The Marvel superhero team known as the Fantastic Four is made up of (get this) four members, three of whom have power appropriate names.

  • Invisible Woman turns invisible
  • Human Torch sets himself aflame
  • The Thing is a weird rock man/thing (not to be confused with Man-Thing)

Meanwhile, Mister Fantastic has the power of elasticity, to simplify it. Why is his name not related to that? Perhaps Elasti-Guy, or the Rubberband Man (he'd even have a theme song for that one). I am aware of the famous comic book panel where Reed Richards says something akin to "And I'll call myself Mister Fantastic," but why is name not related to his power set?

  • 2
    His real power isn't his stretching, but that he is a fantastic inventor. "Mister Fantastic" might well have been his nickname before he gained superpowers. Besides, the names "Plastic Man" and "Elongated Man" were already taken. Feb 8 at 8:31
  • I always just assumed it was because he was the leader of the team, so he would be Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four.
    – Lady_A
    Feb 8 at 19:52
  • @Lady_A I thought about that, but there's no one on the Avengers called "Mister Avenger." Feb 9 at 0:47
  • 2
    I thought it was just a psuedorhyme of "plastic", which perfectly describes his power however there already was a "plastic man" at DC. Feb 9 at 11:01
  • Not only were Plastic Man and Elongated Man taken but so was "Elastic Lad", "Mister Elastic" still would have been too close. Feb 11 at 19:54

A couple of answers have been given as to why Reed chose the name Mister Fantastic over the years. While none, to my knowledge, specifically address "why choose a generic name as opposed to something related to his powers?" they might have offered him a reason to choose that specific name as opposed to anything else.

The first, in Fantastic Four (Vol. 3) #60, written by Mark Waid, addresses why he chose such outlandish names and costumes in the first place.

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Again, it doesn't specifically address THAT name, but it does suggest that he had branding already on his mind in this plan. Since there were Four of them they might want a name that would go with Four, and Fantastic is a positive word that has nice alliteration. Following that, it's not that huge a leap to cement that name by making his own related to it, putting him, the most non-threatening, in the role as the leader and also the one most visible if there's blowback.

Reed Richards having a bit of an ego is already pretty well-established, so it's not that big of a stretch that this played a role as well.

Another comic, Fantastic Four: Attaque del MODOK! #1 written by Tom Beland, does give an explanation for that specific name, suggesting that it is personal and sentimental, by giving a flashback to when he and Sue were first dating:

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(Images and some context provided by this article at ComicBookResources)

While in comics other explanations may well have been provided over the years, or be completely contradicted in a newer story at any time, taken together these provide at least some explanation for why he chose that name as opposed to Stretchy-Man.

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