Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards) is a fictional character, a Marvel Comics superhero and a member of the Fantastic Four. Created by writer Stan Lee and artist/co-plotter Jack Kirby, he first appeared in Fantastic Four #1 (November 1961).
Richards possesses a mastery of mechanical, aerospace and electrical engineering, chemistry, all levels of physics, and human and alien biology. According to BusinessWeek, Mr. Fantastic is listed as one of the top ten most intelligent fictional characters in American comics. He is the inventor of the spacecraft which was bombarded by cosmic radiation on its maiden voyage, granting the Fantastic Four their powers. Richards gained the ability to stretch his body into any shape he desires.
Richards acts as the leader and father figure of the Fantastic Four, although in recent years he has increasingly been portrayed as being cold and distant towards his teammates due to his scientific, methodical nature. This is particularly true with his best friend, the Thing, who partially blames Richards for his transformation into a large, rocky creature. Whenever Richards is confronted with a challenge, his attention can be so focused that he can neglect even his own family. Regardless, he is the loving husband of Susan Storm, father of son Franklin Richards and daughter Valeria Richards, and mentor of his brother-in-law, the Human Torch.
The character of Reed Richards is portrayed by Ioan Gruffudd in the 2005 film Fantastic Four and the 2007 film sequel ''Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
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