General Question

lc's avatar

Why do the members of the Fantastic Four have different powers if they were all exposed to the same cosmic rays?

Asked by lc (349points) October 11th, 2009

If they were all given their powers in the same accident, how come they each have unique super powers, rather than them all possessing the same one?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

15 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

That’s the Nature part of Nature vs. Nurture.

XOIIO's avatar

They were all different distances from the source. The closer they were, the more severe the effects. For examply, the thing was only protected by a suit. Look how he ended up.

plus it would be hella boring if they were all the same

Aethelwine's avatar

They have writers that like to keep things interesting?

XOIIO's avatar

LOL drdoombot fits perfectly in this question

drdoombot's avatar

In the original comic, I don’t think there was any specific reason why each one received different powers. One could argue that different DNA would be affected differently by radiation. Just like how some people get cancer from sunbathing and some don’t. I think Stan Lee was trying to represent each of the traditional elements: fire, air, water and earth.

In more recent retellings of the origin of the Fantastic Four, their powers have been tied in to their personality types:

Johnny Storm – Hot tempered; turned into Human Torch
Susan Storm – Timid and shy; turned into Invisible Woman
Reed Richards – “Outside-the-box” thinker; turned into Mr. Fantastic
Benjamin Grimm – Streetwise tough-guy; turned into the Thing

I also recall one retelling that had them gain their abilities based on what was happening to them in the experimental spaceship.

Johnny – a fire breaking out next to him caused him to be resilient to flames
Susan – trying to stop the collapsed hull from crushing her manifested into force-field powers
Reed – trying to stretch out and reach the injured Sue gave him the ability to stretch his body
Ben – straining with all his might to keep the ship under control gave him an increase in strength

@XOIIO One must know his enemies very well in order to crush them.

derekfnord's avatar

Well, the Real World™ answer is, “Because the creator of the characters wanted them that way, and a series about four characters all with the same powers wouldn’t be as interesting, and wouldn’t sell as many books.” ;-)

arnbev959's avatar

Consider the variance in types of mutations in organisms after a nuclear disaster. Cosmic rays could produce very unpredictable results.

sandystrachan's avatar

Cause everyone is different inside and touch different things in their life , these things might have helped release a different reaction giving different powers .

veronasgirl's avatar

In terms of genetic makeup, no one’s DNA is the same. So when exposed to the cosmic rays, each person would have an different reaction, and develop their own individual powers.

AstroChuck's avatar

The same reason gamma radiation turned Dr. Bruce Banner into a big green monster and a radioactive spider gave Peter Parker those amazing spider powers. Because Stan Lee deemed it so.

dalepetrie's avatar

Not sure why, but this might help explain how they came up with the names.

drdoombot's avatar

Wow, 12 GA’s for my earlier post! I think that’s the highest I’ve ever got. Eight more and I get a “Jules Verne” award… Come on, jellies! Make it happen!

filmfann's avatar

John had rhythmic power and poetry
Paul had the sense of the London Music Halls
George had the enlightment of lead guitar
Ringo had power over percussion

Wait, who are we talking about?

HGl3ee's avatar

IMO it’s because a story about 4 people with the same powers would get pretty boring quick. Variety is the spice of life! – LB

talljasperman's avatar

They were assigned powers from Galactis.

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