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Frightful Four
CURRENT MEMBERS: Cole (Cole Wittman), Hydro-Man, Salamandra, Wizard (born Bentley Wittman)
FORMER MEMBERS: Blastaar, Brute (Counter-Earth's Reed Richards), Constrictor (Frank Payne), Deadpool, Dreadknight, Electro, Klaw, Llyra, Man-Bull (William Taurens), Medusa (Medusalith Boltagon), Ms. Marvel (Sharon Ventura), Punisher (Galactus's robot), Red Ghost (Ivan Kragoff), Sandman, Spider-Man, Taskmaster, Thundra (Thundra), Titania, Trapster (Peter Petruski)
BASE OF OPERATIONS: Subterranean Manhattan headquarters; formerly Queens water tower; Wizard's suburban New York home and cabin; various others
FIRST APPEARANCE, Fantastic Four #36 (1965)

HISTORY: When the Sandman and Trapster escaped prison together and rescued a helpless Wizard along the way, they formed an alliance dedicated to humiliating their mutual enemies, the Fantastic Four. Determined to form their own quartet, the criminal trio went through a series of brief recruits, none of whom proved satisfactory as a fourth member: amnesiac Inhuman royalty Medusa (who deserted them after regaining her memories), Blastaar, a mind-controlled Spider-Man, Thundra, the Brute (an alternate Reed Richards from Counter-Earth), Electro, and Llyra, who took over the group and forced them to attack the Sub-Mariner for her. After the Sandman reformed, the Wizard formed an all-new group with Constrictor, Deadpool, and Taskmaster, but they were bested easily by the Thing and Franklin Richards. Wizard next teamed with Trapster, Man-Bull, and Dreadknight, but they were defeated by Turbine, Spider-Man, and the Rangers on a test run in Canada.

More successful was a "Frightful Five" allying the Wizard, Hydro-Man, Klaw; and Titania with Aron the Rogue Watcher. Aron's power defeated the Fantastic Four, but he ultimately seized them for his own ends and banished the Frightful Four to the Vault. Trying to rebuild this nearly-successful team (minus Aron), the Wizard recruited Klaw, who had freed the mutating and embittered Ms. Marvel. With those two and the Red Ghost, who had sought out the team to join, Wizard was beaten yet again by the Fantastic Four, despite the absence of Reed Richards. Klaw and the Red Ghost fled, so the Wizard and Ms. Marvel teamed with Trapster and a reprogrammed Punisher (robotic "watchdog" of Galactus) to fight the Fantastic Four on Wyatt Wingfoot's Keewazi reservation. When the heroic Fantastic Four seemed to be led by Dr. Doom (actually Reed trapped in Doom's armor), Wizard surrendered rather than risk Doom's wrath.

The Wizard's most recent team was a dysfunctional echo of the Fantastic Four's family structure, including the Wizard's half-dragon ex-wife Salamandra and their mass-shifting daughter Cole, as well as Hydro-Man and the Trapster. Wanting to humble the Fantastic Four on equal terms, the Wizard banished the Trapster into a time-loop after he threatened Cole, reducing his team's ranks from five to four. With the rebellious Cole's aid, the Fantastic Four invaded the Wizard's underground headquarters and defeated the Frightful Four, though the team escaped and remains at large.

SIGNIFICANT ISSUES:
Thundra joined (Fantastic Four #129-130, #133, 1973)
Advertised for fourth member, Brute joined (Fantastic Four #177-178, 1976)
Electro joined (Spectacular Spider-Man #42 / Fantastic Four #218, 1980)
Cole, Hydro-Man, Salamandra team (Fantastic Four #514-517, 2004)

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