Reed Richards (Mister Fantastic)

mrfantasticfilmFinally, after waiting for months, we got our first trailer from The Fantastic Four, the upcoming reboot by Josh Trank, as well as our first look at the protagonists. Speaking of Marvel’s first family, let’s start from the head of the household, Reed Richards, who’ll be portrayed by Miles Teller. From what we can see, this version will be significantly younger than his comics’ counterpart (and even than his live action predecessors), but he’ll always be the genius behind the project that brings himself and his three companions in the Negative Zone and that eventually give them powers. In the first (unreleased) The Fantastic Four, Reed was portrayed by Alex Hyde-White, and he was a scientist who organised a space mission to study a comet, but the intervention of the thief known as The Jewler made the ship’s shield fail, so that the four explorers got exposed to cosmic rays and got superpowers. The latest version was Ioan Gruffudd‘s one, again slightly younger than the comics (he even got his white hair due to the shock following a fight with his former boss Victor Von Doom rather than from age), and this time the mission involved a space station and cosmic energy clouds…with the same results as always. Now, let’s see who the Fantastic Four‘s leader is in the comics.

Reed Richards was the only son of brilliant physicist Nathaniel Richards and of his wife Evelyn. From his very childhood he proved to be a prodigy, and had a natural grasp over even the most difficult problems in mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology. By the age of seven, Reed was smarter and more cultured than any high school student, while at fourteen he was already college-level. He learnt to strictly follow the rules when his favourite uncle, Ted, was charged for anti-government activities and died in depression soon after (in the same period, Reed lost his mother to an illness, quite a difficult time for him). Finally Reed entered State University in HegemanNew mrfantasticcomics1York, where he met the guy who would have become his best friend: football star Ben Grimm, his roommate. He also met a foreigner genius, Victor Von Doom, who elected him to his personal rival, an enmity that brought him to cause an explosion during an experiment ignoring one of Reed’s advices, an accident that got him expelled. Reed lived well his college years, and spent even his summer months studying in a room rented to him by Mary Storm, but he wanted to learn more. When he served in the military with Ben, Reed used the occasion to travel the world, and when his duty tour ended he started an adventure that brought him to a brief but intense relation with a woman named Alyssa Moy and to an intricated plot around a mystical artifact, the Claw of Bast, that brought him to China, Egypt, Romania and Mexico; it was during this time that Reed first opposed a vengeful Von Doom, still trying to get the better of him. Eventually, Reed came back to the United States, where he started teaching at Columbia University. One of Reed’s students happened to be Sue Storm, niece of Reed’s former tenant Mary: Reed and Sue fell in love, and eventually started a relationship. In the meanwhile, Richards was still trying to realize the project of his life: a revolutionary interstellar spaceship he was designing since his college years.

One night, Nathaniel Richards mysteriously disappeared, and left to his son two billion dollars. Reed spent most of the money to finance his spaceship project, and even received fundings from the federal government. The project was based in Central CityCalifornia, and Richards moved there with Sue, her brother Johnny and Ben, who had promised him he would have piloted his rocket. Near his work’s completion, however, Reed was informed that the government was about to cut fundings, having lost interest: in order to convince them to reconsider, Richards mrfantasticcomics2decided to steal his own spaceship and to perform a test flight to another solar system and back by himself. Ben accepted to accompany him as a pilot, despite some doubts about the ship’s shields, and Sue and Johnny insisted to be there as passengers. The four friends infiltrated Central City’s base and managed to blast off with the spaceship, but something unexpected happened: an unforseen solar flare had charged Earth‘s Van Allen Belts with an incredible amount of cosmic radiation, far too much for the spaceship’s shields to bear. Ben decided to abort the mission and to come back to Earth, but it was late: the radiations had already mutated the four’s bodies. Reed, for example, could stretch his body as if it was made of rubber: the military took them in custody, and put them in quarantine. During their imprisonment, Reed and his friends managed to foil the plans of Professor Franz Stahl, another mutated who tried to take over the base, thus proving to the officer in charge, General Walter Montgomery, that they were not to be considered a menace. Free to go, Reed Richards proposed to the others that they used their newfound powers to help other people. Renaming themselves the Fantastic Four, Reed, who now went by the name Mister Fantastic, and the others became the first superhero family. Reed used what remained of his fortune to rent the top floors of the Baxter Building in New York, and used his (frequent) inventions to fund the group. Despite saving the world more than once, Reed’s greatest failure kept haunting him, as he was uncapable of curing his best friend Ben from his new condition (if turning into a giant rock monster could be called a “condition”).

Reed Richards is one of the most intelligent men on the planet (some say the most intelligent), a scientist driven by a neverending curiosity towards anything unexplicable and mysterious. Charismatic and altruistic, Richards is a loving husband for Sue and a caring father for his children Franklin and Valeria, but he tends to be quite absent-minded when it comes to his job, and he can ignore everything around him while he’s focused on his research and experiments. As Mister Fantastic, his intellect has been even augmented by the cosmic rays, becoming even more “flexible”, and his body became elastic, a characteristic that Reed uses in many ways: he can elongate his body to great extent, change his own shape to a variety of uses (he can bounce like a ball, flatten or inflate himself, or even mimic other face’s features); his flesh is also highly resistant, to the point that he can deflect bullets and contain explosions. Albeit being pretty arrogant and sometimes close-minded, Richards is the perfect leader for the team: wise, smart and cautious, guided by a strong sense of morality (even if he can be pretty self-righteous sometimes), Mister Fantastic will do anything to protect his family, even while leading them into dangerous missions.

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32 Comments

  1. […] for the kind of comics Dorothy despised the most, superhero ones, and she even had a crush for Reed “Mr. Fantastic” Richards for a while. When she finished high-school, however, Patsy stopped with any kind of comics, and […]

  2. […] her husband, she goes unnamed in the movie, and she only appears in a flashback, when her young son Reed makes an experiment that sends the entire block in a blackout. Again, there’s not much in […]

  3. […] Let’s start with the protagonist’s parents, seen in a flashback with a very young Reed Richards making crazy experiments. While the boy is in the garage, upstairs his father, credited only […]

  4. […] them as potential allies, and after making proper amends, he became friends with them, with Mr. Fantastic helping him defeating Klaw. Black Panther later helped the Fantastic Four in battling Psycho Man, […]

  5. […] Victor Von Doom immediately entered in competition with State University’s best student, Reed Richards, and was obsessed by proving himself better than him. Even more, he was obsessed with creating a […]

  6. […] such as Code: Blue or even the Avengers. While Dolan went to the Baxter Building to ask for Reed Richards‘ help regarding the presence of Uatu, Mahoney came back to the penthouse, and found out that […]

  7. […] on Empire, and we got a glimpse of another character from the movie: in one of the pictures, Reed Richards is staring at something with some soldiers at his back and with someone who looks like a security […]

  8. […] effectiveness of his manipulations. With no mind standing up to his own (the only ecception being Mr. Fantastic, the first and last man who defeated him in a mind game), Faustus relies on his unlimited brain, […]

  9. […] to be more than a match for the five superheroes combined, but he eventually was knocked out by Mr. Fantastic, who used Vibranium knuckle guards in order to be able to touch him. Imprisoned, Klaw had all the […]

  10. […] Woman and the Human Torch didn’t want to fight their “father” at full strength, Mr. Fantastic saw through the Super Skrull’s illusion, and managed to capture him, using him as a hostage […]

  11. […] University in Hegenam. Ben immediately got along with his roommate, a young genius named Reed Richards: when Reed told Ben his dream was to build a futuristic spaceship, Ben jokingly promised him that […]

  12. […] to her. Three years after, he moved to Central City with Sue, who was following her fiancée Reed Richards in a military base where he would have completed his research on interstellar […]

  13. […] in the first The Fantastic Four she was portrayed by Rebecca Staab, and she married her beloved Reed Richards by the end of the movie. In the much more belligerant version portrayed by Jessica Alba she […]

  14. […] Pym is possibly the smartest man in the world, even more intelligent than Reed Richards, and the one decreed by the Eternity as Earth‘s Scientist Supreme. His great intelligence, […]

  15. […] his studies early because of money issues, Lang is quite a skilled scientist, able to replace Mr. Fantastic in the Fantastic Four for a while. As Ant-Man, he has free access to the Pym Particles, which he […]

  16. […] Avengers (consisting of Mr. Fantastic, Thor, the Invisible Woman, Gilgamesh and Captain America) were easily annihilated with their […]

  17. […] to guarantee Earth’s safety, and organized a mission in space to reach the enemy planet: Mr. Fantastic teleported the whole planet in the Negative Zone, thus ending the menace. While in space, Jean […]

  18. […] and defeated Vermin, a geneticist working for Baron Zemo who had become a giant humanoid rat, Reed Richards himself suggested the hero to bring Vermin to the Ravencroft. Despite many of her colleagues […]

  19. […] Physics showing an intellect able to rival the ones of the planet’s greatest geniuses, like Reed Richards or Henry Pym. Hall didn’t have any problems finding a job after graduation, and he was […]

  20. […] In here, he became friends with another genius man, Nathaniel Richards (future father of Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four), and he worked with him for the brotherhood. Together, they found and […]

  21. […] of scientific language or physical phenomenon, able to rival with other renowned geniuses such as Reed Richards, Tony Stark or Hank Pym. Despite being emotionally broken, with many traumas hidden and denied in […]

  22. […] Peter absolutely didn’t want to do). Tired of all this “accidents”, Peter asked Mr. Fantastic for advice: the leader of the Fantastic Four found out that the “costume” was actually […]

  23. […] glass, thus being capable of reflecting light and energy; the armor built for him by Wizard (using Mr. Fantastic‘s stolen tech) allowed him to use his powers in an extended way, mixing his sand with various […]

  24. […] still devoted to him, and tried her best to help him escape from her father’s forces. When Reed Richards finally allowed Banner to control his transformations, he was pardoned and immediately proposed to […]

  25. […] community after the Registration Act had become a reality; she also publicly thanked him and Mr. Fantastic for helping her believe in superheroes once again, and she was present when Stark inaugurated the […]

  26. […] of the “Black Spider-Man“. Worried by this and some other changes, Spider-Man asked Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four for help, and the scientist analyzed the costume, realising it was a living […]

  27. […] as a sad-looking decommissioned robot put in a storage full of old inventions by its creator, Reed Richards. An early script included the robot even in the 2015 reboot, but it didn’t make it to the […]

  28. […] he discovered something else: a group of the smartest heroes in the world, the Illuminati (Mr. Fantastic, Black Bolt, Professor X, Dr. Strange, Iron Man and Namor), had sent Hulk in space. Plus, the […]

  29. […] of Alpha Primitives and finally confronted his brother, claiming the crown back from him. While Mr. Fantastic was trying to convince the king that he needed to reveal the Inhumans’ presence to the outside […]

  30. […] anything of her previous life. Medusa fought the Fantastic Four more than once, even crushing Reed Richards‘ and Sue Storm‘s engagement party, but each time they got defeated, either by the […]

  31. […] who’s perfectly able to understand even the work of absolute geniuses like Doctor Doom or Mister Fantastic and to intervene on it to reverese-engineer it. Just as dangerous as he is intelligent, the […]

  32. […] using her powers to form a water-filled energy field around his head. The Seeker claimed him from Mister Fantastic, but as he came back to Attilan with his captor, Triton now knew that not all humans were evil as […]


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