I have always enjoyed the idea of the Fantastic Four. Marvel Comics first team. These unlikely heroes have often captivated and befuddled me. For me the Fantastic Four were always in the background of the comics I was collecting. I remember them with H.e.r.b.i.e. the Robot on Saturday morning cartoons. The first time I purchased a Fantastic Four issue was the “heroes reborn series” and with that I was hooked. I fell in love with the idea that this family was the very backbone of the marvel universe. I understood them. They are the people everyone turns to when the poop hits the fan. If Tony or Peter cannot figure it out, they call Reed. They may not be perfect, but everyone knows they can be trusted. Let me give you a little background from the first issue.
The basic origin of Marvels first team goes a little like this a scientist, his fiancé, a pilot, and the kid brother walk into a bar, stop me if you heard this one and the Fantastic Four were born. Well, maybe not a bar, it was a spacecraft built by Reed Richards (aka Mister Fantastic), to research a cosmic radiation storm. Out of fear of the “Commies” getting the secrets of cosmic radiation first, Reed pushes his Pilot Ben Grimm (aka The Thing), against his better judgment, to launch the craft prematurely without the proper shielding. Although, Reed tried to dissuade Sue Storm (aka Invisible Girl) his fiancé from coming, she would not let him go without her and if Sue was going her so was little brother Johnny Storm ( aka The Human Torch) too. One thing leads to another they are exposed to cosmic radiation, the craft crash lands, and BAMM! they become the Fantastic Four.
Five hundred sixty nine issues later (give or take a few, because of the restarts in the nineties) Jonathan Hickman picks up the book as the writer where he brings a fresh look back to this comic. I stopped reading the Fantastic Four after the Heroes Return story line moved on to other books, but Walt calls me one day and says you have to read this comic and sends me 570 and 571. I was so blown away by the story I immediately picked the book up and added it to my comic shelf. I loved how intertwined throughout the whole Marvel universe these stories were and yet they stayed in their own book. I loved the lead up to Reed choosing family over perfection, to Johnny Storm’s Death, the creation of the future foundation, Spider-man joining the team, Valerie and her favorite uncle Doom, all the science stories, the return of Johnny Storm, the return of the Inhumans and finally the ending. Jonathan Hickman sums up why this comic book has become relevant again on the Final Fantastic Four Fan Page, “It Was love. Boundless, unconditional, to the end of time and back, lift you up from death itself, LOVE. And what’s not fantastic about that?” Quoted From the Fantastic 4 Fan Page, FF No. 23, December 2012. Did Jonathan Hickman “Solve Everything” with the end of his Reign as Writer Supreme of Fantastic Four and FF? Maybe not but he came close and wrote some of the best mind blowing stories in the Marvel Universe while communicating to us what makes them family.
If you never had the opportunity to Read this book Go back get the Jonathan Hickman issues or the collected additions and read it. It is amazing!!!