A Fantastic Four Wedding Retrospective
Marvel's First Family has been a part of a bunch of weddings -- none of them uninterrupted.
This month, the decades-long romance between Benjamin Grimm and Alicia Masters culminates in FANTASTIC FOUR #5 in the Super Hero social event of the season. The Fantastic Four certainly know their way around Super Hero weddings since they’ve had a few before. In fact, it’s not a stretch to say that the FF had the original, in-continuity union that’s managed to withstand the test of time.
Since FANTASTIC FOUR: WEDDING SPECIAL #1 will give readers a taste of the Thing and Alicia’s pending nuptials this week, Marvel.com is taking the opportunity to revisit the four major weddings in the FF’s history.
FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL (1963) #3
Reed Richards and Susan Storm had been romantically linked for most of the FF’s early years. Still, it was a surprise when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby actually let them get married. However, the ceremony wasn’t without its complications. Doctor Doom wanted to get his revenge on Reed and the team by sending nearly every villain on Earth to break up the wedding. Fortunately, the X-Men, Doctor Strange, and the Avengers were all on the guest list, with Spider-Man also swinging by for an assist.
In terms of spectacle, none of the subsequent Fantastic Four weddings have outdone the first one. Lee and Kirby also couldn’t resist including themselves among the well-wishers for the happy couple, even if they couldn’t get past Nick Fury to attend the reception.
AVENGERS (1963) #127 / FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #150
Several years later, it was time for Crystal of the Inhumans to marry Quicksilver, the ex-Brotherhood of Evil Mutants member turned card carrying Avenger. Johnny Storm had literally carried a torch for his ex-girlfriend, so part of these two issues dealt with him letting go of those emotions. Of course, it just wouldn’t be a Super Hero wedding if there wasn’t battle royale. Ultron crashed the party, and he even took over the giant body of the android known as Omega.
Unlike Reed and Sue, Quicksilver and Crystal’s marriage wasn’t built to last. That said, these issues are a testament to the bond they once shared. Once Ultron was out of the way, it was also a joyous occasion for the guests as well.
FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #300
Here’s where things get complicated. Alicia and Ben were largely separated when the first SECRET WARS happened in the ‘80s. And while the Thing was off living his best life on Battleworld, Johnny Storm got very close to Alicia and they had their own romance. In FANTASTIC FOUR #300, Johnny and Alicia got married, with the Thing as Johnny’s best man. In one of the best moments from the issue, Alicia actually thanked Ben for standing by the couple. It was a real example of emotional growth for all three of them.
But when your stepfather is the Puppet Master, nothing is bound to be easy. The Puppet Master hated the entire FF, so it didn’t matter to him if Alicia married Ben or Johnny. When the Thinker and the Wizard forced the Puppet Master to assist with their plans of attack, they didn’t have to try that hard to convince him. However, the Puppet Master was unable to go through with the plan, thanks to his genuine love for Alicia. Instead, he attacked his allies, and the wedding went off without a hitch.
Slight problem though. Years later, it was revealed that the Alicia who married Johnny wasn’t the real one. The genuine Alicia was a captive of the Skrulls, and Johnny’s wife was actually Lyja the Lazerfist. Lyja may have been a Skrull in disguise, but she really did come to love Johnny. They actually continued their on-and-off again romance until the Onslaught incident led everyone to believe that the FF and Avengers were dead. Lyja was last seen in the Negative Zone, as she went off to find herself during the Skrulls’ Secret Invasion.
FANTASTIC FOUR (1998) #27
Perhaps the only wedding that can top that insanity is the union between the Invisible Woman and Doctor Doom. Oh yes, that was a thing long before Doom took Susan as his wife during the 2015 SECRET WARS event. Earth’s mightiest heroes just couldn’t wrap their heads around this one, especially since Susan was married to Reed at the time.
However, Doctor Doom wasn’t really Doom at all. Instead, Reed was stuck inside Doom’s armor, and his presence was the only thing that prevented Doom’s generals from launching a conquest of the planet. To preserve the illusion of Doom’s survival, Reed and Susan went through with the sham marriage. Their deception didn’t last long, but it definitely happened!
Fortunately, the wedding of Ben Grimm and Alicia Masters is a genuine celebration of two people in love -- no tricks, no Skrulls, just a big celebration worthy of Marvel's First Family. It's marryin' time!
FANTASTIC FOUR: WEDDING SPECIAL #1, written by Fred Hembeck, Gail Simone, and Dan Slott with art by Laura Braga, Mark Buckingham, and Fred Hembeck, is available now online and at your local comic shop. FANTASTIC FOUR #5 goes on sale Wednesday, December 26 -- pre-order your copy today!
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