Comics
Published June 23, 2022

A Guide to 'New Fantastic Four' #1

Let's look back at the time that Spider-Man, Hulk, Ghost Rider and Wolverine became the World's Greatest Super Team!

Over the decades, the Fantastic Four has hosted a number of fill-in members. For instance, when Invisible Woman was pregnant with Franklin, Crystal took her spot, while both Luke Cage and She-Hulk have filled in for The Thing at various times. At one point, Black Panther and Storm joined the team when Reed and Sue needed some time to themselves. With June's NEW FANTASTIC FOUR #1, Peter David and Alan Robinson revisit the time Wolverine, Ghost Rider, Hulk and Spider-Man took over as the FF. 

Before getting to their story from FANTASTIC FOUR #347-349, though, let's talk about the FF's status at this point. Mister Fantastic and Invisible Woman were raising their young son Franklin. Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, was married to Alicia Masters, though he would eventually discover she was actually a Skrull. Meanwhile, Ben Grimm had regained his human form and wore a Thing-shaped suit of armor to fight alongside the team. They were also joined by Sharon Ventura, who had also turned rocky thanks to her own exposure to Cosmic Rays. 

During Walt Simonson's turn on FANTASTIC FOUR, he managed to reembrace the weirder vibe of the team and the big sci-fi ideas that come with it. His run began with a series of “Acts of Vengeance” tie-ins (FANTASTIC FOUR #334-336) and a time-traveling team-up with Iron Man and Thor that involved Celestials and Galactus (FANTASTIC FOUR #337-341). 

After a brief run-in with some dinosaurs in the past (#345-346), FANTASTIC FOUR #347 kicked off a unique three-parter with Art Adams on pencils. It opens with a Skrull crash-landing on Earth while the Fantastic Four are back at home in Four Freedoms Plaza. The alien, De'Lila, sneaks her way into the headquarters, appearing as a variety of different characters and using a synapse disrupter to knock out the entire team.

Using their computers, she put together a specific new team consisting of Spider-Man, Wolverine, Danny Ketch's Ghost Rider and the Hulk during his gray phase. Meanwhile, a group of other Skrulls found De'Lila's ship, which happened to be on Monster Island, and controlled a group of its denizens to make trouble on Earth. To get the new Fantastic Four on her side, the fugitive Skrull posed as Sue Richards, called upon her chosen quartet, and convinced them that the rest of the team had been murdered by the same people controlling the giant monsters. 

Ketch had only been Ghost Rider for about a year in real time at this point, debuting in GHOST RIDER #1 by Howard Mackie and Javier Saltares in the spring of 1990. The fall of that same year, Larry Hama and Marc Silvestri started their renowned run on WOLVERINE #31. He was traveling the world, often seen in his brown costume and slicing his way through enemies. 

The Jade Giant had first gone gray back in 1986's INCREDIBLE HULK #324 by Al Milgrom. Peter David began his legendary run on the title with #331 with Todd McFarlane and, by #333, they set up gray Hulk as the standard, which lasted for years. This version was more human, less strong, and a bit craftier, all of which lead directly into his mobster identity, Mr. Fixit. He was still in this mode when he joined this new FF squad, although he found himself green again by 1991's #377

The early ‘90s were also a wild time for Spider-Man, both in the comics and in the real world. Not only did Venom make his debut, but Gerry Conway wrote WEB OF SPIDER-MAN and SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN, which were regularly drawn by Alex Saviuk and Sal Buscema. Meanwhile, McFarlane started out on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN with David Michelinie and then launched SPIDER-MAN in 1990 as its writer and artist. Erik Larsen swung in to draw the flagship title after McFarlane departed.

Even with all of their own adventures, these heroes came together to help fill the shoes of the Fantastic Four, or so they thought. Ultimately, the truth came out and the new squad teamed with the old one to defeat the villains. Afterwards, the unusual foursome went their separate ways...for the most part. 

After a reappearance a few years later in FANTASTIC FOUR #374, the team split up for quite a while. More recently, during the Kree-Skrull-Cotati battle near Earth, Franklin and Val Richards teamed with Spider-Man and Wolverine in FANTASTIC FOUR #21-23. The Richards kids even used image inducers to make themselves look like Hulk and Ghost Rider; better yet, all four of them wore matching blue and black costumes! 

Though the New Fantastic Four did not have a long run on Earth-616, the idea spawned a variety of alternate reality stories. In 2000, Erik Larsen and Roger Cruz did WOLVERINE #148 as part of the “Ages of Apocalypse” endeavor to briefly look in on other Earths. This one featured the team as the established FF operating out of their NYC HQ. In the 2008 one-shot WHAT IF? NEWER FANTASTIC FOUR #1, Paul Tobin and Patrick Scherberger examined a world where De'Lila murdered the original steam instead of pretending to. 

Another version popped out of the Nexus of All Realities when Man-Thing freaked out in FEAR ITSELF: FEARSOME FOUR and mixed it up with She-Hulk, Howard the Dark, Nighthawk, and Frankenstein's Monster. Yet another version hunted down transgressors for God Doom, as seen in SECRET WARS: BATTLEWORLD #1

With David and Robinson's NEW FANTASTIC FOUR now available, the click will be dialed back to the days of the original coming-together. As such, you can definitely expect all sorts of era-appropriate guest stars, team-ups and villains in these pages.

You can grab these comics and more digitally or at your favorite local comic book shop. Be sure to ask your local shop about their current business policies to observe social distancing or other services they may offer, including holding or creating pull lists, curbside pick-ups, special deliveries, and other options to accommodate. Find and support your local comic book shop at ComicShopLocator.com or by visiting Marvel.com/LoveComicShops.

For digital comics, all purchases in the Marvel Comics app can be read on iPhone®, iPad® and select Android™ devices! Our smart-paneling feature provides an intuitive reader experience, ideal for all types of mobile device and tablet users! Download the app on iOS and Android now!

Related

Comics

The Spider-Verse Explodes with New Heroes, New Paths, and More in 'Edge of Spider-Verse' #1

Dan Slott and an all-star lineup of creators redefine the Spider-Verse in 'Edge of Spider-Verse' #1, on sale August 3.

Comics

Kamala and the X-Men Join Forces in ‘Ms. Marvel and Wolverine’ #1 First Look

In this first look at 'Ms. Marvel and Wolverine' #1, Kamala runs right into the X-Men when a mysterious threat lands in New York City.

Comics

Pride Month Spotlight: Karma

A Super Hero’s journey from refugee to student to mentor.

Comics

Spider-Rex Makes His Roaring Debut on Leinil Francis Yu's New 'Edge of Spider-Verse' #1 Variant Cover

Karla Pacheco and Pere Perez introduce a new Spider-hero in 'Edge of Spider-Verse' #1, on sale August 3.