Marvel’s First Family Returns!
This August, the Fantastic Four finally returns to the Marvel Universe. After an absence that felt longer than it actually was, we’re finally getting Reed, Sue, Ben, and Johnny back on the comic racks. It’s pretty damn exciting, and really has me excited in a way I haven’t been in a long time when it comes to the FF. But maybe that was Marvel’s plan all along….
Much has been made about the Fantastic Four and X-Men being downplayed in Marvel’s promotional materials in recent years, largely because their film rights are controlled by Fox. While that may be true, there’s definitely been periods of inactivity for almost all of Marvel’s characters. In the mid 00’s, the publisher took Thor completely off the map for a about two years, long enough for him to completely miss the original Civil War event. When he did come back, he was given a big new number one, complete with a red hot writer and artist. Despite the Fox movie rights claim, this seems to be the exact same scenario.
Of course, Thor’s movie rights weren’t owned by a rival studio, and that rival studio also wasn’t on the verge of being purchased by the studio that owns Marvel. That news really makes this upcoming Fantastic Four series seem mighty suspicious. But again, that deal is going to take months (some say even 18 months) to get approved, so seeing that Marvel is relaunching the Fantastic Four comic this summer and jumping to the conclusion that this means the FF are going to pop up in Infinity War is a bit of a stretch (no pun intended).
The Fantastic Four are some of the most important characters in comics, and they deserve to be placed on shelf of high esteem. Bringing them back into the Marvel fold is a great sign of what’s to come for Marvel, and having Dan Slott and Sarah Picheli are an excellent team to bring them back to the comic racks. Even as a casual fan of the team I could feel their absence, and their place in comic book and Marvel history is too important to keep them off the racks. Here’s hoping that they are given the welcome they deserve in August.