Marvel’s Editor in Chief announced in a video interview with Ryan Penagos over at Marvel Entertainment that The Fantastic Four will be making its return as a monthly comic later this year. The series will be written by comic book veteran Dan Slott and drawn by Sara Pichelli. Does this mean that Marvel is taking steps towards another Fantastic Four movie?
The Fantastic Four series ended in April of 2015 followed by a story in early 2016 sending Reed Richards and Sue Storm off to explore the universe with their children while Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm stayed on Earth. This all occurred against the backdrop of rumors that surfaced online claiming the title was being scrapped because any promotion of the series would only put money in 20th Century Fox’s pockets and not Marvel’s, with Fox’s impending Fantastic Four reboot movie.
In an interview with Newsarama last August, Secret Wars writer Jonathan Hickman said, “I think it’s pretty common knowledge at this point that Marvel isn’t publishing Fantastic Four because of their disagreement with Fox.” Marvel representatives responded to these claims by citing that numerous titles in their time have been stopped for a little while and restarted later when the right story or creative team got behind it. Marvel Executive Editor Tom Brevoort offered another possibility in a separate interview with Newsarama in 2016. He felt that the FF were “sort of taken for granted” and that it didn’t “resonate” with the public in the same way that X-Men or Avengers do now. Apparently, that thinking has changed given the video that was released.
Cebulski stated in the video that “it’s the right time” because they have “the right team” and “the right story.” That creative team is Slott and Pichelli. Slott, who is coming off an Amazing Spider-Man run, pitched them a direction he wanted to take The Fantastic Four comic in which clearly worked. He is certainly someone who should inspire excitement for this title as is Pichelli, an Italian comic book artist who first illustrated the Miles Morales version of Ultimate Spider-Man. She said in an email interview with the New York Times, that “I can’t wait to draw a lot of the characters, but there’s one in particular I can’t reveal yet. You will know why they’re my favorite when you read the book!” Fans are already speculating that she is alluding to Silver Surfer.
All of this bodes well for The Fantastic Four comic book, but what does it mean for a possible movie in the future? We have been inundated with a will they/won’t they battle over the last few months concerning the possible Disney/Fox merger. There has been excitement all across the superhero movie fan base that we might get the X-Men and The Fantastic Four under the Marvel Studios umbrella at Disney. One can’t help but speculate that the comic book title coming back may be a small indication that this merger is happening finally. In fact, Hickman in that same interview with Newsrama stated that “Disney probably needs to buy Fox” in order to bring The Fantastic Four back. Maybe it’s time for fans to start getting a bit more excited about this possibility with this news.
There have been some barely tolerable to downright terrible Fantastic Four movies in the past, but that could all go away in the fans’ minds if Marvel can pull off with the FF what they did with Spider-Man. Also, given all the recent issues of changing release dates and impending reshoots on X-Men: Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants, the news of this merger finally happening might be right on time as well.