First Appearance: Fantastic Four #1 (November 1961).
Appearances: Far, far too many to list here.
Years Active: ?-present.
Reed Richards is, of course, Mr. Fantastic, leader of the Fantastic Four and one of the foremost heroes of the Marvel universe. In Fantastic Four #273 it was revealed that before he hijacked a spaceship and gained his powers, he fought the alien Gormuu and in classic Atlas Comics style helped repel an invasion by Gormuu's people. In Fantastic Four v2 #5 it was revealed that after Richards left the military, in the years before he formed the Fantastic Four, (see the Note below) he and Alyssa Moy had a series of adventures together. She and Reed found a car in "a scrap heap outside Frankfurt" just after Reed's discharge and converted it into a high-tech flying limousine. They entered the car in the "London to Capetown Rally," were fired upon (for reasons still not made clear) by a plane, went to the Himalayas and rescued the Tibetan child Prince Bayan from the Red Army, participated in the "infamous London to Durban to Vladivostok race," and had a number of other adventures (which are not given any print).
Notes: Originally, during the Silver Age, both Reed Richards and Ben Grimm were veterans of World War Two, having worked for the O.S.S and the U.S. Army during The Big One. With the passage of time and the continuing rollback of the Ten (or Twelve) Year Timeline of the Marvel Age, Reed can obviously no longer have fought against the Axis powers. However, if we take the events of Fantastic Four #1 as having happened in the late 1980s, then Reed would have served in the U.S. military at some point during the mid/late 1970s or early/mid 1980s, after Vietnam was over and before Grenada or the Gulf War. (Actually, it now being 2002, the Gulf War is just possible. And I suppose in another decade it will have been Afghanistan where Reed and Ben served together.) Reed is still referred to as a veteran, and Ben Grimm is still called a war pilot, so obviously there are some internal difficulties here. But that is the unavoidable result of having a rolling Ten Year Timeline....