Nathaniel Richards (Marvel Comics)

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Nathaniel Richards
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceThe Fantastic Four #272 (Nov. 1984)
Created byJohn Byrne
In-story information
Alter egoNathaniel Richards
Team affiliationsFuture Foundation
Fantastic Four
Brotherhood of the Shield
Notable aliasesScarlet Centurion, Doctor Doom, The Warlord, St. Nathaniel, The Beast, Kane
  • Genius-level intellect
  • Time travel
  • Teleportation
  • Powered armor

Nathaniel Richards is a fictional time-traveling scientist appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. He is the father of superhero and leader of the Fantastic Four, Reed Richards. Though there have been many versions of the character, either as the futuristic villain Kang the Conqueror or the young superhero Iron Lad, the original Nathaniel is more of an adventurer who has a genuine love for his son.

Publication history[edit]

Nathaniel Richards first appeared in Fantastic Four #272 and was created by John Byrne.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Dr. Nathaniel Richards was a successful scientist who specialized in multiple fields. He was married to Evelyn and together had a son named Reed who also possessed an intellectual mind like his father. When Evelyn died, Nathaniel continued to raise his son right by supporting his scientific endeavors.[1] Later, Nathaniel is approached by the Brotherhood of the Shield and joins their group. Along with Howard Stark, the two meet a super powered individual named Leonid and help him resolve a dispute between the time traveling Leonardo da Vinci and Isaac Newton who had split the organization in two. These events somehow resulted in Nathaniel gaining the ability to travel through time.[2][3]

Nathaniel found himself in the far future along with several other alternate versions of himself. The villain Immortus had gathered them together and forced them to kill each other off.[4] Nathaniel managed to flee and in the process left his family for good, but not before setting his son Reed for life.[5]

Nathaniel ended up in another dimension where the Earth had become a desolate wasteland when the moon was destroyed. He married a woman named Cassandra who bore two children for him, one of which grew up to be Huntara. Cassandra turned out to be a power mad individual using his technology to rule the remaining humans. The Fantastic Four and Wyatt Wingfoot arrived in this dimension where they defeated Cassandra and freed Nathaniel. After father and son had a heartfelt reunion, Nathaniel stayed behind to help rebuild.[6]

However, Nathaniel arrived in the present to kidnap Franklin Richards.[7] Nathaniel aged Franklin to a teenager in an effort to refrain Franklin from having a child with Rachel Summers. Their child would eventually grow up to become the villain Hyperstorm[8] Nathaniel would help Franklin and the Fantastic Four battle Aron the Rogue Watcher by rescuing Uatu the Watcher.[9]

Nathaniel later trained Susan Storm to better master her powers.[10]

Nathaniel returned to help Reed jumpstart the Future Foundation, using the technology he gathered over the years.[11] He then helped them battle the Kree army and the Mad Celestials.[12][13]

Powers and abilities[edit]

While Nathaniel Richards has no superhuman powers, he does have scientific genius intellect and is also a skilled inventor in advanced machinery and devices.

Nathaniel Richards invented a device called the Time Platform and has grand experience as a time traveler. He also created his own armor which gives him super strength and durability. Nathaniel Richards also carries teleportation devices and energy weapons for defense.

Other versions[edit]

What If?[edit]

  • In "What if the Fantastic Four were Cosmonauts?", Nathaniel named his son Rudion and was interned in a Siberian Camp after America lost faith in the USSR.[14]
  • In another reality based on Camelot, Nathaniel Richards is a variation of Merlin to a version of Black Knight.[15]

The Beast[edit]

A version of Nathaniel Richards exist that was pulled into the far future with the other Nathaniels by Immortus. This version of Nathaniel, called the Beast, was a homicidal maniac who took the opportunity to slaughter all of his alternate counterparts. The Nathaniel of Earth 616 teams up with young college aged Reed Richards, Ben Grimm and Victor von Doom in order to defeat him.[16]

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

In the Ultimate Marvel Universe, Reed's father is renamed Gary Richards and he does not have a scientific background. He also seems to despise his son's scientific mind, preferring his friend Ben Grimm's athletic abilities. When the Baxter Building think tank accepted Reed, Gary was glad that he was gone.[17] When Diablo kidnapped Reed's younger sister Enid, Gary went to Reed for help though he still resented him.[18] When Reed quit the Fantastic Four, Gary was there to greet him, not acting surprised.[19] Gary, along with his wife Mary and two daughters, were killed in an explosion directed at the Richards household.[20]

In other media[edit]

Reed's father, simply credited as Mr. Richards, appears in 2015's Fantastic Four played by Tim Heidecker. He is apparently not Reed's biological father and spends most of his time watching football on television. Several of Mr. Richards' scenes were cut.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fantastic Four #570
  2. ^ S.H.I.E.L.D. #1-6
  3. ^ S.H.I.E.L.D. Vol. 2 #1-4
  4. ^ Fantastic Four #581
  5. ^ Fantastic Four #271-272
  6. ^ Fantastic Four #272-273
  7. ^ Fantastic Four #376
  8. ^ Fantastic Four #414
  9. ^ Fantastic Four #400
  10. ^ Fantastic Four #408
  11. ^ Fantastic Four #588
  12. ^ Fantastic Four #600-604
  13. ^ FF #12-15
  14. ^ What If: Fantastic Four #1
  15. ^ What If? Vol. 2 #97
  16. ^ Fantastic Four #581-582
  17. ^ Ultimate Fantastic Four #1
  18. ^ Ultimate Fantastic Four #42
  19. ^ Ultimatum Fantastic Four: Requiem
  20. ^ Ultimate Enemy #1
  21. ^ Duncan, JJ (August 11, 2015). "14 Things from the 'Fantastic Four' Trailers That Weren't In the Movie". Zimbio. Retrieved December 19, 2016.

External links[edit]