Normally, in this series, I go over old, forgotten comics, but today, I want to talk about the Fantastic Four! I’ve mentioned before, that the FF series is my all-time favorite comic book series. I’ve been collecting Fantastic Four since the mid 90’s and nearly have the entire run. I’m only missing about 40 issues, and most of those are in the early 50, as these issues tend to be hard to find and rather pricey. I started collecting FF with issue #394, which I only picked up because it contained a generic animation cell of the Fantastic Four Animated Series. I don’t recall much of the issue, but something about the family dynamic of the team clicked with me, and I was soon going to my local flea market to pick up as many issues as I could.
In no time at all, I was hooked and received a Fantastic Four comic subscription with issue #398! I ended my FF subscription at the conclusion of the Heroes Reborn storyline. I still collected and read the title, but now had a local comic store where I could pick it up.
It wasn’t until I got to college, and got a part-time job, that I started the hunt for FF back issues. I got most of my run at a sale a nearby store had run, where for every 20 $1 comics you bought, you got 10 for free. I spent about $80 and got almost everything that I needed, from about issue #200 on to the present. Over the course of several years, I pieced together the rest of my collection, to where it’s at today.
My favorite member of the team is Benjamin Grimm, the Ever Lovin’, Blue Eyed Thing! I love everything about the character, from his powers to his personality. I love how Stan wrote Ben as a REAL character, with slang and an ‘accent’. While I get that Ben’s curse is to be stuck as the Thing, I do wish that in the modern stories, we could give him the ability to turn on and off his powers, like the rest of the team. I definitely would love to see more Ben Grimm stories!
My favorite FF villain is Doom! He’s the obvious choice, and rightly so, as he is the best villain ever created (with Darkseid a very close second). Doctor Doom has made countless top ten villain lists, so I won’t bore you with his accomplishments or abilities. If you’ve ever picked up a Marvel Comic, you know who Doom is!
Lastly, I’d like to go over some of my favorite FF stories. The FF have been around for over 50 years now, and there are a ton of stories from different writers and artists, and these include tales sent in the prime Marvel Universe and in various other alternate realities. I’m going to list a few, in no particular order!
“Divine Time”– In this adventure, the FF face off against the time altering threat of Ramades, son of Rama-Tut, a man later known as Kang. It takes three generations of Richards’ to take down this villain. (Marvel Knights 4 #15-18).
“Unthinkable”- In this storyarc, we see Doctor Doom give up his scientific side and fully embrace his magical heritage and battle the FF using the one thing Reed cannot understand, magic! (Fantastic Four #67-70, 500).
“President Thor”- Seeing the pain that his best friend is in, Reed decides to convince the team to alter history and prevent them from venturing into the N-Zone. In a new world, one where Thor is President of the United States, everyone on Earth has powers, everyone except Ben Grimm, who just wants to be “normal”. However, when a Skrull ambassador arrives, what at first seems like a bridge of friendship, turns into horror, as the ambassador has an armor that mimics the powers of everyone within 500 yards, and on a world where everyone has powers, this makes this Skrull…Super! However, it’s left of to normal, old Ben Grimm to defeat the Skrulls and rewrite history! (Ultimate Fantastic Four #27-28).
So what can I say, I love the Fantastic Four! I love the comic, the animated series and even the movies from the early 2000’s. I actually can’t wait to see the new movie and I (really) hope it’s good! I’m upset that there isn’t a current Fantastic Four series to collect or any movie memorabilia to get, but I’ll always have the old stuff to keep me entertained and eventually, the FF will go exploring the Marvel Universe once again, and I’ll be along for the ride!
“And when you want to go explore, the number you should have is FOUR.”
– Sandra Boynton