Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Evil Reed Richards!


You can probably remember the various times when Ben Grimm, the Thing, has turned against the Fantastic Four--but it's been a rare day when their stalwart leader, Reed Richards, has turned evil. In fact, in the FF's early days, that's what readers probably thought they were getting when they were greeted with this cover:



Yet this was Dr. Doom's first use of the ability he learned from the alien Ovoids--the power to switch bodies with someone. And so, in this instance, it's the good Doctor who is leering in triumph at the perfect execution of his plan to switch with Reed, while Reed (in Doom's body) is attempting to convince his teammates of his bona fides. In other words, we were robbed.

Evil Reed would become a reality, though, when the Over-Mind takes control of him and summons him to his side.



Nor is this Reed Richards reluctant to put aside his tact and fully express himself to his soon-to-be-former teammates:



The Thing begins to suspect the truth--but Evil Reed doesn't give anyone the chance to put two and two together, and quickly distracts everyone's attention by making a break for it.





Finally, someone has the good sense to contain Reed, rather than continue to try to out-fight him. And it's then that the FF see who it is they're dealing with, and that Reed has fully joined the Dark Side.



And escape he does, joining the Over-Mind in battle against his former team--a team which will ally itself with, of all people, Dr. Doom, in an odd sense of symmetry with that earlier issue. Unfortunately, we don't see Evil Reed reappear during that battle, but Whipped, Confused Reed, a shadow of the calculating, conniving trash-talker we see here--probably because the FF would have their hands full with the Over-Mind, and Evil Reed would have been too formidable a foe if teamed up against them.

But, good grief, do I have to think of everything? Why not have Evil Reed double-cross the Over-Mind and figure out a way to sadistically get rid of him, leaving the FF and Doom to face Evil Reed for two or three more issues? Think of the drama of Evil Reed unleashed, going toe-to-toe with Doom without an ounce of normal-Reed's restraint. Just the insults and arrogance flung between the two of them would be worth the price of the issue.

9 comments:

Colin Jones said...

I love the way Sue says "It's finally happened - Reed has turned against the FF" like she was expecting it all along. And Reed defeats the rest of the team incredibly easily considering all he can do is stretch.

Comics Tv said...

Great article!

Anonymous said...

Colin, not just stretch but stretch really really far. I mean like really really really far. Or as Sue knows all too well, really really really REALLY far.


The Prowler (stuck with what the God Lord gave him).


karl said...

Even though the idea of an evil Reed sounds good in theory im rather partial to him being the strong resolute leader the FF needs.
Must say however it is amusing seeing the way Reed is talking to his teammates! They need a good telling- to sometimes!

Comicsfan said...

Colin, though we really can't underestimate Reed in terms of knowing how to exploit the weaknesses of his partners, I really think he was able to deal with them the way he did because they were holding back out of worry of harming him. (Though Johnny looked willing enough to give him a black eye, didn't he?)

Anonymous said...

"Evil Reed Richards?"
Is there another kind?

Phil said...

I sort of like it when evil Reed lays down the truth. ow!

Comicsfan said...

Phil, so do I--he should do it more often!

Anonymous said...

I simply love an evil Reed Richards and issue #116 when he came close to choking his dear wife to death was one of the most suspenseful scenes in Fantastic Four history!

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