By Danny F. Santos (doddleNEWS)
The Fantastic Four have been having a terrible time in the last year or so, and it isn’t shaking out to be any better in 2016.
If you have been paying attention to the Marvel comics stories as of late, then you know the comic publisher has just reset their entire multi-universe. Not only did they get rid of their main universe and the Ultimate universe, but also every other Marvel universe in one fell swoop during the Secret Wars saga. Spoilers ahead for Secret Wars #9!
You may ask, how does this tie into the Fantastic Four comic series, specifically? According to THR, it turns out Reed Richards, Sue Storm, their chilren Franklin and Valeria, and a group of students from the Future Foundation end up outside of reality, with the goal to create new universes and re-populate the multiverse. In a line of dialogue aimed at both his kids and at readers, Richards says:
“No more superheroes for a while, just science. And no more Mister Fantastic, just Dad. That doesn’t sound too bad, does it?”
This is the third time I have written about the demise of the Fantastic Four. The first time was in October of 2014 when Marvel announced the end of the primary comic with issue #645 (there was speculation it was because of the then-pending movie, though Disney execs denied it). Then, more recently, 20th Century Fox quietly cancelled the sequel to 2015’s Fantastic Four this past November.
Rumor once again has it that the reason for these cancellations has to do with a behind-the-scenes fight between Marvel and Fox, but in an interview with Comic Book Resources, Marvel executive editor Tom Brevoort gave a far less exciting reason:
“Fantastic Four has been one of those books that, for a number of years, has been effectively taken for granted. It’s been considered stodgy, or old school, or some people see it as a thing that’s there and people are comfortable because it’s there, but they’re not particularly passionate about it. So we’re not going to have that book for a while.
“We didn’t have a Thor book for a while. For a couple of years, there was absolutely no Thor book, and when Thor came back, it was a huge book. It continues to be a huge book to this day. I think that absence was part of what made people cherish its return, and then it was just having great talent to execute that return. If the same sort of thing happens with Fantastic Four that would not be the worst thing in the world.”
Fantastic Four survives more on its legacy than it does from interesting new storytelling. Retiring the characters for a few years is probably for the best, so that when they return (and you better believe they will), it will be a rejuvenated property.