Reed Richards is supposed to be the smartest person on the planet, but you wouldn’t know it by reading the comics. It all started with the Fantastic Four’s most recent story arc: The Death of the Invisible Woman (#558).
You didn’t have to be the smartest guy on the planet to have known that the Fantastic Four’s babysitter was actually Sue Richards from the future or to realize that it was this Invisible Woman who would end up dying.
You see, years from now the Earth’s ecosystem has collapsed and future Sue has traveled back in time to save the future (after all, that’s where she’s from) by bringing everyone back with her (umm… wouldn’t that just speed up the collapse).
Anyway, all she needs to do to accomplish this is kidnap Galactus, Doctor Doom, & the Human Torch and siphon off their energy killing them in the process (remember when you just needed a flux capacitor).
It takes some serious suspension of disbelief to think for one second that Sue would ever sacrifice her own brother, and against his will no less, to save somebody (I don’t care if it is 8 billion somebodies). Now sacrificing Doctor Doom I can buy. But Sue thinking he’d be cool with it, not so much (picture right). And why is she using Doom anyway? His power comes form his armor; couldn’t they have just… umm I don’t know, removed it!?
At the last second young Sue redirects the 8 billion unwanted house guests to Nu-world (an artificial planet created as a plot device… I mean back-up Earth). Okay if young Sue knows about this, why doesn’t her future self? In fact, Nu-World would presumably still exists in the future so basically future Sure (and future Galactus) die for nothing.
But back to Mr. Fantastic, who also knew of the existence of Nu-World but apparently forgets about it in the future (I guess those cosmic rays finally fried his brain). This so-called genius finds future Sue’s hideout by injecting young Sue with a microscopic tracer that consequently appears in her future self by the way of cartoon physics.
It’s already been well-established in canon that you can’t change the past or future through time travel. Way back in Marvel Two-in-One #50 the Thing travels back in time and injects his younger self with an antidote to make him human again, only to return to find himself unchanged (picture left).
Now maybe the writers could be forgiven for not knowing about an issue that was written three decades ago. But you only have to go back to issue #553 (March) to get the cliff notes, which clearly explain that when time travel you create just create a new, but separate, timeline.
I guess even Kang’s Third Law of Time Travel is no match for the Retcon Monster!