Reed Richards Beat the One MCU Villain Who Keeps Humiliating Iron Man
Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four managed to defeat an iconic Marvel Comics villain with a history of shaming founding Avenger Iron Man.
Marvel Comics‘ resident genius, billionaire, playboy, and philanthropist Tony Stark aka Iron Man has a history of being battered continually by Spider-Man nemesis Doctor Otto Octavius aka the super villain Doctor Octopus. However, it is Iron Man’s own science ally and Fantastic Four leader Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic who managed to tentacled defeat the doctor with a combination of cunning and decisiveness.
Following the events of writer Jim Shooter (Avengers) and artist Mike Zeck (Web of Spider-Man)’s original Secret Wars saga, 1984’s Fantastic Four #267 from writer/artist John Byrne (Uncanny X-Men) finds the Fantastic Four in quite the lowest of circumstances. As She-Hulk joins the team in the Thing’s absence, founding member Sue Richards aka the Invisible Woman becomes comatose and bedridden due to otherworldly radiation exposure. Mr. Fantastic attempts to cure his pregnant wife in the hospital, aided by the likes of fellow scientists Bruce Banner, Michael Morbius, and Walter Langkowski. Working to no avail, Reed is advised to seek out former atomic researcher and leading authority in radiation, Otto Octavius, who may just be perhaps the best and only chance Sue has of achieving an ideal pregnancy.
Mr. Fantastic secures Octavius’ temporary release from South Brooklyn Psychiatric Facility and heads off with his newest companion. However, all it takes is a large Spider-Man billboard to send Octavius into a deep spiral, which quickly reverts the seemingly docile man into villainy once again. Doc Ock wastes no time in engaging in battle with Reed, who finds himself countering Otto’s attacks with his own stretching abilities. During their intense rooftop battle, Reed even admits that Otto is just as component with his set of metal tentacles as he is with his own stretching abilities. Luckily, Reed finally manages to pinpoint Doc Ock’s chest plate weak spot and manually shut down the villain’s tentacles in one fell swoop. Though possessing the superhuman ability to stretch his limbs, Reed Richards’ key ability is his vast genius-level intellect that anyone can not replicate.
Doc Ock has remained a Spider-Man antagonist but has ventured outside the Web-Head’s horizons to battle other mainstay heroes such as Mr. Fantastic and the Avengers. One particular Avenger Octavius has shared an undeniable rivalry with is Iron Man, who’s constantly proven to underestimate Otto at every turn. In addition to physically besting the Iron Avenger, Doc Ock previously humiliated Iron Man by coercing him to cure the twisted scientist’s cancer diagnosis. If Tony didn’t cure the cancer, or admit defeat and say Octavius is smarter, then Doctor Octopus would detonate a nuclear bomb. Eventually unable to cure the villain’s affliction, Tony was forced to get down on his knees and beg Doctor Octopus not to set off the bomb, all while admitting that Otto is the smarter scientist.
Otto Octavius may have begun his supervillain career battling a super-powered teenager, but he’s dramatically expanded his repertoire ever since. While he has been able to consistently one-up Iron Man, it seems that at the end of the day Doctor Octopus is no match for Reed Richards.