Real Name: None
Identity/Class: Psychic (ectoplasmic)
formerly a self-prematurely aged form of Franklin Richards
Group Membership: Aspect of the whole of Franklin Richards (which has been shown to include his past identities, such as Ego-Spawn, Psilord, and Tattletale)
Affiliations: Fantastic Force (Black Panther/T'Challa, Devlor, Human Torch/Johnny Storm, Huntara, Vibraxas), Fantastic Four (Human Torch/Johnny Storm, Invisible Girl/Sue Richards (now Invisible Woman), Mr. Fantastic/Reed Richards, Thing/Ben Grimm), Warlord Kargul
formerly the Fantastic Four (Human Torch/Johnny Storm, Invisible Girl/Sue Richards (now Invisible Woman), Mr. Fantastic/Reed Richards, Thing/Ben Grimm), HUBERT
Known Relatives: Franklin Richards and his divergent Psi-Lord self (progenitors); extended family via Franklin Richards
Aliases: Messianic Franklin
Base of Operations: Franklin Richards and
briefly active in (and just outside of) the Baxter Building, Manhattan, New York City, New York;
later active at Empire State University, Fantastic Force headquarters, Elsewhen, and wherever they fought Vangaard
First Appearance: (Behind the Scenes) Fantastic Four
I#244 (July, 1982);
(full) Fantastic Four I#245 (August, 1982);
(identified as Avatar) Fantastic Force#10 (August, 1995)
Powers/Abilities: In his initial manifestation,
"Avatar" was Franklin Richards himself, aged into adult form by his own powers.
He had vast psychic powers, able to telepathically probe others and/or render
them unconscious. He could hold the Human Torch's plasma form, unharmed by the
flames. He could transform and rearrange matter (even living beings), opening
holes in or dissolving walls, reshaping and coloring garb, release painful
psychic bursts, project explosive energy blasts, and levitate.
The Avatar possessed much of Reed Richards' scientific knowledge, though he was almost totally lacking in the experience in how to apply it.
In his subsequent manifestation he was a pure ethereoid (psycho-plasmic projection), representing the peaceful and logical aspects of Franklin Richards, though he was technically part of the divergent Franklin Richards that became Psi-Lord. His form was intangible, though he may have been able to take solid form at will. He could fly and presumably could access any of Psi-Lord's powers.
Height: Approximately 6'1" (he appeared to be the same
height as Reed, but he also appeared to change his height and muscularity;
presumably variable in purely ectoplasmic form)
Weight: Approximately 170 lbs. (muscular when holding onto the Torch, he seemed quite slight in build after learning who he was; presumably variable in purely ectoplasmic form)
Eyes: Blue (presumably variable in purely ectoplasmic form)
Hair: Blond (including beard; presumably variable in purely ectoplasmic form)
(Fantastic Four I#244 - BTS / Fantastic Four I#245 (fb)) - Influenced by a subconscious desire to grow into gaining better control of his powers, Franklin Richards was working on a Rubik's Cube; unable to figure out how to physically solve it, he tapped into his powers and "made it right." When he heard a television character say "...when are you going to grow up?" he felt his mind expand and his body swell. HUBERT, which had been monitoring his power levels, overloaded and exploded, and Franklin forgot who he was.
(Fantastic Four I#245 (fb) - BTS) - Seeking to learn who he was and who was around in, the amnesiac, physically adult Franklin assaulted Reed Richards, Johnny Storm, and Ben Grimm. He tried to reach into their minds to learn the secret, but none of them recognized him. Ben and Reed both fell before his power, leaving their eyes wide open but their minds apparently shut down. His energies also disrupted the Baxter Building's security functions.
(Fantastic Four I#245) - As Franklin tried to force the
information he sought from Johnny, Sue (having returned home from an interview)
peered invisibly into the room. After draining Johnny's mind and casting him
aside, Franklin briefly screamed in rage before detecting Sue's presence, though
he didn't recognize her, either (nor did she recognize him). She fled, slamming
the door behind her, but he dissolved the wall with a gesture. She then threw
her coat over him, but after a few seconds he caused the coat to flow over him
into the form of a costume. She formed an invisible force field to hold him
back, but he released some of his power, causing a massive feedback that forced
her to drop the shield. She briefly distracted him with a shower of invisible
hail-like spheres then ran, coming across the destroyed HUBERT and wondering
what this man had done to her son. When he caught up to Sue and touched her
shoulder, she turned his hand invisible, distracting him as she fled again, but
the then released a devastating energy burst to stop her. Protecting herself
with a force field, she was blasted out of the building, after which she
cushioned her fall to the street below. Screaming to everyone below that he
would have his answer or the world would feel his wrath, he descended to the
ground, noting odd, similar, yet different feelings towards Sue and another
woman (Woman to Woman talk show host Barbara Walker). As Sue stared into his
confused eyes, she recognized his face as looking like Reed's and realized the
man to be Franklin. Upon hearing her say his name, Franklin staggered back as
memory exploded across the emptiness in his mind, overwhelming him. He realized
who he was and began sobbing due to his confusion, and Sue comforted him. As he
revealed the events that led to his transformation, the rest of the FF, having
revived, rushed out, and Sue explained that the man was Franklin.
Fearing that the rigors of accelerated aging could kill him, Reed led Franklin back towards the Baxter Building. Determining how to return himself to normal age, Franklin also attempted to turn Ben back to human form but realized that Ben subconsciously did not want this as he feared that his girlfriend Alicia Masters wouldn't want him if he were a normal man. Instead reverting Ben back to his classic rocky form (from the leathery form closer to his original transformation he had become stuck in), Franklin then returned to his normal age, his powers now contained by psychic dampeners until such time as his mind and body were mature enough to handle them. Additionally, Franklin did not recall his transformation.
(Fantastic Force#10) - Years later, after Franklin had aged in another dimension and returned to Earth as Psi-Lord, Psi-Lord's powers destabilized. At the psionic research facility at Empire State University, Professor Isaac Sandor studied Psi-Lord and his two exteriorized aspects, Tattletale (Franklin when he was on the Power Pack team) and Ego-Spawn, and then the "messianic" aspect split off as well. Prof. Sandor analyzed this aspect and noted him to be "psycho-plasmic energy -- in a unique and highly rarified form...an 'ethereoid.' " When Psi-Lord and his various aspects returned to the Fantastic Force headquarters, they discovered Huntara fighting with the Human Torch over some misunderstanding, and this aspect (dubbed Avatar by Psi-Lord) criticized them for acting upon an ignorance that soothing words could easily dispel; Avatar then released a burst of alpha-waves that cooled everyone's tempers, and the matter was resolved. Psi-Lord and his aspects stayed behind when the rest of the Force when after Lord Moses, but they soon departed for Elsewhen in the hopes that Lord Kargul's Psi-Masters could reunite Psi-Lord's fragmented psyche.
(Fantastic Force#11) - Psi-Lord and his fragmented consciousness aspects (Avatar, Ego-Spawn, Tattletale) arrived in Elsewhen, but found its troops mobilized for battle. When Psi-Lord wondered about the nature of the threat, Avatar suggested they not waste time on speculation when the answers could easily found in Kargul's Tower of Wisdom. Upon their arrival, they were assaulted by Kargul's guards, but Avatar merely remained intangible, avoiding their attacks, until Kargul arrived and broke it up. After they observed Kargul's forces being devastated by their foe's temporal force, Psi-Lord summoned the rest of Fantastic Force (via Huntara's scythe) to them, but they were caught in the trans-temporal energy field of Kargul's foe -- Vangaard -- and emerged in his presence instead.
(Fantastic Force#12) - Psi-Lord and his aspects watches as Vangaard easily overcame the rest of Fantastic Force. When Kargul donned his "Armor of God" to oppose Vangaard, Franklin ambushed Kargul, knocking him out to prevent his sacrifice, and led his aspects to confront Vangaard instead. As they arrived, Ego-Spawn tried to dissuade Psi-Lord from risking his own life as this would risk his existence as well, but Tattletale convinced Ego-Spawn the risk was necessary to stop "the bad guys," and Avatar noted his agreement with Psi-Lord's decision. Psi-Lord cast off his psycho-armor, which limited/controlled his powers and then transmuted the devastated continent on which they stood into anti-matter, then held it in a stasis field. Psi-Lord's aspects noted Vangaard's approach, at which point Psi-Lord released the field, and used the matter - anti-matter explosion against Vangaard. This effort proved futile, but the Human Torch, who was the Earth-616 counterpart to Vangaard (the Johnny Storm of Earth-712 / Earth-A), ultimately convinced Vangaard to depart.
(Fantastic Force#13 (fb) - BTS) - The cathartic release of all of his pent-up psionic energy fully re-merged Psi-Lord's ethereoid aspects, while he took refuge from the anti-matter explosion inside his personal sub-space pocket.
Comments: Created by John Byrne and Bob Sharen.
Byrne's FF runs remain my favorite to date. I remember reading FF#245 at age 11 and thinking it was AWESOME!
Technically, Psi-Lord is really an alternate future counterpart of Franklin. He is the Franklin that was taken to Elsewhen and raised by Kargul, while the currently active Franklin is the one that Hyperstorm (IIRC) sent back to Earth-616 before he could be raised on Elsewhen.
Profile by Snood.
No KNOWN connections to:
images: (without ads)
Fantastic Four I#245, p8 (Franklin holding Johnny)
p11, panel 2 (costumed form)
p18, panel 3 (transformation)
Fantastic Four I#244 (July, 1982) -
Fantastic Four I#245 (August, 1982) - John Byrne (writer, penciler), Bob Sharen (inker), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Fantastic Force#10 (August, 1995) - Tom Brevoort & Mike Kanterovich (writers), Dante Bastianoni (penciler), Ralph Cabrera (inker), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Fantastic Force#11-12 (September-October, 1995) - Tom Brevoort & Mike Kanterovich (writers), Dante Bastianoni & Pino Rinaldi (pencilers), Ralph Cabrera (inker), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Fantastic Force#13 (November, 1995) - Tom Brevoort & Mike Kanterovich (writers), Pino Rinaldi (penciler), Ralph Cabrera (inker), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Last updated: 02/19/09
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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