Marvel’s “First Family”, The Fantastic Four returns to the comic landscape after a three-year hiatus in August 2018! All the members of The Fantastic Four have not been seen together since the end of the epic Marvel crossover event Secret Wars(2015) where the team ultimately disbanded leaving fans without their favorite team of superheroes. Marvel has announced officially on March 29th that the team will finally be returning with Fantastic Four #1, written by longtime The Amazing Spiderman writer Dan Slott with art from Sara Pichelli.
Why was the Fantastic Four canceled in the first place?
The Fantastic Four was canceled in April of 2015 with issue #645, leaving a Marvel without their oldest and most famous characters. There are some various reasons why many believe Marvel canceled this publication.
The first and most apparent was poor sales. As we have seen with Marvel’s recent behavior, they are not afraid to cancel books that are not selling. Even though the team has been a staple in the comic book universe for years, sales were not up to par with what Marvel was looking for at that time.
The second reason people feel that the book was canceled is that of the ongoing fight that Marvel and Fox had with the movie rights. The success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has proven that Marvel Studios knows what they are doing when it comes to making movies. The legacy and importance of the Fantastic Four is one that Marvel would love to show on the big screen but they, unfortunately, do not have the movie rights because they sold it to 21st Century Fox years prior. With Fox not wanting to budge on giving the rights back to Marvel, they canceled the book so they can focus on promoting characters they have all the legal rights.
Where has the team been?
Since the Fantastic Four team has not been active, there are still some characters that are active in the Marvel Universe. Johnny Storm aka The Human Torch has floated around helping out the superpowered species called the Inhumans and mainly worked along with other teams and not in a very prominent role. Ben Grimm aka The Thing has mostly been hanging around other super-powered groups as well such as the Guardians Of The Galaxy. The main antagonist of the Fantastic Four, Dr. Doom has had a change of heart and now operates as a good guy wearing his version of the Iron Man suit and occasionally helping out others. As for Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic and Susan Storm aka Invisible Women and their children Franklin and Valaria, well we haven’t seen them. The last time they played a role in comics was when They helped re-make the universe at the end of Secret Wars back in 2015.
In December of 2017, Marvel released Marvel Two-In-One #1 where once again The Thing and The Human Torch teamed up but this time to travel the multiverse to go and find Reed and Sue as well as the kids with Dr. Doom involved as well. There was a theory that Reed and Sue are out in the multiverse. This story is still ongoing so more information will be released in time. This is a return to familiarity as fans are finally are getting a version of the Fantastic Four that they so desperately want.
What does the future hold?
With Marvel now publishing a book that centers around Fantastic Four characters one can only assume that this will lead to the return of the full team. The theory is the Marvel Two-in-One will lead directly into the group rejoining. Fans are still asking some questions. , Will Dr. Doom turn evil once more? As much as the Fantastic Four are great on their own, the greatness comes from their villains, and there are very few that are as iconic as Dr. Doom. With five months still to go and more information to be released there is only speculation to what the new book will be like, but what we do know is that the Fantastic Four will be back in all their glory.