Published October 28, 2020

Reed Richards' Greatest Secrets

As one of the Marvel Universe's most prominent genius-heroes, Mister Fantastic has a great number of skeletons in his closet.

Fantastic Four #25

The biggest brains in the world have always struggled with one concept: transparency. In other words, how much of your incredible intelligence should you share with those around you and the general public? What if a concept or experiment proves so catastrophic that it could change the very fabric of human nature?

These are the kinds of questions Reed Richards AKA Mister Fantastic has struggled with throughout his lifetime, especially during his tenure with the Fantastic Four! Few beings in the cosmos have seen even a fraction of what he has, and sometimes he feels the need to keep that knowledge to himself.

Just this week in FANTASTIC FOUR #25, written by Dan Slott with art by R.B. Silva, one of Mister Fantastic's previous discoveries, the Zero Force, threatened to destroy not just New York City, but all of reality! Of course, this is just one of many uncovered secrets in Richard's past. Here are eight more!

The Skrull Kill Kows

Way, way back when, the team found themselves under attack by shape-shifting aliens known as the Skrulls. That issue ended with Reed telling them to turn into cows and then hypnotizing them into forgetting their alien existence. That probably wouldn't have been such a big deal had those cows not later been killed and turned into burgers. Some people that ate those patties turned into human-Skrull hybrids, thus irrevocably changing their lives -- and their very DNA -- forever!

Parental Control

Down the line, Reed and Sue Richards AKA the Invisible Woman had a son named Franklin who possessed incredible mind powers for a child. Those abilities would have developed at a normal rate had Annihilus not interfered. Reed then realized that his son could play with reality at a whim. Without explaining himself, Mister Fantastic blasted the boy with a faulty anti-matter gun that stopped the immediate threat but left the boy empty for a while. This act shattered the FF for a time.

Communication Breakdown

Reed eventually joined forces with Doctor Strange, Professor X, Tony Stark AKA Iron Man, Black Bolt, and Namor to work behind the scenes as the Illuminati. Immediately after the Avengers helped stop the Kree-Skrull War, the Illuminati went to the Skrull homeworld, Skrullos, to tell the emperor to stay away from Earth. Instead, the Illuminati were captured, tortured, and ruthlessly examined. Though they managed to get back home, Richards and his secret teammates gave the Skrulls exactly what they needed to craft the Secret Invasion many years later, which almost destroyed the entire planet.

A Less-Than-Civil Warrior

Sometimes being super-smart goes a long way towards separating you from the rest of the world. That's what happened to Reed during the CIVIL WAR event that found him siding with Iron Man in an effort to register heroes with the government. The pro-registration side found direct opposition in the form of Captain America and his group, who wanted secret identities kept safe, regardless of the political administration. Once Reed got involved, though, he began developing some truly despicable ideas. Sure, shipping super criminals to a prison in the Negative Zone was less than ideal, but he also helped build a cybernetic clone of the then-presumed-dead Thor to help his side. These moves almost broke up not only his marriage with Sue, but also the Fantastic Four.

Hiding the Body

In one potential future, a group of humans managed to trick Galactus into coming to Earth so they could harness his power and travel back in time to the present. The act killed the Future Devourer and Richards decided to bury the body inside the Earth. You know who did not appreciate that? Present-day Galactus! Reed went off to stop Galan from killing the culprits who had moved to Nu-World. While he was gone, Johnny Storm AKA the Human Torch had to sacrifice himself in the Negative Zone in a move that made his family and friends assume that he had died. The Torch survived, but a lot of people still had to deal with intense emotions because of Reed's choices.


Everyone Must Get Infinity Stoned

The Illuminati eventually decided that they should get their hands on the Infinity Gems. Richards attempted to use them all to destroy the Stones but failed. The group then decided to split the Stones up among themselves to keep them out of play. Mister Fantastic developed a pocket universe to keep the Power Stone safe, but when the Hood started gathering them, he got the Reality Stone and then used it to break into FFHQ to take Reed's! The heroes managed to stop the Hood, but exposed the existence of the Illuminati to the other heroes. Later, they brought the Stones together once more to try and stop reality Incursions in an effort that totally failed! Doctor Doom would go on to save pieces of reality on Battleworld.

Building an Angrier Hulk

Very smart people often think they understand the best way to do something. Reed and the Illuminati had that in mind when they decided to capture Bruce Banner AKA the Hulk and rocket him to an uninhabited planet. Somehow, they did not take into account the Jade Giant's rage and other intergalactic elements, which instead lead him to Sakaar, a planet where he would go on to become kind and even a husband before everything there exploded. Hulk returned to Earth wanting blood and vengeance from those who sent him away, gave him a hint of happiness and then destroyed it with an exploding spacecraft. Now, that proved to not be the Earthlings' fault, but it seems like one of the smartest beings on Earth could have taken a few more passes at the math to make sure he had it just right!

Alternate Routes of Destruction 

With SECRET WARS, the two remaining alternate realities crashed into each other and died. Doctor Doom figured out how to harness enough power to create Battleworld, a planet made up of chunks of alternate realities. Eventually, a contingent of surviving heroes -- including Mister Fantastic -- survived and worked together to dethrone Doom. Afterwards, Reed, Sue, Molecule Man and a bunch of kids decided to restart the multiverse. So, the next time one of those alternate reality bad actors decides to start trouble, you know who to blame!

You can read about all these secrets – and their consequences – on Marvel Unlimited today!

To read about the latest of Reed’s secrets to come out, pick up FANTASTIC FOUR #25, written by Dan Slott with art by R.B. Silva, on sale now online and at your local comic shop! You can pre-order FANTASTIC FOUR #26, on sale Wednesday, November 18, today!

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