The Fantastic Four is full of powerhouses, but their most dangerous member just revealed a very goofy weakness,
Warning: The following contains spoilers for Chris Claremont Anniversary Special #1, by Chris Claremont, Bill Sienkiewicz, Sean Chen, Diego Olortegui, Brett Booth, Marc Deering, Roberto Poggi, Adelso Corona, Chris Sotomayor, Rachelle Rosenberg, Erick Arciniega, Guru-eFX and Tom Orzechowski, on sale now.
While they might not be Earth’s mightiest heroes, the Fantastic Four still pack some series raw power. Every member of Marvel’s First Family is formidable in their own manner. The FF’s most dangerous member, however, just revealed their most ridiculous weakness.
This comical soft spot was unveiled in Chris Claremont Anniversary Special #1, by Claremont, Bill Sienkiewicz, Sean Chen, Diego Olortegui and Brett Booth. In this story, three versions of the Fantastic Four are caught up in a massive battle. While everyone else is trapped on the roof of the Baxter Building, three versions of Sue Storm are under attack by two versions of Mister Fantastic and Namor from an alternate universe.
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The Shadow King has possessed all of these men, leaving all three of the Invisible Women to fight their husbands. One version of Sue takes on Earth-616’s Reed. At first, it seems that Mister Fantastic has Sue right where he wants her. Yet this Sue reveals that she’s older and more experienced, knowing Reed’s major weakness: he’s ticklish. With that, Sue tickles Reed, who can’t resist bursting out into laughter and releasing her.
Mister Fantastic’s weakness is surprisingly goofy. Of course, Reed’s superpower — stretching — is admittedly ridiculous. Oftentimes, Reed is rendered in a comically stretched-out form, revealing his limbs twisted and turned in many different directions. Likewise, Reed’s ticklishness is a very silly weakness, leaving him vulnerable to a child’s attack at any moment. Yet Reed’s real power has never been stretching.
Sue Storm is clearly the most physically powerful of the Fantastic Four, with incredible force fields at her disposal. Yet Reed is the most dangerous member because of his keen intellect. Many of Mister Fantastic’s inventions have the potential to destroy the world. Indeed, some of Reed’s creations have even attacked the FF themselves. Reed has also opened the door to other worlds and dimensions, bringing immense danger to Earth. Ideas such as “The Forever Gate” hold potentially catastrophic consequences, making Reed the most dangerous member of the FF.
Furthermore, the Council of Reeds demonstrates all of Reed’s intellectual potential. Each version of Reed Richards brings something different to their respective universe, with three Reeds even holding the power of the Infinity Gauntlet. It’s funny to think that each of these powerful geniuses could be defeated simply by tickling them. If this secret got out to enemies such as Doctor Doom, the results would be amusing yet devastating for Reed.
Of course, this weakness may not transfer over to Reed’s counterparts. After all, the Council of Reeds are there to show what Reed would be like if he abandoned his family. Perhaps being a family man has softened Reed up, leaving him vulnerable to something as ridiculous as tickling. Although the main Reed is a family man, he’s still a genius, using his intellect for purposes that all pose potential dangers to the planet.
Ultimately, the dangerous intellect of Reed Richards can be placed in jeopardy by the simple and humorous act of tickling.
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