Following a series of numbered adjective teasers throughout the morning—“Uncanny 1,” “Amazing 2” and “Mighty 3,” themed after the X-Men, Spider-Man and Avengers, respectively—Marvel has released a video interview of Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski in which the controversial figurehead officially announced the return of the Fantastic Four, the first family of the Marvel Universe. Written by outgoing Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott with art by Spider-Men II artist Sara Pichelli, Fantastic Four #1 will launch this summer.
First created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee in 1961, the Fantastic Four has long been the thematic core of the Marvel Universe, although their sales rarely reflect the honored spot they hold in the hearts of many “True Believers.” The most recent Fantastic Four ongoing series concluded in 2015, and Reed and Sue Richards, their children and the Future Foundation think tank for young geniuses ended the epic Secret Wars event charting unexplored regions far, far away from Earth. Sue’s brother Johnny Storm, better known as the Human Torch, and family friend Ben Grimm, the Thing, stayed behind, tangling with the Inhumans and Guardians of the Galaxy before joining up for Marvel Two-in-One, which Cebulski promised would continue despite the Fantastic Four’s reunion.
The lack of ongoing support for the Fantastic Four leading up to and following their previous series conclusion in 2015 has frequently been attributed to ongoing tensions over movie rights held by Fox outside of Disney’s purview. Similar rumors persist about the X-Men, which endured a fallow period before the mutant-focused side of the Marvel Universe expanded again early last year.
Based on the video and teaser image, fans should expect Fantastic Four #1 to reunite the core family line-up of Reed, Sue, Johnny and Ben once more, timed to Marvel’s “Fresh Start” relaunch initiative ongoing throughout the summer.
Fantastic Four Teaser Art by Sara Pichelli