Reed Richards, Susan Storm, Johnny Storm, and Benjamin J. Grimm went on a trip aboard the Excelsior into outer space. However, Reed's calculations were off, and the ship was bombarded with Cosmic Rays. The four crashed back on earth, and realized they suddenly had Powers Far Beyond Those of Mortal Dudes: Reed Richards' skin gained a plasticine-like consistency, making him invulnerable and fantastically able to stretch his body into nearly any shape. He took the name "Mr. Fantastic; Sue Storm gained the ability to become invisible, as well as create invisible force fields, and dubbed herself Invisible Girl; Johnny Storm gained the abilities to catch on fire and fly, naming himself the Human Torch, after the World War II-era Marvel hero of the same name; finally, Benjamin J. Grimm's skin took on a hard, rock-like orange texture. His complete change in appearance inspired him to utilize the monikier, The Thing.
Deciding to use their powers for good, the quartet designed matching uniforms and began calling themselves The Fantastic Four.