Ultimate Reed Richards is a different character though, so it's not necessarily out of character for him.
I'm surprised this is a genuine turn to the dark side, and not cheap twist or misconception. Do find it very interesting.
I think it's because his girlfriend the Insatiable Woman is shagging the Grape Ape. Reed's not really Evil; He just needs a hug.
I have a theory that the original Ultimate Reed Richards doesn't turn evil he in fact dies in the original explosion that kills his family in ultimate Enemy issue 1. Before I came to this conclusion I thought the whole issue of Richards turning evil felt forced, but then I remembered Reed tries to save his father from opening the door. Now if Reed had planned to kill off all of the threats and fix it so it looks like he was too killed why would he try and prevent his father from opening the door? And why would he be so shocked? If there was another Reed Richards (The now evil one) he would definitely think of the original Richards as somebody who could foil his plans and in turn kill him off.
My conclusion is that the evil Reed Richards is either a clone (Since the Doomsday arc deals a lot of Spider Woman looking into Roxxon's cloning) or another Reed Richards from another universe. I believe the scene of the picnic conversation between Susan and Reed is a red herring, which is used to make us believe it is the same character. I feel that this is more believable as like many other people have stated simply making Reed turn evil was forced within the story. I thought that the evil Reed speaks to Ben about curing him as well, which leads me to believe he is a clone of the original as he still seems to have some form of relationship and duty to cure Ben.
It's certainly possible. But a true genius would fein distress in the event there are survivors. Had his father survived and Reed had shown his true colors instead of "trying to stop him" then his plan may have fell through (sooner).
Or perhaps the death of his family was accidental. Maybe he never intended to murder them so he truly did intend to stop his father from opening the door. His computer did detect the danger right beforehand, so it stands to reason that the computer would have had to know what to look for, and those creatures were pretty specific so had Richards not already been aware of their existence his computer would also not been on the lookout for them.
In the end I do believe that something changed causing Bendis to perhaps finish the story way differently than he had first intended, but I doubt we'll ever find out what changed, if anything.
Maybe we'll learn some backstory tidbits from Fialkov during his Ultimates run.
All-New Ultimates • Earth 2 • Harley Quinn • Injustice • Invincible • Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man • Real Heroes • The Walking Dead • Ultimate FF
I think the original intent was to kill off Reed, but before the big reveal of who the villain was, Bendis changed his mind and made it him. Yes, that scene doesn't make sense with Reed trying to stop his Dad from opening the door and it leaves it open to have Reed become good again as they can always write around that scene and say this evil Reed is from another universe or a clone. Maybe the person at the door was Doom back from the Zombie-verse and he switched bodies with Reed again and the real Reed is in Doom's body in the N-zone. After all, the story in which he turned bad was called Ultimate Doom.
Cheap story gimmick?
David Bowie fan
I just recently remembered that I actually asked this question a loooong time ago on Bendis' forums: "Did you originally intend for Reed to be the villain, or did you change your mind halfway through?". And I actually got an answer from him! He said it that was the original pitch- for Reed to be the villain.
Here's the thread. Just plow through several posts that were making fun of me, and in the middle of the second page you'll find Bendis' answer.
Bring back Ultimate Doctor Doom