WHO ARE THEY?
A brilliant scientist – his best friend – the woman he loves – and her younger brother. Together they braved the terrors of outer space and were changed by cosmic rays into something more than merely human! So was born the Fantastic Four – and from that moment on, the world would never again be the same!
ORIGINSFantastic Four vol. 1 (1961) #1 — The original. Retold in Fantastic Four Annual (1963) #1 and extended in Fantastic Four vol. 3 (1998) #11 - 12.Mythos: Fantastic Four (2007) — A beautifully-drawn version of the origin story that takes place after the crash of the space shuttle. The Fantastic Four are interviewed by a government committee about the circumstances of the crash.Fantastic Four: First Family (2006) #1 - 6 — Focuses on what happened immediately after the crash. The Fantastic Four are held in a government facility without their consent. Issue #1 takes place before Fantastic Four #1, while issues #2 - 6 take place between Fantastic Four #2 and 3.Fantastic Four: Season One (2011) — Non-canon retelling based on Earth-TRN563. Characters’ backgrounds and ages are tweaked.
MODERN DAY 616Mark Waid + Mike Wieringo’s run — A good jumping-on point that uses an outsider’s view to reintroduce the characters as individuals and as a team. Fantastic Four vol. 3 (1998) #60 - 70Renumbers to Fantastic Four vol. 1 (1961) #500 - 524Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s run — Published under the Marvel Knights imprint, which was more geared at older readers. Features the Fantastic Four losing their money and the Baxter Building, and being forced to start “civilian” jobs.Marvel Knights 4 (2004) #1 - 30 (also sometimes just referred to as 4)The events of 4 #1 - 12 occur between Fantastic Four vol. 1 (1961) #516 - 517; 4 #30 takes place before Civil War (2006) #1Jonathan Hickman’s run — Widely regarded as one of the best Fantastic Four runs of all time. Introduces the Future Foundation and sees Spider-Man join the team.Dark Reign: Fantastic Four (2009) #1 - 5 Fantastic Four vol. 1 (1961) #570 - 588FF vol. 1 (2011) #1 -11Begins alternating with Fantastic Four, starting with Fantastic Four vol. 1 (1961) #600F4 #600, FF #12, F4 #601, FF #13, etc. Onwards like that until Fantastic Four #611 and FF #22Matt Fraction + Mark Bagley’s run — A great run that takes place almost entirely in either space or various alternate universes. Some minor issues with characterization, but overall a very enjoyable read!Fantastic Four vol. 4 (2013) #1 - 16Runs simultaneously with FF vol. 2 (2013) #1 - 16 Merges at #16 for both booksJames Robinson + Leonard Kirk’s run — the latest run of the Fantastic Four. Strong character work and beautiful art. References past canon a great deal, but it is solid on its own.Fantastic Four vol. 5 (2014) #1 - 14Renumbers to Fantastic Four vol. 1 (1961) #642 - 645. For the first time since 1961, there is no monthly Fantastic Four comic being published.
Optional extended reading below the cut!