by Ray Keating
Review/Commentary
DisneyBizJournal.com
August 24, 2018

The Fantastic Four – the “First Family” of Marvel Comics – have not been treated so well in recent years. But things just might be changing for Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, Sue Storm/Invisible Woman, Ben Grimm/The Thing, and Johnny Storm/Human Torch – and their fans.

As for the FF movies – Fantastic Four(2005), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer(2007, and Fantastic Four(2105) – they came up woefully short on the story front. The 2005 movie made a tidy profit, and hence, earning a sequel. However, Rise of the Silver Surferwas underwhelming in terms of box office numbers. And as a result, we waited a decade for a reboot, and that 2015 film failed on all fronts, including being a money loser. So, the three Fox Fantastic Fourmovies never “flamed on,” to borrow Johnny Storm’s phrase.

On the comics front, the last issue of Fantastic Four, number 645, was published in April 2015. FF fans then went without the Fantastic Fourcomic book for more than three years … until this month. The new Fantastic Four #1hit a nice tone and offers fans hope for a worthwhile revival of this team created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1961. The emphasis on love, commitment and importance of family was driven home, along with the challenges that prevail for a superhero family.

Marvel’s relaunching of the Fantastic Fourcertainly has been celebrated by the company, with other comic books during the month offering covers featuring the FF. Plus, a new massive Fantastic Four Omnibus Vol. 1, featuring the first 30 issues of the original FF, will be available on September 11.

And now that Disney owns Fox, of course, the Fantastic Four can be welcomed home from a movie perspective, that is, brought into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). What might that mean? There’s much speculation and little verification.

It’s safe to say, though, that the Fantastic Four will get a reboot. And what’s especially interesting is the opportunity to work a family into this universe. We got a small flavor of that with Hawkeye, but it should be fully embraced with the Fantastic Four – after all, that’s who they are – and that opens up additional storylines for this sprawling, interrelated group of films. Should be fun.

Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant novels, with the two latest books being Reagan Country: A Pastor Stephen Grant Noveland Heroes and Villains: A Pastor Stephen Grant Short Story. He can be contacted at raykeating@keatingreports.com.