Who Is Reed Richards? World's Smartest And Stretchiest Man
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Who Is Reed Richards? The Smartest And Stretchiest Man In The World

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BY February 26, 2023

Reed Richards, better known as Mister Fantastic, is in charge of leading the Fantastic Four team. This Marvel Comics character is a well-known superhero in comics.

As a founding member, Reed has demonstrated a broad knowledge of subjects. Among them, he knows about mechanics, engineering, electrical and aerospace. He also knows chemistry and physics, not to mention human and alien biology.

Concept and Creation  of Reed Richards

Qué hace a Reed Richards un héroe? Marvel aborda al hombre detrás de Míster Fantástico Image: Marvel Comics

Reed Richards is certainly one of the best-known Marvel Comics superheroes because of his ability to stretch his body into any shape he wants. But, in addition to this, he stands out among other characters for his extensive knowledge of different sciences. Among these disciplines are physics, chemistry, mechanics, engineering, among others.

Reed Richards first appeared in 1961 in volume 1 of the Fantastic Four. Its creation is due by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The concept from the beginning was to lead this team, being a father figure for them.

While it is true that his main ability is expansion, his presence in the team is fundamental. He is a key member because of his scientific acumen. In fact, he is officially recognized as the smartest man in the world in the Marvel Universe.

Reed gained his powers unintentionally. He and his crew suffered an accident in space that exposed them to cosmic radiation. As a result of this event, they obtained certain powers and abilities. However, this gift was not well received by everyone, especially by Reed’s best friend, Thing, who partly blames him for his appearance of a large rocky creature.

This character, Reed Richards is an exemplary family man, loving husband, and role model to his entire team. It was speculated at first that he was on the autistic spectrum, which has not hindered the performance demonstrated thus far.

History of the Fictional Superhero Character Mr. Fantastic


The history of the fictional character Reed Richards has several stages:

Before the Fantastic Four

Reed Richards was born in Central City, California. His parents were Evelyn and Nathaniel Richards. The latter was a scientific genius, and Reed inherited this intellect. For this reason, since childhood, he was a prodigy, demonstrating special abilities in physics, mathematics and mechanics.

Already in college, he met Benjamin J. Grimm, having initiated the ship’s design that would allow him to travel to hyperspace. Grimm, who was his roommate, volunteered to pilot the ship.

Upon graduating from college, he earned his PhD from Harvard, majoring in physics and electrical engineering. Later, he decided to use his inheritance to fund his own research, deciding to go to Mars.

With the government threatening to suspend the project, Sue and her brother Johnny sneak in to take off, knowing that they have not completed the corresponding spacecraft tests. But, that trip was decisive, since the whole team was bombarded by cosmic radiation when passing through the Van Allen belt, transforming them forever.

Reed Richard’s Leadership of the Fantastic Four

Doctor Doom, Comics, Reed Richards, Ben Gimm, Human Torch (Marvel Comics), Invisible Woman, HD wallpaper | Peakpx Image: Marvel Comics

After that event, and despite the disagreements caused, Reed Richards continued to lead the Fantastic Four team. Thus beginning their adventures and becoming known among the superheroes, who turned out to be unusual characters for them.

Also, they had to fight with different villains, to help maintain peace on Earth. As a leader, it was up to him to create different devices and vehicles for the team because of his skills and knowledge. In addition, he also designed the clothes they wore, which were made with “unstable molecules”.

Personally, Reed feels guilt for the transformation that Ben Grimm (the Thing) underwent. As a result of the accident, his appearance became very grotesque, causing people to reject him. Therefore, he has been working hard to reverse it permanently.

His greatest enemy is Doctor Doom, who believes that Reed is responsible for the accident that gave him the scars he suffers from. This has caused Doom to vow revenge, and he has tried to vanish his team and family himself.

Subplots and Story Arcs

The subplots and story arcs of the Fantastic Four is quite diverse. It starts with Reed being Sue’s boyfriend, only later marrying her off. Having adventures from the beginning, and even having encounters with Inhumans.

This led the whole team to fight against villains like Psycho-Man. Already with some years of marriage, Reed and Sue begin to have their children, who also joined the team’s fight.

In the arcs shown, members have been added to the Fantastic Four, such as Scott Lang, as a scientific advisor, a product of the disappearance of Reed Richards and Dr. Doom at one point, being trapped all in a parallel reality.

Reed Richards in the Heroes Reborn

Who Is Reed Richards Image: Marvel Comics

Once the Fantastic Four returned from that reality, it was their turn to face Onslaught. This villain had invaded New York City, so they had to hunt down any mutant that appeared on the scene. 

After defeating Onslaught, the Fantastic Four are reborn heroes, a fight they are especially grateful to Franklin, since he managed to move them to another reality. In that fight, what was the Fantastic Four’s home, Four Freedoms Plaza was annihilated, so when they returned, they found themselves homeless.

Pro – Registration

At the time of the Civil War, Reed Richards at Iron Man’s side was one of the main people who agreed to the Superhuman Registration Act. Such a decision brought serious problems with his wife, Sue, which can be seen in issue 4 of the miniseries where a clone of Thor comes out.

Hulk in Civil War

In Civil War, Reed Richards conversed with Mastermind Excello, telling him what happened with the Hulk. For all the good that the Hulk had done for humanity, they decided to find him to protect him.

This led to several fights with the Hulk defeating Reed Richards and other superheroes. This led to the confrontation between Reed Richards and Iron Man.

Reed Richards in Secret Invasion

In Secret Invasion, we also see Reed Richards doing his part with the Illuminati. This superhero seeks to avoid the threats hanging over everyone by the Skrulls. This led to a fierce battle, where he almost lost his life. In this conflict, Abigail Brand comes to his aid. Otherwise, he would not have told. 

They manage to return to Earth and use a device to make known the invasion of the Skrulls. In this way they help the New Avengers defeat the impostors in New York.

Dark Kingdom

Specifically, Reed Richards helps the New Avengers locate Jessica Jones, Luke Cage’s daughter. But in this uterine, both he and the rest of the Fantastic Four team were reduced to television signals by Chthon, the Elder God.

In this phase as the leader, Reed is left to reevaluate his professional and family life after the persecution and stripping of all his rights by order of Norman Osborn, where they were captured and expelled by agents of H.AM.M.E.R. This caused Reed to make a machine to bend reality, which did not end well at all.

Future Foundation

All of the above situations caused Johnny’s apparent death. This tragedy seriously hits his team when they are told that this member dies in the Negative Zone. Sometime later, there is an apparent recovery of the Fantastic Four. However, Reed becomes disillusioned with how scientists view science and its applications.

This causes the leader to make a Future Foundation to help create a better future for all mankind. But, the job from the beginning was not easy, dealing with the “Reed Council”. These are various versions of Reed who have no morals or family. They are also trapped in the FF reality, when an accident occurred in Reed’s dimensional portal.

The Quiet Man

The Quiet Man revealed http://bamsmackpow.com/2015/01/04/fantastic -four-14-review-beginning-end-fantastic-… | Fantastic four, Fantastic four villains, The quiet man Image: Marvel Comics

When they thought they had peace and harmony, Jhonny returned and the team can now use their original name Fantastic Four. From here, they began to be attacked systematically by a mysterious Quiet Man.

This character is responsible for several attacks on the villains that the FF faced over the years. These events led to the near destruction of the team and their family life. Although the plan was very well worked out in the end, they had to collaborate and work together.

Reed Richards in Secret Wars

In Secret Wars, Reed Richards is one of the few survivors of Earth-616. He is the only one who keeps his memories intact, and he helps defeat several villains. Also among them was Doctor Doom, a legendary villain of the Fantastic Four. In this way, with teamwork, they manage to rebuild the multiverse.

Return to Earth Prime

In return to Earth Prime, Reed Richards is seen alongside Invisible Woman and Future Foundation facing Griever. In this way they manage to defeat him after being tricked by Reed. Thus Reed forces this villain to return to his universe.

Powers and Abilities

Who Is Reed Richards Image: Marvel Comics

Reed Richards has indisputable powers and abilities, such as the elasticity presented by the irradiation to which he was exposed in his maiden voyage. As such, he can convert his entire body at will into a highly malleable state, stretching, reforming and deform into almost any shape.

This ability gives Reed several defensive and offensive ways during missions. His abilities allow him to compress himself into the shape of a ball and thus bounce his opponents. He can also take the shape of a parachute to catch a teammate or take the shape of a trampoline.

This ability is such that it can change its facial features to its physical form, to pass between humans and non-humans. He can even obtain the shape of inanimate objects, such as mailboxes. This strength demonstrated by Mister Fantastic goes more in his mind than in his body. As if all this were not enough, he is an accomplished fighter, having expertise in the discipline of Judo.

But among his few weaknesses are the attention he places on each mission, where he can even neglect his own family. Despite this, he has proven to be a loving husband to his wife, Sue Storm. He is also an excellent father to Franklin and his daughter Valeria Richards. Finally, he also acts as a mentor to his brother-in-law, the Human Torch.

Reed Richards Teams and technology

Who Is Reed Richards Image: Marvel Comics

The Fantastic Four team have various gadgets, weapons and crafts, but there are some items that this leader carries with him at all times, such as:

  • Fantastiflare is a warning weapon that launches a burning “4” in the sky to let members know its location.
  • Clothing like the rest of the Fantastic 4, his suit is composed of “unstable molecules”, which means that the suit is in harmony with his powers. This allows him, among other things, to isolate electrical attacks. The team’s suits are portable computers, managing to process complex data and telemetry.

Appearances in Other Media

Reed Richards’ appearances in different media are indisputable, appearing in:

Reed Richards on Television

On the small screen, this character appears in:

  • The Fantastic Four of 1967, television series where Gerald Mohr performs the voice.
  • The Fantastic Four of 1978, TV series with the voice of Mike Road.
  • In 1994, the character appears alongside his wife Sue, animated series voiced by Beau Weaver. This actor reprised the role in The Incredible Hulk.
  • Spider-Man, animated series voiced by Cam Clarke.
  • Fantastic Four: World’s Greates Heroes from 2006, being the voice played by Hiro Kanagawa.


Fantastic Four' Theory Suggests John Krasinski Was Hired So People Wouldn't Want Him Image: Marvel Studios

On the big screen are several actors who have played the leader of the Fantastic Four team, Reed Richards, such as:

  • Alex Hyde-White appears in the 1994 films in The Fantastic Four….
  • Loan Gruffudd is in the 2005 Fantastic Four film and its 2007 sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, as well as the 2015 Fantastic Four film.
  • John Krasinski in the 2022 film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
  • The character of Reed Richards appears in several films, being played masterfully by every actor who plays him.
  • A Fantastic Four movie is expected soon, but it is still unknown who will play him.

Reed Richards in Video Games

v470 Update Details #2 (Updated) - MARVEL Future Fight

Reed Richards appears in several video games as a playable character in:

  • Fantastic Four.
  • Spider-Man.
  • Marvel: Ultimate Alliance.
  • Fantastic Four.
  • Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
  • Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2.
  • Marvel Super Hero Squad Online.

The Smartest and Most Elastic Man in the World 

Fan-Casting Mr. Fantastic: 10 Actors (Who Aren't John Krasinski) That Could Appear In 'The Multiverse of Madness' Image: Marvel Comics

Reed Richards is the leader of the Fantastic Four team. He has also been ranked among the top 10 smartest fictional characters in Marvel comics. In fact, this has not been in vain since he was the inventor of the ship where the four team members went that was bombarded by cosmic radiation.

This superhero has been played by several actors such as Penn Badgley, Loan Gruffudd and John Krasinski. Due to the importance of the character in Marvel Comics, we know that he will return to the big screen with a new movie within the MCU. With this new project, many actors are vying to play this popular character.

Featured Image Via Marvel Comics 



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