Image copyright Marvel Comics 2018
Marvel‘s Fantastic Four has been a mainstay with the comic book giants since their debut way back in 1961.
“Mr Fantastic” Reed Richards, “Invisible Woman” Sue Storm, “Human Torch” Johnny Storm, and “The Thing” Ben Grimm have rubbed shoulders with the X-Men and Avengers, tackled the likes of Thanos and Doctor Doom, and have generally been an integral part of the Marvel Universe for over five decades.
At least, they were, until 2016’s Secret Wars story arc, which reset the whole comic book universe, blowing up what was and replacing it with what we have nowadays. And that includes the Fantastic Four’s break-up as a team.
Just like that! Gone.
Thankfully, however, Marvel Comics have decided to bring the Fantastic Four back into the fold, as a new creative team featuring Dan Slott and Sara Pichelli has been announced to bring the band back together again.
Appearing on Marvel‘s Twitter page, a series of rather cryptic images were posted, including; a number 1 set atop X-Men’s Danger Room/Cerebro and a caption reading “Uncanny”, an image of Spider-Man’s webs with the number 2 attached to it and the word “Amazing”, and then the number 3 with the classic Avengers tagline “Mighty” attached to it.
“Uncanny One”, “Amazing Two”, “Mighty Three”, and finally, “Fantastic Four” to signal the team’s return.
Marvel‘s Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski confirmed the announcement in the following Twitter video message
Whilst this is good news for fans of the Fantastic Four, it’s worth noting that Marvel has been building for an FF return for a while now.
In 2017, we saw the Marvel Legacy one-shot which featured the post-credits return of Franklin and Valeria Richards (aka, Reed Richard and Sue Storm’s son and Doctor Doom and Sue’s daughter, respectively). The first issues of Marvel 2-In-One by Chip Zdarsky and Jim Cheung set a series of events into motion that would bring The Thing and Human Torch back to Reed and Sue Richards.
Another good indicator that the Fantastic Four would be welcomed back into Marvel‘s ranks was the acquisition of several key Fox studios late last year by Disney. The merger means that Disney (and by proxy, Marvel) once again hold the rights to the Fantastic Four, and their re-apperance in the comics was only a matter of time.
Regardless, it’s nice to know that one of the most important parts of the Marvel Universe, and one of Stan Lee’s most loved legacies, is finally coming home.