Reed Richards was born in Central City, California and the son of Nathaniel and Evelyn Richards. Reed’s father was a brilliant scientific genius and a trait that Reed inherited. Reed excelled in mathematics, physics, and mechanics and was enrolled in college by the age of 14. He went to multiple colleges including Massachusetts Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Columbia University, and Empire State University. While attending EMU he met and became a roommate of Ben Grimm. They became great friends and Reed shared his dream of building a spaceship himself.
After EMU, Reed continued to go to school at Columbia University, and he rented an apartment from Sue Storm's Aunt. Sue quickly fell in love with Reed. Reed, also met Victor Von Doom, while attending Columbia University. Doom loved that Reed could rival his intellect. Eventually Doom became jealous of Reed and began conducting reckless experiments that scarred his face.
Reed next enrolled at Harvard and earned his P.H.D. in both physics and electrical engineering, at the age of 22. After he was done with school he used his inheritance and government funding to finance his project. He began building his spaceship in Central City. Sue Storm would move to this same area and eventually found herself dating Reed again. Reed would ask Ben to pilot the ship for him. The government denied the flight into space so Reed, Sue, Ben, and Johnny decided to sneak onto the ship and they took the ship into outer space. Reed miscalculated and forgot the abnormality of the radiation from the cosmic radiation. The rays destroyed the ship and they crash-landed back on earth. After the crash Reed found out that he could stretch his body like elastic at will. Reed adopts the name Mr. Fantastic and convinces the four of them to use their powers for good.
Mr. Fantastic was created and developed by the writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby. It has been rumored for years now that Stan Lee received his inspiration to create the Fantastic Four from DC's Sea Devils team. If true, the creation of Reed Richards was loosely based upon Dane Dorrance, the leader of the Sea Devils.
Many of the funniest scenes in Fantastic Four history have involved Mr. Fantastic. Issue #13 had the Thing use his might to squeeze Mr. Fantastic into a small tube. FF #42 even surpassed the last scene, as here the Thing squeezed Mr. Fantastic like an accordian and then put him in a jar and sealed the top. Issue #218 gave Mr. Fantastic a chance to have some fun, as he used a vacuum cleaner to defeat the Sandman.
Mayor Story Arcs
Reed started to invent equipment for the Fantastic Four including their superhero costumes, and multiple models of the the Fantasticar. Eventually the Fantastic Four would save the world countless times and become some of the Earth’s greatest heroes . Doctor Doom's hatred of Reed would make the group battle him many times and he would become the team's greatest adversary.
A Son for the Genius
After a long time Reed and Sue finally married and had a son named Franklin Richards. Franklin was born with powers that were unimaginable, leading to him being considered as one of the strongest beings ever. When Reed decided to shut down Franklin’s mind so he could not use his powers to destroy the universe, Sue became enraged. She filed for divorce, but they would reconcile soon afterward. However, their marital separation was quite bitter. It began at the end of Fantastic Four 130 and did not conclude until the end of Fantastic Four 149. Hence, the separation lasted for 19 months and during this time Medusa replaced Sue on the team. A huge debate erupted in the Fantastic Four Fan Page of issue #152. One fan even called for Sue to be killed. It appeared as if most of the fans sided with Reed regarding the marital separation and who was to blame the most.
Reed was then placed on trial by an intergalactic court, made up of the survivors of Galactus. They accused Reed of sparing Galactus' life, a criminal act in their minds. After an extensive trial, Reed was acquitted at the last moment by Eternity, who testified that Galactus is an essential part of the cosmos.
During the crisis with Onslaught, Onslaught tried to take Franklin Richard’s powers and add them to his own. The Fantastic Four and many Marvel heroes sacrificed themselves to defeat Onslaught. The remaining heroes thought that their friends had died, but in actuality Franklin Richards had hid them in a pocket universe which he had created. Reed and the others lived on a Counter Earth, unaware of their original pasts.
Soon after, all reality was restored, but the Fantastic Four had lost their home. Reed would later become a member of the Illuminati and would not tell Sue about it.
Later an alien known as Zius developed a cloaking device to hide worlds from the hunger of Galactus. Galactus wanted to take Sue, in order to make the device useless. In order to protect her, Reed built a device to swap the power of Sue and Johnny. Johnny was taken by Galactus until, he was rescued with the help of Quasar. When Reed activated the device to switch the powers back, the remaining Power Cosmic in Johnny overloaded it, and all four members lost their powers.
Their powers went across the city, temporarily inhabiting the bodies of civilians. The cosmic rays which gave the group their powers made it so that anyone who were accidentally given The Four's powers would not have them long. Reed developed gloves that would bring their powers back to them. He attempted to trick Ben by giving him a fake glove. Reed planned to take the powers of the Thing for himself, and cure Ben once and for all, believing the accident to have been his fault. Ben saw through this and fought with Reed long enough to take back his own power and burden.
During the Civil War, Reed worked with Iron Man on the pro-registration side and was one of the higher ranking individuals. The choices he made during Civil War would cause a rift between him and Sue, especially when he unleashed a clone Thor, killing Goliath. Sue and Johnny would leave Reed and join Captain America’s group, the Secret Avengers. It was later revealed that one of the reasons Reed sided with the Super-Human Registration Act was because of his uncle. His uncle had picked a fight against the American Government and was imprisoned, ruining his career, reputation and ability to find work. He believed his Uncle was wrong for picking a fight that he could not win, which led Reed to not go against the Registration Act.
The other reason Richards joined the act was related to a mathematical equation he had been working on. In that equation he used theories to surmise that at the current path humanity was heading in, it would be a matter of time before they all destroyed themselves. He hid the knowledge from his family, and it wasn't until Johnny decided to visit with his brother in law in secret, that this information came to light. He enlisted the help of the Mad Thinker to check his work. The Mad Thinker theorized that the plan was flawed because he didn't include a person's decision, hence an improbable variable. The Mad Thinker's theory was proven when Sue made herself known. She had been there the whole time, and finally knew why Reed wanted the Registration Act to exist. Angry, she stormed off leaving Reed with the Mad Thinker.
After Civil War, Reed wrote a letter to Sue asking her to come back, and after receiving it, Sue returned to the Baxter Building. In an effort to reconcile and fix the emotional strain their marriage had endured during the Civil War they decided to take a leave of absence. In their place, Storm and the Black Panther would take over.
He took Sue to one of the moons of Saturn to try and rekindle their love, as well as give her their first true honeymoon, since they never had one. While there Reed discovered a strange object and teleported back to Earth in order to gain information on it. Unbeknownst to him, the Frightful Four commandeered the ship with Sue still within and kidnapped her. This was another plot to destroy the Fantastic Four. Naturally, Reed was able to outsmart the Wizard once again and help save his wife.
World War Hulk
During World War Hulk, as part of the Illuminati, Reed helped make the decision to send the Hulk into space forever. This plan backfired and Hulk became stronger than ever and returned to Earth to get his vengeance on Reed and the Illumanti.With the help of Sue Storm and the new Fantastic Four, Reed tried to stop the Hulk by creating a hologram of the Sentry to calm the Hulk down. The plan failed and led to the Fantastic Four's defeat and Reed's capture. The Hulk built a Gladiatorial Stadium in New York and Reed was forced to fight Tony Stark to the death. Reed defeats Tony, but is stopped from killing him when Hulk states that he came for "Justice not murder." Hulk fills them in on his plan to destroy New York and is interrupted by the Sentry. Hulk is eventually stopped and locked up three miles inside the earth's crust.
Prior to the events of the Skrull Secret Invasion, the Illuminati conveyed a meeting to investigate the corpse of a Skrull impersonating Elektra. It wasn't until Black Bolt voiced his opinion that things weren't looking good for them. Black Bolt then turned into a Skrull and attacked the Illuminati to retrieve the dead Skrull. After it was killed by Namor, the Illuminati separated, perhaps for the last time, because any one of them could also be a Skrull and therefore they could trust no one from now on. In his laboratory, Reed and Hank Pym were doing an autopsy together on the dead Skrull to find out why the Skrulls had become undetectable. When Reed finally found out, Hank shot him from behind and revealed himself to be a Skrull.
It was revealed that a clone of Reed Richards was possibly the reason for how the Skrulls knew how to be undetected. Reed is first shown in a room meeting with the other members of the Illuminati. The members are discussing their escape from a Skrull ship, as well as if they could be hiding undetected. Once they find their powers seem to be failing, tempers begin to flair and it is revealed that the Charles Xavier in the room is a Super-Skrull and the rest of of the illuminati are just clones. The clone of Reed Richards is viewed by one of the Skrull scientists, by the name of Dro'ge, as having the key in his mind for what they wish to acquire. A second clone is subjected to physical and mental torture, which fails. A third clone is then placed into a recreation of his bedroom. The Skrulls then manipulate this Reed by looking like his loved ones, and manage to get him to write down some kind of equation that is hinted at being the answer to how they remain undetected.
Reed was later found being tortured in a Skrull ship in orbit, and was rescued by S.W.O.R.D agent Abigail Brand, who later used the information to find out a way to discover who was a Skrull and who was not. He and agent Brand traveled to the Savage Land, where Richards fires an odd weapon, which revealed who were Skrulls among the heroes there. The Skrulls were defeated and the remaining heroes were gathered for the final battle against the Skrull empire at Central Park. After the battle was over and the war was won, Reed returned home with Sue, finding the Baxter Building in shambles, but their family turning out to be alright. Trying to prevent the building from getting into the wrong hands, Reed blows it up.
A week after the Secret Invasion, Norman Osborn has taken control, and the rebuilding of the Baxter Building is near completion. While starting reconstruction on the building, Reed became sidetracked and started to develop a device called the Bridge. The Bridge is a reality bending supercomputer Reed created for observing other earths and seeing how they solved similar problems that Earth-616 has faced. As Reed goes into the bridge, the Baxter Building is visited by Norman Osborn and his H.A.M.M.E.R. agents leaving papers with Franklin and Valeria stating that the Fantastic Four is to be shut down. The power fluctuation from the Bridge sends Sue, Ben, and Johnny through multiple strange realities. As Reed sees the alternate realities, he realizes that there is no way that the events of the Civil War could have played out peacefully. Once Reed steps out of the Bridge, Sue, Johnny ,and Ben are returned to the building. The Fantastic Four arrive just in time to stop Norman from killing Franklin and Valeria. Telling Reed of what happened, Sue makes him promise to destroy the Bridge. Reed Replies: "I'll take it apart piece by piece." It turned out that before Reed shut the Bridge down, he found others with the same technology that said they could help him fix things. So Reed took the Bridge apart piece by piece, and reassembled it in the Room of 100 Ideas.
In secret, Reed continued his plans to use the Bridge for his ultimate goal: Solve Everything. Every problem in the universe. He also began the Future Foundation, taking in some of the smartest young minds on Earth to assist and help him make the world a better place.
He entered the Bridge and discovered something astonishing - himself. Dozens of alternate reality versions of himself had had the same idea, and they joined together as The Council. Their common goal and powers allowed them to hope from reality to reality and solve the problems of the multiverse. Reed was intrigued and assisted on many of their missions, from saving dying stars and growing planets of food for the hungry to defending planets from Galactus.
Finally, the offer was made for him to join the team permanently. Unfortunately this meant that he would have to basically choose the Council or his family. Unlike the other versions of himself, he chose his family. But the entering of the bridge in the first place set off a chain of events that would threat Earth - and the entire multiverse. The Council had attracted the attention of the Mad Celestials and they would stop at nothing to destroy every last member of the Council.
They managed to kill all be three members, who escaped to Reed's Earth, and were quick to betray it in order to defeat the Celestials. In the process, they allowed the Negative Zone to invade. At the same time, war was breaking out between the Universal Inhumans and the invading Kree Empire. The members of the Council used all of this to their advantage to wage further war between the City of the High Evolutionary and Old Atlantis. Reed even gathered some of his greatest adversaries to help him find a way to defeat himself... and the Celestials. Luckily, Reed's father Nathaniel had come from the future to assist. He said that no matter what, this event was inevitable. With the help of Doctor Doom and future versions of Franklin and Valeria, and even Galactus, plans came into place for the final attempt to stop the Celestials. Even with the super weapon the Council had created and Galactus, it seemed that the Celestials would win, until Franklin from the future arrived just in time to defeat them. Their plans to delay the Celestials until that time had worked.
Reed would finally agree that the Bridge was not a good idea and agree to never attempt it again. He continued his work with the Future Foundation and began to help Franklin with his restored powers.
Powers and Abilities
Reed is an extremely brilliant man, to the point of often being considered the smartest in the world. His defining quality however is that his body becomes elastic and he has complete control over it. This allows him to use his body for either offensive or defensive purposes. He can squeeze through openings sometimes even as small as one molecule's breadth. He can twist or reshape his body or stretch roughly three miles fully extended before physical pain. He can flatten himself to the thickness of a sheet of vellum. Due to Reed's distaste for violence, he will usually wrap an opponent up in his body to attempt to control and compromise with them. To trap an opponent, he can also flatten his body and smother his opponent until they give in.
Other applications of his powers include expanding his lungs allowing him to hold his breath longer, adjusting the distance between his cornea and retina to allow for natural ocular magnification, and in at least one case shortening the distance between the synapses in his brain allowing him to process thought at impossible speeds. He has also shown that he can stretch his brain, cerebellum, as to facilitate operation of Cerebro, the mutant finding computer devised by Professor Charles Xavier. He can reflect sharp weapons such as bullets, darts, knives, etc. but he is not invulnerable. Though it is difficult to do, his skin has been cut. Because he is like rubber, he suffers all the drawbacks of it, like melting in heat and freezing in cold conditions. Other drawbacks include taffy-puller machines that can pull him behind his tensile strength. This causes great pain and he cannot snap back to his original human form as quickly.
Reed can also change his appearance and even animate an inanimate object. He can concentrate his elasticity into one area of his body. For example, it can all go to his fist, making it an effective offensive weapon. This can increase his strength and size considerably. Though he has many great physical feats, his intellect is also considered a power of his. He is one of the smartest in the Marvel Universe, showing himself to be even as smart as alien civilizations. Because of this, mind control is useless, though when it does affect him, it wears off more quickly than on an average human. He is not flawless however, as he has tried many times to revert the Thing back to his normal human form. He also indicates that he can not understand magic. Later in life, he also earned a Black Belt in Judo.
Reed, at one time, was the possessor of the Power Gem.
Weight: 180 lbs.
Hair: Brown with gray around the temples
In the alternate reality known as the Age of Apocalypse, Richards attempted to evacuate a large group of humans from Manhattan when Apocalypse came into power. Along with Ben Grimm as the pilot and his friends Johnny and Susan Storm as crew, Richards used one of his prototype rockets to fly off the island. Unfortunately, an angry mutant sabotaged the launch and both Reed and Johnny sacrificed themselves to let the others blast off safely. Reed Richards did not have any powers in this reality before he died, as he never was bombarded with cosmic radiation in space.
In the Ultimate universe Mr. Fantastic is 20 years younger than his mainstream counterpart and is the leader of The Fantastic Four. He is also more insane than his counterpart.
Unlike his 616 counter part, he is born in a normal family but with extremely gifted intellect at his early ages. He have shown to teleport objects into N-zone before any scientist on Earth could.
The accident involving a N-zone experiment replaced Reed's cells to a single cell which could duplicate most human body's function, which allow him to stretch any part of his body, he also could stretch his brain to further improve his intelligence and ability to muti-task.
Following the events of Ultimatum, the Fantastic Four disbanded. Similarly, Sue and Reed ended their relationship. Reed ends up moving back in with his parents.
Ultimate Doom Trilogy
Reed Richards, ex-leader of the world famous Fantastic Four, now lives with his parents and his father is not happy about that especially since he has no job to contribute to the family. After being brutally woken up by his father, Reed's computer detects an energy flux, and then somebody's at the door. Even though Reed warns his father not to open the door, he opens it, and a purple, cloud-like explosion happens inside the Richard's home.
As Reed appeared to have died during the explosion at his home, the remaining Fantastic Four mourn his death. However, it is revealed that Reed did not perish in the explosion. In fact, he is responsible for the explosion as well as the rest of the attacks at Roxxon, the Baxter Building, etc. Reed's plot is discovered by Sue Storm, who confronts him. Sue is quickly beaten by Reed.
Reed is now convinced that he has figured out how the world should be and is willing to do what he thinks is right, regardless of the consequences. Reed is currently planning to implement his intended changes, and a team consisting of Sue and Johnny Storm, Ben Grimm, Spider-man, Spider-woman, Carol Danvers, Nick Fury, and Captain Mar-Vell intend to stop him. When they find him, they don't give him the chance to explain himself. Johnny burns him with a fire blast that burns the right side side of his face, and made his right arm stop working. When the heroes destroyed his lab, Reed was flung into the Negative Zone.
Reed has since made his way back from the Negative Zone, and taken over most of the European Union, with the help of his latest creation, "The Children." There they have setup shop in what is known as "The Dome." As a defence Reed sent a warhead to Washington destroying it along with most of the U.S Government and President.
In the Zombieverse Mr. Fantastic is, as most other heroes, transformed into a zombie, although he purposely turned himself into one because of the insanity he endured when his children were killed by the zombie She-Hulk.
In this reality, also known as Earth A, (first seen in Fantastic Four #118), Only Reed Richards and Ben Grimm was aboard the spaceship and got exposed to cosmic rays. Afterwards Reed Richards got the Thing powers and Ben Grimm got the Mr. Fantastic powers. Furthermore Johnny Storm was believed to have died in Vietnam, but he became Gaard and later Vangaard. Sue Storm married Ben Grimm.
In the 1602 reality, Sir Richard Reed is a member of the Four of the Fantastick. His powers are based on the fluidity of water. this version is more of a perfectionist in his studies than his mainstream counterpart.
In the MC2 reality it is originally believed that Reed transferred his intelligence to the robot Big Brain after the death of Susan. However, it turns out that Reed is controlling him remotely from The Negative Zone, where he is protecting Susan as she holds together holes in reality.
Upon their return, Mr. Fantastic once again leads the Fantastic Five. In battle with a returning Doctor Doom, Reed and Doom have a battle of the minds through a machine created by Doom. The end result puts Reed and Doom in a comatose state, but their bodies remain alive.
In this reality Mr. Fantastic is a member of Fantastic Five alongside Invisible Woman, Human Torch, Thing and Spider-Man.
In this reality Mr. Fantastic is a member of Fantastic Five alongside Invisible Woman, Human Torch, Thing and Namor. Here Sue is married to Namor instead of Reed.
In this reality Mr. Fantastic is a member of Fantastic Five alongside Invisible Woman, Human Torch, Thing and Silver Surfer.
Mr. Fantastic was also a member of Fantastic Five in this reality, alongside Invisible Woman, Human Torch, Thing and Spider-Man. They were all killed by Hyperion and Weapon X.
As a boy, Reed Richard's father vanished under mysterious circumstances, leaving Reed to be raised by his mother. This created a wanderlust in him. Reed Richards leads a little resistance group known as Free Earth against his ex-wife who calls herself as Madame Hydra, who dominated and devastated Earth. Richards also became the lover of Elektra. From his hidden base beneath Manhattan, Richards allied with the Exiles in stopping Madame Hydra. In beating Madam Hydra he destroyed and remade his universe. Following their victory, Richards had ensured in rebuilding and repopulating Earth as he had previously digitized more than a billion of Earth's people into a pocket dimension inside his daughter's, Valerie, necklace.
In the Battleworld reality, Reed Richards is killed in the fight between Galactus and the Beyonder. With his death, the Avengers are stuck and must live in the world as their new home.
In this reality, Mister Fantastic is turned into an anthropomorphic moose named Mooseter Fantastic and is the leader of the Fantastic Four.
One Dimension Away from Earth-616
In this Universe, possibly either Earth-615 or Earth-617, Mister Fantastic and Jack Storm (The Human Torch) were a (presumably) happily married homosexual couple who were both members of The Fantastic Four. Unfortunately, everything they had ever known all ended in disaster when The Marquis of Death and a disguised Doctor Doom arrived in their Universe and within a matter of hours wiped out every living thing on Earth and beyond.
After killing Susan and Ben, The Marquis taunted Reed and then tore his heart out. In his rage, Jack tried burning The Marquis and Doctor Doom to a cinder only to be slain by a single wave of The Marquis' hand. In the moments after, Earth-One Dimension Away was eradicated by The Marquis' awesome power and faded into nothing as the two invaders departed.
The Council is a group of many alternate reality versions of Reed Richards, banded together to do what every Reed wishes to do: Solve Everything. The alternate reality versions have a wide array of powers, technology, power items (such as Infinity Gauntlets and Ultimate Nullifiers) and some have no powers at all. They are all extremely intelligent.
In other media
- Mr. Fantastic appeared in the 1967 Fantastic Four TV series, voiced by Gerald Mohr.
- Mr. Fantastic also led the team in the 1978 Fantastic Four TV series, voiced by Mike Road.
- Mr. Fantastic appeared in the 1994 animated series voiced by Beau Weaver.
- Beau Weaver reprises his role of Mr. Fantastic in the The Incredible Hulk episode "Fantastic Fortitude." He and the other Fantastic Four take their vacation prior to Hulk, She-Hulk, and Thing fighting Leader's Gamma Soldiers.
- Mr. Fantastic appears toward the end of the 1994 Spider-Man TV series voiced by Cam Clarke. He and the Fantastic Four are among the heroes Spider-Man summons to a planet to help him against the villains the Beyonder brought there. He helps to awaken the dormant part of Curt Conners' mind in The Lizard.
- Reed Richard's name is also briefly mentioned twice in the first episode of Spider-Man Unlimited. First mentioned in an interview, he is later seen again when Spider-Man gets some equipment from Reed which aids him in building his new stealth-uniform.
- Mr. Fantastic is in the 2006 Fantastic Four TV series voiced by Hiro Kanagawa.
- Mr. Fantastic is featured more recently in The Super Hero Squad Show voiced by James Marsters.
- Mister Fantastic is referenced in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episode "Some Assembly Required." Iron Man mentions that he and Mister Fantastic are developing a prison in the Negative Zone to store any villains the Avengers captured after what happened in the episode "The Breakout." He also made a brief cameo appearance in the episode "The Man Who Stole Tomorrow".
The unreleased 1994 film The Fantastic Four featured Alex Hyde-White as Mr. Fantastic.
Mr. Fantastic has been played by actor Ioan Gruffudd in the 2005 film Fantastic Four and its 2007 sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
Both movies were directed by Tim Story. In the film continuity, Reed Richards is, initially, a brilliant but timid and pedantic scientist who, despite his genius-level understanding of the sciences and being (as he is described in the second film) "one of the greatest minds of the 21st century", is fiscally incompetent and nearing bankruptcy, forcing him to seek investment from Victor von Doom (in the film continuity a rival scientist and successful businessman) to further his projects.
By the events of Rise of the Silver Surfer, Richards is, along with his teammates, an internationally recognized superhero and celebrity. Reed's celebrity status sometimes gets to his head, like when he parties with three sexy women at a club. Reed and Sue are now engaged, although Reed has trouble keeping himself from being distracted from his imminent wedding (which is established as the fifth attempt they have made).
- Mr. Fantastic is a playable character in the Fantastic Four PlayStation game.
- Mr. Fantastic has a cameo appearance in the Spider-Man game based on his 1990s animated series for Sega Genesis and Super NES. By reaching certain levels of the game, Mr. Fantastic can be called a limited number of times for assistance.
- Reed is mentioned in Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects.
- Mister Fantastic appears as a playable character in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance voiced by David Naughton. He has special dialogue with Bruce Banner, Uatu, Black Bolt, Karnak, Crystal, Arcade, and Colonel Fury. A simulation disk has Mister Fantastic fight Bulldozer in Murderworld. And another simulation disk has Thing protect Mister Fantastic, when he’s frozen by Rhino.
- Mister Fantastic appears in the Fantastic Four video game based on the 2005 film voiced by Ioan Gruffudd and by Robin Atkin Downes in bonus levels, and the Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer video game based on the film voiced by Matthew Kaminsky.
- In Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, Spider-Man tries to call Reed Richards for his help to build a device that will destroy the symbiotes. However, his answering machine says that he's out of the galaxy.
- Mr. Fantastic appears in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 voiced by Robert Clotworthy. He appears as a main boss for the Anti Registration side, and is one of your three main heroes on the Pro Registration side.