The Fantastic Four are torn apart by Reed Richards’ biggest failure

While the forces of the human torch rage out of control, Reed Richards’ biggest failure is to return to tear the amazing four to pieces.

Warning: contains a preview of Amazing four # 39!

In a preview for Fantastic four # 39, Reed Richards shows that despite being the wisest person in the universe, he is still unable to focus on solving the problems of the people closest to him. His inability to find a cure for Ben Grimm, aka The Thing, has haunted the group since its inception, but now Reed is also failing his brother-in-law, Johnny Storm, aka Human Torch.

After a space trip, scientist Reed Richards, his wife Sue Storm, her brother Johnny and pilot Ben Grimm exposed a dangerous dose of cosmic rays, the quartet gained extraordinary powers that made them Marvel Comics’ first superhero group, The Fantastic Four. But for Ben Grimm, these forces came with a curse: his appearance changed into a monstrous creature with rocky skin, a “thing”. Ben’s condition was part of Marvel’s trademark “superheroes with super problems” approach to characters. Giving them problems that readers could relate to, humanized these extraordinary people, making them more likeable (and very successful.) It’s no coincidence that The Thing is still one of the most beloved Marvel characters, and this is one of the reasons why his condition could never be completely cured, which created a huge paradox. If Reed is the wisest man in the universe who is able to create almost anything thanks to his genius, then why was he not able to find a cure for the Thing after all these years?

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Related: Doctor Doom punishes human torch by giving him the weakness of things

Fantastic four answers that question by focusing on Reed’s priorities. The human torch, Johnny Storm, has recently lost control of its forces after Dr. Doom bombarded him with concentrated cosmic rays (because of his fiance who cheated on him with Johnny). Now the human torch is unable to extinguish his flame, and is forced to live in a confinement suit that can barely contain his power, essentially switching roles with Thing as the group’s outcast. IN Fantastic four # 39, the rest of the team is on their way to court for a hearing where their right to be guardians of their children is being questioned by the wizard who wants to reclaim his young clone Bentley-23. When Johnny confronts Reed and reminds him that he has not fulfilled his promise to find a cure for his condition, Reed replies that he is too busy at the moment: “Right now, my kids need me. “Enjoy the preview below:








Johnny’s outburst is understandable. He points out that there is always something in the way, either a world-threatening crisis that requires Reed’s attention, or something else that concerns his family. This is a strong point that hurts the Fantastic Four at their core. Johnny suggests that he is not actually part of Reed’s family, or at least is not considered because he is always focused on Sue and their children. However, the same could apply to the thing. How many times must Ben not have looked at Reed playing with Franklin or Valeria and thought he could have used that time to find a cure so he too could live a normal life. Johnny does not have Ben’s patience and he shouts, “Nothing is more important than that!“before being beaten by his sister Sue for a humiliating moment.


It seems Fantastic four finally forcing Reed to really confront his inability to help his loved ones by replacing Ben Grimm’s stoic suffering with Johnny Storm’s rage. Readers must wait to find out if Johnny’s crisis will jeopardize the family unity that has always been the greatest strength of the Fantastic Fires. What is certain is that the human torch shouting Reed Richard’s lack of dedication means it Mr. fantastic‘s biggest failure is to haunt the group again as Fantastic four # 39 hits dealers on January 12th.

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