Name: Reed Richards
Occupation: Scientist, adventurer
Identity: Publicly known
Legal Status: Citizen of the United States with no criminal
Former Aliases: None
Place of Birth: Central City, California
Marital Status: Married
Known Relatives: Nathaniai (father), Evelyn (mother,
deceased), Susan Storm (wife), Franklin (son), Johnny Storm
(brother-inlaw), Cassandra (stepmother, deceased), Immortus
(father's descendant, see Immortus, Kang, Rama-Tut).
Group Affiliation: Fantastic Four
Base of Operations: New York City
First Appearance: FANTASTIC FOUR #1
History: Reed Richards, the only son of wealthy physicist
Nathaniel Richards and his wife Evelyn, was a child prodigy
with special aptitude in mathematics, physics, and mechanics.
Evelyn Richards died when Reed was seven. Nathaniel Richards
encouraged and guided young Reed in his scientific studies,
and Reed was taking college-level courses by the time
he was fourteen. Richards attended several universities,
among them California Institute of Technology, Columbia
University, Harvard University, and State University in
Hegeman, New York State.
It was at State University that Reed Richards first met two
of the most important individuals in his life. He was
assigned to room with a foreign student, a scientific
genius named Victor Von Doom.
The imperious Von Doom took an immediate dislike to Richards,
and decided to take other quarters. As Doctor Doom, Von
Doom would later become Richards' greatest rival and enemy.
Richards instead gained as his roommate former high school
football star Benjamin J. Grimm,
who became Richards' closest friend. Richards was already
intending to build a starship for interstellar travel.
When he told this ambition to Grimm, Grimm jokingly said
that he would pilot the starship for Richards.
While attending Columbia University Richards rented living
quarters at the Manhattan boarding house owned by the
aunt of a young girl named Susan
Storm. Though she was still only a child, no more
than twelve years old, Susan fell in love with the older
Richards, much to his embarrassment.
Three years before Reed Richards tested his starship, his father
mysteriously disappeared. In fact, Nathaniel Richards
had devised a time machine which he had used to attempt
to journey into the future of his own world. However,
the machine actually transported him to an alternate Earth
with a history considerably different from our own; Reed
Richards would be reunited with him while visiting this
alternate Earth years later. But before Nathaniel Richards
left his own time line, he made arrangements that left
two billion dollars to his son. Reed Richards spent most
of this money on his project to build and launch his starship.
This project, based in Central City, California, received
further funding from the federal government.
Reed Richards recruited his old friend Ben Grimm, who had become
a successful test pilot and astronaut, to pilot the starship.
Susan Storm, who was now an adult, joined Richards in
California. Richards and Storm were engaged to be married.
Shortly before the starship was to be launched, Richards used
his scientific knowledge to defeat the extraterrestrial
being Gormuu, who had intended to conquer Earth. Richards'
encounter with Gormuu strengthened his resolve to finish
the starship, which he saw as a first step in making it
possible for mankind to defend itself from extraterrestrial
However, the federal government then threatened to withdraw
its funding from the project. Richards decided to take
the starship on a test flight himself before the funding
was withdrawn. Grimm was opposed to the idea, warning
that the starship's shielding might prove inadequate protection
from intense radiation storms. Nevertheless, Grimm was
persuaded to serve as pilot, and Susan Storm and her adolescent
brother Johnny insisted
on accompanying Richards as passengers. The four friends
stole onto the launch facility, entered the starship,
and blasted off. They intended to travel through hyperspace
in the ship to another solar system and back. However,
unknown to Richards, a solar flare caused Earth's Van
Allen radiation belts to be filled temporarily with unprecedented,
ultra-high levels of cosmic radiation. Since the ship
was designed to shield against ordinary levels of radiation,
the cabin volume was subjected to intense cosmic ray bombardment,
which irradiated the four passengers and wrought havoc
on the ship's controls. Pilot Grimm was forced to abort
the flight and return to Earth.
Once back on Earth, the four passengers discovered that the
cosmic radiation had triggered mutagenic changes in their
bodies. Reed Richards discovered that he could become
malleable and elongate his body at will. Richards convinced
the three others that the four of them should use their
newfound powers for the good of humanity as members of
a team he named the Fantastic
Four. Richards, who became the team's leader, named
himself Mister Fantastic, while Ben Grimm, Susan Storm,
and Johnny Storm named themselves the Thing, the Invisible
Girl (later Invisible Woman), and the Human Torch, respectively.
The profits from Richards' patents and royalties funded
the team's activities.
Under Richards' leadership the Fantastic Four has become Earth's
most honored team of superhuman adventurers, and has saved
the world from conquest or destruction many times. Richards
eventually married Susan Storm, and they now have a son,
After many years, Reed joined his wife in semi-retirement from
their superhero career. They tried to raise their son
Franklin in a relatively normal environment, but soon,
Franklin was kidnapped by the villains Nanny and the Orphan-Maker
at the same time that New York was undergoing a demonic
invasion. Richards and his wife teamed up with Captain
America (then, the Captain) and other heroes to reform
the team Avengers,
which had then recently gone on hiatus. Richards, however,
continually disrupted the Avengers' team dynamic with
his natural penchant for leadership. Richards and his
wife soon left the team and rejoined the Fantastic Four
at their base.
Since then Reed and the rest of the Fantastic four have continued
to protect the world from every threat they can.
Height: 6 ft. 1 in.
Weight: 180 lbs.
Strength Level: Mister Fantastic possesses the normal
human strength and build of a man of his age, height,
and build who engages in moderate regular exercise.
Known Superhuman Powers: Mister Fantastic possesses
the ability to convert the mass of his entire body into
a highly malleable state at will. In such a state, he
can stretch, deform, expand, or compress his entire body
or parts thereof into any contiguous shape he can imagine.
He can extend his limbs, torso, or neck to great distances:
the maximum length he can distend before his body segments
become painful is about 1,500 feet. (Although he can extend
discrete body parts, such as a single finger, an ear,
or an eye, he seldom if ever isolates such parts in his
elongations.) He can also extend his body in two directions,
creating a canopy, parachute, or sheath, its thickness
determined by the extent of its distention. He has compressed
his body into the shape of a solid sphere, a cylinder,
a cube, a toroid, and a rectangular prism: he can assume
the shape of any solid that he can envision clearly, of
a volume no greater than 1.7 cubic feet (a sphere about
18 inches in diameter). He can generate thin-walled shapes
that enclose great volumes of space. Mister Fantastic
can flatten himself to the thickness of an average sheet
of typing paper (.0035 inch) or narrow himself to a diameter
small enough to pass through the eye of a #10 beading
needle (about .045 x .06 inches). How his body's respiration
and circulatory systems function at these distorted extremes
is as yet unknown. Mister Fantastic can alter his form
in a matter of seconds, often much less (depending on
the complexity of the shape), and revert to his normal
humanoid shape within a similar time. The greater the
distance he stretches or the more extended the size of
the object he becomes, the weaker his overall strength
Due to the great malleability and elasticity of his molecular
structure, Mister Fantastic is able to absorb the impact
of any type of man-made ballistic projectile by deforming
his body along the path of the projectile's trajectory
at the point of initial impact. After his body absorbs
the kinetic energy of a ballistic projectile's impact,
he can expel the object back along its trajectory by flexing
like a trampoline if he is adequately braced. He can enclose
and absorb the energy of a large explosive, on the order
of 8 to 12 pounds of TNT (excluding exotic, high density
explosives). Such shocks to his system are physically
Mister Fantastic's transformation to a malleable state
is reflexive and nearly instantaneous: if he was at his
normal form and taken unaware by machine gun fire, his
body would still absorb the bullets' impact through radical
deformation. Mister Fantastic's skin is virtually impervious
to laceration or punctures unless he wilfully relaxes
his reflexive control over small areas of his body. In
that case, scalpels and ordinary needles can penetrate
NOTE: Alex-Hyde White played him in
Four the movie.