Nerdvana: The Four Freedoms Plaza
On this segment of Nerdvana, I’ll be talking about one of my all time favorite fictional home bases, the Fantastic Four’s current digs, the Four Freedoms Plaza.
When I was a kid, I used to fantasize about living in a luxury shopping mall that was closed to the public (Hey, give me a break. I was seven!), but now, I think I’d prefer to live in a dwelling like this one. The Four Freedoms Plaza served as the Fantastic Four’s replacement headquarters after their original dwelling, the Baxter Building, was destroyed by Kristoff Vernard, the adoptive son of Doctor Doom.
The building’s outer walls and windows are constructed of advanced carbon-fiber composites, said to be nearly comparable in strength to diamond. Numerous small tubes run throughout the sections of the building occupied by the Fantastic Four, enabling Mister Fantastic to easily stretch to any floor or area. One elevator shaft has been deliberately left empty, to facilitate the Human Torch’s rapid flight to and from the upper floors. There are a set of “breakaway points” above the 50th and 70th stories with built-in explosive charges, designed to separate the upper floors from the civilian-occupied lower floors, should anyone try to lift the building into orbit.
The title of the building comes from a Franklin D. Roosevelt speech urging the Congress of the United States to enter World War II. In it Roosevelt outlined the four freedoms the world would enjoy if it united together to defeat the Axis Power:
- Freedom of speech
- Freedom of worship
- Freedom from want
- Freedom from fear
Of the 100 story building:
- Floors 1 through 50 belong to the former tenants of the Baxter Building (e.g. Quasar).
- Floors 51-70 are “buffer floors”, where the tenants do not have 99 year leases. Reed has left this space available in case the team expands or grows and needs more space.
- Floors 71-100 serve as the headquarters for the team. The layout of the floors is essentially the same as that of the Baxter Building.
- Floor 71 is a reception area where the team’s robot Roberta acts as both a receptionist and a guardian for the rest of the building.
- Floor 72 acts as an inn where guests of the team can stay. Two suites maintained solely for aquatic visitors (such as Atlanteans) are accessible from pool entrances. These pools can also be used as aquatic conference rooms, and each suite has a different type of water: one fresh water and one salt water. A watertight elevator connects these suites with the river access tunnel on Sublevel 5.
- Floors 73-75 are the team’s living quarters. Besides the four members of the team the floor also accommodated Alicia Masters (later revealed to be the Skrull Lyja), Crystal, Ms. Marvel II, Wyatt Wingfoot, and She-Hulk among others. There was also a kitchen, pantry, spa, two gyms (one for normal strength levels, the other for super-strong users), a large library, and a computerized classroom.
- Floors 76 and 77 function as the team’s command center. Meeting rooms, communications stations, links to Starcore and other astronomical organizations, and a computerized medical station are here.
- Floors 78-80 are storage for miscellaneous supplies. These floors serve as future expansion space and as a buffer in case of a disaster in Reed’s laboratory. Alicia claimed a section of 78 as a studio for the times she stayed in the building.
- Floors 81-99 act as Reed’s laboratory and storage for his equipment. There is an identical workstation on each floor, enabling Reed to work on any floor. The workstation consists of computer terminals, communications console, and mechanical fabricators. None of these workstations is located overhead any other workstation and no three of them are in a straight line. This minimizes the risk of several stations being destroyed in a battle. The workstations were linked to each other and to a similar console in the Richards’s home.
- Floors 90 and 91 contains the Negative Zone Portal. The Portal is in a heavily armored room with walls of strongly reinforced material.
- Floors 98 and 99 serve as warehouse and machine shops. They support the hangar on 100 and act as a buffer to absorb damage from possible hangar disasters. Fuel tanks for the FF’s vehicles are on 99.
- Floor 100 is the FF’s hangar. It fills the space under the four immense fours that top the building.
“You know, I had Stark Industries design my own Helicarrier. It was red and gold. My colors. Yeah, it was damaged by the Red Hulk, but I just built another one. It’s good to be rich.”