Quotes / Reed Richards Is Useless

Superman: I know I'm forbidden to interfere... and yet the Earth is threatened by the same fate as Krypton's.
Elder #1: The Earth is too primitive! You can flee to new worlds, where war is long forgotten!
Elder #2: If you teach the Earth to put its fate in any one man, even yourself, you're teaching them to be betrayed.

One of the most charming elements of the superhero story, for me, lies in the fact that the world it all happens in is our world — that this fantastic, furious, cosmic stuff happens in what could be the skies over our heads — and sure, it should turn the world into something unrecognizable, but it doesn't.
Kurt Busiek, introduction to Astro City

Wonder Woman: Amazon, alien, human— the ray can heal almost any wound for any of us in seconds. It's an amazing, world-changing technology... and it can't cure cancer, Kara. You're in above your head.
Supergirl: I'll find a way. I know I can do it. [...] What if we've all been wrong? What if we've all been fighting crime and saving dozens— when we could have been saving billions? Saving everyone?

"This subgenre amounts to mawkish glurge in which the fact that stories are fiction is treated as a flaw, and anybody who writes it should be punched. (Note: This proposal would likely prove fatal to J. Michael Straczynski.)"

"This is the problem with trying to tackle 'real world' problems in a 'serious' way with a character like Superman. He’s basically God. He can walk into a neighborhood full of drug dealers and just magically destroy all their drugs and drive them off. In order to explain why he doesn’t just do this all the time, or any number of other things that he could do with minimal effort that would drastically change the lives of every single person in the country, if not the world, writers like Straczynski resort to utter inanity."

"I mean really, you’d think that if the Joker enrolled himself in medical school, let alone made off with a nuclear warhead, Batman would try to be on top of that situation."
Chris Sims, "The Injustice: Gods Among Us Prequel Comic is the Dumbest Comic You'll Read All Year"

"John McClane's once-relatable, everyman hero now makes no sense. According to this movie he's still just an NYPD detective after all four movies. HOW? Yeah, they keep telling us he's tough to work with every other day, but now he's saved Los Angeles, Washington, New York, and the entire country. And everyone knows about it! Why isn't this guy running the Department of Homeland Security? Or a private security firm? Or just write a book and retire rich as hell?"

Sue: Who else would have the world's coolest PDA? You going to put it on the market?
Reed: I can't. Sony paid me three million not to.

As a side note, those superheroes who develop or invent entirely unique powers, and then hoard them? Screw those guys. When Edison invented the incandescent lightbulb, did he keep its secret to himself, and then bust nocturnal crime as the Illuminator? Fighting the nefarious Doktor Lightning with the help of the Amazing Flight Brothers? No. Because, as a man of Science, he was familiar with Newton's statement about the shoulders of giants.

The greater the problem, the faster he could solve it. He’d taken the time one afternoon to solve world hunger. Six hours and twenty-six minutes with the internet and a phone on hand, and he’d been able to wrap his head around the key elements of the problem. He’d drafted a document in the nine hours that followed, doing little more than typing and tracking down exact numbers. A hundred and fifty pages, formatted and clear, detailing who would need to do what, and the costs therein.

It had been bare bones, with room for further documents detailing the specifics, but the basic ideas were there. Simple, measured, undeniable. Every major country and ruler had been accounted for, in terms of the approaches necessary to get them on board, given their particular natures and the political climate of their area. Production, distribution, finance and logistics, all sketched out and outlined in clear, simple language. Eighteen years, three point one trillion dollars. Not so much money that it was impossible. A great many moderate sacrifices from a number of people.

Even when he’d handed over the binder with the sum total of his work, his employer had been more concerned with the fact that he’d shown up late to work for his job. His boss had barely looked at the binder before calling it impossible, then demanded Accord return to work.

While it may strain credulity, one of the accepted tropes or conventions of the superhero genre is that the world not be changed by the presence of the supernatural, supernormal and supertechnological heroes. (I would argue that Watchmen by Alan Moore is arguably science fiction, not superhero fiction, because it sets aside that convention, and dares to have the world change.)

The world defended by the Justice League of America or the Teen Titans has extraterrestrials, Amazons, mindreaders, witches, cyborgs, and reincarnated Egyptian princes with antigravity wings, but none of these inventions, discoveries, or fantastic elements has any effect on the world outside (except perhaps for a secret military, espionage or police teams using futuristic weapons).

Mr. Teavee: So can you send other things? Say, like, breakfast cereal?
Willy Wonka: Do you have any idea what breakfast cereal's made of? 'sthose little curly wooden shavings you find in pencil sharpeners.
Charlie Bucket: But could you send it by television if you wanted to?
Willy Wonka: Of course I could.
Mike Teavee: What about people?
Willy Wonka: ...Well why would I want to send a person? They don't taste very good at all!
Mike Teavee: Don't you realize what you've invented!? It's a TELEPORTER! It's the most important invention in the history of the world! And all you think about is chocolate!

"So the Neweyes fart tells [the dinosaurs] his goal is to use the Time Machine to travel back in time to grant all the wishes of children of the world. I would use it to stop 9/11, unethical jackass. I mean, the Kennedy assassination? The bombing of Pearl Harbor? Really? None of these are important compared to entertaining whiny little bastard children? Well, while you're taking requests, here's a kid named Hitler. He just wants to start his own Third Reich and bring joy and happiness to the world. Why don't you grant him that wish? Huh, huh?! But no, Neweyes sees it best to take animals out of their natural environment and into an unknown world of fear and violence. I can't see this going right at all."

[T]he woman in the natty business suit returned with a suit bag draped over her shoulder. “Oh. Skyrider. I have something for you.” She handed him an envelope.
“Aw MAN!”
“Skyrider, I HAVE to hand this to you, I signed for it. Complaining like a little boy won’t help.”
“Awww… who is it THIS time?[..]
"It’s from Union Carbide™. They say that your plastics de-polymerization/resin reversal method conflicts with several of their pre-existing patents.”
“WHAT? Bullshit! There are at least five separate and distinct improvements and developments from any existing patents, I already checked and double-checked that!” Skyrider read over the document and snarled. “This is whack, man! They just wanna tie my plastics recycling process up in the courts for ten years, until their pet test tube monkeys can come up with something that does the same thing, only half as well, which they can ram down peoples’ throats with big PR campaigns and bribes! Just like the last time! Of course Reed Richards is useless! If you were shackled hand and foot, bound and gagged in a straitjacket, you’d be useless TOO!” Sky plopped down in a chair, his good mood almost totally spent.
“So, you’ll accept their $15 million dollar purchase alternative?” the woman asked.
“Well YEAH… I mean, at least I can do some good with 15 Mil… and it’ll be better than putting the next generation of lawyers through college- But I WON’T LIKE IT!”
Ms. Biz and Skyrider, "Silent Nacht, part 1", Whateley Universe

Leo asks Luciana (demon doctor from Bradbury General) if there are any methods from the otherworld that could possibly heal his sister Michella’s legs and the good doctor flat out tells him that doing something like that could mess up the balance of nature…. EVERYTHING IN THIS SERIES FUCKS UP THE BALANCE OF NATURE!! There’s a giant portal to another dimension in the middle of New York City, demons and monsters roam the street, AND a group of superhuman crime fighters defend the citizens of Hellsalem’s Lot from, well, everything on a regular basis. And you mean to tell me that using magic to fix his sister’s legs is a no go…
Naja B's review of Blood Blockade Battlefront