Reed Richards is one of the top intellects in the Universe. Reed earned several degrees and made multiple scientific breakthroughs before his eighteenth birthday. A creative thinker and gifted machinesmith, Reed has created many advanced machines and his many patents fund the team’s activities. With the Fantastic Four, Reed has explored deep, inner and subspace extensively and has saved the universe several times. Reed has done many good things.
Reed is the stereotypical absent-minded professor. He ignores his family and forgets the human factors when he gets caught up in the science. His work has escaped or been stolen on several occasions. Reed’s purely analytical mind sometimes fails to comprehend things that defy analytical thought like magic.
10 Worst: The Fateful Rocket Ride
Reed Richards had always planned for his rocket trip. In college, when he met Benjamin J. Grimm and showed him his rocket ship plans, the football star jokingly said that he would pilot it. Many years later, using his inheritance as well as government funding, the rocket was near completion with Ben, now a successful pilot and astronaut, slated to pilot it.
Without notice, the government pulled its funding and canceled the project. Reed was determined to fly the rocket no matter what. Reed, Ben, Sue Storm and her brother Johnny broke in and took off in the rocket. Once they crossed the Van Allen belt, the ship was bombarded with cosmic rays; changing the four irrevocably.
9 Best: Making His Family Celebrities
As a bedtime story to his infant daughter Valeria, Reed explains why he created the cult of personality around his family to make them famous.: “Once there was a very arrogant man who did something very stupid.” Reed realized that his friends would be viewed as lab experiments instead of the “three of the best and bravest people anyone could hope to meet.”
Reed gave them outlandish names, identifying costumes, and a Manhattan headquarters. Reed told Valeria that glamour and fame were not an option but a necessity to ensure that all of them, but the Thing especially, never be feared. Reed took them on exciting adventures to make up to them that he had essentially changed them into monsters. All because of his love for them and his guilt of how he had done.
8 Worst: Siding with the Pro-Registration Side During the Civil War
As a good American and soldier, Ben Grimm could not openly defy his government but could not support Registration and would not fight old friends, so Ben left for France. The Invisible Woman and Human Torch left next. Ragnarok killed their friend Bill Foster. Sue jumps in to stop it to save the Secret Avengers and she and Johnny left the Registration side and joined Captain America.
7 Best: His Reasons for Siding with the Pro-Registration Side During the Civil War
Reed Richards went into his support for Registration with the best of intentions. Reed employed Issac Asimov’s Psychohistory concept. Psychohistory takes history, sociology and mathematical statistics to predict the future behavior of crowds. Reed surmises that billions would die in the ensuing conflicts if the act didn’t pass.
Reed came to Sue’s aid when the Taskmaster was about to shoot her in the back during the final battle between the opposing forces. Reed takes the shot instead and Sue crushes Taskmaster into the concrete with her force field. Together, Reed and Sue help clean up after the battle and Sue returns home with Reed.
6 Worst: Invading Latveria
Having used The Richards’ newborn daughter Valeria as his magical familiar, Doctor Doom launched into a demonic attack on the Fantastic Four that left the team demoralized, Reed scarred and Doom dragged to Hell. Reed led the rest of the team into Latveria, dismantled Doom’s former regime, destroyed his arsenal and tried to build a better country.
However, Reed failed to listen to the people of Latveria, the United Nations or Nick Fury. Reed became every bit as tyrannical as Doom. Also, Reed planned to retrieve Doom from Hell and place him in an inescapable other-dimensional prison. Reed began the transfer but it was interrupted by his teammates and Doom escaped long enough to kill Ben!
5 Best: Going to Heaven to Save his Best Friend
Devastated by the death of Ben, the remaining members of the Fantastic Four return to America. Their public reputation in tatters, the team went their separate ways. Reed was forced to sign over the majority of his patents to the government to escape prosecution and it leaves the team financially destitute.
Reed surmises that Ben can be resurrected using Doom’s Afterlife Machine from their first college encounter. Convincing Sue and Johnny to join him, the team fights celestial beings before they convince Ben to come back with them.
4 Worst: The Council of Reeds
Reed created a device called the Bridge to observe and enter parallel worlds to deduce ways that key events may have been handled differently. It is through that Bridge that he is contacted by the Council of Reeds. The Council is Reed Richards of multiple different realities who choose to leave their worlds behind to improve every universe. The Reed of 616 refused to leave his family and shut the Bridge.
There was a battle between the Council and the Celestials of Earth-4280 who wanted to use the Councils Trans-universal device to conquer all realities. Only four Reeds survived and when Valeria Richards opened the Bridge out of curiosity, they entered the 616 Universe. All four died there.
3 Best: Creating the Future Foundation
The entire family was devastated by the (apparent) death of Johnny Storm. Still grieving, Reed decides to build a team of young geniuses that will come up with dynamic solutions to the world’s problems. It includes Spider-Man, the remaining FF members, Franklin and Valeria Richards, Alex Powers, and others.
Their first task was dealing with the Council of Reeds. Valeria suggested that Doctor Doom convene a “Council of Doom” where the greatest villainous minds work with the Future Foundation to decide how to defeat the smartest man in the universe: Reed Richards.
2 Worst: The Illuminati and The Hulk
The Illuminati is a group of “leaders” in the superhero community that meet regularly to share information, try to shape their community and avert problems. In one instance, the Illuminati decided that the Hulk is too dangerous to remain on Earth.
Intent on sending him to a paradise planet, they used a Nick Fury LMD to trick the Hulk onto a spaceship. The ship crashed on the war planet Sakaar and the Hulk is taken to the savage gladiatorial pits where he quickly rose to the top. Hulk staged a coup, took over Sakaar and took a wife. Finally happy, the Hulk might have stayed on Sakaar if the ship had not exploded, killing his wife, unborn child and millions of his subjects. The Hulk returned to Earth with the War Bound to make the Illuminati pay.
1 Best: Recreating the 616 Universe and the Multiverse
Having the powers of The Molecule Man, Reed Richards recreated the 616 universe, removing the memories of its destruction from everyone. He let the world believe that his family and the Future Foundation had died. Reed also healed Doom’s facial scars, hoping that Doom would apply his intellect to the betterment of mankind.
While Owen, Reed, and Franklin used their powers to build universes, a mysterious being called the Griever of All Things was destroying years of their creations. Attacking the team directly, Reed tricked the Griever into letting him bring the “whole team”, thinking he would only bring Johnny and Ben. Instead, Reed teleported every member of the Fantastic Four ever to the battle. Once Reed threatens to completely cut her off from her reality, Griever relents and left. The Fantastic Four and their allies return to Earth while the Future Foundation continues to explore the universe.