Fantastic Four (comic book)

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Fantastic Four
The Fantastic Four #1 (Nov. 1961). Cover art by Jack Kirby (penciller) and unconfirmed inker.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
Schedule Monthly
Format Ongoing series
Genre Superhero
Publication date (vol. 1)
November 1961 – September 1996
(vol. 2)
November 1996 – November 1997
(vol. 3)
January 1998 – August 2003
(vol. 1 cont.)
September 2003 – April 2011
(FF)
May – December 2011
(vol. 1 cont. #2)
January – December 2012
(vol. 4)
January 2013 – March 2014
No. of issues (vol. 1): 416 and 27 Annuals
(vol. 2): 13
(vol. 3): 70
(vol. 1 cont.): 89
(FF): 11
(vol. 1 cont. #2): 13 (#600-611 plus #605.1)
(vol. 4): 17 (#1-16 plus #5AU)
(vol. 5): 18 and 1 Annual
Main character(s) Fantastic Four
Creative team
Written by
Penciller(s)
Inker(s)
Collected editions
Essential Fantastic Four: Volume 1 ISBN 0-7851-1828-4

Fantastic Four is the name of several comic book titles featuring the team Fantastic Four and published by Marvel Comics, beginning with the original Fantastic Four comic book series which debuted in 1961.

As the first superhero team title produced by Marvel Comics, it formed a cornerstone of the company's 1960s rise from a small division of a publishing company to a pop culture conglomerate. The title would go on to showcase the talents of comics creators such as Roy Thomas, John Buscema, George Pérez, John Byrne, Steve Englehart, Walt Simonson, and Tom DeFalco, and is one of several Marvel titles originating in the Silver Age of Comic Books that was continuously published through 2015.

Publication history[edit]

Magazine and comic book publisher Martin Goodman, a publishing trend-follower, aware of strong sales on Justice League of America, directed 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 [sic] 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 superheroes?'"[1]:16

1961–1970s[edit]

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.[2] The title began to receive fan mail[3] 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,[4]:87 and on numerous covers in the 2000s.

Fantastic Four #48 (Sept. 1966): The Watcher warns, in part one of the landmark "Galactus Trilogy". Cover art by Kirby and Joe Sinnott.

Issue #4 (May 1962) reintroduced Namor the Sub-Mariner,[5] 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.[6] These earliest issues were published bimonthly. With issue #16 (July 1963), the cover title dropped its The and became simply Fantastic Four.

Kirby left Marvel in mid-1970,[7] 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, Roy Thomas,[8] Gerry Conway and Marv Wolfman as its consecutive regular writers, working with artists such as John Romita Sr., John Buscema, Rich Buckler and George Pérez, with longtime inker Joe Sinnott adding some visual continuity. Jim Steranko also contributed several covers during this time. A short-lived series titled Giant-Size Super-Stars starring the team began in May 1974 and changed its title to Giant-Size Fantastic Four with issue #2.[9] John Byrne joined the title with issue #209 (Aug. 1979), doing pencil breakdowns for Sinnott to finish.

1980s and 1990s[edit]

Bill Mantlo briefly followed Wolfman as writer of the series and wrote a crossover with Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #42 (May 1980).[10][11][12] Byrne wrote and drew a giant-sized Fantastic Four promotional comic for Coca-Cola, which was rejected by Coca-Cola as being too violent and published as Fantastic Four #220-221 (July–Aug. 1980) instead.[13] 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",[14] Byrne began his run as writer, penciller and inker, the last under the pseudonym Bjorn Heyn for this issue only.[15]

Byrne revitalized the slumping title with his run.[16]:265 Originally, Byrne was slated to write with Sienkiewicz providing the art. Sienkiewicz left to do Moon Knight, and Byrne ended up as writer, artist, and inker. Various editors were assigned to the comic; eventually 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.[17]

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 point, 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] career."[18] Writer-artist 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,[19][20] 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 on Fantastic Four allowed him the latitude to use original Avengers members Thor and Iron Man, which he had been precluded from using in The Avengers.[21]

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.[22]

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,[23] 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 of writer Scott Lobdell and penciller Alan Davis,[24] 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).

2000s[edit]

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 with Marvel releasing a promotional variant edition of their otherwise $2.25 debut issue at the price of nine cents US.[25][26] 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 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,[27][28] 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.[29][30] 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, Dark Reign: Fantastic Four (May–Sept. 2009), written by Jonathan Hickman, with art by Sean Chen.[31][32][33] Hickman took over as the series regular writer as of issue #570 with Dale Eaglesham[34] and later Steve Epting on art.

2010s[edit]

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.[35][36][37] 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.[38][39][40] In October 2011, with the publication of FF #11 (cover-dated Dec. 2011), the Fantastic Four series reached its 599th issue.

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),[41] 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 Annihilus.[42]

As part of Marvel NOW! 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.[43][44] 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).[45]

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."[46] 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.[47] With Franklin's powers restored and Reed having absorbed the power of the Beyonders from Doom, the Richards' family are working on travelling through and reconstructing the multiverse,[48] but Peter Parker has purchased the Baxter Building to keep it "safe" until the team is ready to come back together.[49]

Cultural impact[edit]

The first issue of The Fantastic Four proved a success, igniting a new direction for superhero comics and soon influencing many other superhero comics.[50] 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'".[2]

As of 2005, 150 million comics featuring the Fantastic Four had been sold.[51]

Collected editions[edit]

The Fantastic Four stories have been collected into several trade paperback and hardcover editions.

As part of the Essential Marvel range:

Title Years covered Material collected Pages Publication date ISBN
The Fantastic Four, Vol. 1 1961–1963 The Fantastic Four #1–20, Annual #1 544 November 1998 978-0785106661
The Fantastic Four, Vol. 2 1963–1965 The Fantastic Four #21–40, Annual #2; Strange Tales Annual #2 528 October 1999 978-0785107316
The Fantastic Four, Vol. 3 1965–1967 The Fantastic Four #41–63, Annual #3–4 536 August 2001 978-0785126256
The Fantastic Four, Vol. 4 1967–1968 The Fantastic Four #64–83, Annual #5–6 536 June 2005 978-0785114840
The Fantastic Four, Vol. 5 1969–1971 The Fantastic Four #84–110, Annual #7–8 568 June 2006 978-0785121626
The Fantastic Four, Vol. 6 1971–1973 The Fantastic Four #111–137 592 May 2007 978-0785126973
The Fantastic Four, Vol. 7 1973–1975 The Fantastic Four #138–159; Giant-Size Super-Stars #1; Giant-Size Fantastic Four #2–4; Avengers #127 560 July 2008 978-0785130635
The Fantastic Four, Vol. 8 1975–1977 The Fantastic Four #160–179, 181–183, Annual #11; Marvel Two-in-One #20, Annual #1 520 May 2010 978-0785145387
The Fantastic Four, Vol. 9 1977–1979 The Fantastic Four #184–188, 190–207, Annual #12–13 512 July 2013 978-0-7851-8410-2

As part of the Marvel Masterworks series:

# Title Material collected Pages First edition Second edition ISBN
Hardcovers
2 The Fantastic Four: Vol. 1 The Fantastic Four #1–10 256 November 1987 June 2003 978-0785111818
6 The Fantastic Four: Vol. 2 The Fantastic Four #11–20, Annual #1 295 October 1988 July 2003 978-0785109808
13 The Fantastic Four: Vol. 3 The Fantastic Four #21–30 234 September 1990 September 2003 978-0871356291
15 The Silver Surfer: Vol. 1 The Silver Surfer #1–6; The Fantastic Four Annual #5 260 June 1991 June 2003 978-0785131137
21 The Fantastic Four: Vol. 4 The Fantastic Four #31–40, Annual #2 264 November 1992 November 2003 978-0785111832
25 The Fantastic Four: Vol. 5 The Fantastic Four #41–50, Annual #3 240 October 1993 January 2004 978-0785111849
28 The Fantastic Four: Vol. 6 The Fantastic Four #51–60, Annual #4 240 October 2000 March 2004 978-0785112662
34 The Fantastic Four: Vol. 7 The Fantastic Four #61–71, Annual #5 304 August 2004 N/A 978-0785115847
42 The Fantastic Four: Vol. 8 The Fantastic Four #72–81, Annual #6 272 March 2005 N/A 978-0785116943
53 The Fantastic Four: Vol. 9 The Fantastic Four #82–93, Annual #7 272 November 2005 N/A 978-0785118466
62 The Fantastic Four: Vol. 10 The Fantastic Four #94–104 272 May 2006 N/A 978-0785120612
103 The Fantastic Four: Vol. 11 The Fantastic Four #105–116 272 September 2008 N/A 978-0785130468
132 The Fantastic Four: Vol. 12 The Fantastic Four #117–128 272 February 2010 N/A 978-0785142188
169 The Fantastic Four: Vol. 13 The Fantastic Four #129–141 288 November 9, 2011 N/A 978-0-7851-5040-4
188 The Fantastic Four: Vol. 14 The Fantastic Four #142–150, Giant-Size Super-Stars #1, Giant-Size Fantastic Four #2, The Avengers #127 272 November 14, 2012 N/A 978-0-7851-5963-6
197 The Fantastic Four: Vol. 15 The Fantastic Four #151–163 312 August 21, 2013 N/A 978-0785166252
210 The Fantastic Four: Vol. 16 Fantastic Four #164–175, Fantastic Four Annual #11, Marvel Two-In-One #20, Marvel Two-In-One Annual #1 328 September 9, 2014 N/A 978-0-7851-8845-2
220 The Fantastic Four: Vol. 17 Fantastic Four #176–191 272 June 10, 2015 N/A 978-0-7851-9192-6
236 The Fantastic Four: Vol. 18 Fantastic Four #192–203, Fantastic Four Annual #12–13 328 September 14, 2016 N/A 978-1-302-90009-0
Trade paperbacks
The Fantastic Four: Vol. 1 The Fantastic Four #1–10 256 March 2009 N/A 978-0785137108
The Fantastic Four: Vol. 2 The Fantastic Four #11–20, Annual #1 295 July 2009 N/A 978-0785137122
The Fantastic Four: Vol. 3 The Fantastic Four #21–30 234 February 2010 N/A 978-0785142966
The Fantastic Four: Vol. 4 The Fantastic Four #31–40, Annual #2 264 October 2010 N/A 978-0785145660
The Fantastic Four: Vol. 5 The Fantastic Four #41–50, Annual #3 240 February 2011 N/A 978-0785150589
The Fantastic Four: Vol. 6 The Fantastic Four #51–60, Annual #4 240 May 2011 N/A 978-0785150602
The Fantastic Four: Vol. 7 The Fantastic Four #61–71, Annual #5 304 November 2011 N/A 978-0785150626
The Fantastic Four: Vol. 8 The Fantastic Four #72–81, Annual #6 272 August 2012 N/A 978-0785162940
The Fantastic Four: Vol. 9 The Fantastic Four #82–93, Annual #7 272 June 2013 N/A 978-0785167600
The Fantastic Four: Vol. 10 The Fantastic Four #94–104 272 Apr 2014 N/A 978-0785120612

Paperbacks[edit]

Title Material collected Writer Publication date ISBN
Origins of Marvel Comics Fantastic Four #1 and #55 Stan Lee September 1974 978-0671218638
Marvel Comics' The Fantastic Four Fantastic Four #1–6 Stan Lee November 1977 0-671-81445-1
Fantastic Four Epic Collection: The World's Greatest Comic Magazine Fantastic Four #1–18 Stan Lee and Jack Kirby September 2014 978-0785188322
The Fantastic Four Fantastic Four #4, 48–50, and #87 Stan Lee September 1979 978-0671248123
Bring on the Bad Guys: Origins of the Marvel Comics Villains Fantastic Four #5 and Fantastic Four Annual #2 Stan Lee October 1976 978-0671223557
The Superhero Women: Featuring the Fabulous Females of Marvel Comics Fantastic Four #22 Stan Lee November 1977 978-0671229283
Marvel's Greatest Superhero Battles Fantastic Four #25–26 Stan Lee November 1978 978-0671243913
Inhumans: The Origin of the Inhumans Fantastic Four #36, 38–47, 62–65, Annual #5 and material from #48, 50, 52, 54–61 Stan Lee 1965 978-0785184973
Fantastic Four Visionaries: George Pérez, Vol. 1 Fantastic Four #164–167, 170, 176–178, 184–186 Roy Thomas, Len Wein June 2005 978-0785117254
Fantastic Four: Crusaders & Titans Fantastic Four #164–176 Roy Thomas, Len Wein June 2005 978-0785184362
Fantastic Four Visionaries: George Pérez, Vol. 2 Fantastic Four #187–188, 191–192, Annual #14–15; Marvel Two-in-One #60; Adventures of the Thing #3 Len Wein, Marv Wolfman April 2006 978-0785120605
Fantastic Four: Reunited They Stand Fantastic Four #201–203, Annual #12–14 Marv Wolfman February 2013 978-0785162865
Nova Classic, Vol. 3 Fantastic Four #204–206, 208–214, Nova #20–25 Marv Wolfman, Bill Mantlo April 2014 978-0785185529
Fantastic Four Visionaries: John Byrne, Vol. 0 Fantastic Four #215–218, 220–221; Marvel Team-Up #61–62; Marvel Two-in-One #50 Marv Wolfman, Bill Mantlo, Chris Claremont, John Byrne January 2009 978-0785137610
Fantastic Four Visionaries: John Byrne, Vol. 1 Fantastic Four #232–240 John Byrne November 2001 978-0785142706
Fantastic Four Visionaries: John Byrne, Vol. 2 Fantastic Four #241–250 John Byrne May 2004 978-0785114642
Fantastic Four: Trial of Galactus Fantastic Four #242–244, 257–262; What the--?! #2 John Byrne September 1990 978-0871355751
Fantastic Four Visionaries: John Byrne, Vol. 3 Fantastic Four #251–257, Annual #17; Avengers #233; Thing #2 John Byrne January 2005 978-0785116790
Fantastic Four Visionaries: John Byrne, Vol. 4 Fantastic Four #258–267; Alpha Flight #4; Thing #10 John Byrne March 2005 978-0785117100
Fantastic Four Visionaries: John Byrne, Vol. 5 Fantastic Four #268–275, Annual #18; Thing #19 John Byrne December 2005 978-0785118442
Fantastic Four Visionaries: John Byrne, Vol. 6 Fantastic Four #276–284; Secret Wars II #2; Thing #23 John Byrne September 2006 978-0785121909
Fantastic Four Visionaries: John Byrne, Vol. 7 Fantastic Four #285–286, Annual #19; Avengers #263, Annual #14; X-Factor #1 John Byrne June 2007 978-0785127352
Fantastic Four Visionaries: John Byrne, Vol. 8 Fantastic Four #287–295 John Byrne December 2007 978-0785127369
Fantastic Four Epic Collection: All in the Family Fantastic Four #296–307, Fantastic Four Annual #20; Fantastic Four vs. the X-Men #1–4 January 28, 2014 978-0785188650
Fantastic Four Visionaries: Walt Simonson, Vol. 1 Fantastic Four #334–341 Walt Simonson May 2007 978-0785127581
Fantastic Four Visionaries: Walt Simonson, Vol. 2 Fantastic Four #342–346 Walt Simonson August 2008 978-0785131304
Fantastic Four Visionaries: Walt Simonson, Vol. 3 Fantastic Four #347–350, 352–354 Walt Simonson November 2009 978-0785137511
Fantastic Four Epic Collection: Into the Timestream Fantastic Four #334–347, Fantastic Four Annual #23; material from New Mutants Annual #6, X-Factor Annual #5, X-Men Annual #14 Walt Simonson August 5, 2014 978-0785188957
Fantastic Four: Monsters Unleashed Fantastic Four #347–349 Walt Simonson January 1992 978-0871358776
Fantastic Four: Nobody Gets Out Alive Fantastic Four #387–392 Tom DeFalco February 1995 978-0785100638
Fantastic Four/Inhumans: Atlantis Rising Namor the Sub-Mariner #60–62, Fantastic Four: Atlantis Rising #1–2, Fantastic Force #8–9, Fantastic Four #401–402, Fantastic Four Unlimited #11 Tom DeFalco January 2014 978-0785185482
Fantastic Four Epic Collection: Strange Days Fantastic Four (1961) #403–416, Fantastic Four: The Legend, Onslaught : Marvel Universe, material from Tales of the Marvel Universe (Fantastic Four Epic Collection Vol. 25) Tom DeFalco June, 2015 978-0785188957
X-Men: The Complete Onslaught Epic Vol 2 Fantastic Four #415; X-Factor #125–126, Generation X #18, Wolverine #104, X-Men #55, Uncanny X-Men #336, Cable #35, and X-Force #58 Tom DeFalco June 2008 978-0785128243
X-Men: The Complete Onslaught Epic Vol 3 Fantastic Four #416; Hulk #445, Iron Man #332, Avengers #402, Punisher #11, X-Man #19, Amazing Spider-Man #415, Green Goblin #12, Spider-Man #72 Tom DeFalco August 2008 978-0785128250
Fantastic Four: Heroes Reborn Fantastic Four vol. 2 #1–12 Brandon Choi, Jim Lee July 2000 978-0785107446
Fantastic Four: Heroes Return Fantastic Four vol. 3 #1–4 Scott Lobdell, Chris Claremont March 2000 978-0785107217
Fantastic Four: Flesh and Stone Fantastic Four vol. 3 #35–39 Jeph Loeb, Rafael Marin, Carlos Pacheco November 2000 978-0785107934
Fantastic Four: Into the Breach Fantastic Four vol. 3 #40–44 Jeph Loeb, Rafael Marin, Carlos Pacheco January 2002 978-0785108658
Fantastic Four/Inhumans Fantastic Four vol. 3 #51–54; Inhumans vol. 3 #1–4 Karl Kesel, Rafael Marin, Carlos Pacheco 2007 978-0785127031
Fantastic Four, Vol. 1: Imaginauts Fantastic Four vol. 3 #56 , 60–66 Mark Waid April 2003 978-0785110637
Fantastic Four, Vol. 2: Unthinkable Fantastic Four vol. 3 #67–70 , 500–502 Mark Waid December 2003 978-0785111115
Fantastic Four, Vol. 3: Authoritative Action Fantastic Four #503–508 Mark Waid December 2003 978-0785111986
Fantastic Four, Vol. 4: Hereafter Fantastic Four #509–513 Mark Waid August 2004 978-0785115267
Fantastic Four, Vol. 5: Disassembled Fantastic Four #514–519 Mark Waid December 2004 978-0785115366
Fantastic Four, Vol. 6: Rising Storm Fantastic Four #520–524 Mark Waid June 2005 978-0785115984
Fantastic Four by J. Michael Straczynski, Vol. 1 Fantastic Four #527–532 J. Michael Straczynski January 2006 978-0785117162
Fantastic Four: The Life Fantastic Fantastic Four #533–535; Fantastic Four Special #1; Fantastic Four: The Wedding Special; Fantastic Four: A Death in the Family J. Michael Straczynski September 2006 978-0785118961
The Road to Civil War Fantastic Four #536–537; New Avengers: Illuminati; The Amazing Spider-Man #529–531 Brian Michael Bendis, J. Michael Straczynski February 2007 978-0785119746
Fantastic Four: Civil War Fantastic Four #538–543 J. Michael Straczynski, Dwayne McDuffie May 2007 978-0785122272
The New Fantastic Four Fantastic Four #544–550 Dwayne McDuffie May 2008 978-0785124832
Fantastic Four: The Beginning of the End Fantastic Four #525–526 , 551–553; Isla de la Muerte Dwayne McDuffie May 2008 978-0785125549
Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Fantastic Four #554–561 Mark Millar March 2009 978-0785125556
Fantastic Four: The Master of Doom Fantastic Four #562–569 Mark Millar January 2010 978-0785129677
Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman, Vol. 1 Fantastic Four #570–574 Jonathan Hickman July 2010 978-0785136880
Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman, Vol. 2 Fantastic Four #575–578 Jonathan Hickman December 2010 978-0785145417
Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman, Vol. 3 Fantastic Four #579–582 Jonathan Hickman April 2011 978-0785147183
Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman, Vol. 4: Three Fantastic Four #583–588 Jonathan Hickman November 2011 978-0785151432
Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman, Vol. 5: Forever Fantastic Four #600–605 Jonathan Hickman January 2013 0785161538
Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman, Vol. 6 Fantastic Four #605–611 Jonathan Hickman July 2013 978-0785161554
Fantastic Four, Vol. 1: New Departure, New Arrivals Fantastic Four (2012) #1–3, FF (2012) #1–2 Matt Fraction April 2013 978-0785166597
Fantastic Four, Vol. 2: Road Trip Fantastic Four (2012) #4–8 Matt Fraction September 2013 0785166602
Fantastic Four, Vol. 3: Doomed Fantastic Four (2012) #9–16 Matt Fraction March 2014 0785188835
Fantastic Four, Vol. 1: The Fall of the Fantastic Four Fantastic Four (2014) #1–5 James Robinson and Leonard Kirk September 2014 978-0785154747
Fantastic Four, Vol. 2: Original Sin Fantastic Four (2014) #6–10 James Robinson and Leonard Kirk November 2014 978-0785154754
Fantastic Four, Vol. 3.: Back in Blue Fantastic Four (2014) #11–16 James Robinson and Leonard Kirk May 2015 978-0785192206
Marvel Knights Fantastic Four, Vol. 1: Wolf at the Door Marvel Knights 4 #1–7 Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa September 2004 978-0785114710
Marvel Knights Fantastic Four, Vol. 2: The Stuff of Nightmares Marvel Knights 4 #8–12 Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa January 2005 978-0785114727
Marvel Knights Fantastic Four, Vol. 3: Divine Time Marvel Knights 4 #13–18 Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa July 2005 978-0785116783
Marvel Knights Fantastic Four, Vol. 5: The Resurrection of Nicholas Scratch Marvel Knights 4 #25–30 Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa September 2006 978-0785119593
Fantastic Four vs. the X-Men Fantastic Four vs. the X-Men #1–4 Chris Claremont October 1991 978-0871356505
Fantastic Four: 1234 Fantastic Four: 1234 #1–4 Grant Morrison September 2002 0-7851-1040-2
Fantastic Four: Foes Fantastic Four: Foes #1–6 Robert Kirkman January 2005 978-0785116622
Fantastic Four/Spider-Man Classic The Fantastic Four #218; Marvel Team-Up #100 , 132–133; The Amazing Spider-Man #1; The Spectacular Spider-Man #42; Untold Tales of Spider-Man Annual '96 Kurt Busiek, Chris Claremont, John Marc DeMatteis, Stan Lee, Bill Mantlo April 2005 978-0785118039
Fantastic Four/Iron Man: Big in Japan Fantastic Four/Iron Man: Big in Japan #1–4; Spider-Man Unlimited #8 Zeb Wells June 2006 978-0785117766
House of M: Fantastic Four/Iron Man Fantastic Four: House of M #1–3; Iron Man: House of M #1–3 John Layman July 2006 978-0785119234
Fantastic Four: First Family Fantastic Four: First Family #1–6 Joe Casey November 2006 978-0785117032
Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four: Silver Rage Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four #1–4 Jeff Parker October 2007 978-0785126737
Black Panther: Four the Hard Way Black Panther vol. 4 #26–30 Reginald Hudlin November 2007 978-0785126553
Black Panther: Little Green Men Black Panther vol. 4 #31–34 Reginald Hudlin May 2008 978-0785126577
Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four Fantastic Four #300, 357–358; Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four #1–3 Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa February 2009 978-0785132479
Fantastic Four: True Story Fantastic Four: True Story #1–4 Paul Cornell May 2009 978-0785128335
Fantastic Four: Lost Adventures Fantastic Four #296, 543; Fantastic Four: The Lost Adventure; The Last Fantastic Four Story Stan Lee September 2009 978-0785140474
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1–5; Dark Reign: The Cabal Jonathan Hickman October 2009 978-0785139089
Fantastic Four: Extended Family Fantastic Four #1, 81, 132, 168, 265, 307, 347, 384; Fantastic Four vol. 3 #42; Fantastic Four #544 Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, John Byrne, Steve Englehart, Walter Simonson, Tom DeFalco, Dwayne McDuffie, Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Marin, Jeph Loeb March 2011 978-0785153030

Hardcovers[edit]

Title Material collected Writer Publication date ISBN
The Best of the Fantastic Four, Volume One Fantastic Four #1, 39–40, 51, 100, 116, 176, 236, 267; Fantastic Four Annual #2; Fantastic Four vol. 3 #56, 60; Marvel Fanfare #15; Marvel Two-in-One #50; Marvel Knights 4 #4 John Byrne, Archie Goodwin, Karl Kesel, Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Barry Windsor-Smith June 2005 978-0785117827
Fantastic Four Omnibus, Vol. 1 Fantastic Four #1–30, Annual #1 Stan Lee November 2007 978-0785118701
Fantastic Four Omnibus, Vol. 2 Fantastic Four #31–60, Annual #2–4 Stan Lee June 2007 978-0785124030
Fantastic Four Omnibus, Vol. 3 Fantastic Four #61–93, Annual #5–7, Not Brand Ecch #5–7 Stan Lee May 2015 978-0785191742
Fantastic Four: The Overthrow of Doom Fantastic Four #192–200 Marv Wolfman September 2011 978-0785156055
Fantastic Four: In Search of Galactus Fantastic Four #204–214 Marv Wolfman February 2010 978-0785137344
Fantastic Four by John Byrne Omnibus, Vol. 1 Marvel Team-Up #61–62; Marvel Two-In-One #50; Fantastic Four #209–218, 220–221, 232–260 and Annual #17; Avengers #233; Thing #2 John Byrne November 2011 978-0785158240
Fantastic Four by John Byrne Omnibus, Vol. 2 Fantastic Four #261–295; Fantastic Four Annual #18–19; Alpha Flight #4; The Thing #7, 10 and 19; The Avengers Annual #14; material from Secret Wars II #2; Epic Illustrated #26–34; What If...? #36; What The--?! #2 and 10; Fantastic Four Roast #1; and Fantastic Four Special Edition John Byrne December 2013 978-0785185437
Secret Wars II Omnibus Fantastic Four #282, 285, 288, 316–319, plus others titles. John Byrne, Steve Englehart May 2009 978-0785131113
Inferno Crossovers Fantastic Four #322–324, plus other titles Steve Englehart September 2010 978-0785146711
Fantastic Four: Resurrection of Galactus Fantastic Four vol. 3 #46–50, Annual 2001 Jeph Loeb, Raphael Marin January 2011 978-0785144762
Fantastic Four, Vol. 1 Fantastic Four vol. 3 #60–70; Fantastic Four #500–502 Mark Waid August 2004 978-0785114864
Fantastic Four, Vol. 2 Fantastic Four #503–513 Mark Waid March 2005 978-0785117759
Fantastic Four, Vol. 3 Fantastic Four #514–524 Mark Waid, Karl Kesel November 2005 978-0785120117
Fantastic Four by J. Michael Straczynski, Vol. 1 Fantastic Four #527–532 J. Michael Straczynski January 2006 978-0785120292
The New Fantastic Four Fantastic Four #544–550 Dwayne McDuffie November 2007 978-0785128472
Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Fantastic Four #554–561 Mark Millar January 2009 978-0785132257
Fantastic Four: The Master of Doom Fantastic Four #562–569 Mark Millar October 2009 978-0785133704
Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman, Vol. 1 Fantastic Four #570–574 Jonathan Hickman March 2010 978-0785143178
Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman, Vol. 2 Fantastic Four #575–578 Jonathan Hickman July 2010 978-0785147169
Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman, Vol. 3 Fantastic Four #579–582 Jonathan Hickman November 2010 978-0785147176
Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman, Vol. 4 Fantastic Four #583–588 Jonathan Hickman May 2011 978-0785148913
Fantastic Four Jonathan Hickman, Vol. 5 Fantastic Four #600–605 Jonathan Hickman July 2012 978-0785161523
Fantastic Four Jonathan Hickman, Vol. 6 Fantastic Four #605, 606–611 Jonathan Hickman January 2013 978-0785161547
Fantastic Four Vol. 1: New Departures, New Arrivals Fantastic Four vol. 4 #1–3, FF vol. 2 #1–3, (Ant-Man story) Marvel Point One #1 Matt Fraction April 2013 978-0785166597
Fantastic Four Vol. 2: Road Trip Fantastic Four vol. 4 #4–8 Matt Fraction September 2013 978-0785166603
Fantastic Four Vol. 3: Doomed Fantastic Four vol. 4 # 9–16 Matt Fraction March 2014 978-0785188834
Fantastic Four/Spider-Man Classic The Fantastic Four #218; Marvel Team-Up #100, 132–133; The Amazing Spider-Man #1; The Spectacular Spider-Man #42; Untold Tales of Spider-Man Annual '96 Kurt Busiek, Chris Claremont, J. M. DeMatteis, Stan Lee, Bill Mantlo January 2005 978-1415607190
X-Men/Fantastic Four X-Men/Fantastic Four #1–5 Akira Yoshida February 2005 978-0785115205
Fantastic Four: Lost Adventures Fantastic Four #296, 543; Fantastic Four: The Lost Adventure; The Last Fantastic Four Story Stan Lee July 2008 978-0785130970
House of M: Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, and X-Men Fantastic Four: House of M #1–3; Spider-Man: House of M #1–5; Black Panther vol. 4, 7; New Thunderbolts #11; Uncanny X-Men #462–465 Chris Claremont, Reginald Hudlin, John Layman, Fabian Nicieza, Tom Peyer, Mark Waid December 2009 978-0785138815
X-Men vs. Fantastic Four Fantastic Four vs. the X-Men #1–4; Fantastic Four #28 Chris Claremont, Stan Lee January 2010 978-0785138075
Fantastic Four: 1234 Fantastic Four: 1234 #1–4 Grant Morrison October 2011 0-7851-5896-0

International publication[edit]

North America[edit]

The Fantastic Four has been published in translation around the world, beginning in the late 1960s in Mexico as Los Cuatro Fantásticos published by La Prensa until the mid-1970s, then by Macc Division until 1980 and finally by Novedades Editores from 1980 to 1982[52] and French-speaking Canada as Les Fantastic Four, from 1969–1986, after which the title was merged with the Spider-Man title for three more years. Mexican translators were not consistent in their translations of the characters' code names; The Thing was called Coloso (Colossus) in the first series, La Mole in the second and the third (which was the name used for The Hulk in the first series). The other three main characters had more stable translated names: Mister Fantástico (sometimes translated as Señor Fantástico), La Chica (or La Mujer) Invisible, and La Antorcha Humana. Dr. Doom was Doctor Destino and She-Hulk was La Mujer Hulk in her run in the Fantastic Four. In the movie, and in current appearances in Mexico, Mister Fantastic is referred to as "El Hombre Elástico" (Elastic Man). Canada rarely translated character names from their English version, although sometimes switching back and forth between English and French names in the same issue (The Thing / La Chose, Mister Fantastic / Monsieur Fantastic, Invisible Girl / Fille (or Femme) Invisible, Human Torch / Torche Humaine). The names of Dr. Doom and She-Hulk were not translated into French for the Canadian reprints.

United Kingdom[edit]

British publication of the series began in the black and white anthology title Mystic in the 1960s. In 1972, the Fantastic Four's adventures were published starting with issue 1 of the US comic in Mighty World of Marvel alongside Spider-Man and Hulk reprints when Marvel Comics began its imprint Marvel UK. In 1976 the feature was moved to Marvel UK's The Titans to revive flagging sales, starting with issue #27. But after just a few months the feature was removed from The Titans (replaced by The Avengers) to form part of the line up of the new Captain Britain Weekly for its first issue in October 1976. After the demise of Captain Britain Weekly the FF went with Captain Britain into the merged Super Spider-man and Captain Britain Weekly in July 1977. A few months after the merger a new title The Complete Fantastic Four was launched in September 1977 starting with the story from the US Fantastic Four #133.[53] Unusually The Complete Fantastic Four reprinted an entire issue of the US publication at a time when stories were always broken up into several installments. As a back up strip it started serializing the FF's adventures from US Fantastic Four 1, but this was replaced by The Invaders towards the end of the run. In 1978 that series merged into Mighty World Of Marvel returning the FF to their original home alongside the Hulk. Their last adventure in that title was issue 329, when they were moved out so that the comic could be relaunched as Marvel Comic in early 1979. Their adventures briefly moved back into Spider-Man Comic before stopping shortly after John Byrne took over pencilling chores on the strip. In March 1980 Marvel UK launched the Fantastic Four Pocketbook reprinting Lee and Kirby stories.

From 1st April 1981, the Fantastic Four featured in 15 issues of the anthology title Marvel Action. The FF strip then transferred to Marvel UK's weekly Captain America title from issue 21, which kept the Captain America numbering but temporarily adopting a new title Marvel Action starring Captain America. The FF strip was dropped when Captain America was merged with another Marvel UK weekly anthology title, Marvel Super Adventure, from issue 37.

After cancellation of the Pocketbook in July 1982 the classic FF strips continued in the short lived Fantastic Four weekly title that ran from 6th October 1982 for a total of 29 issues. During 1985 the Fantastic Four and other Marvel titles such as The New Mutants, The Avengers, and The X-Men were included in the Secret Wars II reprint title. This mostly focused on issues which crossed over into the Secret Wars II maxi series. From 2005, around the release of the Fantastic Four film, the super-team appeared in Fantastic Four Adventures, published by Panini Comics.[54] The title ended in February 2010.

France[edit]

Publication history in France started with the reprinting of the first 10 pages of Fantastic Four #50 in 1967 in an anthology title called "Les Chefs-d'Oeuvres de la Bande Dessinée" [Comic Book Masterpieces]. In 1974, the first 4 issues of the title were published, one page at a time, in the daily newspaper "France Soir". But primarily, rights to the Fantastic Four in France were held by a company called Editions Lug, which began publishing Fantastic Four first in an 1969 anthology title called Fantask,[55] along with Spider-Man and Silver Surfer, then in another anthology called "Marvel". The censors objected to the content of the book, and citing "nightmarish visions" and "terrifying science fiction" as the reasons, forced their cancellations after respectively 7 and 13 issues. Although other anthologies featuring Marvel strips continued, notably "Strange" (featuring the X-Men, Iron Man, and the Silver Surfer), the Fantastic Four remained unpublished in France until 1973. Editions Lug created a format aimed more for adults; an 80-page series called Une Aventure des Fantastiques debuted where the old series left off, with the stories that introduced the Inhumans and Galactus.[56] That series lasted over 15 years, coming out four times a year. In the mid-1970s, a title called Spidey was released by Editions Lug. Primarily featuring reprints from the juvenile comic book Spidey Super Stories, it also featured a similarly themed FF series produced in France. These original stories had art that closely resembled the work of Jack Kirby or John Buscema, but the storylines themselves included watered-down super-villains, the FF on vacation and even Santa Claus. This series was replaced by 1960s era X-Men reprints when Marvel demanded the same royalties for Editions Lug's original stories that they did for the US reprints. Eventually, a regular monthly series began publication in France, and the Fantastic Four took over the headlining position in the pocket format anthology "Nova" (sharing the title with Spider-Woman, Peter Parker, She-Hulk, and Silver Surfer)and lasted until Marvel began publishing its own titles under the newly-formed "Marvel France" line in the late 1990s. Fantastic Four shared space in the Silver Surfer's own book until the Heroes Reborn storyline created their own title, supported by Captain America. "Fantastic Four" then appeared in the anthology "Marvel Legends" and currently appears in "Marvel Icons", sharing that title with the Avengers.

Two different French companies held rights to Marvel Comics at the same time in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Lug (which eventually changed its name to Semic) published Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, X-Men, Daredevil and Iron Man and most related series, while Aredit held the rights to Avengers, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Sub-Mariner and many of the 1970s-era modern series like Ghost Rider, Man-Thing, Power Man and the first She-Hulk series. Often, crossovers would force one company to publish another's title, i.e. the Marvel Two-In-One and Fantastic Four annuals that crossed over into the Invaders story would have to be published by the "other" company, and in fact that particular cross-over was published twice, once by each company. This resulted in different translations of the characters' names — Susan Storm Richards was called Jane in her own title by Editions Lug (presumably because the name "Sue" is a form of the verb "to sweat" in French), and Reed was called Red, a combination of letters easier to pronounce than the double E sound. When Aredit published a Fantastic Four appearance they kept the traditional US names. Generally speaking, their names in France were: Monsieur Fantastic (although Mister was often used as well), L'Invisible, La Chose, and La Torche. (Rarely was "Humaine" used in the French editions.) Dr. Doom was called Docteur Fatalis and She-Hulk was called Miss Hulk.

Germany[edit]

"Die Fantastischen Vier" First appeared in Hit Comics, a weekly title that rotated the main feature with other Marvel titles. Williams Comics eventually obtained the rights to Marvel's line and began publishing (for the first time in color) in the mid-1970s.[57] Fantastic Four was backed up with Daredevil and began with issue #1. No annual was published by Williams and some early numbers were left out (5, 6, 10, 12, 21 and 44). Condor Comic carried the title in the 1980s and 1990s, and published a series of 47 pocket format books at about 168-196 pages each. It also published a paperback series in a similar format to the Marvel Graphic Novels with 12 issues of 52 pages each. Marvel Deutschland (later Panini Comics Deutschland) publishes "Die Fantastischen Vier". Since 2008 the series is named with its original title "The Fantastic Four". The German names of the characters are Das Ding (The Thing), Die Fackel or Die menschliche Fackel (The Human Torch), Die Unsichtbare (The Invisible One), and Mr. Fantastisch (Mr. Fantastic). Silver Surfer and She-Hulk retained their English names. Some early Williams editions refer to Dr. Doom as "Doktor Unheil". In one Williams publication Dr.Doom is also referred to as "Doktor Untergang". Later they call him by his original US name.

Italy[edit]

Corno initially published I Fantastici Quattro in Italy[58] (first with Captain Marvel as backup feature, then rotating with other backup features). Star Comics published the title in the 1990s, followed by Marvel Italia. Character names are typically translated as "la Cosa" (Thing), "la Torcia Umana" (Human Torch), "la Donna Invisibile" (Invisible Woman) and "Mister Fantastic". Dr. Doom is "Dottor Destino"; She-Hulk and Silver Surfer kept their English names. Also released in Italy was the series I Fantastici Quattro Gigante, an oversized magazine reprinting in chronological order all the super-team's appearances including the Human Torch solo series from Strange Tales.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]