Why isn't Mr. Fantastic known as Dr. Fantastic? This just struck me as a little strange. I am sure he has a doctorate.

Dr. Doom, and Dr. strange are happy to advertise theirs. Yet Mr Fantastic is plain old 'Mr'. Is there an in universe explanation or reason for this?

  • 4
    Marvel.com says "Multiple scientific doctorates in fields such as engineering, math and physics from California State Institute of Technology, Columbia University, Harvard and State University, and others"
    – Izkata
    Commented Mar 25, 2013 at 13:06
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    As a PhD, he doesn't feel the need to have people call him "Doctor", and has said on many occasions that it seems pretentious for anyone other than medical doctors to do so.
    – John O
    Commented Mar 25, 2013 at 13:15
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    @John O - If you can cite some of those occasions, sounds that would be a valid answer to the question.
    – Stan
    Commented Mar 25, 2013 at 13:18
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    He doesn't hold a doctorate in being Fantastic. Commented Mar 25, 2013 at 14:29
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    Dr Doom's name is Victor Von Doom, Dr Strange's name is Stephen Strange, hence Dr Doom and Dr Strange. Mr Fantastic's name is Reed Richards not Reed Fantastic, so he would be Dr Richards. Mr Fantastic is merely his alias. Commented Mar 25, 2013 at 17:30

1 Answer 1


The reason he does not have Dr. Fantastic in his name has to do with his origins at the hands of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee.

According to Stan Lee, “I was utterly determined to have a superhero series without any secret identities. I knew for a fact that if I possessed a super power I’d never keep it secret. I'm too much of a show off. So why should our fictional friends be any different? Accepting this premise, it was also natural to forego the use of costumes. If our heroes were to live in the real world, let them dress like real people.” -- Secret Origins of the Fantastic Four

First images of the Fantastic Four

  • When creating the Fantastic Four, their original premise was they would be Everyman heroes, no secret identities, only codenames. So the day they acquired their powers after the accident, their identities chosen immediately were: Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Girl, The Human Torch, and the hideous Thing.

  • Stan Lee would only be able to keep his word against costumes because the fans demanded they wear them! By issue three, they were issued their non-uniform uniforms and their codenames were firmly entrenched into history.

  • There was one other reason he remained Mr. Fantastic. The name of his hated arch-enemy, one Dr. Victor Von Doom. Kirby and Lee wanted to be sure to distinguish between the two mentalities of their creations. Richards was allied with the common man, using science to further the opportunities of mankind. Doom only had one ambition, to rule mankind and thus did everything he could to separate him from mankind, making him hideous in appearance, a member of royalty, indeed the ruler of his kingdom of Latveria and a firm belief in his superiority over everyone but especially Reed Richards.

NOTE: Dr. Reed Richards (Mr Fantastic) indeed has multiple degrees in a number of sciences and that number grows every decade. It is safe to say if he needs to know it, he does, and if he doesn't he maintains company with the worlds most famous and capable scientists and inventors including Tony Stark, Dr. Henry Pym, Dr. Henry McCoy, Dr. Charles Xavier (deceased), Dr. Stephen Strange, and even Victor von Doom, (who left school before he could get his doctorate) if the stakes are high enough.

Read the original outline notes for the first issue of Fantastic Four!

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