is a fictional superhero team appearing in American
comic books published by
Comics. The group debuted in The
#1 (cover dated Nov. 1961), which helped to usher in a
new level of realism in the medium. The
was the first
superhero team created by editor/co-plotter
artist/co-plotter Jack Kirby, who developed a collaborative approach
to creating comics with this title that they would use from then on.
The four individuals traditionally associated with the Fantastic Four,
who gained superpowers after exposure to cosmic rays during a
scientific mission to outer space, are
Richards), a scientific genius and the leader of the group, who can
stretch his body into incredible lengths and shapes; the Invisible
Woman (Susan "Sue" Storm), who eventually married Reed, who can render
herself invisible and later project powerful invisible force fields;
(Johnny Storm), Sue's younger brother, who can
generate flames, surround himself with them and fly; and the monstrous
Thing (Ben Grimm), their grumpy but benevolent friend, a former
college football star and Reed's college roommate as well as a good
pilot, who possesses tremendous superhuman strength, durability, and
endurance due to the nature of his stone-like flesh.
Since their original 1961 introduction, the
portrayed as a somewhat dysfunctional, yet loving, family. Breaking
convention with other comic book archetypes of the time, they would
squabble and hold grudges both deep and petty and eschewed anonymity
or secret identities in favor of celebrity status. The team is also
well known for its recurring encounters with characters such as the
villainous monarch Doctor Doom, the planet-devouring Galactus, the
sea-dwelling prince Namor, the spacefaring
shape-changing alien Skrulls.
have been adapted into other media, including four
animated series and four live-action films.
1 Publication history
1.3 1980s and 1990s
Human Torch solo
2.2 The Thing solo
4 Supporting characters
4.1 Allies and supporting characters
5 Cultural impact
6 In other media
6.3 Video games
7 See also
10 Further reading
11 External links
Apocryphal legend has it that in 1961, longtime magazine and comic
book publisher Martin Goodman was playing golf with either Jack
Irwin Donenfeld of rival company DC Comics, then known as
National Periodical Publications, and that the top executive bragged
about DC's success with the new superhero team the
Justice League of
America.[note 1] While film producer and comics historian Michael
Uslan has debunked the particulars of that story,[note 2] Goodman, a
publishing trend-follower, aware of the JLA's strong sales, did direct
his comics editor, Stan Lee, to create a comic-book series about a
team of superheroes. According to Lee, writing in 1974, "Martin
mentioned that he had noticed one of the titles published by National
Comics seemed to be selling better than most. It was a book called The
Justice League of America and it was composed of a team of
superheroes. ... 'If the
Justice League is selling', spoke he, 'why
don't we put out a comic book that features a team of
Lee, who had served as editor-in-chief and art director of Marvel
Comics and its predecessor companies,
Timely Comics and Atlas Comics,
for two decades, found that the medium had become creatively
restrictive. Determined "to carve a real career for myself in the
nowhere world of comic books",[note 3] Lee concluded that, "For just
this once, I would do the type of story I myself would enjoy
reading.... And the characters would be the kind of characters I could
personally relate to: they'd be flesh and blood, they'd have their
faults and foibles, they'd be fallible and feisty, and — most
important of all — inside their colorful, costumed booties they'd
still have feet of clay.":17
Lee said he created a synopsis for the first
Fantastic Four story that
he gave to penciller Jack Kirby, who then drew the entire story. Kirby
turned in his penciled art pages to Lee, who added dialogue and
captions. This approach to creating comics, which became known as the
Marvel Method", worked so well for Lee and
Kirby that they used it
from then on; the
Marvel Method became standard for the company within
Kirby recalled events somewhat differently. Challenged with Lee's
version of events in a 1990 interview,
Kirby responded: "I would say
that's an outright lie",:39 although the interviewer, Gary Groth,
notes that this statement needs to be viewed with caution.[note 4]
Kirby claims he came up with the idea for the
Fantastic Four in
Marvel's offices, and that Lee had merely added the dialogue after the
story had been pencilled.:38
Kirby also sought to establish, more
credibly and on numerous occasions, that the visual elements of the
strip were his conceptions. He regularly pointed to a team he had
created for rival publisher
DC Comics in the 1950s, the Challengers of
the Unknown. "[I]f you notice the uniforms, they're the same... I
always give them a skintight uniform with a belt... the Challengers
and the FF have a minimum of decoration. And of course, the Thing's
skin is a kind of decoration, breaking up the monotony of the blue
uniform.":4 The chest insignia of a "4" within a circle, however,
was designed by Lee. The characters wear no uniforms in the first
Given the conflicting statements, outside commentators have found it
hard to identify with precise detail who created the Fantastic Four.
Although Stan Lee's typed synopsis for the
Fantastic Four exists, Earl
Wells, writing in The Comics Journal, points out that its existence
does not assert its place in the creation: "[W]e have no way of
knowing of whether Lee wrote the synopsis after a discussion with
Kirby in which
Kirby supplied most of the ideas".:78 Comics
R. C. Harvey believes that the
Fantastic Four was a
furtherance of the work
Kirby had been doing previously, and so "more
likely Kirby's creations than Lee's".:69 But Harvey notes that the
Marvel Method of collaboration allowed each man to claim credit,:68
and that Lee's dialogue added to the direction the team took.:69
Wells argues that it was Lee's contributions which set the framework
Kirby worked, and this made Lee "more responsible".:85
Comics historian Mark Evanier, a studio assistant to
Jack Kirby in the
1970s, says that the considered opinion of Lee and Kirby's
contemporaries was "that
Fantastic Four was created by Stan and Jack.
No further division of credit seemed appropriate".:122
The release of The
Fantastic Four #1 (Nov. 1961) was an unexpected
success. Lee had felt ready to leave the comics field at the time, but
the positive response to
Fantastic Four persuaded him to stay on.
The title began to receive fan mail and Lee started printing the
letters in a letter column with issue #3. Also with the third issue,
Lee created the hyperbolic slogan "The Greatest Comic
Magazine in the
World!!" With the following issue, the slogan was changed to "The
World's Greatest Comic Magazine!" and became a fixture on the issue
covers into the 1990s,:87 and on numerous covers in the 2000s.
Fantastic Four #48 (Sept. 1966): The Watcher warns, in part one of the
Galactus Trilogy". Cover art by
Kirby and Joe Sinnott.
Issue #4 (May 1962) reintroduced
Namor the Sub-Mariner, an aquatic
antihero who was a star character of Marvel's earliest iteration,
Timely Comics, during the late 1930s and 1940s period that historians
and fans call the Golden Age of Comics. Issue #5 (July 1962)
introduced the team's most frequent nemesis, Doctor Doom. These
earliest issues were published bimonthly. With issue #16 (July 1963),
the cover title dropped its The and became simply Fantastic Four.
While the early stories were complete narratives, the frequent
appearances of these two antagonists, Doom and Namor, in subsequent
issues indicated the creation of a long narrative by Lee and Kirby
that extended over months. According to comics historian Les Daniels,
"only narratives that ran to several issues would be able to contain
their increasingly complex ideas".:88 During its creators' lengthy
run, the series produced many acclaimed storylines and characters that
have become central to Marvel, including the hidden race of
alien-human genetic experiments, the Inhumans; the Black
Panther, an African king who would be mainstream comics' first
black superhero; the rival alien races the
Kree and the
shapeshifting Skrulls; Him, who would become Adam Warlock; the
Negative Zone and unstable molecules. The story frequently cited as
Lee and Kirby's finest achievement is the three-part "Galactus
Trilogy" that began in
Fantastic Four #48 (March 1966), chronicling
the arrival of Galactus, a cosmic giant who wanted to devour the
planet, and his herald, the Silver Surfer.
Fantastic Four #48
was chosen as #24 in the
100 Greatest Marvels of All Time poll of
Marvel's readers in 2001. Editor
Robert Greenberger wrote in his
introduction to the story that, "As the fourth year of the Fantastic
Four came to a close,
Stan Lee and
Jack Kirby seemed to be only
warming up. In retrospect, it was perhaps the most fertile period of
any monthly title during the
Marvel Age." Daniels noted that
"[t]he mystical and metaphysical elements that took over the saga were
perfectly suited to the tastes of young readers in the 1960s", and Lee
soon discovered that the story was a favorite on college
Fantastic Four Annual was used to spotlight
several key events. The Sub-Mariner was crowned king of Atlantis in
the first annual (1963). The following year's annual revealed the
origin story of Doctor Doom.
Fantastic Four Annual #3 (1965)
presented the wedding of
Reed Richards and Sue Storm. Lee and
Kirby reintroduced the original
Human Torch in
Fantastic Four Annual
#4 (1966) and had him battle Johnny Storm. Sue Richards' pregnancy
was announced in
Fantastic Four Annual #5 (1967), and the Richards'
son, Franklin Richards was born in
Fantastic Four Annual #6 (1968)
in a story which introduced
Annihilus as well.
Marvel filed for a trademark for "Fantastic Four" in 1967 and the
United States Patent and
Trademark Office issued the registration in
Marvel in mid-1970, having drawn the first 102 issues
plus an unfinished issue, partially published in
Fantastic Four #108,
with alterations, and later completed and published as Fantastic Four:
The Lost Adventure (April 2008),
Fantastic Four continued with Lee,
Gerry Conway and
Marv Wolfman as its consecutive
regular writers, working with artists such as John Romita Sr., John
Rich Buckler and George Pérez, with longtime inker Joe
Sinnott adding some visual continuity.
Jim Steranko also contributed
some covers during this time. A short-lived series starring the team,
Giant-Size Super-Stars, began in May 1974 and changed its title to
Fantastic Four with issue #2. The fourth issue
introduced Jamie Madrox, a character who later became part of the
Fantastic Four was canceled with issue #6 (Oct.
Roy Thomas and
George Pérez crafted a metafictional story
Fantastic Four #176 (Nov. 1976) in which the Impossible Man
visited the offices of
Marvel Comics and met numerous comics
Marv Wolfman and
Keith Pollard crafted a multi-issue
storyline involving the son of
Doctor Doom which culminated in issue
#200 (Nov. 1978). John Byrne joined the title with issue #209
(Aug. 1979), doing pencil breakdowns for Sinnott to finish. He and
Wolfman introduced a new herald for
Terrax the Tamer in
#211 (Oct. 1979).
1980s and 1990s
Bill Mantlo briefly followed Wolfman as writer of the series and wrote
a crossover with Peter Parker,
The Spectacular Spider-Man
The Spectacular Spider-Man #42 (May
1980). Byrne wrote and drew a giant-sized Fantastic Four
promotional comic for Coca-Cola, which was rejected by
being too violent and published as
Fantastic Four #220–221
(July–Aug. 1980) instead. Writer
Doug Moench and penciller Bill
Sienkiewicz then took over for 10 issues. With issue #232 (July 1981),
the aptly titled "Back to the Basics", Byrne began his run as
writer, penciller and inker, the last under the pseudonym Bjorn Heyn
for this issue only.
Byrne revitalized the slumping title with his run.:265 Originally,
Byrne was slated to write with Sienkiewicz providing the art.
Sienkiewicz left to do Moon Knight, and Byrne subsequently became
writer, artist, and inker. Various editors were assigned to the comic;
Bob Budiansky became the regular editor. Byrne told Jim
Shooter that he could not work with Budiansky, although they
ultimately continued to work together. In 2006, Byrne said "that's my
paranoia. I look back and I think that was Shooter trying to force me
off the book". Byrne left following issue #293 (Aug. 1986) in the
middle of a story arc, explaining he could not recapture the fun he
had previously had on the series. One of Byrne's changes was
making the Invisible Girl into the Invisible Woman: assertive and
confident. During this period, fans came to recognize that she was
quite powerful, whereas previously, she had been primarily seen as a
superpowered mother and wife in the tradition of television moms like
those played by
Donna Reed and Florence Henderson.
Byrne staked new directions in the characters' personal lives, having
Sue Storm and
Reed Richards suffer a miscarriage and the
Thing quitting the Fantastic Four, with
She-Hulk being recruited as
his long-term replacement. He also re-emphasized the family dynamic
which he felt the series had drifted away from after the Lee/Kirby
run, commenting that, "Family—and not dysfunctional family—is the
central, key element to the FF. It is an absolutely vital dynamic
between the characters." [emphases in original]
Byrne was followed by a quick succession of writers: Roger Stern, Tom
DeFalco, and Roy Thomas.
Steve Englehart took over as writer for
issues 304–332 (except #320). The title had been struggling, so
Englehart decided to make radical changes. He felt the title had
become stale with the normal makeup of Reed, Sue, Ben, and Johnny, so
in issue #308 Reed and Sue retired and were replaced with the Thing's
new girlfriend, Sharon Ventura, and Johnny Storm's former love,
Crystal. The changes increased readership through issue #321. At this
Marvel made decisions about another Englehart comic, West Coast
Avengers, that he disagreed with, and in protest he changed his byline
to S.F.X. Englehart (S.F.X. is the abbreviation for Simple Sound
Effects). In issue #326, Englehart was told to bring Reed and Sue back
and undo the other changes he had made. This caused Englehart to take
his name entirely off the book. He used the pseudonym John Harkness,
which he had created years before for work he didn't want to be
associated with. According to Englehart, the run from #326 through his
last issue, #332, was "one of the most painful stretches of [his]
Walt Simonson took over as writer with #334
(December 1989), and three issues later began pencilling and inking as
well. With brief inking exceptions, two fill-in issues, and a
three-issue stint drawn by Arthur Adams, Simonson remained in
all three positions through #354 (July 1991).
Simonson, who had been writing the team comic The Avengers, had gotten
approval for Reed and Sue to join that team after Engelhart had
written them out of Fantastic Four. Yet by
The Avengers #300, where
they were scheduled to join the team, Simonson was told the characters
were returning to Fantastic Four. This led to Simonson quitting The
Avengers after that issue. Shortly afterward, he was offered the job
of writing Fantastic Four. Having already prepared a number of stories
involving the Avengers with Reed and Sue in the lineup, he then
rewrote these for Fantastic Four. Simonson later recalled that working
Fantastic Four allowed him the latitude to use original Avengers
members Thor and Iron Man, which he had been precluded from using in
After another fill-in, the regular team of writer and Marvel
editor-in-chief Tom DeFalco, penciller Paul Ryan and inker Dan
Bulanadi took over, with Ryan self-inking beginning with #360 (Jan.
1992). That team, with the very occasional different inker, continued
for years through #414 (July 1996). DeFalco nullified the
Storm-Masters marriage by retconning that the alien
Skrull Empire had
kidnapped the real Masters and replaced her with a spy named Lyja.
Once discovered, Lyja, who herself had fallen for Storm, helped the
Fantastic Four rescue Masters. Ventura departed after being further
mutated by Doctor Doom. Although some fans were not pleased with
DeFalco's run on Fantastic Four, calling him "The Great Satan", the
title's sales increased over the period.
Other key developments included Franklin Richards being sent into the
future and returning as a teenager; the return of Reed's
time-traveling father, Nathaniel, who is revealed to be the father of
Kang the Conqueror
Kang the Conqueror and Reed's apparent death
at the hands of a seemingly mortally wounded Doctor Doom. It would
be two years before DeFalco resurrected the two characters, revealing
that their "deaths" were orchestrated by the supervillain Hyperstorm.
The ongoing series was canceled with issue #416 (Sept. 1996) and
relaunched with vol. 2, #1 (Nov. 1996) as part of the multi-series
"Heroes Reborn" crossover story arc. The yearlong volume retold the
team's first adventures in a more contemporary style, and set in a
parallel universe. Following the end of that experiment, Fantastic
Four was relaunched with vol. 3, #1 (Jan. 1998). Initially by the team
Scott Lobdell and penciller Alan Davis, it went after
three issues to writer
Chris Claremont (co-writing with Lobdell for
#4–5) and penciller Salvador Larroca; this team enjoyed a long run
through issue #32 (Aug. 2000).
Promotional art for Fantastic Four: The Lost Adventure #1 (February
2008) by Jack Kirby
Following the run of Claremont, Lobdell and Larroca, Carlos Pacheco
took over as penciller and co-writer, first with Rafael Marín, then
with Marín and Jeph Loeb. This series began using dual numbering, as
if the original
Fantastic Four series had continued unbroken, with
issue #42 / #471 (June 2001). At the time, the
Marvel Comics series
begun in the 1960s, such as Thor and The Amazing Spider-Man, were
given such dual numbering on the front cover, with the present-day
volume's numbering alongside the numbering from the original series.
After issue #70 / #499 (Aug. 2003), the title reverted to its original
vol. 1 numbering with issue #500 (Sept. 2003).
Karl Kesel succeeded Loeb as co-writer with issue #51 / #480 (March
2002), and after a few issues with temporary teams,
Mark Waid took
over as writer with #60 / 489 (October 2002) with artist Mike Wieringo
Marvel releasing a promotional variant edition of their otherwise
$2.25 debut issue at the price of nine cents US. Pencillers
Mark Buckingham, Casey Jones, and Howard Porter variously contributed
through issue #524 (May 2005), with a handful of issues by other teams
also during this time. Writer
J. Michael Straczynski
J. Michael Straczynski and penciller
Mike McKone did issues #527–541 (July 2005 – Nov. 2006), with
Dwayne McDuffie taking over as writer the following issue, and Paul
Pelletier succeeding McKone beginning with #544 (May 2007).
As a result of the events of the "Civil War" company-crossover
storyline, the Black Panther and Storm temporarily replaced Reed and
Susan Richards on the team. During that period, the Fantastic Four
also appeared in Black Panther, written by
Reginald Hudlin and
pencilled primarily by Francis Portela. Beginning with issue #554
(April 2008), writer
Mark Millar and penciller
Bryan Hitch began what
Marvel announced as a sixteen-issue run. Following the summer
2008 crossover storyline, "Secret Invasion", and the 2009 aftermath
"Dark Reign", chronicling the U.S. government's assigning of the
Nation's security functions to the seemingly reformed supervillain
Norman Osborn, the
Fantastic Four starred in a five-issue miniseries,
Fantastic Four (May–Sept. 2009), written by Jonathan
Hickman, with art by Sean Chen. Hickman took over as the
series regular writer as of issue #570 with Dale Eaglesham and
later Steve Epting on art.
In the storyline "Three", which concluded in
Fantastic Four #587
(cover date March 2011, published January 26, 2011), the Human Torch
appears to die stopping a horde of monsters from the other-dimensional
Negative Zone. The series ended with the following issue, #588, and
relaunched in March 2011 as simply FF. The relaunch saw
the team assume a new name, the Future Foundation, adopt new
black-and-white costumes, and accept longtime ally
Spider-Man as a
member. In October 2011, with the publication of FF #11
(cover-dated Dec. 2011), the
Fantastic Four series reached its 599th
In November 2011, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Fantastic
Four and of
Marvel Comics, the company published the 100-page
Fantastic Four #600 (cover-dated Jan. 2012), which returned the
title to its original numbering and featured the return of the Human
Torch. It revealed the fate of the character of Johnny Storm after
issue #587, showing that while he did in fact die, he was resurrected
to fight as a gladiator for the entertainment of Annihilus. Storm
later formed a resistance force called Light Brigade and defeated
Although it was launched as a continuation of the Fantastic Four
title, FF continues publication as a separate series. Starting with
issue #12, the title focuses upon the youthful members of the Future
Foundation, including Franklin and Valeria Richards.
In the graphic novel Fantastic Four: Season One, the
Fantastic Four is
given an updated origin story set in the present day instead of the
1960s. The hardcover compilation debuted at number four on The New
York Times Best Seller list for graphic novels.
As part of
Fantastic Four ended with #611, ending Jonathan
Hickman's long run on FF titles, and the title was relaunched in
November 2012 with the creative team of writer
Matt Fraction and
artist Mark Bagley. In the new title with its numbering
starting at #1, the entire
Fantastic Four family explore space
together, with the hidden intent for
Reed Richards to discover why his
powers are fading.
Writer James Robinson and artist
Leonard Kirk launched a new Fantastic
Four series in February 2014 (cover dated April 2014).
Robinson later confirmed that
Fantastic Four would be cancelled in
2015 with issue #645, saying that "The book is reverting to its
original numbers, and the book is going away for a while. I'm moving
towards the end of Fantastic Four. I just want to reassure people that
you will not leave this book with a bad taste in your mouth." In
the aftermath of the "Secret Wars" storyline, the Thing is working
with the Guardians of the Galaxy and the
Human Torch is acting as an
ambassador with the Inhumans. With Franklin's powers restored and
Reed having absorbed the power of the Beyonders from Doom, the
Richards family is working on travelling through and reconstructing
the multiverse, but Peter Parker has purchased the Baxter Building
to keep it "safe" until the team is ready to come back together.
A new volume for the
Fantastic Four is currently planned for release
in August 2018, as part of Marvel's A Fresh Start event.
Ancillary titles and features spun off from the flagship series
include the 1970s quarterly Giant-Size
Fantastic Four and the 1990s
Fantastic Four Unlimited and
Fantastic Four Unplugged; Fantastic
Force, an 18-issue spinoff (November 1994 – April 1996) featuring an
adult Franklin Richards, from a different timeline, as Psi-Lord. A
12-issue series Fantastic Four: The World's Greatest Comics Magazine
ran in 2001, paying homage to
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's legendary run.
A spinoff title
Marvel Knights 4
Marvel Knights 4 (April 2004 – August 2006) was
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and initially illustrated by Steve
McNiven in his first
Marvel work. As well, there have been
numerous limited series featuring the group.
Fantastic Four 2099. The series was part of
Marvel 2099 imprint, which explored an alternate future
Marvel Universe. The four protagonists inexplicably find
themselves in 2099, with the world believing them to be clones of the
original members of the Fantastic Four. The series ran for 8 issues
(Jan. – Aug. 1996), serving as a companion to Doom 2099—an
Marvel 2099 title which featured an individual claiming to be
the original Victor von Doom.
Marvel launched Ultimate Fantastic Four. As part of the
Ultimate Marvel imprint, the series re-imagined the team as
teenagers. The series ran for 60 issues (Feb. 2004 – Feb. 2009).
Marvel also launched
Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four, an
out-of-continuity series aimed at younger readers.
Although it was launched by
Marvel as a continuation of the Fantastic
Four title in 2011, FF continued publication as a separate series
after the regular series resumed in 2012. From issues #12, the title
focused upon the youthful members of the Future Foundation, including
Franklin and Valeria Richards. A second volume was launched as part of
Marvel NOW! by
Matt Fraction and
Mike Allred depicting a substitute
Fantastic Four team starring Scott Lang, Medusa, She-Hulk, and Ms.
Human Torch solo
Human Torch was given a solo strip in
Strange Tales in 1962 in
order to bolster sales of the title.:98 The series began in Strange
Tales #101 (October 1962), in 12- to 14-page stories plotted by Lee
and initially scripted by his brother, Larry Lieber, and drawn by
Kirby and inker Dick Ayers.
Here, Johnny was seen living with his older sister, Susan, in
fictional Glenview, Long Island, New York, where he continued high
school and, with youthful naiveté, attempted to maintain a "secret
Strange Tales #106 (March 1963), Johnny discovered that
his friends and neighbors knew of his dual identity all along, from
Fantastic Four news reports, but were humoring him. Supporting
characters included Johnny's girlfriend, Doris Evans, usually in
consternation as Johnny cheerfully flew off to battle bad guys. She
was seen again in a 1973 issue of Fantastic Four, having become a
heavyset but cheerful wife and mother. Ayers took over the
penciling after ten issues, later followed by original Golden Age
Human Torch creator
Carl Burgos and others. The
Fantastic Four made
occasional cameo appearances, and the Thing became a co-star with
issue #123 (Aug. 1964).
Human Torch shared the split book
Strange Tales with fellow
Doctor Strange for the majority of its run, before being
replaced in issue #135 (August 1965) by Nick Fury, Agent of
S.H.I.E.L.D.. The Silver Age stories were republished in 1974, along
with some Golden Age
Human Torch stories, in a short-lived ongoing
Human Torch series.
A later ongoing solo series in Marvel's manga-influenced Tsunami
imprint, Human Torch, ran 12 issues (June 2003 – June 2004),
followed by the five-issue limited series Spider-Man/Human Torch
(March–July 2005), an untold tales team-up arc spanning the course
of their friendship.
The Thing solo
The Thing appeared in two team-up issues of
Marvel Feature (#11–12,
September–November 1973). Following their success, he was given his
own regular team-up title
Marvel Two-in-One, co-starring with Marvel
heroes not only in the present day but occasionally in other time
periods (fighting alongside the World War II-era
Liberty Legion in #20
and the 1930s hero
Doc Savage in #21, for example) and in alternate
realities. The series ran 100 issues (January 1974 – June 1983),
with seven summer annuals (1976–1982) and was immediately followed
by the solo title The Thing #1–36 (July 1983 – June 1986). Another
ongoing solo series, also titled The Thing, ran eight issues
Fantastic Four is formed after four civilian astronauts are
exposed to cosmic rays during an unauthorized outer space test flight
in an experimental rocket ship designed by Dr. Reed Richards. Pilot
Ben Grimm and crew-members Susan Storm and her brother Johnny Storm
survive an emergency crash-landing in a field on Earth. Upon exiting
the rocket, the four discover they have developed incredible
superpowers, and decide to use these powers to help others.
In the first issue the crew talks about Reed Richards' rocketship
flying to the stars. Stan Lee's original synopsis described the crew's
plan to fly to Mars, but Lee later shortly afterward wrote that due to
"the rate the Communists are progressing in space, maybe we better
make this a flight to the STARS, instead of just to Mars, because by
the time this mag goes on sale, the Russians may have already MADE a
flight to Mars!"
In a significant departure from preceding superhero conventions, the
Fantastic Four make no effort to maintain secret identities or, until
issue #3, to wear superhero costumes, instead maintaining a public
profile and enjoying celebrity status for scientific and heroic
contributions to society. At the same time, they are often prone to
arguing and even fighting with one another. Despite their bickering,
Fantastic Four consistently prove themselves to be "a cohesive and
formidable team in times of crisis.":204–205
While there have been a number of lineup changes to the group, the
four characters who debuted in
Fantastic Four #1 remain the core and
most frequent lineup.
Mister Fantastic (Reed Richards), a scientific genius, can stretch,
twist and re-shape his body to inhuman proportions. Mr. Fantastic
serves as the father figure of the group, and is "appropriately
pragmatic, authoritative, and dull".:19 Richards blames himself
for the failed space mission, particularly because of how the event
transformed pilot Ben Grimm.:205
Stan Lee said the stretch powers
were inspired by DC's Plastic Man, which had no equivalent in
Invisible Woman (Susan Storm), Reed Richards'
girlfriend (and eventual wife) has the ability to bend and manipulate
light to render herself and others invisible.
Stan Lee did not want
Sue to have superstrength, "to be
Wonder Woman and punch people", so
eventually he came to invisibility, inspired by works such as The
Invisible Man. She later develops the ability to generate
invisible force fields, which she uses for a variety of defensive and
Human Torch (Johnny Storm), Sue Storm's younger brother, possesses
the ability to control fire, allowing him to project fire from his
body, as well as the power to fly. This character was loosely based on
Human Torch character published by Marvel's predecessor Timely
Comics in the 1940s, an android that could ignite itself. Lee said
that when he conceptualized the character, "I thought it was a shame
that we didn't have The
Human Torch anymore, and this was a good
chance to bring him back".:85 Unlike the teen sidekicks that
preceded him, the
Human Torch in the early stories was "a typical
adolescent — brash, rebellious, and affectionately
obnoxious.":204 Johnny Storm was killed in the 2011 storyline
"Three", before being brought back and rejoining the reformed
The Thing (Ben Grimm), Reed Richards' college roommate and best
friend, has been transformed into a monstrous, orange, rock-like
humanoid possessing high levels of superhuman strength and durability.
The Thing is often filled with anger, self-loathing and self-pity over
his new existence. He serves as "an uncle figure, a long-term friend
of the family with a gruff
Brooklyn manner, short temper, and caustic
sense of humor".:204 In the original synopsis Lee gave to Kirby,
The Thing was intended as "the heavy", but over the years, the
character has become "the most lovable group member: honest, direct
and free of pretension".:86 Lee said his original pitch to Kirby
stated that The Thing was "someone who turned into a monster" and is
bitter because unlike the other three he cannot change back to a
Fantastic Four has had several different headquarters, most
notably the Baxter Building, located at 42nd Street and Madison
Avenue in New York City. The
Baxter Building was replaced by Four
Freedoms Plaza at the same location after its destruction at the hands
of Kristoff Vernard, adopted son of the team's seminal foe Doctor
Doom. (Prior to the completion of Four Freedoms Plaza, the team took
up temporary residence at Avengers Mansion.) Pier 4, a waterfront
warehouse, served as a temporary headquarters after Four Freedoms
Plaza was destroyed by the ostensible superhero team the
Thunderbolts shortly after the revelation that they were actually
the supervillain team the
Masters of Evil
Masters of Evil in disguise. Pier 4 was
eventually destroyed during a battle with the longtime Fantastic Four
supervillain Diablo, after which the team received a new
Baxter Building, courtesy of one of team leader Reed Richards' former
professors, Noah Baxter. This second
Baxter Building was constructed
in Earth's orbit and teleported into the vacant lot formerly occupied
by the original.
Allies and supporting characters
A number of characters are closely affiliated with the team, share
complex personal histories with one or more of its members but have
never actually held an official membership. Some of these characters
include, but are not limited to:
Namor the Sub-Mariner (previously an
antagonist), Alicia Masters,
Lyja the Lazerfist, H.E.R.B.I.E.,
Kristoff Vernard (Doctor Doom's former protégé), Wyatt Wingfoot,
Sue and Johnny's father Franklin Storm, the receptionist android
Roberta, governess Agatha Harkness, and Reed and Sue's children
Franklin Richards and Valeria Richards.
Several allies of the
Fantastic Four have served as temporary members
of the team, including Crystal, Medusa, Power Man (Luke Cage),
Nova (Frankie Raye), She-Hulk, Ms.
Marvel (Sharon Ventura),
Ant-Man (Scott Lang), Namorita, Storm, and the Black Panther. A
temporary lineup from
Fantastic Four #347–349 (December 1990 –
February 1991) consisted of the Hulk (in his "Joe Fixit" persona),
Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Ghost Rider (Daniel Ketch).
Other notable characters who have been involved with the Fantastic
Four include Alyssa Moy, Caledonia (
Alysande Stuart of Earth-9809),
Fantastic Force, the Inhumans (particularly the royal family
members Black Bolt, Crystal, Medusa, Gorgon, Karnak, Triton, and
Lockjaw), Reed's father Nathaniel Richards, the Silver Surfer
(previously an antagonist), Thundra, postal worker Willie Lumpkin,
Baxter Building landlord Walter Collins, the Thing's rivals the Yancy
Street Gang and
Uatu the Watcher.
Author Christopher Knowles states that Kirby's work on creations such
Inhumans and the Black Panther served as "a showcase of some of
the most radical concepts in the history of the medium".
Main article: List of
Fantastic Four enemies
Writers and artists over many years have created a variety of
characters to challenge the Fantastic Four. Knowles states that Kirby
helped to create "an army of villains whose rage and destructive power
had never been seen before," and "whose primary impulse is to smash
the world." Some of the team's oldest and most frequent enmities
have involved such foes as the Mole Man, the Skrulls,
Sub-Mariner, Doctor Doom, the Puppet Master, Kang the
Conqueror/Rama-Tut/Immortus, Blastaar, the Frightful Four,
Annihilus, Galactus, and Klaw. Other prominent antagonists of the
Fantastic Four have included the Wizard, the Impossible Man, the
Red Ghost and the Super-Apes, the Mad Thinker, the Super-Skrull,
the Molecule Man, Diablo, Dragon Man, Psycho-Man, Ronan the
Accuser, Salem's Seven,
Terrax the Tamer, Terminus,
Lucia von Bardas.
The Fantastic Four's characterization was initially different from all
other superheroes at the time. One major difference is that they do
not conceal their identities, leading the public to be both suspicious
and in awe of them. Also, they frequently argued and disagreed with
each other, hindering their work as a team. Described as "heroes
with hangups" by Stan Lee, the Thing has a temper, and the Human
Torch resents being a child among adults. Mr. Fantastic blames himself
for the Thing's transformation. Social scientist Bradford W. Wright
describes the team as a "volatile mix of human emotions and
personalities". In spite of their disagreements, they ultimately
function well as a team.
The first issue of The
Fantastic Four proved a success, igniting a new
direction for superhero comics and soon influencing many other
superhero comics. Readers grew fond of Ben's grumpiness, Johnny's
tendency to annoy others and Reed and Sue's spats.
Stan Lee was
surprised at the reaction to the first issue, leading him to stay in
the comics field despite previous plans to leave. Comics historian
Stephen Krensky said that "Lee's natural dialogue and flawed
characters appealed to 1960s kids looking to 'get real'".
As of 2005, 150 million comics featuring the
Fantastic Four had been
In other media
There have been four The
Fantastic Four animated TV series and three
released feature films. The
Fantastic Four also guest-starred in the
"Secret Wars" story arc of the 1990s
Spider-Man animated series, and
the Thing guest-starred (with a small cameo from the other Fantastic
Four members) in the "Fantastic Fortitude" episode of the 1996 The
Incredible Hulk series. The
Fantastic Four also appeared in the 2012
series The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
There was a short-lived radio show in 1975 that adapted early
Kirby stories and is notable for casting a pre-Saturday Night
Bill Murray as the Human Torch. Also in the cast were Bob Maxwell
as Reed Richards, Cynthia Adler as Sue Storm, Jim Pappas as Ben Grimm
and Jerry Terheyden as Doctor Doom. Other
Marvel characters featured
in the series included Ant-Man, Prince Namor,
Nick Fury and the Hulk.
Stan Lee narrated the series and the scripts were taken almost
verbatim from the comic books. The radio show was packaged into
five-minute segments, with five segments comprising a complete
adventure. The team appeared on the Power Records album Fantastic
Four: "The Way It Began" book and record set, an audio dramatization
Fantastic Four #126.
Fantastic Four has been the subject of four animated television
series. The first, Fantastic Four, produced by Hanna-Barbera, ran
20 episodes on ABC from September 9, 1967 to March 15, 1970. The
Fantastic Four series, produced by DePatie-Freleng, ran 13
episodes from September 9, 1978, to December 16, 1978; this series
H.E.R.B.I.E. Unit in place of the Human Torch.
Fantastic Four was broadcast as part of The
Hour umbrella, with introductions by Stan Lee. This series ran 26
episodes from September 24, 1994 to February 24, 1996. The fourth
series, Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes, debuted on September
2, 2006, on
Cartoon Network and ran for 26 episodes.
In 1979, the Thing was featured as half of the Saturday morning
cartoon Fred and Barney Meet the Thing. The character of the Thing
received a radical make-over for the series. The title character for
this program was Benjy Grimm, a teenage boy who possessed a pair of
magic Thing-rings which could transform him into the Thing when he put
them together and said "Thing-ring, do your thing!" The other members
Fantastic Four do not appear in the series, nor do the animated
The Flintstones stars
Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble, despite the
title of the program.
Fantastic Four members appear briefly and with little or no
dialogue and are mentioned various times throughout the first season
of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. The most expansive
appearances are in the episode "The Private War of Doctor Doom", in
which the Avengers team up with the
Fantastic Four to battle the
titular supervillain, and in the final episode of season two, in which
the groups team up to battle Galactus. The Thing becomes a member of
the New Avengers in episode 23 of season 2.
Fantastic Four appear in the Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.
episode "Monster No More." The Agents of S.M.A.S.H.
Fantastic Four in thwarting the Tribbitite Invasion.
Fantastic Four in film
A film adaptation of the characters, The Fantastic Four, was completed
in 1994 by producer Roger Corman. The film was not released to
theaters or on home video, but it has since been made available
through bootleg video distributors. It was made because Constantin
Film owned the film rights and would have lost them if it failed to
begin production by a certain deadline, a tactic known as creating an
ashcan copy. According to producer Bernd Eichinger,
Avi Arad had
Marvel purchase the film for a few million dollars.
In 2005, the second film adaptation,
Fantastic Four directed by Tim
Story, was released by 20th Century Fox. Despite mixed reviews from
critics, it earned US$155 million in North America and $330 million
worldwide. The sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver
Surfer, directed by Story and written by Don Payne, was released in
2007. Despite mixed-to-negative reviews, the sequel earned $132
million in North America and a total of $330.6 million worldwide.
Both films feature
Ioan Gruffudd as
Reed Richards / Mr. Fantastic,
Jessica Alba as Susan Storm / Invisible Woman, Chris Evans as Johnny
Storm / Human Torch,
Michael Chiklis as
Ben Grimm / The Thing, and
Julian McMahon as Victor Von Doom / Dr. Doom.
Stan Lee makes cameo
appearances as the mailman
Willie Lumpkin in the first film and as
himself in the second film.
A reboot directed by
Josh Trank (also titled Fantastic Four, but
stylized as Fant4stic) was released on August 7, 2015. The film
Miles Teller as Reed Richards,
Kate Mara as Sue Storm, Michael
B. Jordan as Johnny Storm,
Jamie Bell as
Ben Grimm and
Toby Kebbell as
Doctor Doom. It is based on Ultimate Fantastic
Four. It earned poor reviews and box office results.
In 1985, the
Fantastic Four starred in
Questprobe #3 The Fantastic
Four, an adventure game from
Adventure International for the Atari
8-bit series. In 1997, the group starred in the
Fantastic Four video
game. The team appeared in the Spider-Man: The Animated Series video
game, based on the 1990s
Spider-Man animated series, for the Super NES
and Sega Genesis. The Thing and the
Human Torch appeared in the 2005
Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects.
All of the
Fantastic Four appear as playable characters in the game
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance with
Doctor Doom being the main enemy. The
members of the
Fantastic Four are also featured in Marvel: Ultimate
Alliance 2, although the team is separated over the course of the
Mister Fantastic being 'locked' into the Pro-Registration
side of the game's storyline and the Thing briefly becoming
unavailable to the player- just as he left America in protest of the
war- until he returns to assist in preventing civilian casualties
during the conflict.
Human Torch has an appearance in a mini-game where the player
races against him in all versions of Ultimate Spider-Man, except on
Game Boy Advance
Game Boy Advance platform. The
Fantastic Four star in tie-in
videogames based on the 2005 film
Fantastic Four and its sequel. The
Fantastic Four are also playable characters in
Marvel Heroes and Lego
Marvel Super Heroes.
Fantastic Four starred in their own virtual pinball game Fantastic
Pinball FX 2
Pinball FX 2 released by Zen Studios.
Maximum Fantastic Four
^ That DC all-star superhero team had debuted in The Brave and the
Bold #28 (cover-dated Feb. 1960) before going on to its own hit title
(issue #1 cover-dated Nov. 1960).
^ Uslan, in a letter published in Alter Ego #43 (December 2004), pp.
43–44, writes: "
Irwin Donenfeld said he never played golf with
Goodman, so the story is untrue. I heard this story more than a couple
of times while sitting in the lunchroom at DC's 909 Third Avenue and
75 Rockefeller Plaza office as Sol Harrison and [production chief]
Jack Adler were schmoozing with some of us... who worked for DC during
our college summers.... [T]he way I heard the story from Sol was that
Goodman was playing with one of the heads of Independent News, not DC
Comics (though DC owned Independent News). ... As the distributor of
DC Comics, this man certainly knew all the sales figures and was in
the best position to tell this tidbit to Goodman. ... Of course,
Goodman would want to be playing golf with this fellow and be in his
good graces. ... Sol worked closely with Independent News' top
management over the decades and would have gotten this story straight
from the horse's mouth."
^ Lee, Stan (September 1974). Origins of
Marvel Comics. New York, New
York: Simon & Schuster/Fireside Books.
ISBN 978-0-671-21863-8. [My wife] Joan was commenting about the
fact that after 20 years of producing comics I was still writing
television material, advertising copy and newspaper features in my
spare time. She wondered why I didn't put as much effort and
creativity into the comics as I seemed to be putting into my other
freelance endeavors. ...[H]er little dissertation made me suddenly
realize that it was time to start concentrating on what I was doing
— to carve a real career for myself in the nowhere world of comic
^ Groth explains in his 2002 introduction to the interview that
Kirby's state of mind needs to be taken into consideration when
evaluating certain statements within the interview.
Kirby was involved
in an acrimonious dispute with
Marvel Comics regarding the return of
his artwork, and his relationship with Lee had deteriorated, in part
due to this dispute but also due to Lee's public statements through
the years, which
Kirby saw as diminishing his role. Groth states:
"Lee's contribution is a matter for endless speculation, but most
observers and historians consider Kirby's claims here to be
^ a b Lee, Stan (September 1974). Origins of
Marvel Comics. New York,
New York: Simon & Schuster/Fireside Books.
^ a b c d e f g Daniels, Les (1993). Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of
the World's Greatest Comics. New York, New York: Harry N. Abrams.
^ a b Groth, Gary (February 1990). "Interview III: 'I've never done
anything halfheartedly'". The Comics Journal. Seattle, Washington:
Fantagraphics Books (134). Reprinted in George, Milo, ed. (May
The Comics Journal
The Comics Journal Library Volume 1: Jack Kirby. Seattle,
Washington: Fantagraphics Books. ISBN 1-56097-434-6.
^ Kirby, Jack (May 14, 1971). "Interview II: 'I created an army of
characters, and now my connection to them is lost'". The Great
Electric Bird (Interview). Interview with Tim Skelly. Evanston,
Illinois: WNUR-FM. Transcribed and published in The Nostalgia
Journal #27. Reprinted in George,
The Comics Journal
The Comics Journal Library.
^ Thomas, Roy (August 2011). "Clothes Make the Man – and the
Super-hero Team!". Alter Ego. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows
Publishing (104): 14. Stan himself at some point played around by
drawing a number of possible chest insignias, as seen at left, before
settling on the simple number '4' in a circle ...
^ a b Wells, Earl (October 1995). "Once and For All, Who Was the
Author of Marvel". The Comics Journal. Seattle, Washington
(181). Reprinted in George,
The Comics Journal
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^ a b c Harvey, R. C. (April 1994). "What
Jack Kirby Did". The Comics
Journal. Seattle, Washington (167). Reprinted in George, The
Comics Journal Library.
^ Evanier, Mark (2008). Kirby: King of Comics. New York, New York:
Abrams Books. ISBN 0-8109-9447-X.
^ a b Krensky, Stephen (2007). Comic Book Century: The History of
American Comic Books. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Twenty-First Century
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^ DeFalco, Tom; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "1960s".
A Year by Year History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley.
p. 84. ISBN 978-0756641238. It did not take long for editor
Stan Lee to realize that The
Fantastic Four was a hit...the flurry of
fan letters all pointed to the FF's explosive popularity. CS1
maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 86: "
Stan Lee and Jack Kirbuy
reintroduced one of Marvel's most popular Golden Age heroes – Namor,
^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 86: "The introduction of Dr.
Doom signaled a slight shift in direction for
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
At last they were moving away from their monster-book formulas to
embrace the super hero genre. Dr. Doom was their first real attempt to
create an enduring super villain."
^ Cronin, Brian (September 18, 2010). "A Year of Cool Comics – Day
261". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on November 23,
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^ a b DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 111: "The Inhumans, a lost
race that diverged from humankind 25,000 years ago and became
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262". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on July 8,
2011. Retrieved September 29, 2010.
^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 117:
Stan Lee wanted to do his
part by creating the first black super hero. Lee discussed his ideas
Jack Kirby and the result was seen in
Fantastic Four #52.
^ a b DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 84: "The second issue of
the increasingly popular The
Fantastic Four introduced the
shapeshifting Skrulls, created by
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby...Like the
1956 sci-fi mmovie The Invasion of the Body-Snatchers, Lee and Kirby
tapped into a fear that gripped the U.S. at this time: the fear that
Russian spies were infiltrating society."
^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 124: "
Adam Warlock was an
artificial being created by scientists to be the first of an
invincible army. Simply referred to as "Him' in his early appearances,
Warlock later rebelled against his creators in
Fantastic Four #66."
^ Thomas, Roy (2006). "Moment 29: The
Galactus Trilogy". Stan Lee's
Marvel Universe. New York, New York: Sterling Publishing.
pp. 112–115. ISBN 978-1-4027-4225-5.
^ Hatfield, Charles (February 2004). "The
Galactus Trilogy: An
Appreciation". The Collected
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^ Cronin, Brian (February 19, 2010). "A Year of Cool Comics – Day
50". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on May 4, 2010.
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^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 115: "
Stan Lee may have
started the creative discussion that culminated in Galactus, but the
inclusion of the
Silver Surfer in
Fantastic Four #48 was pure Jack
Kirby realized that a being like
Galactus required an equally
^ Greenberger, Robert, ed. (December 2001). 100 Greatest Marvels of
Marvel Comics. p. 26. CS1 maint: Extra text:
authors list (link)
^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 95
^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 103: "
Fantastic Four Annual #2
revealed that Dr. Doom had been a college classmate of Reed Richards."
^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 110: "Having seen them
together as a couple since
Fantastic Four #1, the fans couldn't wait
for the wedding of
Sue Storm and Reed Richards."
^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 119
^ a b DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 133: "November  saw
the birth of Franklin Richards, the son of Reed and Sue."
^ a b DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 133: "
encountered humanity when Mr. Fantastic, the Human Torch, and the
Thing entered the
Negative Zone in search of anti-matter particles."
^ "Fantastic Four". Markify. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
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Silver Age of comic books] began its end with the departure of artist
Jack Kirby...marking the end of the most creative period in Marvel
^ Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 157: "September 
witnessed a new generation taking command at
Marvel Comics. Roy Thomas
not only became writer of 'The World's Greatest Comic Magazine' with
Fantastic Four #126, but also simultaneously became Marvel's
^ Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 165
^ Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 168: "New
Chris Claremont and artist
John Buscema introduced Madrox the Multiple
Man, a mutant who could duplicate his own body over and over."
Fantastic Four at the Grand Comics Database
^ Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 176: "In a venture into
metafictional comedy, the mischievous
Impossible Man visited the
Marvel offices, where he met his creators
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, as
well as the collaborators on his current story, writer
Roy Thomas and
artist George Pérez."
^ Martini, Frank (December 2013). "Marv Wolfman's Bicentennial
Battles". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing
^ Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 190: "Created by writer Marv
Wolfman and artist John Byrne,
Terrax would not only become a threat
Fantastic Four but also
^ Manning, Matthew K.; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2012). "1980s". Spider-Man
Chronicle Celebrating 50 Years of Web-Slinging. London, United
Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 113. ISBN 978-0756692360. In
the conclusion to a tale that had begun in the pages of Peter Parker,
The Spectacular Spider-Man
The Spectacular Spider-Man #42 (May), writer [Bill] Mantlo and artist
John Byrne had the latest incarnation of the
Frightful Four face off
against their Fantastic counterparts CS1 maint: Extra text:
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Jim (i). "Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death!" Peter Parker,
The Spectacular Spider-Man 42 (May 1980)
^ Mantlo, Bill (w), Byrne, John (p), Sinnott,
Joe (i). "When A
Spider-Man Comes Calling!" Fantastic
Four 218 (May 1980)
^ a b Powers, Tom (February 2010). "John Byrne's Fantastic Four: The
Family Magazine!". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North
Publishing (38): 3–22.
^ DeFalco "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 200: "John Byrne went back to
basics with the
Fantastic Four and evoked the title's early days of
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby."
^ "GCD :: Issue ::
Fantastic Four #232 [Direct Edition]".
^ a b c d e f g Wright, Bradford W. (2001). Comic Book Nation: The
Transformation of Youth Culture in America. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns
Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-7450-5.
^ Cooke, Jon B.; Eric Nolen-Weathington (2006). Modern Masters Volume
Seven: John Byrne. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing.
pp. 42–44. ISBN 978-1-893905-56-6.
^ DeFalco "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 221: "After freeing herself
from the Psycho-Man's control, Susan changed her name from the
Invisible Girl to the Invisible Woman."
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"Spider-Man, the Hulk, Wolverine, and Ghost Rider were tricked into
forming a new Fantastic Four...Written by Walter Simonson with art by
Arthur Adams, this new FF found themselves locked in battle with the
^ Cowsill, Alan "1990s" in Gilbert (2012), p. 186: "Take Spidey, Ghost
Rider, Wolverine, and the Hulk, add a script by
Walt Simonson and
illustrations by Art Adams, and the result is one of the best Marvel
comics of the decade."
^ Nolen-Weathington, Eric (2006). Modern Masters Volume Eight: Walter
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Tom DeFalco and penciled by Paul Ryan, Dr. Doom...managed to lure Reed
Richards to him and seemingly ended both of their lives"
^ Manning "1990s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 280: "Jim Lee both wrote and
drew this Heroes Reborn relaunch title with the help of fellow
scripter Brandon Choi."
^ Manning "1990s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 288: "Writer Scott Lobdell
rearranged his X-schedule to try his hand at writing a different team
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May 26, 2013.
^ Richards, Dave (November 27, 2012). "Fraction Celebrates Marvel's
First Families in
Fantastic Four & FF". Comic Book Resources.
Archived from the original on May 27, 2013. Retrieved May 26,
^ Richards, Dave (November 20, 2013). "James Robinson Ushers in a New
Era for the Fantastic Four". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the
original on April 29, 2014. These questions and more will be explored
in an all-new volume of
Fantastic Four by writer James Robinson and
artist Leonard Kirk, which kicks off in February.
^ Ching, Albert (October 12, 2014). "NYCC: Marvel's Axel-In-Charge
Fantastic Four Fate, New
Ant-Man and More". Comic Book
Resources. Archived from the original on September 28, 2015.
^ Johnston, Rich (October 14, 2015). "More Secrets From All-New
Human Torch And Rogue? Really?". Bleeding
Cool. Archived from the original on October 15, 2015. The Thing has
joined the Guardians Of The Galaxy amidst cosmic wordplay between
Rocket Raccoon and the Kitty Pryde Starlord. While the
Human Torch has
joined the Uncanny Avengers, and we already know is getting down with
Inhuman Queen Medusa.
^ Hickman, Jonathan (w), Ribić, Esad (p), Ribić,
Esad (i). "Beyond" Secret Wars 9 (March 2016)
^ Slott, Dan (w), Camuncoli, Giuseppe (p), Smith,
Cam (i). "Friendly Fire"
The Amazing Spider-Man
The Amazing Spider-Man v4, 3
^ THE FANTASTIC FOUR RETURN -Marvel.com
^ Marvel's FANTASTIC FOUR Are Back -Newsarama
^ Manning "2000s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 321: "Playwright Roberto
Aguirre-Sacasa and artist
Steve McNiven focused on the family dynamic
that holds the
Fantastic Four together in this new ongoing series."
^ Manning "2000s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 320: "Brian Michael Bendis,
Mark Millar, and Adam Kubert reexamined Marvel's first family,
creating this alternate version of the Fantastic Four."
^ Conway, Gerry (w), Buscema, John (p), Sinnott,
Joe (i). "A Dragon Stalks the Skies" Fantastic Four 134
^ Note reprinted in Lee, Stan (2011). "Snopses" [sic] The Fantsiuc
[sic] Four July '61 Schedule (#)".
Marvel Firsts: The 1960s. Marvel
Comics. pp. 484–485. ISBN 978-0785158646.
^ a b c McLaughlin, Jeff, ed. (2007). "
Stan Lee Looks Back: The Comics
Legend Recalls Life with Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and Heroes". Stan
Lee: Conversations. Jackson, Mississippi: University Press of
Mississippi. p. 179. ISBN 1578069858.
^ Irving, Christopher (March 1, 2009). "A Land of Geeks and Goblins".
New York. Archived from the original on May 27, 2013. Retrieved July
^ Byrne, John (w), Byrne, John (p), Ordway,
Jerry (i). "Towards Infinity!" Fantastic Four 282
^ Busiek, Kurt (w), Bagley, Mark (p), Russell,
Vince (i). "Heroes' Reward" Thunderbolts 10 (January
^ Pacheco, Carlos; Marin, Rafael (w), Pacheco,
Carlos (p), Merino, Jesus (i). "Shadows in the
Fantastic Four v3, 35 (November 2000)
^ Pacheco, Carlos; Marin, Rafael (w), Pacheco,
Carlos (p), Merino, Jesus (i). "Day of the Dark
Fantastic Four v3, 36 (December 2000)
^ Pacheco, Carlos; Marin, Rafael (w), Pacheco,
Carlos (p), Merino, Jesus (i). "Things Change"
Fantastic Four v3, 39 (March 2001)
^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 89: "[The Puppet Master] used
his blind stepdaughter Alicia in a plot to destroy the Fantastic Four,
but the young sculptress soon fell in love with the Thing."
^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 116: "Roughly based on the
Native American athlete Jim Thorpe,
Wyatt Wingfoot casually sauntered
into Johnny Storm's life in
Fantastic Four #51."
^ Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 144: "Issue #94 of the
Fantastic Four introduced Agatha Harkness, the kindly witch who dwelt
in a Gothic mansion atop Whisper Hill."
^ Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 159: "In Fantastic Four
#132, Medusa of the
Inhumans replaced Susan Richards briefly on the
^ Byrne, John (w), Byrne, John (p), Byrne,
John (i). "The Lady Is for Burning!" Fantastic Four 238
^ a b Knowles, Christopher (2007). Our Gods Wear Spandex. Newburyport,
Massachusetts: Weiser. p. 173–174.
^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 107: "The Wizard...gathered
together his former partner the Trapster, along with the Sandman and
Medusa to form the Frightful Four."
^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 90: "An alien with the power
to morph into any shape or substance he desired, the Impossible Man
was hated by readers at first because he was not a serious menace."
^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 92: "With the Cold War's space
race dominating the news,
Stan Lee and
Jack Kirby mixed real world
events with comic book fantasy in The
Fantastic Four #13...Familiar
with the Fantastic Four's origin, Ivan Kragoff – the
Red Ghost –
trained a crew of apes to pilot a space ship...he deliberately exposed
himself and them to cosmic rays so that they could develop
^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 95: "Owen Reece...became
Molecule Man when he inadvertently gained the power to control and
reshape matter on the molecular level."
^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 107: "The fire-breathing
monster known as
Dragon Man first took wing
Fantastic Four #35. Stan
Jack Kirby modeled him after both Frankenstein and King Kong."
^ a b Bing, Jonathon (July 2005). "The Doom-Defying, Two-Fisted
Marketing of Fantastic Four". Wired. Archived from the original on May
27, 2013. Retrieved 2009-02-25.
^ Wright (2001). Comic Book Nation. p. 205.
^ Fein, Eric (2006). The Creation of the Fantastic Four. The Rosen
Publishing Group. p. 6. ISBN 978-1-4042-0765-3.
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Four". PulpInterest.com. Archived from the original on February 23,
^ a b c Mangels, Andy (May 1991). "Reel Marvel:
Fantastic Four in the
Marvel Comics. 1 (100). Retrieved June
^ Fantastic Four: "The Way It Began" book and record set at the Grand
^ Thomas, Roy; Sanderson, Peter (2007). The
Marvel Vault: A
Museum-in-a-Book with Rare Collectibles from the World of Marvel.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Running Press. p. 101.
ISBN 978-0762428441. In 1967,
Fantastic Four took
over Saturday morning slots on ABC-TV, the latter produced by
^ Vishnevetsky, Ignatiy (December 1, 2014). "Our option on Atlas
Shrugged expires in two days: 6-plus copyright extensions disguised as
movies". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on December 8,
2014. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
^ Brady, Terrence J. (n.d.). "The Fantastic Four-Gotten".
Teako170.com. Archived from the original on July 31, 2014.
^ "Fantastic Four". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on
September 4, 2014. Retrieved April 27, 2010.
Fantastic Four at Box Office Mojo
^ "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer". Box Office Mojo.
Archived from the original on October 6, 2015.
^ McClintock, Pamela (September 18, 2014). "
X-Men Spin-Off Deadpool
Gets Winter 2016 Release Date". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from
the original on September 19, 2014. Retrieved September 18,
^ Vejvoda, Jim (March 8, 2014). "
Miles Teller on What Appealed to Him
Fantastic Four Reboot". IGN. Archived from the original on
May 5, 2014. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
Toby Kebbell to Play
Fantastic Four Villain Doctor Doom
(Exclusive)". Variety. April 1, 2014. Archived from the original on
August 28, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
^ Kebbell, Toby (April 2, 2014). "Thank you for all the support".
Twitter. Archived from the original on April 17, 2014.
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Fantastic Four Cast Revealed".
Variety. Archived from the original on September 4, 2014. Retrieved
February 20, 2014.
^ Hoad, Phil (August 11, 2015). "
Fantastic Four flop: the biggest
superhero disaster since Catwoman". The Guardian. Archived from the
original on December 30, 2015. Fox’s handling of
Fantastic Four –
Marvel’s original multi-superhero squad, the rights for whom were
leased out to
Constantin Film back in 1986 – is a total disaster. A
competent marketing campaign, casting Josh Trank’s $120m reboot in a
Christopher Nolan-esque penumbra, has fooled no one.
^ "Download the
Fantastic Four Table".
April 27, 2011. Archived from the original on November 6, 2016.
Retrieved February 18, 2014.
Marvel Pinball is celebrating 50 years of
Fantastic Four with the addition of its newest table, which
highlights the teamwork of Mister Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, the
Thing and the Human Torch!
Gresh, Lois H.; Robert Weinberg (2002). The Science of Superheroes.
John Wiley & Sons. p. 21–29. ISBN 0-471-02460-0.
Fantastic Four at the Comic Book DB
Fantastic Four at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
Archive of FFPlaza.com Database from the original page
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Fantastic Four Incorporated
Fantastic Four in popular media
Fantastic Four members
Ultimate Fantastic Four
Ultimate Fantastic Four story arcs
Fantastic Four in other media
Fantastic Four (1994)
Fantastic Four (2005)
Fantastic Four: Rise of the
Silver Surfer (2007)
Fantastic Four (2015)
Fantastic Four (1967–1968)
The New Fantastic Four (1978)
Fred and Barney Meet The Thing
Fred and Barney Meet The Thing (1979)
Fantastic Four (1994–1996)
Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes (2006–2007)
Human Torch and the Thing (1985)
Fantastic Four (1997)
Fantastic Four (2005)
Fantastic Four: Rise of the
Silver Surfer (2007)
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