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Should Reed Richards Hide His Illness From The Fantastic Four?

Reed Richards is hiding a dark secret from the rest of the Fantastic Four, but is it for the best?

A little over a week ago we talked about what happens when people keep secrets from one another. In that article we addressed the fact that Batman has been keeping plenty of secrets from the other members of the Bat-Family -- particularly when it pertains to dealing with the Joker. This week we wanted to apply a similar theme to a Marvel character; Reed Richards.

If you have been keeping up with the relaunch of Marvel NOW! and you've read the first few issues of Matt Fraction's FF and FANTASTIC FOUR series then you might already know what we are referring to. In the current series, Reed discovers that there is something very wrong with his biological make-up, and he chooses in issue #2 of FANTASTIC FOUR to share his secret with Ant-Man, Scott Lang, and requests that Lang not only keep it to himself, but to also help him figure out how to combat his disease. What is Reed Richards to do? As you probably know, the stories in FF and FANTASTIC FOUR are relatively intertwined in that they complement one another. If you are current on the series then you might recall that in issue #2 of FANTASTIC FOUR Reed Richards asked all the members of the Fantastic Four to nominate and bring together a group of heroes to replace the team for "only" four minutes while the Richards family, Ben and Johnny take off in a space ship to travel across the galaxy for a cure. As you could have probably figured, the team is gone for longer than four minutes. The question remains though, why are they not questioning the reason behind this trip?

== TEASER ==

By issue #2 readers are left with the impression that the team has embarked on a rather dangerous mission. I mean, why else would they seek replacements? And if the journey is treacherous (which is very likely) is keeping a secret like the rapid spread of cancer cells something Reed should be keeping to himself? And why didn't Sue ask the tough questions? Why would she go along on a trip without wondering why? And what will the repercussions of Reed's actions ultimately be if he isn't able to find a cure, the disease spreads, and he dies?

You could argue that keeping the secret of his cancerous disease might be a good choice for Reed. There have been times in the past that Reed has helped and shared his scientific opinion with, say, Peter Parker. Asking a genius like Parker wouldn't be completely out of the question, would it? However with the recent events of ASM #700, maybe opting to keep this secret from Peter isn't a bad idea after-all. But what about keeping it from the rest of his family? Sure Sue, Ben, Johnny and the children would be upset; but this wouldn't be the first time that Reed has stepped down and let someone else take the Fantastic Four reigns of leadership. Looking back at FANTASTIC FOUR #284 we saw the progression of Sue into a leadership position following the death of Reed Richards. Additionally, Johnny has shown he is capable of being a leader when he was thought to be dead following the events of FANTASTIC FOUR #587. There is, however, one character that perhaps shouldn't know of Reed's debilitating disease: his daughter, Valeria Richards. During Hickman's FANTASTIC FOUR run Valeria went behind the backs of her parents and met in confidence with Doctor Doom, Reed's rival. It would certainly put the world in a bit of danger if a character like Doom discovered the status of Reed's condition.

FANTASTIC FOUR #583

What do you think of all this? Should Reed continue to keep his illness a secret? Should he tell his family the purpose of their trip? Do you think he will find a cure for the disease, or will be be forced to step down as leader of the Fantastic Four?

55 Comments
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Posted by GothamRed

I'm sure they'll eventually find out...

Posted by krspaceT

Well, does the father really need to tell his kids he may be dying....

Posted by Mr. Kamikaze

He's only dying. Nothing to get worked up over.

Posted by comicace3

If Reed dies Idk what I'd do. He better find a cure! If you are the smartest man in the world I'm pretty sure cancer can't kill you.

Posted by tupiaz

One thing is (backstabbing) children another is grown up family that should be able to handle bad news. Keeping secrets is rarely a good thing especially if you work as a team.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

If he doesn't tell them soon, the team and his family are bound to find out one way or another. But he really should say something at least to his family, for it is only fair that he do so.

Posted by PurpleCandy

It doesn't matter since he is basically the lead character of the Fantastic Four, and a figurehead of intellect in the Marvel Universe, even if he dies he'll turn out to be alive.

Posted by pspin

Of course he can't tell! There has to be drama!

In all seriousness though, he should probably tell them because they could have it too. Besides if they are all on a spaceship, everyone else will figure it out sooner or later.

Posted by mtrakos

It makes him a more interesting character. I'm really looking forward to this series.

Posted by fodigg

Is this a serious question? Should he hide a terminal illness from his spouse and other loved ones? No. Will he? Yes, because that's more dramatic, but never should.

Posted by Emperormeister734

When they find out it's going to be heartbreaking

Posted by poisonfleur

OMG-- I had no idea.

Posted by iaconpoint

He should at least tell Sue. She's his freaking wife for Prime's sake. If he can't trust her, who can he trust?

Posted by JakeN7

@PurpleCandy said:

It doesn't matter since he is basically the lead character of the Fantastic Four, and a figurehead of intellect in the Marvel Universe, even if he dies he'll turn out to be alive.

Mr. Fantastic is looking very "Ra's Al Ghul-ish" in the above scans...

Posted by naylor11

Most likely he didn't tell the others because whatever he has, they probably do too. They were in the same radiation that changed him. Their symptoms probably just haven't shown up yet. So he may not have told them so they wouldn't worry and he could find a cure before they got sick

Posted by Fantasgasmic

If Reed's sick, they're all gonna be sick. Hell Ben has probably had this same cancer-type thing for years but nobody could tell under his rocky exterior.

Calling it now, Doom cures them all.

Posted by frozenedge

Isn't Reed's son the most powerful reality warper alive and probably to ever exist. "Hey Franklin, your dad and possibly his friends are all sick. Can you get rid of the disease for them? If you do this, we'll let you age yourself to 18 so you can go see that horror move you wanted to see"

Posted by Miss_Garrick

Reed has been in trouble with the others for keeping secrets before! Sue will go BALLISTIC if he tries to hide it from her!

Posted by TheQuartermaster

I reckon he won't tell them, they'll find out and it'll cause some drama in the family. As usual.

Hope Doom does play a big part in the new series. He's a boss.

Edited by StMichalofWilson

@TheQuartermaster said:

I reckon he won't tell them, they'll find out and it'll cause some drama in the family. As usual.

Hope Doom does play a big part in the new series. He's a boss.

Doom would have a field day if he knew about this.

Posted by DH69

i can see it now, reed dies spidey comes back and nails sue XD

But in all honesty i think Sue's gonna find out and give him a mighty ol' pym slap and then there'll be "a very special episode of clone high"

Posted by Inverno

The first thing that popped into my mind when I saw his first picture was Ra's Al Ghul.

Posted by Earth616

Cancer can kill anyone. However, nobody actually stays dead in comics for long anyways........ Look at Cap, Batman,..... SPIDERMAN! He might not even die though anyway.....

Posted by kid Apollo

let him do what he wants, 5 years from now most people wont remember

Posted by Zeeguy91

Wait...this is what's going on in Fantastic Four?? Damn. Why am I not reading that series?

Posted by Batmandemon23

@DH69 said:

i can see it now, reed dies spidey comes back and nails sue XD

But in all honesty i think Sue's gonna find out and give him a mighty ol' pym slap and then there'll be "a very special episode of clone high"

man that show is awesome

Posted by Video_Martian

@mtrakos said:

It makes him a more interesting character. I'm really looking forward to this series.

Yeah me too.

Posted by Squares

Like having cancer actually poses a threat to someone whose son can change reality...

Edited by Vance Astro

Can create just about anything via intellect.... 
Can't cure simple disease....

Moderator
Posted by haydenclaireheroes

He is going to be on a Family Vacation for a couple of months using a small spaceship. I don't think his secret is going to last long

Posted by JairamGanpat

@Vance Astro said:

Can create just about anything via intellect....
Can't cure simple disease....

lol at simple :/

Posted by Vance Astro
@JairamGanpat said:

@Vance Astro said:

Can create just about anything via intellect....
Can't cure simple disease....

lol at simple :/

It should be simple in comparison to what things Reed has already created via science.
Moderator
Posted by leokearon

It's stupid for Reed to be keeping his problems a secret, since they are going to find out sooner or later.

Posted by LordRequiem

Isn't Valeria one smart enough to help him? Still let her cure Doom first, he's the priority.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@krspaceT said:

Well, does the father really need to tell his kids he may be dying....

Well all of them are dying, it's not just Reed
Posted by Xenozoic Shaman

If the ailment is too difficult to cure, why doesn't he simply cut off the arm and focus on discovering how to grow a replacement?

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@Vance Astro said:
@JairamGanpat said:

@Vance Astro said:

Can create just about anything via intellect....
Can't cure simple disease....

lol at simple :/

It should be simple in comparison to what things Reed has already created via science.
It isn't cancer, his cells are deteriorating because of the cosmic rays that power him
Posted by TDK_1997

I think that he wouldn't tell them but they would eventually find out and will find a cure.

Posted by ben102766

Is this the reason that Mr.Fantastic didn't reply to Beast's call for help in All New X-Men 4? Isn't Hank Pym supposed to be like the scientist supreme , if so, then why not ask him for help, or Beast( I know Beast is dying, but Reed doesn't know that).

Posted by GodDamnIronMan

Can anyone tell me why Valerie wants to meet Doom in private? I really want to know the reason/s behind it.Please tag me.

Posted by Vance Astro
@Jonny_Anonymous said:
It isn't cancer, his cells are deteriorating because of the cosmic rays that power him
Didn't say it was. I'm just saying with a plot based intellect such as his it seems ridiculous that curing this isn't a walk in the park. Comic Universe scientists can do just about anything but when it comes to medical science they still struggle.    
 
@ben102766 said:

Is this the reason that Mr.Fantastic didn't reply to Beast's call for help in All New X-Men 4? Isn't Hank Pym supposed to be like the scientist supreme , if so, then why not ask him for help, or Beast( I know Beast is dying, but Reed doesn't know that).

Maybe the point is for Reed to make a new scientific breakthrough. It's possible this storyline is for Reed's own personal character development.

@leokearon said:

It's stupid for Reed to be keeping his problems a secret, since they are going to find out sooner or later.

It's not stupid. He's putting all the burden on himself until he finds a cure, therefore they won't have to worry about it. It's actually the the most selfless thing he can do.
Moderator
Posted by Mutant God

I thought all of them had the disease not just Reed

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@Vance Astro said:
@Jonny_Anonymous said:
It isn't cancer, his cells are deteriorating because of the cosmic rays that power him
Didn't say it was. I'm just saying with a plot based intellect such as his it seems ridiculous that curing this isn't a walk in the park. Comic Universe scientists can do just about anything but when it comes to medical science they still struggle.    
 
@ben102766 said:

Is this the reason that Mr.Fantastic didn't reply to Beast's call for help in All New X-Men 4? Isn't Hank Pym supposed to be like the scientist supreme , if so, then why not ask him for help, or Beast( I know Beast is dying, but Reed doesn't know that).

Maybe the point is for Reed to make a new scientific breakthrough. It's possible this storyline is for Reed's own personal character development.

@leokearon said:

It's stupid for Reed to be keeping his problems a secret, since they are going to find out sooner or later.

It's not stupid. He's putting all the burden on himself until he finds a cure, therefore they won't have to worry about it. It's actually the the most selfless thing he can do.
well it's not like it's a normal medical problem when it's caused by the power cosmic 
Posted by BR_Havoc

I think in his mind he is doing the right thing he doesn't want to upset them or have Sue and his children worry. He will have to tell them when they start to notice there powers fading and change.

Edited by UltraBiel

Before telling his family Reed should build a time machine and bring the young Fantastic Four to the present?

Don't look at me someone thought this was a good idea...

Posted by MysteriousUsername

He should tell them. He has no good reason to keep it to himself.

Posted by lykopis

I know its the wrong thing, but I wouldn't tell people I love I was dying. In this case, the hope is that a cure will be found so it can turn out well -- not wanting people to worry about you can even add to the stress someone is already feeling when faced with a fatal disease.

But yes, in this scenario, of course he should tell his family. The more people who know the better to get all the best minds working on this.

Oh. Except Doom. It should be really easy for him not to know, I mean, him finding out would add to the drama and there is no way that will happen...

Posted by frochez

He;s already said that what's happening to him is also happening to Sue and the others. The only difference is that it's happening to him first (probably because his powers involving stretching/reshaping his molecules). If they're all in danger, then he should tell them the truth. It's one thing to keep your own illness from others, but to not tell someone else when they're ill is something completely different.

Posted by RealityWarper

Franklin can heal him and Elixir too.

Hey Reed ! Phone call Cykes ! :p

Posted by pingclang

I completely understand why Reed is keeping it to himself. So far he hopes that he can cure the disease before he has to reveal anything to the rest of the family. Telling them would only send them into a state of panic which is something he doesn't want or need and the point of this trip isn't JUST to find a cure but to spend time with his family, should no cure be found. I think Reed will come clean eventually but for now, he has to keep it quiet.

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