Fantastic Four I#215, p15, pan1 (Main Image - Futurist; Mr. Fantastic (foreground))
Fantastic Four I#215, p2, pan6 (Headshot - Randolph James)
Fantastic Four I#216, p8, pan1 (Headshot - Futurist firing beams from his eyes; Blastaar (background))
Fantastic Four I#215, p16, pan2 (Headshot - cosmically-aware Futurist)
Fantastic Four I#216, p16, pan3 (Futurist levitates into space; Thing, Mr. Fantastic (foreground))
Fantastic Four I#215, p1, pan1 (Randolph James by Evolution-Accelerator, as computer explodes)
Fantastic Four I#215, p13, pan6 (injured Randolph James considers using Evolution-Accelerator to heal his wounds)
Fantastic Four I#216, p5, pan4 (in flashback, Randolph James sitting in activated Evolution-Accelerator)
Fantastic Four I#215, p14, pan4 (Mr. Fantastic enters James' lab and finds Evolution-Accelerator destroyed)
Fantastic Four I#215, p4, pan5 (trio of thugs approaches Randolph James)
Fantastic Four I#216, p5, pan3 (in flashback, Randolph James gets assaulted by thugs)
Fantastic Four I#215, p17, pan6 (trio of thugs transformed into rats)

Fantastic Four I#215 (February, 1980) - Marv Wolfman (writer/editor), John Byrne (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Carl Gafford (colors), Joe Rosen (letters)
Fantastic Four I#216 (March, 1980) - Marv Wolfman & Bill Mantlo (writers), John Byrne (pencils), Pablo Marcos (inks), Carl Gafford (colors), Irv Watanabe (letters), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Quasar#14-15 (September-October, 1990) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Mike Manley (pencils), Dan Panosian (inks), Len Kaminski (editor)

First posted: 02/26/2004
Last updated: 02/15/2023

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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