Located at 42nd Street and Madison Avenue in New York City, it had been built in 1949 by the Leland Baxter Paper Company. Originally designed as a high-rise industrial site to accommodate pulp recycling machinery to serve the mid-Manhattan area, each floor height is 24 feet (7.3 m).
The building's steel frame construction utilized the first application of "K bracing" in the world and is one of the strongest structures of its kind. The Baxter Building is located a few city blocks from the United Nations Building. Reed Richards has applied for many land-use zone variations to allow massive reconstruction of the top five floors for the installation of a heavily-silenced silo, with a muffled rocket.
The design of the headquarters of the Fantastic Four is along strictly utilitarian lines, except for apartments and public areas. All aspects of the design are constantly being improved, including security. For example, windows are 2 ft (0.61 m) thick composites of various glasses and plastics which are mirrored on the outside. Solid, armored, exterior walls are also mirror-clad and are indistinguishable from transparent sections.
The top five sections of the Baxter Building are completely airtight; all doors are airlocks. Complete environmental support (including atmosphere) is provided by the area between elevators 2, 3, and 4 on all floors. The building's steel-alloy framework is rigid enough to be stood on one corner and not collapse (It was suggested that the Baxter Building did not collapse under its own weight due to the use of tactile telekinesis by Gladiator of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard. Reed himself stated that even with the reinforced structure, it should not be possible otherwise).
The buffer-zone is the interface between the top five floors and the lower levels. It provides a rapid-disconnect between upper and lower segments of building. It contains an array of large oil-rams to dampen any oscillations between the five upper levels and the base of the building. The buffer-zone contains some support equipment for the upper levels, but mostly it is the "mechanical floor," which provides heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and elevator support equipment for the lower 30 stories.
A running joke for years in the title was that the landlord, Collins, was initially eager to rent out to a superhero team for the publicity and prestige, but he soon regretted his decision, as the building became a constant target for numerous attacks by supervillains, starting with Fantastic Four #6, in which Doctor Doom launched the entire building into outer space. The attacks made things difficult not only for the Four, but for the other tenants in the lower floors as well. Eventually, Reed Richards decided to invoke a clause of the rental agreement and bought the entire building to avoid eviction.
Eventually, the building was destroyed by Doctor Doom's adopted son Kristoff Vernard, who shot it into space and exploded it in a bid to murder the Fantastic Four. It was replaced by Four Freedoms Plaza, built upon the same site. After the Fantastic Four and other costumed heroes were presumed dead in the wake of their battle with Onslaught, Four Freedoms Plaza was stripped clean of all the FF's equipment by Vernard and Reed Richards' father Nathaniel, who sent it into the Negative Zone to keep it out of the hands of the United States military.
Upon their return, the Fantastic Four could not move back into Four Freedoms Plaza, as it had been destroyed by the Thunderbolts, shortly after the revelation that they were actually the Avengers' longtime foes, the Masters of Evil. Thus, the Fantastic Four moved into a retrofitted warehouse along the Hudson River which they named Pier 4. The warehouse was destroyed during a battle with Diablo, after which the team received a new Baxter Building, courtesy of Reed's former professor Noah Baxter. This Baxter Building was constructed in Earth's orbit and teleported into the vacant lot formerly occupied by the original Baxter Building and Four Freedoms Plaza. The current Baxter Building's ground floor is used as a Fantastic Four gift shop and museum open to the public.
In the Marvel 1602 miniseries The Fantastick Four, Sir Richard Reed and Susan Storm are renting a manor house from Lord Baxter. Sir Richard has equipped it with an observatory and chemical laboratory.
In the Ultimate Marvel universe, the Baxter Building is a US government think tank, where exceptionally gifted children are offered government positions to use their intelligence to serve their country. The government contacted Reed Richards because of his experiments in teleportation; they had found small toy cars that he had sent into the N-Zone. At the Baxter Building, Reed meets Professor Franklin Storm; Storm's two children, Susan and Johnny; as well as Victor Van Damme (Dr. Doom). The building is overseen by General "Thunderbolt" Ross. Security duties are overseen by the soldier Willie Lumpkin.
In this version, the Mole Man is originally Dr. Molekevic, a former employee of the Baxter Building. His service is terminated when his projects are deemed "unethical".
After the accident that gave the Fantastic Four their powers, the children who were not altered were moved to another facility in Oregon. The Baxter Building then becomes the FF's headquarters.
The Baxter Building also appears in Ultimate Iron Man.
In other mediaEdit
- The Fantastic Four cartoon series from the 1960s and 1970s featured the Baxter Building as the group's headquarters.
- The Baxter Building was not featured in most of the later Fantastic Four TV series, being replaced by the Four Freedoms Plaza which had been introduced in the comics during the late 1980s.
- In the mid 1990s the Fantastic Four had a two season cartoon in which the first season featured the team in the Baxter Building. By Season 2 it was replaced with Four Freedoms Tower. In this cartoon, the disgruntled landlord was replaced by a landlady named Lavina Forbes (voiced by Stan Lee's wife Joan Lee).
- In 2006, Cartoon Network aired a new version of the Fantastic Four, which shows the team inside the Baxter Building. As the comic book, the Fantastic Four reside in the top 5 floors. In this show, the landlady is Courtney Bonner-Davis (voiced by Laura Drummond).
- It appeared in the 2005 Fantastic Four Movie, being displayed as an art-deco apartment block, where Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) had rented the entire top floor and turned it into a laboratory/home. Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon) referenced many times that he couldn't pay the bills to keep the lights running. Vancouver's Marine Building is standing in for the building in its sequel .
- In 2000's Spider-Man video game, Spider-Man can go to the Baxter Building in the second level, where he can pick up a copy of Amazing Spider-Man #1 (featuring the FF). If "What If" mode is turned on, Johnny will appear and explain that he and the other three are fighting Mole Man and flies off.
- In the video game, Ultimate Spider-Man, you can meet Johnny Storm at the top of the Baxter Building for a race.
- The Baxter Building is a map in the Fantastic Four: The Movie video game.
- The Baxter Building can be seen in the Human Torch's loading screen in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance as well as earlier arts for the game. When Weasel was looking for someplace to hide from S.H.I.E.L.D., Hank Pym mentions that there might be S.H.I.E.L.D. Soldiers there since he mentions that Reed Richards tends to work with S.H.I.E.L.D.
- The Baxter Building is also featured in The Incredible Hulk as a landmark and a destructible building.
- The Baxter Building is also featured in Spider-Man: Web of Shadows where, on the roof, you can pick up spider collectibles in the shape of 4, once the collectibles are collected you can see a 4 imprinted on the landing bay.
- ↑ Jeffrey Kahan, Stanley Stewart (2006). Caped crusaders 101: composition through comic books. MacFarlane. p. 47. ISBN 0786425326. ""Reed and his cohorts use his fortunes to turn his company's headquarters, the Baxter Building, into an intelligence tower, from which his people monitor conflicts around the world and intervene when their services are needed""
- ↑ Gina Misiroglu (2004). The Superhero Book. Visible Ink Press. p. 567. ISBN 1578591546. ""The Baxter Building, a gleaming skyscraper in the heart of Manhattan, serves as the Fantastic Four's home and base of operations.""
- ↑ Scott Bukatman (2003). Matters of gravity: special effects and supermen in the 20th century. Duke University Press. p. 57. ISBN 0822331195. ""The Fantastic Four even had their own skyscraper -the Skidmore, Owings and Merrill-style Baxter Building (all of these headquarters were revealed in panoptic cutaway views detailing the location of hangers, living quarters, training areas, and missile launchers). ""
- ↑ SImcha Weinstein (2009). Up, Up, and Oy Vey: How Jewish History, Culture, and Values Shaped The Comic Book Superhero. Barricade Books. p. 73. ISBN 1569804001. ""Unlike previous superheroes, the Fantastic Four did not rely on double identities and disguises. In their alternate world they were celebrities headquartered in the Baxter building on New York's Fifth Avenue.""
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Sanderson, Peter (2007). The Marvel Comics Guide to New York City. New York City: Pocket Books. pp. 42–48. ISBN 1-14653-141-6.
- ↑ Fantastic Four #278 (May 1985)
- ↑ Fantastic Four #289 (April 1986)
- ↑ Onslaught: Marvel Universe (October 1996)
- ↑ Tales of the Marvel Universe #1 (February 1997)
- ↑ Thunderbolts #10 (January 1998)
- ↑ Fantastic Four vol. 3 #2 (February 1998)
- ↑ Fantastic Four vol. 3 #35-36 (November-December 2000)
- ↑ Fantastic Four vol. 3 #39 (March 2001)
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