The Fantastic Four are without doubt one of the greatest super groups in all of comicdom. Since making their debut in 1961, the FF have appeared in countless comics, numerous stories and have cemented themselves as Marvel’s ‘First Family’.
But with so many great FF stories in the catalogue, where do you start if you want to read the best tales that the Fantastic Four have to offer? Well, you could start with the five tales presented below, courtesy of this very blog.
Below I’ve highlighted five fantastic stories, taken from the FF’s pantheon of tales. The stories featured include iconic moments, some pure comic book magic and a very creepy story involving zombies.
The Galactus Trilogy
The Galactus Trilogy is a three-issue run which first appeared in the pages of Fantastic Four (issue #48-#50). Not only does the story introduce the Silver Surfer and the planet-devouring being known as Galactus, it is also one of the most iconic tales in Marvel Comics history.
The story – which boasts fantastic artwork from artist Jack Kirby – centres around a doomsday scenario with Galactus arriving on Earth with one goal in mind – To consume the planet! It is up to the Fantastic Four (with a little help from the Watcher) to stop him in his tracks, otherwise the entire human race is done for. This is storytelling at its most epic.
Terror in a Tiny Town
Appearing in Fantastic Four issue #236, the premise of Terror in a Tiny Town is as follows: The FF are no longer superheroes – in fact they’ve no knowledge of ever being superheroes. Of course, this scenario is entirely incorrect, but that’s because The Puppet Master and Doctor Doom have convinced the FF they are just ordinary Joes.
Written and illustrated by John Byrne, Terror in a Tiny Town is a great little Fantastic Four tale which mixes sci-fi, with super heroics. Terror in a Tiny Town is a perfect comic book adventure which requires very little knowledge of the FF to enjoy and is ideal for fans of The Twilight Zone.
Back during the early ’00s Marvel published a 60(ish) issue run of comics called Ultimate Fantastic Four which took the FF back to basics, condensing all previous continuity into an easy to digest collection. Crossover is arguably the best of this excellent run of comics as it introduces the zombie Fantastic Four – a horror movie equivalent of the comic book heroes.
Running across three issues (#21-#23 of Ultimate Fantastic Four), Crossover is a must-read. The zombie FF are a genuinely credible threat to the multiverse and Crossover is an intriguing and chilling tale that puts a new spin on the Marvel Universe.
This Man… This Monster!
Another iconic tale and one taken from the classic Stan Lee/Jack Kirby era of the Fantastic Four. This single-issue tale – which originally appeared in Fantastic Four issue #51 – revolves around a mad scientist and a plot to impersonate the Thing.
Billed as “one of the greatest illustrated epics yet produced…” (and it is), This Man… This Monster is a true classic from the Silver Age of comics. The story largely focuses on storytelling from the villain’s perspective, presenting a tale that shows even bad guys have a conscience.
If you’re craving a good old fashioned battle between the FF and Doctor Doom then look no further – Unthinkable is the story for you!
In this tale, Doctor Doom harnesses dark magic, imprisons Doctor Strange, places Franklin Richards in a Hell dimension, kidnaps Valeria and uses the skin of his former girlfriend to fashion a new set of armour.
I thought so.
Written by Mark Waid, with Mike Wieringo providing the art, Unthinkable originally appeared in Fantastic Four (vol 3) issue #67-#70 & issue #500.
Point of Origin
And finally, in Point of Origin the FF decide to retrace their footsteps by recreating their original mission in space – the one which granted them their extraordinary abilities. They rebuild their original rocket ship, blast off toward the stars, and head lightyears away from Earth.
But what starts off as a fun exploration soon turns into a fight for survival, after the awesome foursome are forced to crash land on an alien planet. And not only do they trade blows with the natives, they also uncover some shocking secrets, including one which holds a great deal of significance to their past.
Point of Origin is a six-part story, written by Dan Slott, which originally appeared in the pages of Fantastic Four (vol 6) issues #14 – #19.
Rewind… and go further
As quick recap, here are the must-read Fantastic Four stories:
- The Galactus Trilogy – Fantastic Four (vol 1) issue #48 – #50
- Terror in a Tiny Town – Fantastic Four (vol 1) #236
- Crossover – Ultimate Fantastic Four #21 – #23
- This Man… This Monster – Fantastic Four (vol 1) #51
- Unthinkable – Fantastic Four (vol 3) #67 – #70 & #500
- Point of Origin – Fantastic Four (vol 6) #14 – 19
And if you want to dive even further into the world of the Fantastic Four, then take a look at the following stories:
- Authoritive Action – Fantastic Four #503-508
- Fantastic Four: 1234 – #1-#4
- Solve Everything – Fantastic Four #570-#572
- Three – Fantastic Four issue #583-#588
- A Small Loss – Fantastic Four issue #267
All of the above are great reads!
Thank you for taking the time to read this post about the Fantastic Four. For more Marvel posts, check out one of the recommended reads below.