After a long absence, Marvel’s Fantastic Four have finally been reunited. In celebration of the team’s return, here are 5 facts you may not know about the beloved team and family.
Marvel’s First Super-Team
Fantastic Four #1’s cover (1961)
Aside from Captain America’s comics and occasional super-teammates, the FF was Marvel’s first official super-hero team. Created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee in 1961 the four heroes were meant to be Marvel’s answer to competitor DC’s Justice Leage. The FF’s appeal lay in the fact that this was more than just a random collaboration between heroes for plot purposes: they were a family.
A Fantastic Family
Mr Fantastic (Ioan Gruffudd) and the Invisible Woman (Jessica Alba) in 2005’s Fantastic Four
Speaking of family, the past few decades have seen two new additions to the team: the children of power-couple Invisible Woman and Mr. Fantastic. Their son Franklin was born in 1968, though due to the complicated passage of time in the comic world he is still an adolescent. Franklin also happens to be an extremely powerful mutant whose abilities include being able to create his own pocket universes.
Their youngest child Valeria is a much more recent addition to the family, and a much more complicated one. She initially appeared to be the child of Doctor Doom and the Invisible Woman from a future or alternate timeline and spent a few years popping up from time to time using time-travel. Valeria was eventually proven to be the biological child of Mr. Fantastic and his wife and regressed back into a fetus, allowing her to be properly born and raised by the super-couple. Currently a little girl, she has inherited both her mother’s force-field powers and her father’s high intelligence.
An Ever-Changing Roster
The roster of the team has expanded exponentially over the years, though for the most part there’s never more than four members at a time. Other members include Spider-Man, She-Hulk, Black Panther, Storm, Wolverine, Medusa, and Luke Cage to only name a few.
A common practice of Marvel is to add multiple retcons to superheroes backstories in order include the presence of other characters. In the FF’s case, this is most apparent with the Thing and Human Torch.
Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) as a soldier in Vietnam
Long before he gained his current craggy physique the Thing (aka Ben Grimm) had a successful career as a military pilot and astronaut. On one post-Cold War mission, he was assigned by Nick Fury to work with the Canadian soldier Logan (later known as Wolverine) to steal a powerful weapon from the Russians. He would also work with fellow pilot Carol Danvers (the future Captain Marvel) on occasion.
Peter Parker (Tom Holland) in class at Midtown High
Young Johhny Storm was only a teen when he became the Human Torch and spent many of his first years as the fiery hero as a high school student. He soon bonded with and became the best friend of fellow teen hero Spider-man, as well as with his alter ego Peter Parker. Johnny wouldn’t find out the truth about his friend’s dual identity until well after they had graduated from school, however.
Don’t Mess with the Invisible Woman
Jessica Alba as Susan Storm in Fantastic Four (2005)
Though seemingly possessing the most passive power set, the Invisible Woman is undeniably the most powerful member of the team (at least in the comics). While originally Sue Storm was only capable of using force-fields to render herself and other invisible over time she has been able to use them to both defend and attack others. using her force-fields she can create indestructible weapons, augment her own physical strength, and rip apart any construct or human being from the inside out. Luckily for all of the FF villains out there she primarily uses her abilities defensively, creating impenetrable shields capable of holding back a nuclear blast.
The future of the newly reunited team is full of possibilities for both their comics and screen presence. While previous attempts at adapting the FF to film have been notoriously terrible, this resurgence of interest could very well indicate that Marvel Studios will finally take a crack at it and make the team a part of the MCU lineup.