Reed Richards can safely stretch up to 1500 feet, and I assume (feel free to correct me) that the clothes he was wearing when he was first bombarded with the cosmic rays were altered along with him, allowing them to stretch along with him.

Typically, when I see Richards stretching, he is wearing his Fantastic Four uniform (disclaimer: I'm not a FF reader), which he may have specially designed for his own use.

Does Reed Richards have to wear special strechable uniforms to allow him to comfortably stretch, or does his power affect whatever he is wearing at any given time, allowing the clothes to stretch with him?

  • Obviously not. That’s ridiculous.
    – Samalot
    Aug 26, 2019 at 17:30

3 Answers 3


Luckily, numbered among Reed Richard's many discoveries are Unstable Molecules, which come in very handy for the Fantastic Four and for superheroes in general.

They're used in the creation of the FF costumes :

A synthetic material created by the famous scientist Reed Richards, which can be altered easily and adapt to a certain environment, allowing them to be incredibly resilient to drastic changes in heat, cold, pressure, density, dirt, etc. making them ideal for use as superhero costumes.

Richards has also outfitted Spider-man, the X-Men and Hank Pym, among others.

enter image description here

  • 1
    Interestingly enough, unstable molecules entered general usage sometime between the 1990s and 2099, as Spider-Man 2099's costume was an off-the-shelf Mardi Gras costume that he modified 'because it was the only UM clothing [he] owned'
    – Jeff
    Jul 6, 2015 at 21:32

Yes. The clothes that Reed Richards wears, including not only his Fantastic Four suit but also, seemingly, the normal clothes that he wears are made out of unstable molecules. This allows his clothes to stretch with him, as in this suit:

enter image description here

In at least one case, an opponent has taken advantage of this situation, by neutralizing the elastic nature of Reed's clothes, he manages to prevent Reed from using his powers at all:

enter image description here

  • I wonder could he survive a point blank gun shot to the head... Would he stretch automatically or would the bullet be travelling too fast?
    – Daft
    Jul 6, 2015 at 19:47
  • he has shown to survive a lot of very hard hits; that first image in my answer I believe he was also taken by surprise. I'll see if I can find a case of someone shooting at him.
    – KutuluMike
    Jul 6, 2015 at 19:52

In the 2005 film version of Fantastic Four, Reed (and crew) are wearing specially designed suits that contain 'unstable molecules':

SUE: The synthetics act as a second skin, adapting to your individual needs


REED: Material made from self-regulating unstable molecules? I've been working on a formula for this.

Later, when they're exposed to the solar radiation, the molecules in the suit take on the same characteristics that the Fantastic Four themselves gain;

REED: Our uniforms were exposed to the storm like us. So they can transform like us, becoming invisible, changing size on demand or remaining impervious to flame.

REVEAL: Reed, Sue, and Johnny step out to look at themselves in a mirror wearing the uniforms. No boots, no gloves. Not yet. (The uniforms will develop, like our heroes).

The clear implication being that other materials won't be able to do this. We see Johnny burning his leather clothing and Sue having to strip off because she can't make her underwear invisible. It seems impossible that Mr Fantastic wouldn't tear normal cloth if he stretched in it.

enter image description here

  • 1
    Note also that when they swap powers, the suits cope just fine, suggesting they can deal with all of their powers
    – Valorum
    Jul 7, 2015 at 7:47

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