|“||I learned that the difference between living and dying is managing fear. Not being afraid so afraid of losing the things you love that you hold them too tight. I used to believe in universal contraction. Entropy and the end of all things. Well, I changed my mind. I'm letting go. Because now I believe in expansion. I believe we endure. Don't you see? Everything lives.||„|
|~ Mister Fantastic.|
|“||The problem with your plan, Quiet Man... You put our downfall together like a scientist: Not with a plan but as a formula. Maybe because of what you lack mentally-- And by that I mean you're crazy-- But you didn't think to account for our personalities. The inner strength that my family has, that I've seen grow with us through the years. You forgot to include that in your calculus. If we're down, we rise. If we fail, we try again. If we lose the battle, we win the war. And that is what makes us... the Fantastic Four!||„|
|~ Mister Fantastic to the Quiet Man.|
Mr. Fantastic, also known as Reed Richards, is a fictional character and superhero from Marvel comics. He is the leader of the Fantastic Four and the resident super-genius as well as the best friend of Ben Grimm, and boyfriend (and later husband) of Susan Storm - despite his vast intelligence Reed suffers from a bit of autism and often gets himself and others in trouble with his experiments.
However he is much more responsible than Johnny Storm (aka the Human Torch) and would never harm anyone on purpose - through no true fault of his own Mr. Fantastic has become bitter enemies with the vain and power-hungry Doctor Doom, one of the few men alive who may be smarter than Reed. Of course no matter how smart Doom is he is always defeated by Reed Richards with help from his friends, the Fantastic Four, and sometimes the superhero team, the Avengers.
Mr. Fantastic was created by the late Stan Lee, and the late Jack Kirby, and first appeared in The Fantastic Four #1 in August of 1961.
Reed Richards was born in Central City, California, to Nathaniel Richards, a wealthy physicist and his wife, Evelyn Richards. Reed's mother would die when he was seven years old, but his father would encourage his studying in mathematics, physics, and mechanics when he was young, and would marry a woman named Cassandra. Nathaniel and Cassandra would have two children, a daughter named Tara Richards, and an unnamed son.
As a child, Reed became close to his uncle Ted Richards, a writer who was brought forth to speak with the Senate who were on a political hunt for political dissidents. Ted refused to speak about his activities, and thus his life was ruined, and Nathaniel barred his brother from visiting Reed any more. Ted later committed suicide after losing his social and economic life, and this installed Reed with a sense of following the rules of law.
When he was young, Reed's earliest memory of his father was when he told him to jump from a high place. Although Reed was scared, Nathaniel taught his son that it was okay to be afraid, but not trying something because you were afraid was unacceptable. In high school, Reed was popular, but knew that he was different from everyone else, something his father told him to be proud of, and to accomplish things others couldn't. By the time he was fourteen, Reed showed himself to be highly intelligent, being at a college level before he was a grown adult.
At one point in his teenage years, Nathaniel said that he had to leave Reed and that he would be gone for a long time, and told his son to be a better friend, husband and father than he was. Reed took his advice to heart and governed every action on using his mind alongside his heart, something which proved to help him later in his heroic career. Nathaniel eventually left Reed with enough money to continue his education and fund experiments, and the young Richards was left in care of Giles Peacock, the family butler.
Due to taking college level courses in high school, Reed would go to California Institute of Technology at an young age, then he attended Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also studied abroad from the University of Vienna, where he met Alyssa Moy, who was also had genius-level intelligence. By this time, Reed had attained four degrees in fields of engineering, mathematics, and physics.
For his fifth degree, Reed went to State University, where he met Ben Grimm, who would become his best friend. He also met Victor von Doom, who was originally his roommate, but the latter took an immediate dislike of Reed and took another quarter to live. The child-prodigy confided with Ben on building a starship to due interstellar travel, with the latter jokingly agreeing to fly it.
While at State, Reed rented a room at Margay Jewel Dickins' boardinghouse, where he met her niece, Susan Storm. Reed fell in love with Sue, and easily became distracted from work due to his feelings. At one point, Reed was visited by his father who had become a time traveler, and asked for his son's help to stop the Beast, a rogue alternate-reality counterpart. Reed was aided by Ben and Victor to stop the Beast, and Doom landed the killing blow on alternate-reality counterpart, and Nathaniel returned them to their proper places in history. Despite the adventurer, Reed and the others don't remember the encounter, or their memories were wiped afterward.
Victor became obsessed with building a machine that could project astral forms from dimensions, and Reed called out a flaw in his calculations, but was scolded off by the former (who believed he was trying to upstage him). The machine exploded, scarring Victor's face, and blamed Reed for his deformities, and was expelled for unethical experimentations. Victor would become Reed's archenemy and intellectual rival, and was constantly defeated in terms of intelligence.
Becoming Mr. Fantastic
Reed would work on the starship, and was left two billion dollars from his father before he disappeared. The project was funded by the government in Central City, until they threatened to stop doing so, making Reed decide to test run it himself. Reed recruited Ben, Susan, and her brother, Johnny, to test the starship in space. Before recruiting the three, Reed was attacked by Gormuu, an extraterrestrial being who wanted to conquer Earth. Defeating him, Reed was encouraged to finish the starship, and to defend Earth from extraterrestrial threats.
Before the test run, Ben was against the idea, seeing that the shielding wouldn't protect them from radiation. Reed was able to persuade him, and the crew went into space, and were hit with cosmic rays, and Ben aborted the mission and crashed onto Earth. Reed and the group learned they have become enhanced with powers, with him being elastic, and convinced them to use their powers for good. Reed named himself Mister Fantastic, and the group named themselves the Fantastic Four, and protect the world from villains.
Powers and Abilities
Mr. Fantastic can bend to incredible lengths and shape his body into virtually anything, he is also virtually immune to physical injury and, of course, he is a super-genius of near immeasurable skill who can create amazing inventions at the drop of a hat to save the world or aid his allies.
Mr. Fantastic also has a very slight resistance to mind-control, being affected less than ordinary people by such attacks on his mind - whether this is a side-effect of his immense intelligence or a minor power in itself is not truly known except maybe to Mr. Fantastic himself.
- Plasticity: After being hit by cosmic rays, Reed is capable of stretching and converting his mass into a highly malleable state at will. His body is malleable, being reflexive and elastic, and he can change his shape or elongate his limbs within mere seconds. The greater he stretches or extends his size when shifting into any object, the weaker his strength becomes. In addition, his skin is greatly durable and impervious to punctures unless he willfully relaxes his body (e.g. allowing scalpels or needs to penetrate his skin).
- Elongation: Mr. Fantastic and extend any part of his body at will, being able to stretch his neck, limbs and torso at extreme distances. He's also capable of moving at great speeds by stretching towards his destination, and grapple opponents with his elongated limbs.
- Dense Tissue: Due to his malleability and elasticity, Mr. Fantastic can absorb any impact that comes his way. He is capable of containing explosions by enveloping them and allowing their force to expand him, and he can redirect back to the target.
- Shape Changing: Mr. Fantastic can expand, deform, stretch or compress his entire body into any shape he can imagine, and can alter his appearance and features by imitation. He demonstrated this by increasing his size and mass density when fighting Onslaught, being capable of staggering the supervillain.
- Hyper Intelligence: After getting his powers, Reed's intelligence increased and allowed him to make breakthroughs in the fields of science.
- Nigh-Omnipotence: Mr. Fantastic acts as a vessel to the Molecule's Man's source of power, and he was capable of creating realities alongside his son, Franklin.
- Super-Genius Intelligence: Reed is one of the smartest people in the Marvel comics and on Earth, and possess a mastery over the fields of science and engineering. His genius intelligences rivals other superheroes Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, Hank McCoy, and his archenemy Victor Von Doom. Even in his youth, Reed showed himself to be highly intelligent, and was able to attend multiple colleges and obtain degrees before he was in his twenties. Richards has made many breakthroughs in various fields such as all fields of travel (space, extra-dimensional, time), biochemistry, robotics, and more.
- Leadership: Mr. Fantastic is a capable leader, having led the Fantastic Four against countless supervillains. Though his superpowers are elasticity, he is known by the group for his scientific genius, tactical skills, and being a father-figure to his teammates.
- Master Scientist & Engineer: Mr. Fantastic is a master of all sciences and engineering, having obtained four degrees in those fields by the time he was eighteen years old.
- Fighting Skills: He is expert fighter, using his elasticity to beat opponents by forming giant fists or hammers from his hands. Due to him having great malleability and a reflexive physiology, Richards can fight opponents who are more powerful, such as Onslaught. After learning how to control his powers, and becoming a veteran in fighting villains, he became a more effective fighter.
- Hypnotism: He is skilled in hypnotism.
- In the unreleased 1994 Fantastic Four film, he was portrayed by Alex Hyde-White.
- In the 2005 Fantastic Four film and its sequel Rise of the Silver Surfer, he was portrayed by Ioan Gruffudd.
- In the 2015 reboot, he was portrayed by Miles Teller.
- In the 1967 Fantastic Four tv series, he was voiced by Gerald Mohr.
- In the 1978 Fantastic Four tv series, he was voiced by Mike Road.
- In the 1994 Fantastic Four tv series, he was voiced by Beau Weaver.
- Beau Weaver reprised his role in The Incredible Hulk.
- In the 1994 Spider-Man tv series, he was voiced by Cam Clarke.
- In the 2006 Fantastic Four tv series, he was voiced by Hiro Kanagawa.
- In The Super Hero Squad Show, he was voiced by James Marsters.
- In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, was voiced by Dee Bradley Baker.
- Dee Bradley Baker reprised his voice role in Lego Marvel Super Heroes.
- In Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., he was voiced by Robin Atkin Downes.
- Robin Atkin Dowens voiced the character in the 2005 Fantastic Four video game for the film, voicing the character in the classic costume for bonus levels.
- In Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, he was voiced by David Naughton.
- In Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, he was voiced by Matthew Kaminsky.
- In Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, he was voiced by Robert Clotworthy.
- In Marvel Heroes, he was voiced by Wally Wingert.
- Ranked 50th on IGN's list of the "Top 50 Avengers".
- Ranked 40th Greatest Comic Book Hero of All Time by IGN.
- Ranked 41st by Wizard magazine as the Greatest Comic Book Character of All Time.
- BusinessWeek listed Mr. Fantastic as one of the top ten most intelligent fictional characters in American comics.
- He is similar to the Elongated Man from DC comics:
- Both have elastic powers.
- Both are married to a woman named Sue.
- Both have members of a iconic superhero group (The Avengers and the Justice League).
- He is one of the few characters in the comics to wield the Infinity Gauntlet, alongside Iron Man, Captain America, Nebula, Adam Warlock, Thanos and Magus.
- As the four members of the Fantastic Four's powers are based on the elements, Mr. Fantastic's are based on the element water.
Later Main Team Members