Franklin Benjamin Richards is a character in the Marvel Universe
. He is the son of Reed Richards
and Sue Storm
from the Fantastic Four
. They named him Franklin in memory of Sue's father, and the name Benjamin was in honor of the boy's godfather, Ben Grimm
, who is also known as fellow FF
member The Thing
. Though the Fantastic Four has been around for many decades, and Franklin first appeared in FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #6 in November of 1968, he is usually still represented in the stories as if he were very young. It takes a long time to age in the comic books
, apparently. Franklin has also been known as Tattletale, Avatar, Psi-Lord, and Ego-Spawn. Though some superhero titles have their costumed vigilantes running around with masks, Franklin's identity is publically known, as is the reputation of his family. Being the son of a wealthy inventor, he has no occupation to speak of. Most recently, I guess you could call him a thrill seeker but I doubt you'd want to put that on a tax return.
Born in New York City, his base of operations used to be Four Freedoms Plaza which was also his home and the headquarters for the FF. Before that they lived in the Baxter Building, but it got blown up one too many times and they had to move. Though his parents, his uncle (the Human Torch) and godfather (The Thing) are all founding members of the FF, and they have people at least temporarily join their ranks all the time, they never officially let Franklin be a member. When he was a preschooler, he joined the group Power Pack for awhile as Tattletale, and when he grew up a bit more (finally) and becamse Psi-Lord he was in the group Fantastic Force, which is sort of a FF The Next Generation kinda thing.
Because his parents' genetics were altered while in space years before, Franklin Richards has had a dangerous and adventuresome life since practically conception. Soon after they discovered she was pregnant, Sue Storm was found to have energies in her blood that were threatening both her life and that of the baby's, so the Fantastic Four journeyed to the Negative Zone and went to great lengths to insure her safety and that of the baby. Soon after his birth, Agatha Harkness served as the boy's nanny while the FF was away on business. Naturally, due to the genetic mutations of their cell structure, Reed and Sue's offspring soon exhibited special mutant powers which were psionic in nature. A villian put Franklin into a machine that accelerated his mental ability to a point even Franklin could not control, which forced Reed to put his own son into a coma for several months, for fear of such uncontrolled mental power destroying the whole planet.
After recovering from the coma, Franklin discovered he could use his mutant powers to age physically into that of a grownup. However he still had the memories and inexperience of a child. For a time he was this way, and called himself Avatar, but complications arose and he learned it best not to grow up so quickly. He also placed restrictions on his own mind to further control his psionics. His full potential has never been truly measured. The powers manifested themselves as more subtle but still dangerous premonitions, dreamwalking and Out of Body Experiences. Franklin could astral project and see the events transpiring in any one location elsewhere in the world that he chose. There were also times when he would have nightmarish experiences that were sometimes harbingers of things to come, or events that transpired in alternate realities which somehow influenced his own. He could only experience these strange powers in his sleep however. When awake he was generally just a normal boy.
Eager to make friends with children similar to himself, Franklin came across four siblings in a family whose last name was power. He was recruited into their group and given the name Tattletale since he could see the future and see what people did when he wasn't around and then would tell others about it. That was pretty much his powers and how he functioned in the group, and this served them all for both good and ill. After being with this group for awhile, Franklin's grandfather Nathaniel kidnapped Franklin and took him to the future. There he trained Franklin in many ways for several years, until he was old enough to have sufficient control over his abilities. Then he sent his grandchild back in time mere moments after abducting him. So suddenly Franklin the baby Tattletale was a Psi-Lord.
I'm not saying this is well-written shit I'm just telling you what happened in the books. Although he still wasn't unleashing his power completely, the young teenage Franklin had much more powerful psionic abilities. His father was imprisoned for a time by the villian Hyperstorm and Franklin carried his father's mantle by starting the Fantastic Force, as if the Marvel Universe really needed yet another superhero group.
Eventually they figured out that Franklin's real power isn't just the ability to see reality and alternate realities but literally affect and manipulate reality on the whole. He was captured by the villian Onslaught who wanted to force Franklin to do bad things, and the Avengers and the X-Men joined with the Fantastic Four to stop Onslaught and save Franklin.
Uhm... it gets more complicated from here on out, since we're dealing with time travel and alternate realities and a bunch of other crap. In fact to be quite honest I sorta lost track because I stopped reading comic books. Anyway, the character's still around and last I heard he's a little kid again but no longer with the Power Pack. I don't even think he has powers anymore, or they may have returned to a state of latency.