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611 North Salina Street
Syracuse, NY 13208
December 13, 1992
Editor, Marvel 2099
c/o Marvel Comics Group
387 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016
Dear Mr. Cavalieri:
I'm avidly enjoying Spiderman 2099, but I'm sure you get enough letters telling you that. This note is in response to your request for ideas for further 2099 titles.
Enclosed please find a brief prospectus for Fantastic Four 2099.
I've tried to keep this precis' as brief as possible, as I fully appreciate the demands on an editors time. Because of this, I've just "sketched in" the important events surrounding my FF 2099 concept. I do have solid ideas for individual characters, storylines, and plot details, which I'd be happy to discuss if there is any merit in this concept.
As can be seen, this is an "idea concept", with a great deal of background and thought put into it, which, if used, would flesh out Marvel's future history in great detail, at least, as concerns the FF. There are elements in this prospectus which might be considered objectionable... Johnny Storm and Sharon Ventura's single parenthood, for example. I'd originally thought of having Johnny be married to Crystal, and then considered having him actually marry Sharon, but I don't know just how much Marvel wants to establish about their current characters' futures, so I've effectively left them "blank". I have established a great deal about Franklin Richards' adulthood, but since it seems unlikely we'll ever see an adult Franklin in the "modern" Fantastic Four magazine, I thought this was acceptable... and any good story idea needs some serious underpinnings, I think.
Thanks for your time. For your convenience, I've enclosed an SASE to make it easier for you to respond to this.
Hope you like it.
Darren A. Madigan
Fantastic Four 2099
Incorporated in the year 2002, Richards-Storm Inc. became a major corporate player virtually overnight, due mostly to the enormous commercial and industrial potential of the original technology conceived of, designed and created by Reed Richards. By 2010, the aging Fantastic Four had mostly retired; a permanently human Ben Grimm had married Alicia Masters and fathered two children; John Storm and Sharon Ventura, although unmarried, were both single parents of one child each, and the next generation of RSI was well launched, with a young adult Franklin Richards learning the corporate ropes as an Assistant Vice President.
Then, in 2017, a disaster of unprecedented proportions was narrowly averted as Franklin Richards' virtually unlimited psychic powers, carefully controlled through mental disciplines taught him by Professor Jean Summers-Grey, suddenly raged out of control. Only his father Reed's last minute intervention saved millions from permanent madness, and the price was Franklin's intellect... Richards' improvised treatment left his son little more than a catatonic vegetable. Public outrage against the Fantastic Four and RSI was immediate and enormous, recalling the Mutant Hysteria of the previous decades. RSI's response was quick - in a concerted show of concern for public safety, Ben, Johnny, Sue, and Sharon all volunteered to allow Reed to de-activate, not only their own powers, but any overt mutant abilities their offspring might have, a process performed on Franklin's five year old daughter as well. This was done, and the global population was mollified. Although altered genes would still be passed from one generation of FFers to the next, the Richards Treatment ensured that paranormal powers would always remain dormant.
In the decades since, RSI has grown to be one of the largest and most powerful international corporations, winning a seat on the World Economic Board in 2024. Much of their success has come from the Richards Treatment, which is the only known way of successfully and inexpensively dealing with criminal mutants and paranormals, and is a closely guarded proprietary secret of RSI. Affluent parents throughout the industrialized world routinely have their children "Richardsized", to guarantee that they'll grow up normal.
In 2031, RSI petitioned for, and received, permission to field a small team of paranormal operatives--four, to be exact. This was in line with accepted corporate use of paranorms, and not considered excessive. Thus the Fantastic Four was reborn... a younger, different Fantastic Four. Three were the adult children of the first FF, while one was Ben Grimm's seventeen year old granddaughter. Their latent "Cosmic Gene" was reactivated by another process created by the now elderly Richards, based on the Inhumans Terragens Mists. This new Fantastic Four were creatures of their time, however; instead of superpowered adventurers and heroes, they were corporate troubleshooters and media stars, quietly solving RSI's more unusual covert problems, while publicly performing high profile good deeds. The Franklin Richards Academy was founded, to train young members of the "RSI Family" - whether from the Richards, Storm, Grimm, or Ventura clans - for a future in the corporation. In each graduating class, four slots -valedictorian, salutadictorian, captain of the Programming Team, and best overall athlete - were awarded the chance to be that year's "Fantastic Four"; in case of retirement of any of the previous team, a replacement would be chosen by lot from those four. In this way, the "Fantastic Four" has been kept active, with occasional new blood, for over fifty years.
The first issue of Fantastic Four 2099 would concern itself with the destruction of the current "Fantastic Four", as they are trapped and killed by Tiger Wylde, in a way that places the blame squarely on Dr. Doom. Simultaneously, the four "heirs" from the previous year's Academy graduating class are assassinated. Tiger Wylde, along with several other corporate powers, leads an initiative in the World Economic Board to keep the current senior class at the Academy from fielding a new FF, on the grounds that "they haven't completed their training". The Richards Terragen Mists facility is closed down until the legal battles can be resolved, and the status of RSI's "Fantastic Four" team is put on hold.
However, four young RSI family members won't wait. Immediate relatives of the murdered FF and/or their "heirs", four young students, led by Franklin Richards' grandson, determine to become a new Fantastic Four any way they can, and avenge their predecessors. This will make them outlaws and renegades in a highly structured world, and their trials and triumphs would be the focus of the series.