Reed Richards is one of the smartest people in the Marvel universe and one of its leading inventors, with only Tony Stark coming close in that regard. He’s also the leader of the Fantastic Four, husband of Invisible Woman and father of one of the strongest mutants in the entire universe, Franklin Richards.
While many know the small things about Reed: he’s smart, he’s got a pliable body, and he’s part of the Fantastic Four – there’s much about the character that many may not know. As one of Marvel’s older characters, he’s had plenty of history that oft goes forgotten throughout the years.
10 Reed Richards, Villain Extraordinaire
Reed Richards from the Ultimate universe turned out far different than his counterpart in the core version we all know and love. After Magneto went crazy during Ultimatum, killing off over a million people, Reed decides to fake his death. Not only that, but he also kills his parents and then goes thousands of years into the future to live.
He comes back a changed man, calling himself Maker, a villain who fights with the Ultimates (that universe’s Avengers). It goes without saying that Reed, as a villain, is highly dangerous.
9 He’s Ruled Latveria
No, Dr. Doom isn’t the only one who’s ruled Latveria. After a climactic battle between the pair, in which Doom was sent to hell thanks to the Haazareth Three, Reed was forced into leadership. Not only that, but Doom had also managed to scar Reed in a very similar way as himself.
He was quite unlike the despot, however, going out of his way to try to dismantle the plethora of weapons that Doom had created, as well as improve living conditions for the citizens. Despite his best intentions, he started to become just as much of a dictator as Doom was.
8 Council Of Reeds
This is one of those strange comic ideas that just works beautifully. The idea that multiple Reed’s from across different realities would team up together is cool enough, but the fact all three also hold their realities Infinity Gauntlet is even cooler. The amount of destruction three gauntlets could bring is astounding. Add in Reed’s intellect and you could have the most dangerous villains in any universe.
That ended up the case, needing the intervention of the Celestials via the super-powered Reeds. The design of the rightmost Reed is amazing as well, making him look like a Viking.
7 He Is Their Source Of Income
Reed’s inventions seem to be the sole source of the Fantastic Four’s income, a surprise, considering how beloved Johnny Storm is by the media. You’d think he’d be able to pull some of that social media money. That’s not the case though, and Reed is seemingly the breadwinner of the whole team.
This is on full display when they went bankrupt in a 1962 comic, as well as when he was forced to give up his patents to avoid legal repercussions after being the leader of Latveria.
6 Ability To Change His Appearance
When you think of Reed’s powers, you picture it as it is above, body stretching like a rubber band. It’s part of the reason those who don’t read Fantastic Four comics believe he’s rather lame. The ability to stretch isn’t that great of a power, after all.
His power goes beyond that, however, giving him the ability to alter his appearance, making him look like someone completely different. This shouldn’t be too surprising since his face is as pliable as putty, but it’s rarely used in comics, most focusing solely on his intellect.
5 Dedication To His Family
While Reed can seem callous and aloof at times due to his science-driven mind, his greatest creation is his children. He loves Valerie and Franklin with all his heart, trying his best to carve out time for them in his busy schedule. He even took an inter-dimensional vacation with his entire family, giving them needed time off from the world.
It goes beyond just his kid as well – the entire Fantastic Four are an extended family and treated as if they were blood. He may not always be the easiest to deal with, but he’d do everything in his power to protect those close to him.
4 Failing Values
Reed’s actions no longer coincided with his values around the time of Civil War, as he created a Thor Clone and a Negative Zone prison as a member of the pro-registration act. That was only the start of his downward spiral, however, as he went on to be compliant in sending Hulk to space as a member of the Illuminati. It was an act that backfired royally, leading to the events of World War Hulk.
If that weren’t enough, Johnny died during the Dark Reign, after a battle with The Hood’s gang over the Infinity Stones. Disillusioned to what he was becoming, he created the Future Foundation, a way for him to do what he always wished to do, better mankind.
3 He Had Four College Degrees By 18
This, right here, is all the proof you need of Reed’s genius. While many kids are enjoying their first years of college, getting to live their lives out before responsibility comes knocking, Reed was collecting degrees like they were Pokémon. These weren’t from easy-ride colleges either, snatching one from CalTech, M.I.T, Harvard, and Vienna.
The degrees themselves were in fields you’d expect: Engineering, Mathematics, and Business. This tidbit of knowledge also explains why Reed’s mind works the way that it does.
2 Unable To Handle Not Being Leader
While Franklin was still rather young, both Sue and Reed stepped away from the Fantastic Four to live a normal life and be better parents. As is this case with heroes, this didn’t last long, the pair needing the Avengers help to stop a demonic invasion during the Inferno event.
With how short-handed the Avengers were, they offered membership to Reed and Sue. The partnership didn’t even end up lasting long, as Reed was too accustomed to being in charge, clashing far too often with Captain America. They ended up rejoining the Fantastic Four soon after, Reed settling back into his role as a leader.
1 He Helped Doom Kill Ben Grimm
Now, he didn’t do this directly. He’d been planning on bringing Doom back from hell, placing him in an other-dimensional prison where he could never escape. Considering hell seemed to be doing just fine at holding Doom, it didn’t really make much sense to bring him back, but regardless, Reed always thinks he knows best.
His attempts backfired after the rest of the Fantastic Four interrupted the process, leading to Doom coming back to this plane of existence, killing Ben in the process. It wasn’t one of Reed’s brighter moments and part of the long-form arc of his downward spiral before the Future Foundation.
As one of Marvel's older characters, Reed Richards has plenty of history that oft goes forgotten throughout the years. Take a look at these 10 facts.