In an alternate future timeline, two of Marvel Comics’ greatest leaders share a grandson destined to become the most powerful conqueror in the universe.
Two of Marvel Comics‘great leaders-Cyclops Y Mr. Fantastic—He has an intergalactic dictator for a grandson in an alternate future timeline, and his name is Hyperstorm. But how could this be? Unfortunately, much like the mainstream comic book continuity, the Summers family line is a complex, and equally intricate affair, complicated by alternate dimensions, cloning, future timelines, and genetic manipulation. Fortunately, the latest issue of X-Men Legends (# 2), written by Fabian Nicieza and illustrated by Brett Booth and Adelso Corona, offers readers a useful family tree to unravel its impenetrable mysteries.
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Designed by David Powell and the Marvel New Media team, this diagram cleverly illustrates the disparate forces behind Summers’ fragmented line of descent. It even includes the lesser known, albeit highly notable, Jonathan Richards, aka Hyperstorm. In addition to being part of not one, but two of the most illustrious families in the comic book world, Richards turns out to be one of the most powerful, albeit forgotten, villains in the Marvel Comics universe.
Created by Tom DeFalco and Paul Ryan, the character made his debut in Fantastic four # 406 (originally released in 1995), where he tested his mettle against a host of Marvel’s greatest heroes and villains, including Namor the Submariner and Doctor Doom. First appearing as a hooded figure pulling the strings of Artur Zarrko, aka The Man of Tomorrow, Hyperstorm would soon make his presence known as the despotic ruler of all inhabited worlds in his timeline. However, it’s not until Fantastic Four # 414 that his true lineage is revealed. In a dark future where Sentinels are decimating mutant and superhuman communities alike, Rachel Summers, daughter of Jean Gray and Scott Summers, and Franklin Richards, the almighty mutant son of Reed Richards and Sue Storm, marry and have a son. child together: Jonathan. Despite the best intentions of his parents and the meddling of his time-traveling great-grandfather Nathaniel Richards, Jonathan irrevocably grows up to become the tyrant Hyperstorm.
As the son of two Omega-level mutants, it should come as no surprise that Jonathan Richards is the heir to a supreme source of power. In fact, Hyperstorm’s mutant powers stem from his innate connection to the source of all energy in the Marvel Comics universe: hyperspace. Electromagnetism, the nuclear force, and the gravitational force are under its control, making it capable of theoretically unlimited manipulation of matter and energy. Combined with a genius intellect, with which he easily surpasses Doctor Doom multiple times, Hyperstorm is a powerful example of heroic potential gone terribly wrong. In addition, and also thanks to his genius, at his entire disposal there is an army of very advanced androids. These “Destructoids”, as he calls them, make the dreaded Doombots appear as deadly as stormtroopers. In fact, as seen in Fantastic four # 408, these robot foot soldiers stand their ground against the combined forces of the Fantastic Four, Namor the Submariner, and shapeshifter Lyja the Skull.
Although he finally achieves, in his own words: “Absolute power! Blind obedience! Total domination! “(FF # 406) In his own timeline, Hyperstorm finally fails to extend his reach” to the vast and endless corridors of time itself! “(FF # 407), and is undone by his own grandfather Mr. Fantastic, being drawn into a dimensional void with a newly resurrected Galactus. As an epic and irresponsibly risky conclusion is exposing Galactus to an infinite supply of energy, the ending does not do justice to the character’s family legacy. Unfortunately for Marvel Comics fans, readers never get to see Hyperstorm interact with your other grandparent Cyclops, or any other member of the Summers family.
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