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Quote1.png It's a terrible thing for someone not to reach their full potential... I know. As I've grown older, I've realized that I do not have the character to be both good and great at the same time. But you do, Reed... And as such, all of my hopes and desires rest in you becoming what I am not. When you grow up, I expect more. Son... I expect better. I want you to be a better friend than I was. Be a better husband. Be a better father... Reed... be a better man. Quote2.png
Nathaniel Richards

Appearing in "Solve Everything: Conclusion"

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Synopsis for "Solve Everything: Conclusion"

The Interdimensional Council of Reeds have had their base of operations invaded by the Mad Celestials of Earth-4280. A Reed with telepathic powers tries to stop them, only for his head to explode. The Celestials demand that the rest turn over the location to them, but the Reeds refuse to bow down. Two of the Reed are then slaughtered in a single powerful blast, leaving nothing but their bones and Infinity Gauntlets behind. Soon the armory is smashed. The "Alpha" Reed asks a magical based counterpart to open a portal to his reality so that he might harness the power of his Infinity Gauntlet. The mystic agrees to do so, even though it will cost him his life. He orders the others to retreat back to their worlds and bring help. Mister Fantastic rushes back to his Bridge portal and just narrowly makes it out alive, cleaving the arm off one of the Celestials before it can get him.

Five minutes earlier, Franklin and Valeria have been plotting to sneak along with Ben and Johnny on their vacation after their mother said no. When the Thing and Torch take off in the Fantasti-Car for a trip to Nu-World. As they take off, nobody notices it when Franklin and Valeria hitch a ride by attaching a line and riding on Franklin's rocket powered riding horse. With Johnny and Ben gone, Sue goes down to the door into Reed's private lab. She turns on the intercom and, unaware that on the other side Reed is gathering weapons, she tells him that she thought about their discussion at breakfast. She has come to realize that the reason why she loves him is for who he is and she feels it's unfair to demand so much of him and tells him to take all the time he needs to finish his latest experiment.

Reed soon returns to the headquarters of the Council and begins handing out weapons to his counterparts. With these weapons, they manage to drive back the Mad Celestials back through the bridge. With the battle over, the Council begins tending to their wounded. Mister Fantastic finds the counterpart that led the Celestials here and he informs Reed that the Celestials stripped him of intelligence. When Mister Fantastic says they'll fix him, the counterpart asks what is there left for him if they can't? This Reed reveals that none of them have a family, that they gave all that up when they decided to fix everything. He explains that this work drives a wedge between the Reeds and their families until there is nobody left back home. When Mister Fantastic refuses to accept this reality he decides to leave, however his counterpart refuses to believe that this Reed Richards will be any different than the rest.

This causes Reed to think back to his early adulthood, when his father told him that he was going to be leaving for a long time. Reed asks his father what would he need to do if they wanted to talk. Nathaniel Richards tells his son that they have had plenty of time to talk over the years and he knows his son has been listening because Reed has become the young man he is that day as a result, a man capable of making his own decisions. Back in his native reality, Reed orders his computers to lock the room and erase the walls, and continues his recollection to the past. He remembers how his father told him that the world is an ugly place and a great mind with no heart means nothing. He tells his son that he expects Reed to grow up and be a better man, brother, husband, and father than he ever was. Finishing his recollection, Reed emerges from his lab to find his wife waiting for him outside.


Continuity Notes

  • Nathaniel Richards mentions that he is going for a "long time", this is a reference to the fact that he ended up traveling through time and space to get to Earth-6311 as seen in Fantastic Four #272.

Publication Notes

  • This story is reprinted in Fantastic Four: Jonathan Hickman Vol. 1.

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