Four unrelated persons died in four unrelated accidents on the same day, each killed violently by one of the forces of nature, but following their deaths the four found themselves placed before the very spirit of the element that had slain them. Returned to life and imbued with the power of that element, The Elementals became the world's first recorded account of factual superheroes, as well as the first people to return from the grave.
Battling first against the evil Lord Saker who had unleashed the Shadowspear on the earth, and later against various other magical beasts which were created in the aftermath, The Elementals found themselves pitted against powerful magics and fantastic beasts. While the spirits of the elements that rested within them compelled them to battle against the evils, none of The Elementals had chosen the path of the superhero and often they found themselves torn by the consequences of their actions.
The Elementals enjoy rapid celebrity status in the world, in contrast to other settings where heroes are reviled and criticized, and we received well by the public for their efforts. The Elementals also made a strong commercial presence in the world, performing endorsements, marketing merchandise, signing autographs and forming their own corporation, Elementals Inc, which acquired them massive financial resources.
Perhaps the largest difference in The Elementals from both other comic teams and the common people in their world was the fact they were dead, and unlike other franchises, return from death was not simple nor without repercussions. Bystanders frequently referenced The Elementals seeming overly detached, emotionally deadened and uncomfortable to be around. Even The Elementals' closest friends noticed the discomfort and observed how they only truly seemed to enjoy being around other persons who had died and returned.
Despite what would seem a strong common bond between the team to unite them, The Elementals frequently fell to petty squabbling and in-fighting, their contrasting personal beliefs and personalities clashing nearly as often as they did with villains.
Also noted should be, while most Superheroes seem to seek out villains and criminals to thwart, The Elementals rarely concerned themselves with any crime not of supernatural nature. More often than not, it was actually the Shadowspear directing the plot-line, attempting to fulfill Lord Saker's final directive that it destroy the Elementals by creating powerful creatures for that purpose. Most battles with the Elementals were initiated by foes specifically hunting them for the purpose of destroying them, not villains seeking wealth or conquest.
A former LAPD homicide detective, Jeanette Crain was killed due to a serial arsonist setting fire to the location she was investigating. As the spirit of the fire needed a representative to battle the evil Saker and his Shadowspear from controlling the planet it changed her death. Returning her spirit to its human body Jeanette was now reanimated with control over fire itself, now she was Morningstar.
Jeff Murphy, a Coast Guard pilot who was asphyxiated in a helicopter crash and died. However the Shadowspear returned him to life, almost more of a undead. Now calling himself Vortex; he received various air-related abilities, including flight and wind-blasts. He is the representative of the very atmosphere on the planet Earth and the very wind is at him command.
Becky Golden, a young, rich, and flighty debutante who fell off a boat and drowned while boating with a male friend in Washington state would be another member of the Elementals. Her's would be the mastery of the very waves of the seas and oceans to the very last drop in the desert; she received various water-related abilities from the spirit of water. She was now also able to convert her body entirely into sentient water as well as now having bright green skin and webbed fingers.
The first Monolith would be Tommy Czuchra, a brilliant if introverted teenaged boy who was crushed to death by a landslide; he received the ability to become an enormous super-strong stone/earth golem. Later, Tommy came to follow Saker's view that the supernatural beings were entitled to be in charge across earth, and he quit the Elementals and absorbed some of Saker's 'black' magic, to become one of his generals. The second Monolith would be re-embodied in a deceased insurance salesman Donald Ridgeway, who neither wanted the power, nor ever understood fully how to use it or how to integrate with the other three Elementals.