BRUTE

Real Name: Reed Richards

Identity/Class: Extraterrestrial (High Evolutionary's Counter-Earth) human mutate

Occupation: President of the United States of America of Earth-1123
    would-be world conqueror;
    former scientist

Group Membership: Frightful Four (Sandman, Trapster, Wizard)

Affiliations: Frightful Four Wannabes, Man-Beast, Tyannans;
    formerly Ben Grimm, Johnny and Sue Storm, Victor Von Doom

Enemies: Abraxas, Annihilus, Blastaar, Fantastic Four, Impossible Man, Mad Thinker, Scavenger, Thundra, Tigra, Tyannans, Adam Warlock;
    Atlanteans, Fantastic Four (Human Torch (presumably), Mr. Fantastic, Spider-Man, Thing), Namor and Sue McKenzie of Earth-1123, Spider-Girl of Earth-1122, Wolverine of Earth-811

Known Relatives: Presumably same parentage, etc. as Reed Richards of Earth-616;
    He did not marry Sue, and never had the children Franklin or Valeria

Aliases: "Mr. Fantastic" (he impersonated his counterpart);
    "Stretch: The Sequel" (nickname per Ben Grimm)

Base of Operations: "Earth-1123"
    formerly the Negative Zone;
    formerly the Baxter Building;
    formerly Counter-Earth-High Evolutionary

Education: Ph.D. from Counter-Earth University of California at Berkeley

First Appearance: (Reed Richards): Marvel Premiere#2 (May, 1972)
    (Brute): Warlock I#6 (June, 1973)

Powers/Abilities: Reed can transform at will into the Brute, who possesses an 8-9' tall form with vast strength (variable from Class 75-100) and durability. In addition, he retains the brilliant genius and much of the knowledge of Reed Richards.
    At one point he proved able to absorb geothermal energy from the Earth's core, increasing his own power. In such from, he could also fire energy blasts.

Height: (Reed) 6' 1"; (Brute) 8'
Weight: (Reed) 180 lbs.; (Brute) 900 lbs.
Eyes: (Reed) Brown; (Brute) Red
Hair: (Reed) Brown with gray at temples; (Brute) None

History:
(Warlock I#6 (fb)) - The Reed Richards of Counter-Earth had a similar life to his Earth-616 counterpart, up to a point. He roomed with his peer, Victor von Doom, in college--though at the University of California-Berkeley. When von Doom's experiments exploded, scarring him for life, Reed remained a true friend, encouraging him to return to his research career.

(Warlock I#6 (fb)) - Reed Richards--along with friend & pilot Ben Grimm, girlfriend Sue Storm and her brother Johnny--hijacked a rocket into space.  Their ship, too, was exposed to cosmic rays, but the powers of the Man-Beast--watching from afar--prevented the rays from transforming the quartet (just as he stifled nearly all super-hero creations on Counter-Earth). Only Reed was affected, but the effects would not be seen until much later. Ben and Johnny recovered with minor injuries when their ship crashed to Earth, but Sue was left in a comatose state.

 

 

(Marvel Premiere#2/Warlock I#6(fb)) - Reed continued his research, hoping to lose himself in his work and forget the loss of his beloved Sue.

(Warlock I#6 (fb)) - After working feverishly for a length of time, Richards transformed under the full moon (and possibly catalyzed by the Man-Beast) into the Brute. Over a few weeks, he learned how to effect the change on his own.

(Warlock I#6) - The Man-Beast confronted the Brute, mesmerized him, and sent him to attack Adam Warlock in San Francisco. The Brute fought Warlock savagely, nearly drowning him at one point, but Warlock finally used his soul gem to reverse the changes in the Brute, returning him to human form.

(Warlock I#7) - Reed Richards was released from the Army hospital and was summoned to meet the Man-Beast, who used his powers to force him to return to the form of the Brute, this time allowing him to access his full power. The Man-Beast sent the Brute after Warlock again, but the Brute was suddenly overcome with great hunger. Seeking a source of energy powerful enough to feed him, the Brute hijacked Professor von Doom's Earth-Corer-1 and used it in his plot to tap the reservoirs of geothermal energy deep within the Earth. Doom sent Warlock after him, but by the time he arrived, the Brute was soaking up the energy like a sponge--threatening to absorb all of the energy and turn Counter Earth into a snowball.

    The Brute easily smashed Warlock back and then laughed off Warlock's attempt to use his soul gem against him. Von Doom followed Warlock to the Brute and then began to convert the radiation shield from the Earth-Corer into a radiation absorber. Von Doom then used the absorber on the Brute and--combined with Warlock's soul gem blast--it transformed him back into Reed Richards again. However, the massive amount of radiation it had absorbed caused the Earth-Corer to explode, and von Doom was killed as a result.

(Fantastic Four I#178 (fb) - BTS) - Richards returned to his research career,

(Fantastic Four I#175+176-BTS / 178 (fb)) - Reed Richards was on hand in Florida with some of Counter-Earth's top brass to observe the battle of the High Evolutionary and Galactus. Richards then piloted a rocket to the High Evolutionary's asteroid base, but he was again caught in a cosmic ray storm. Richards' space suit allowed him to survive his ship's explosion and then enter the asteroid. Exploring the base, Richards found and entered a small spacecraft of the High Evolutionary's, but he dislodged a metal rod in the process, and the rod hit on the head and knocked him out...and also turned him...EEEEEEVIL!
    Richards was thus unconscious when the Fantastic Four of Earth-616 piloted the ship back to their world and crashed into the lake in Central Park. Upon recovering, Reed managed to secure an overcoat and headed into Manhattan. Seeing an advertisement for a recruitment drive for the Frightful Four, he traveled to the Baxter Building to answer the ad.

(Fantastic Four I#177) - Reed was in the lobby of the Baxter Building, waiting his turn in line, when some of the Fantastic Four (aided by Tigra and Thundra) broke free and fought the Frightful Four. While the rest of the line thought better of getting involved and scattered, Reed transformed into the Brute and made his way up to the conflict. He tackled the Thing, allowing the Trapster and the Wizard to take out the other freed members. The Brute lured the Thing in front of the portal to the Negative Zone, then opened the portal, pulling the Thing into it. The Brute proved able to resist the pull of the vortex and closed the door, trapping the Thing. He was then welcomed as the fourth member of the Frightful Four, to whom he revealed his dual nature.

(Fantastic Four I#178) - The Frightful Four brought Ben back through the portal and imprisoned him as well. With the Fantastic Four and allies their prisoners, the Wizard sought to ransom them for one billion dollars. The Brute, however, wanted to just kill them, but he agreed to wait until the deadline was reached. However, before the deadline was reached, the ABC network shut off their network programming for the night and turned on their test pattern. This irked the Impossible Man, who was staying at the Baxter Building, but had been practically glued to the TV since his arrival. Impy thought there may have been a disruption in the power supply, and so he began to screw with the fusebox, shutting down all power to the Baxter Building in the process. As a result, the power holding the captured heroes was disrupted as well, and the Fantastic Four and friends were free again. The Brute went after Sue, but he found himself unable to strike the woman so like his own comatose Sue. The Thing swatted him aside, but the Brute then grabbed the Earth-616 Reed, who had recently lost his powers. As the rest of the heroes finished off the Sandman, Trapster, and Wizard, the Brute stripped Reed of his costume, tossed him into the Negative Zone portal, shut the portal, returned to human form, and put on his counterpart's costume.  He then convinced the rest of the Fantastic Four that he had managed to maneuver the Brute into the Negative Zone.

(Fantastic Four I#179) - As his counterpart had lost his powers, the Brute/Reed didn't have too tough a time using his wit to fool the others into thinking he was their Reed. At the same time, he could hardly wait to get his hands on Sue. However, soon Sue, followed by the others, began to suspect that something was a bit off.

(Fantastic Four I#181) - Brute/Reed tried to soothe Sue, but his kiss convinced her that he was not her husband. He realized that she knew, and decided that she must die as well, but before he could make a plan, Sue left to head out to check on Franklin over at Alicia Masters' apartment

(Fantastic Four I#182) - Ben, Johnny, Thundra, Tigra, and the Impossible Man brought back an incapacitated Metalloid for Reed to study. Brute/Reed sent the three non-members back to the site of their battle to study it for clues, though in reality, he just wanted to get rid of them, so he could finish off Ben and Johnny without their interference. Brute/Reed told the two that the Metalloid had come from the Negative Zone and sent them both in after it, after which he cut their lines and left them there to die. Too late, the pair realized what had happened, but by that time, they had met up with their Reed, who had teamed up with Annihilus to battle the Scavenger.
    Sue, meanwhile, returned home to tell Reed that Franklin had been abducted, and his lack of response proved to her beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was not her Reed. Confronted with this information, Reed transformed into the Brute, quickly overpowered Sue, and hurled her out the window.

(Fantastic Four I#183) - Sue was saved by the returning Impossible Man, Thundra, and Tigra, but the Brute turned on the Baxter Building's defenses to keep them out. What he was not prepared for, however, was the Scavenger--a mutated android of the Mad Thinker--smashing through the Negative Zone portal. The Brute fought the Scavenger, but it bombarded him with cosmic rays, returning him to human form. Just then, Sue, Thundra, and Tigra (Impy got bored and left...really!)--having made their way through the building security--entered the lab and confronted the Scavenger, who made short work of the lot of them. As the Scavenger pounded on Sue's force field, threatening to shatter it, Brute/Reed leapt to her defense, fighting the monstrous creature without his power. The rest of the Fantastic Four followed the Scavenger through the portal and joined the fight against it. With Thundra and Tigra recovered, the Scavenger was defeated by its seven opponents.
    Ben removed the Scavengers's purloined power source--Annihilus' Cosmic Control Rod, which Reed had promised to return to its original owner. However, Brute/Reed, having apparently regained his sanity in the preceding struggle, grabbed the Control Rod from the Earth-616 Reed's hands. Saying he owed Reed for saving Counter-Earth from Galactus, Brute/Reed leapt through the Negative Zone portal, smashed the controls, sealed the portal behind him, and faded into the distance in the Negative Zone...

 

 

 

(Fantastic Four Unlimited#3 (fb) - BTS) - After hurling the Control Rod where Annihilus could find it, Brute/Reed was pulled into the Distortion Area by the vortex. Rather than dying, however, he was rescued by the Tyannans, an ancient and powerful race of the Negative Zone, long thought dead. Apparently, his sanity/benevolence was short-lived, and he combined his own science with the Tyannans' science, and his own genius to subvert the Tyannans' wills. With their aid, he planned to subjugate first the Negative Zone, and then the Earth-616 dimension as well.

(Fantastic Four Unlimited#3) - The Fantastic Four--joined by the unlikely pair of Annihilus and Blastaar--were pulled into the vortex by the Distortion Area, and they, too, found the city of the Tyannans. The Brute/Reed then commanded the Tyannans to blast and imprison them. After explaining his master plan like a good super-villain, the Brute/Reed made his slaves pilot their ship back into the Negative Zone and attack Baluur, Blastaar's world. The Fantastic Four and their erstwhile allies then broke free and attacked their captors, but not before the Reed/Brute could use his technology to pierce a small hole in the dimensional barrier separating the Negative Zone from the positive matter world. Their fight delayed Reed/Brute's plan long enough for the energy of the Vortex to pull the Tyannans back into it (Their physical composition had become acclimated to the realm within the vortex, and they could not long stay outside of the vortex if they didn't escape the Negative Zone. Confused? Me, too. Go read it, and then explain it to me!). The two Reed then went at it, with Mr. Fantastic having the advantage until the other Reed assumed his Brute form and smashed him aside. The Thing then tackled the Brute, and knocked him out after a short scuffle.
    Annihilus and Blastaar headed back to the Distortion Area, and the Tyannans used their powers to send the FF back to their world. The fate of the Brute was not shown.

(Paradise X: Heralds#2 (fb)) - The Brute escaped from the Negative Zone to "Earth-1123," an alternate version of Earth-772 (Fantastive Five: Spider-Man), in which Sue Storm stayed in Atlantis with Namor. The depressed Reed Richards became the president of the USA. The Brute slew the new Fantastic Four (Human Torch, Mr. Fantastic, Spider-Man, Thing) and replaced Earth-1123's Reed Richards and turned the USA into an imperial dictatorship at war with Atlantis.

(Paradise X: Heralds#1) - The Heralds' Spider-Girl (of Earth-1122) and Wolverine (of Earth-811) were sent to Earth-1123 to convince that world's Reed Richards to help destroy the Celestial Seed within that Earth. They fought their way past the secret service and confronted President Richards who transformed into the Brute.

(Paradise X: Heralds#2) - While Wolverine and Spider-Girl fought the Brute, Sue and Namor McKenzie appeared alongside the Atlantean army. Sue pulled Wolverine and Spider-Girl from the conflict, while the Brute cursed them, vowing to search the planet to destroy them.

(Fantastic Four III#47) - The Brute was glimpsed as Abraxas scanned through alternate Earths.

(Fantastic Four III#49) - As Abraxas assaulted Reed Richards, he told him, "As you die on this Earth--so do your other selves across the realities." Shown among the fallen Reed Richards was the Brute.

Comments: Reed adapted by Roy Thomas, Gil Kane, and Dan Adkins.
    Brute created by Mike Friedrich, Bob Brown, and Tom Sutton.

    I'd guess the Tyannans took the Brute to either punish or rehabilitate him.

    I read the Brute entry today, and it seemed strange to me that the Brute of Counter-Earth should have been killed in that Abraxas storyline, since the Brute was not from an alternate quantum reality. I remembered that What If II#11 did a storyline where Reed Richards, Ben Grimm, Sue Storm, and Johnny Storm were all turned into different versions of the Thing (Earth-9033), with this world's Reed Richards turned into a purple-hided monster very much resembled the Brute. So, perhaps it was that What If II#11 Reed Richards-as-purple-hided monster who died in that Abraxas storyline, and not the Counter-Earth Brute--Per Degaton.
    Actually, Rachid Yahya explained this, by detailing the Brute story from Paradise X. Thanks Rachid!
    At any rate, Reed Richards of Earth-616 didn't die either, so presumably none of the others did, either. I left it vague, b/c that's how the comics left it. But, that IS a possibility.

    The High Evolutionary's Counter-Earth was composed of gathered space debris to make the planet and it was hollow and maintained by artificial gravity, etc., but how did he evolve life so that some parts of it were so similar to that of Earth-616? I guess it was just coincidence? It would make more sense if he had transported another Earth from another dimension, or something (like Counter Earth-Franklin).
    On further investigation, it was determined that the High Evolutionary utilized some of the Infinity Gems in the creation of Counter-Earth: Power, Soul, Space, and Time, at least, and possibly Reality.
 
   Evolution occurred rapidly and time apparently moved at such a pace that within a very short time, the world had developed to the same degree as its counterpart, circling the sun on the opposite side. The Man-Beast introduced evil into Counter-Earth and apparently gained power from the Evolutionary's equipment. Somehow, the Man-Beast used his powers to prevent superhumans from developing as the world developed. I guess it's just a lot easier if you think of it just as a comic book.
    So, anyway, the Reed Richards of Counter-Earth was supposed to have toiled feverishly for ten years after the space flight, before becoming the Brute.

    The flashback in Fantastic Four#178 made it seem as if the Brute just naturally headed to the Baxter Building, out of a sense of familiarity. However, Reed of Counter-Earth has never been shown to live in the Baxter Buiding, or New York at all, for that matter. He was working in California when first seen, and had traveled to Florida to observe the conflict. I guess he could have relocated to the Baxter Building after his last defeat by Warlock, but it just seemed too much of a stretch.

    I don't know what was originally intended for the story in which the Brute replaced Reed in the Fantastic Four. The story started with Roy Thomas and George Perez, with plot suggestion from Mike Friedrich and Bob Wayne. With#179, Perez was out and replaced by Ron Wilson, and Gerry Conway helped with the scripting. With the next issue,#181, Roy continued with Ron, but in#182, Roy was out, and he was replaced by Archie Goodwin, Len Wein, and Jim Shooter. The conclusion,#183, was written by Goodwin, Wein, Jim Shooter, Roger Stern, Ralph Macchio, and Roger Slifer. And it was scripted by Bill Mantlo.
    I don't know what happened, but it looked like Roy vanished suddenly and then there was a big "how are we gonna get out of this fine mess" pow-wow to finish it off.
    Anyway, that's why my summary is so jumpy. Reading the real stories isn't that much better, though!

    Besides the Brute, some other residents of Counter-Earth survived its destruction. The Man-Beast saved some, and there's the Necromancer. See the entry for Gorr for a little more information on Counter-Earth.

    Fantastic Four I#180 was a reprint of #101--inserted b/c of a missed deadline--and had no original material.

Brute has an entry in Marvel Legacy: The 1970's Handbook.

CLARIFICATIONS:
No known connection to:

Counter-Earth of the High Evolutionary, @ Marvel Premiere#1, should be distinguished from:


images:


Other appearances:
Warlock I#7 (August, 1973) - Mike Friedrich (writer), Bob Brown (pencils), Tom Sutton (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Fantastic Four I#175 (October, 1976) - Roy Thomas (writer), John Buscema (pencils/inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Fantastic Four I#176-178 (November, 1976 - January, 1977) - Roy Thomas & Mike Friedrich (#177) (writer), George Perez (pencils), Joe Sinnott (#176-177) & Dave Hunt (#178) (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Fantastic Four I#179 (February, 1977) - Gerry Conway & Roy Thomas (writer), Ron Wilson (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Roy Thomas & Gerry Conway (editor)
Fantastic Four I#181 (April, 1977) - Roy Thomas (writer), Ron Wilson (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Fantastic Four I#182 (May, 1977) - Len Wein, Jim Shooter, Archie Goodwin & Bill Mantlo (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Fantastic Four I#183 (June, 1977) - Bill Mantlo, Jim Shooter, Roger Stern, Ralph Macchio, Len Wein & Roger Slifer (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Fantastic Four Unlimited#3 (September, 1993) - Roy Thomas (writer), Herb & Alex Trimpe (pencils), Steve Montano (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Paradise X: Heralds#1 (December, 2001) - by Jim Krueger (writer), Steve Pugh (artwork), and Mike Marts (editor)
Paradise X: Heralds#2 (January, 2002) - by Jim Krueger (writer), Steve Pugh (artwork), and Mike Marts (editor)
Fantastic Four III#47 (November, 2001) - Jeph Loeb, Rafael Marin & Carlos Pacheco (writers), Carlos Pacheco (pencils), Jesus Merino (inks)
Fantastic Four III#49 (January, 2002) - Jeph Loeb, Rafael Marin & Carlos Pacheco (writers), Carlos Pacheco (pencils), Jesus Merino (inks)


Last updated: 03/10/11

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