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Off My Mind: Is Franklin Richards the Most Powerful Person in the Marvel Universe?

Is all this power safe in the hands of a child?

Franklin Richards is destined to be one of the most powerful mutants in the future of the Marvel Universe. As the child of Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman, he should be guaranteed to become a great hero. The problem is, Franklin possesses an insane level of power. We all know that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Franklin has been allowed to use his powers from time to time. In his younger days, he was even a member of Power Pack. Due to the fact that he has too much power and could easily become unstable, safeguards were put in place. Franklin has had powerful psychic dampers put in his mind to prevent himself from accessing his incredible reality-manipulating powers.

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But if he possesses such great powers, is it really possible to prevent him from accessing them? If Franklin has the ability to change reality and create new worlds, what happens if he decides to use his powers whenever he sees fit?

== TEASER ==

The recent revelation and display in Fear Itself #5 was surprising.

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This shows that Franklin has been holding back. Having the power to do pretty much anything you want is a lot to handle. Place that level of power in a child's hands and you're guaranteed to have a bad outcome. Considering his kid sister, Valeria, is smarter than their father and Franklin's left looking like a dork, it is very surprising he doesn't try to compete with her. According to the number of candles on his recent birthday cake, Franklin's five. What five-year-old wouldn't want to show off or create cool things given the power?

Being an omega-class mutant, Franklin has the ability to change reality. Think about that. He can make anything he thinks of come true. Showing bits of his potential over the years, it was during the Onslaught storyline where he first reshaped reality. When it appeared his parents and other heroes had died, he actually created the Heroes Reborn pocket universe.

Because of the risks of a child possessing such power, Franklin has been depowered several times. The question remained what his future would hold. Several times we've seen different adult versions of Franklin. In Fantastic Four #245 he came back, long hair and no memory of who he was until reunited with his mom. Reed's father, Nathaniel, kidnapped him are brought back his teenage counterpart who went by the name Psi-Lord. And of course there was the adult Franklin who was Rachel Summers' boyfriend in the Days of Future Past story.

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It was in on his birthday in issue #574 he was visited by yet another future version of himself. As the alarms went off and the Fantastic Four rushed to deal with the intruder, the older Franklin flipped the mental switch in his younger self and gave him access to his powers once again. Later young Franklin was seen under the covers creating a new universe. The reason he came back and did this was because Valeria, in the future, told him to.

The way he used his powers in Fear Itself #5 raises some questions. If he can save a mortally wounded person, what else can he do. He can manipulate reality. The bigger question is how come he didn't do more during the Human Torch's last stand? That occurred after Franklin was visited by his older self. He might have promised his parents that he wouldn't use his powers but would a kid whose parents are absolute heroes just sit back and let his uncle die? He used his powers in front of Johnny but could have easily wiped out an Annihilus Wave. Is it within his power to revive him (assuming Johnny actually did die since we didn't see a body)?

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Absolute power corrupts absolutely. This much power in the hands of a child is frightening. Even if Franklin has the best of intentions and tries to follow the example of his family, the dangers of his powers is astronomical. We've seen kids throw temper tantrums. How do you discipline a child that can create a universe?

Reed and Sue are apparently unaware that Franklin has control over his powers again. Reed would be able to understand the severity of the situation. Valeria speculated that their father did know which is why he had the Leech with his mutant dampering powers room with Franklin.

Psychic dampers temporarily worked in the past but what if Franklin didn't want his powers dampened? His future self seemed to be in control but the future isn't set. Because there has been so many different future versions, it can't be determined what his actual future may hold. Mister Fantastic has faced incredible odds and defeated powerful villains but will he be prepared to deal with his son? He has to admit fully to himself that Frankln has his powers again. Will there be anything he can do if Franklin doesn't want him to?