/ Fantastic Four
Illustrated by Mark Bagley, Mike Allred, Others
Published by Marvel from 2012 to 2014
Paste: I didn’t know you were leaving these books until last night, when I was researching this.
Fraction: Neither did I.
Paste: How hard is it to decide to leave books like that?
Fraction: It sucks! It sucked. Karl Kesel is doing Fantastic Four, and Lee Allred, Mike Allred’s brother, is doing FF. And I gave them all my notes about where I was heading and how I was going to do it and have made myself available to help out if they need any.
Paste: Will it be hard to read those comics if they go in drastically different directions than you were headed in?
Fraction: No! I get to come back and read them as a fan again. I get my comics back. Who am I to tell them how to do their thing? I’m going to let Karl Kesel entertain me. I’m not going to get in the way. And Lee and Mike have made FF even more of an Allred book than when I was there. That first issue was like already more Allred than before. It’s great.
Paste: When you wrote those books, and plotted them out, did you do that in tandem with one another?
Fraction: I planned the beginnings and ends in tandem. The Richards family was going to be back by the end of issue 16 of both books. Whether or not I went on to 17, we would play by ear, but the beginnings and endings were tied together, and moments where they bounced back and forth. It’s been marketed terribly, because people don’t realize that the first trade contains half of the FF, you know? The trade paperback system is a mess, even though I made a chart, I made a whole thing; somehow it got lost. It’s a mess in the collection, but in my head it opened together and it closes together, and if you’re reading them both in concurrence you’ll see lots of little ping-pongy moments back and forth.