Monday, April 22, 2013

Get A Grip--Or Get A Wrench

It's not like we haven't heard this sort of comment from Ben before, when it comes to Reed's demeanor. Reed has generally been the in-control, analytical member of the Fantastic Four--human in his reactions, certainly, but more restrained than the others and not one to fly off the handle. So, with the two being long-time friends, Ben has probably always wanted to see Reed show a less serious side of himself, and lead more with his heart and a little less with his head. In that respect, Reed has always been a tough nut for Ben to crack:

So I thought it might be interesting to recall the times when Reed proved to be just as affected by a crisis as anyone else--when his control flew out the window, and it was up to others to rein him in.

I suppose the first image that comes to mind as far as Reed losing it would be this one:

Pretty much everyone walked out on him then, so that had to be his lowest point ever. Medusa was the only one who stayed to deal with the fallout. And if Reed is shattering his precious equipment, you know things have to be bad:

Let me just point out that Medusa might not be the most sympathetic shoulder for Reed to lean on. She believes in tackling a problem head-on--or "on the head," depending on the circumstances. Take, for instance, another time when Reed wasn't thinking straight:

OUCH. You just know "Madam Medusa" is still in that woman somewhere. And speaking of which, there was the time when Reed was frazzled when the Frightful Four made off with Sue:

Reed isn't really at his best when Sue is in danger. It took a whole team of doctors to wrestle him down one time:

Jeez, Reed, your wife is wearing an FF costume, right? She's not porcelain, you know. I don't know if Sue would go to pieces as much if Reed were the one in danger. Oh, wait:

My mistake.

The only other time I can remember Reed losing it is when the Over-Mind was bulldozing his way into his mind. I bet Reed was wishing Medusa would show up and give the Over-Mind a taste of that wrench:

So Reed Richards is really human, after all--which Ben should know, better than most. Ben's concern for Reed is laudable, and completely appropriate given their history; but on the other hand, it's his more level-headed friend who's been around to keep the Thing in check often enough, so Reed is due his share of traumas he must occasionally surrender to.  And when Ben doesn't need to step in and keep the leader of the FF grounded:

There's always Reed's fifty-dollar vocabulary to needle.


Unknown said...

What If? #42(I believe), has Reed dealing with Sue's death. And he doesn't take it well, at all.

Comicsfan said...

Good observation, Jason. There was a lot I liked about that issue, too--I'll have to give it a re-read one of these days. (Which I enjoy doing with practically any of those old What If? issues.)

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