|Beard + long, unkempt hair + torn uniform = Bearded Reed!|
The worst part about Reed's sporting a very fashionable beard is that is appears to be symbolic of the character's emasculation; it is during this series of issues that Mr. Fantastic, mentally weakened from his experience, cedes leadership of the team to the newly independent(ish) Invisible Woman. Issues later, when he finally does shave, his character reverts back to his confident, egotistical, totally in control self. So while Reed does briefly sport a rockin' beard, it does come at a price, his sanity, a startlingly common plot device you'll notice when consistently presented baby-face heroes get hairy in comics.
|Can Reed really be expected to build a time machine when he can't even cut his hair?|