The Marvel Universe is full of really, really smart people who then become super heroes. They are educated and empowered and use these amazing skills for the benefit of mankind – because that’s what you’re supposed to do with super-smarts and an iron suit made of weapons. By the way, all of these guys are insanely smart way before they acquire their super powers.
For instance, Tony Stark is a genius inventor whose IQ has helped him turn his father’s millions into his own trillions, which allows him to wear the most sophisticated personal weapons system ever made as his pajamas. Peter Parker is on his way to earning a full ride scholarship to M.I.T before he gets bitten by a radioactive spider and invents a web shooter and webbing solution that are some of the strongest things on the planet. Bruce Banner is the smartest guy wearing purple pants in almost every room he walks into, until he loses his temper and turns into a green anger management case study. Hank Pym invents a machine that allows him to talk to ants, command them to do anything he wants, and then shrinks his wife and gives her wings. Professor Charles Xavier is bald.
The list goes on an on.
Plus, most of the guys with all these degrees and diplomas generally don’t even go by a fancy super hero name, they just call themselves Doctor “My-Regular-Last-Name” or Professor “The-Initial-From-My-Last-Name” and tell everybody else to f*ck off.
That awkward moment when Iron Man is the second most humble person in the room.
So the Marvel Universe is full of super geniuses who do super good things…and then we have Reed Richards, who supposedly is the smartest pair of pants amongst all these smarty pants. He is also the biggest dick who ever walked the Earth. His dickery knows no bounds and manifests itself in ways both large and small.
His most famous dick move is probably the one that gave him, his best friend, girl-friend, and her teenage brother their super powers. Richards builds an experimental rocket for some reason and asks Ben Grimm (his best friend who is also an actual test pilot and astronaut) to help him blast it into space because, science. For some reason he decides to bring his (unqualified in any way for a space mission) girl-friend and her juvenile delinquent brother along for shits and giggles. The mission is pointless and dangerous, so Grimm warns Reed that they shouldn’t do it. Richards, because he is a dick, ignores him by smoking a pipe and looking in the total opposite direction.
I can’t hear you. I’m thinking about how nothing could possibly go wrong in the vacuum of space.
Naturally they’re in space all of seven whole minutes when…
They crash and barely survive – mostly due to the fact that the cosmic rays (the ones that the experienced astronaut warned them about), have given all of them super powers. Reed Richards is now able to stretch every part of his body to incredible lengths because his flesh and organs have become elastic. He dubs himself “Mr. Fantastic” because that’s how modest he is about everything. His girl-friend, Susan Storm, can now bend light and appear invisible as well as focusing that light into controlled force fields. She is dubbed The Invisible Woman because no one can have better adjectives than Reed. Her brother Johnny Storm can now burst into flames without being harmed and control heat, manipulating it to his whim. They call him the Human Torch. Then there’s poor Ben Grimm, who was right about everything; he turns into a super strong creature made out of living rock, and he is so hideous they call him The Thing – because that’s how Reed rewards his friend who was correct about not going into space and now no longer looks human.
Now that they have amazing super powers, the four become a super hero team called the Fantastic Four, which is fine alliteration-wise, but also relegates three of them to second-class status because Richards took the name Mr. Fantastic. He makes them all dress like him and they move into The Baxter Building which is Reed’s personal Manhattan skyscraper where he goes about inventing stuff and naming it after himself.
Richards’ prior biggest dick move took place when he was still in college, years before he mutated his friends by blasting them into outer space without any sort of concern for their safety. Reed was roommates with a man from a small European country called Latveria who was also a brilliant scientist in the making. His name was Victor Von Doom and he had some severe mommy issues. His mother was a sorceress and his father, a brilliant medical doctor, shielded young Victor from his mother’s magical ways. Victor grew up idolizing his mother who could do “marvelous” things. Soon after his mother died, Victor’s father was condemned to death when he was unable to heal the wife of Latveria’s dictator. Victor’s father fled with him and escaped, only to die of exposure on a mountainside when he sacrificed his clothing so Victor would stay warm. Victor then clawed his way off the mountain and made his way in the world earning a full ride scholarship to study in the United States. After that crappy upbringing, it took all of one semester of living with Reed’s dickery before he was no longer Victor and was instead calling himself Dr. Doom. He went from heartbreaking “kid beats all odds” movie of the week material to the “Biggest damn bad guy in the Marvel Universe” in just twelve weeks of shared living space with Richards.
College reunions are the best!
At least Ant-Man’s colossal f*ck-up created a by-product super hero, but yeah, it’s always about you Reed.
Victor dropped out of college and proceeded to try to take over the world on 3,412 different occasions and counting. Reed of course, got his doctorate thanks to his brilliant thesis “Why Abraham Lincoln’s Mother was a total Ass-hat for not building the railroad or fighting in the Civil War”
Anyway, after a few years of super-heroing together, Reed and Susan get married and because Reed is a world class dick, his time with his wife is spent alternating between condescending her and mentally abusing her.
What a romantic!
Or you could take your goddamn nap in the bedroom
How dare you be concerned for my safety when I need you to find a gun!
I can think of one test tube that’s not getting polished anytime soon.
Even Dom Draper thinks this is sexist
His poor wife can’t even read Peanuts or Snuffy Smith without him pestering her about it
Yeah, Susan, the guy on our team made out of fire burning down something is totally your fault!
And just in case you think I’m being too harsh on him or nit-picking, for good measure, Richards also physically abuses her more than any of the super villains ever do.
And thanks to my stretchy powers, I must do it from a distance where you can’t fight back.
Notice in that last panel, some levitating person is calling Reed “Daddy”. That’s Reed and Sue’s son, Franklin. And as you can imagine, Reed is quite the attentive father.
Sure Reed, make your hand extra big when beating your child. Man, you’re a dick!
Meanwhile others in the Marvel Universe take notice that Susan is an abused wife. Since rescuing is kind of their job, a lot of them start to move in on Reed’s territory to get her out of this abusive relationship, sometimes while he’s even in the same room.
Iron Man, more like Iron Smooth
Eventually Susan does get fed up with Reed and leaves him for Namor, the Sub-Mariner; who is the heir to the throne of Atlantis, has wings on his ankles, and walks around 90% of the time in nothing but a pair of green Speedos.
My favorite part of this cover is the upper right of the background montage where Namor is punching Reed Richards in the ass.
Reed reacts to his wife leaving him because he is a dick by naturally blaming other people for her desertion.
Yeah, what could that Namor guy possible have to offer over you Reed?
50 shades of green Speedo
Sadly, Susan returns to Reed and they continue adventuring together. After the Namor affair, Reed does focus his dickery less on her and more on creating machines that nearly destroy the planet, or time portals that nearly destroy the planet, or laser cannons that nearly destroy the planet.
Thanks, I’ll sleep sound tonight knowing this thing exists.
Did you really invent a time portal just so you could go back and call them losers?
Great work Reed, I’m sure that’ll fit in anybody’s kitchen. Where is the obliterate the Universe button?
I could go on and on for another 6,000 words about how many times Reed Richards has almost killed all life in the Marvel Universe but I think I’ll let my case rest here. If the Avengers knew what was good for them, they’d lock Reed up for good and solve about 50% of the world’s problems. Then they could go on vacation. Seriously, get that dick out of the picture and then go have a margarita on a beach already.
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