In the comic book, Reed attends several different colleges and earns degrees in various science fields. At State College, he rooms with Ben Grimm and meets Victor von Doom, a student who doesn't like him very much. Later, Reed goes to Columbia and rooms in a boarding house run by the aunt of Sue and Johnny Storm. Sue develops a crush on Reed. Reed becomes a scientist and leads a rushed expedition into space that culminates in his crew's exposure to cosmic radiation. The radiation gives Reed the ability to stretch his body to incredible lengths with hyper flexibility. Reed is a good leader, though his curiosity can often distract him from things that need his attention.