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Mister Fantastic

Real Name: Reed Richards
Occupation: Scientist, adventurer
Identity: Publicly known
Legal Status: Citizen of the United States with no criminal record
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 threats.

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, Franklin.

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.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown

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 becomes.

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 exhausting.

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 his skin.

NOTE: Alex-Hyde White played him in Fantastic Four the movie.

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