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Fantastic For Four Or More, Marvel NOW!


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Analysis: Reed Richards and his infamous "Quad" of heroes are being considered a major part of the Marvel NOW! event. Although there's been less attention on the Fantastic Four over the years, Marvel refuses to let them disappear. And most of us agree: we love the team. That said, this section has two major titles intertwining, telling a bigger story. Fantastic Four mainly covers the journey of the first superhero family through space and time; sorta like an episode of Lost in Space. Meanwhile, back on the ground, Reed has put Scott Lang aka Ant-Man in charge of the Baxter Building. Lang and three other counter-parts are standing in as the "proxy" Fantastic Four. They're also in charge with the schooling for the FF aka The Future Foundation, a consortium of youthful brilliance. So what are the changes? Mostly, it's superficial and costume. Expect more to come as the event concludes. Chronologically, The Fantastic Four leave on New Years' Day; it's the mark of a new beginning.

Fantastic Four #1 (The FF's story is a five-parter and includes FF #1. Since there are no chronological markers, it can be contained in it's own section. Reed, Ben, Johnny, and Sue are busy fighting through space and time. When they arrive back home, Reed and Sue realizes that Franklin needed his mom and she wasn't there. In addition to that minor plot, Reed's arm is damaged, seemingly at a cellular level. Performing scans on his DNA, he finds out that his powers are causing a rapid cellular decay, something that will likely be occurring to the other three members of the team. Using "the family" as a motive, Reed suggest they take the Pestilence spacecraft and go on a year expedition with the entire family. Meanwhile, he true reasons are still hidden.)
FF #1 (Reed references the degenerative state of their powers, putting this issue after Fantastic Four #1. Preparing to embark on a journey that will take them at least a year, Reed Richards and the rest of the Fantastic Four look for suitable replacements to act as a temporary team as well as instruct the FF classroom. Richards chooses Scott Lang aka Ant-Man. The Thing picks She-Hulk. Sue picks Medusa, and Johnny, for some reason, hasn't picked anyone, but his hanging out with a musical star, Darla Deering.)
Fantastic Four #2 (Occurs after the proxy Fantastic Four of Ant-Man and the others are chosen in FF #1. Reed prepares to take his journey, performing some more tests on his DNA with Ant-Man. Meanwhile, Medusa meets the class of young students and She-Hulk works out with Grimm. When the proxy Fantastic Four meets, Johnny realizes he hasn't actually chosen anyone, so he grabs Darla Deering, who reluctantly agrees. The team then straps into their time-space-ship and blast off, leaving the new group behind for what is expected to be 4 minutes. Or is it?)
FF #2 (Continues from Fantastic Four #2, where the team just blasted off through a chronal manifold. Ant-Man and the team wait as the clock ticks down; it's only supposed to be about 4 minutes. But the press goes chaotic when the Richards and crew don't return. In the meantime, as they try to figure out how to handle the situation, the Mole Man comes from below the earth to challenge the new team. They beat him up and take him out, but afterwards, Darla quits because she's just not cut out for superhero work. At the end, the chronal manifold that has been shining above Baxter Building suddenly flares and the Human Torch comes forth. Or it is? He lands on the Baxter roof and tells everyone that the Fantastic Four is dead.)
FF #3 (Continues from FF #2.. The FF does all the checks on this version of Johnny Storm, and each one verifies that he's the original. During that time, he tells them that Doctor Doom, Annihilus, and Kang the Conqueror have joined forces; the other three members have been destroyed. Meanwhile, during the interlude, Scott attempts to woo Darla back to the team. He buys her flowers, and is present when the Yancy Street Gang attempts one of their antics. They give chase for awhile and stop them cold. During that time, Darla decides she should return. In the last few pages, Scott has decided that if the Fantastic Four is gone, they should try and solve one of Earth's greatest problems: Doctor Doom.)
FF #4 (Best continued from FF #3, where they are still discussing Doctor Doom's removal. Alex contests the idea of getting rid of Doctor Doom and mentions Cassie's death to Scott. Scott goes ballistic and kicks Alex out of class. The remainder of the issue then goes into She-Hulks date with Wyatt Wingfoot. At the same time, the Moloids, with Bentley's help, attempt to ruin the date with all the technological wonders at their disposal. Of course, none of it works and Bentley is shamed at the end of the night. But that's when Medusa comes in says she wants him to become the best he can be.)
Avenging Spider-Man #17 (Stated to Occur after the Fantastic Four have disappeared into space. Because of a threat in the Microverse, the proxy Fantastic Four call in Spider-Man-Octavius to babysit. Most of the issue goes into the antics throughout the school, but the plot then becames the appearance of the Time Variance Authority with a bounty hunter named "Death's Head" set to exterminate the FF. It turns out that the Bentley clone was building a chronal device. The TVA also knows Spider-Man is not Parker right now, so Otto has to juggle things around to keep him ruse secret. At the end, in a whisper he threatens Bentley and everything seems to be fixed. Of course, Spidey is still a host for Otto's mind, and not surprisingly, he finds where the Fantastic Four have kept Sandman's body.)
Fantastic Four #3 (Continues from Fantastic Four #2 and FF #2 from the original timeline, but can take place simultaneously with FF #3. Bannered. The story begins with Earth's New Year on January 1, 2013 as they arrive at unique-formed planet they're calling Zeta Doradus. The team takes a shuttle down to the surface and shortly after the landscape begins attacking them. Ben is still on the main ship and reveals to them that it is a huge part of an even larger planet-sized creature. He drops into the atmosphere and strikes at anything he can as the shuttle lifts off and manages to get away. It turns out that Zeta Doradus is basically part of the creature's tongue and a "lure". As the Fantastic Four head away, Reed and Sue promise to act more safely and not put the kids near any immediately uncertainty or danger.)
Fantastic Four #4 (Continues from Fantastic Four #3, but the time difference is undefined. Built as a Valentine's Day tribute, the team travels to a new planet with an earth-like atmosphere and spends time with the alien race who tells them that they have a cave mural depicting them. On the next day, they visit the cave and the leader of the race tells Susan that she could be their queen. But the irony of the story is Reed's narrative comments and where he recognizes that he's been taking Susan for granted. It turns out that he travels back in time and is the one who placed the drawing there. By the end of the issue, Sue is getting suspicious, starting to detect something is wrong. By the last panel, Reed admits he's been hiding something.)
Fantastic Four #5 (Continues from the previous issue where they are jumping through time and space. Now appearing in Rome at the time of Caeser, the team continues their "vacation". But now Sue knows about Reed's illness and wonders if will affect the rest of them. Meanwhile, Johnny, Ben, and the kids actually meet Caeser, only to learn by his admission that he is a time travelling alien commandeering his body; the real Caeser died in a previous battle so the alien possessed him. But like in history, Caeser is then captured, with Johnny and Ben thrown in the arena. A creature named Cacus, son of Vulcon is released and Ben goes into a fury, ultimately defeating him. At the end, Caeser is believed to have died, but secretly is whisked out of the city. He meets the rest of the Fantastic Four before they depart. By the end of the issue, the story cuts to November, Present Day times where the man once known as Caeser is reading about the team's departure and their replacements. He then states that he will repay his debt.)
Fantastic Four #6 (Continues from Fantastic Four #5 and assumes that whatever happened in Fantastic Four #5AU never occurred. Teaching his kids about the "Big Bang", Reed pilots the ship to the beginning of time so they can observe it. Surprisingly, there is an alien creature there, entombed in an armored prison. Reed decides to pull it onboard and that's when they find out that it's Blastarr. They fight and the ship is damaged; it can no longer sustain itself. Brainstorming, Franklin decides that he has the only solution; with his powers, he pulls the team along the chrono-stream to the end of time, from where the villain had come.)
Fantastic Four #7 (Continues from the previous issue. Now at the end of time, The Fantastic Four meet an alien race that plans to welcome the event. They hold Blastaar captive and will send him to the beginning of the universe as punishment. Reed begs them to put the criminal in his custody, but they refuse. Using their powers, they switch Blastaar's body with Ben Grimm, The Thing, who has just turned human, a minor side-effect that will occur for only one day. Reed explains to the alien that they need to keep Blastaar from returning to the beginning of time to save their own lives. The team then leaves and goes to new destination for Grimm's adventure. The whole group is now aware that they are decaying, but there are no complete answers yet.)
Fantastic Four #8 (Centering on Ben Grimm. The Thing gets one day a year to turn human, and he uses this occasion to go back in time and help Ira Rosenbaum of Yancy Street. At this stage of time, the roaring 20's, Yancy Street is full of thugs who are a lot like the mafia. As Ben Grimm, he beats them up and runs them off. But as his human-ness wears off, they return and he fights them as The Thing. Meanwhile, Valeria and Franklin have a "dream" they share with their parents, and this leads them to ask Ben serious questions when he returns.)
FF #5 (Appears to run before Fantastic Four #5, but the original team is jumping around through time and space. Medusa brings her son and Lockjaw to meet the kids at the Tower. Crystal also shows up with her daughter. Meanwhile, old John Storm goes crazy and burns the city; lucklily the team brings him down and some of the royal sea-kids summon a Sea Monster to drop water on the place. Alex Powers makes an attempt to meet Dr. Doom, but so far no luck. At the end, though, Medusa appears with The Wizard and The Frightful Four in front of Bentley.)
FF #6 (Continues from FF #5. With numerous characters running around, the main plot is about Darla's problem with the Yancy Street Gang. Their upset because she's standing in for The Thing. Besides hacking her iPhone, they crash one of her events. Scott Lang manages to find them out and blackmail's them into leaving her alone. All this happens in the backdrop of Medusa and Bentley's disappearance; She-Hulk and Ahura tell the Inhumans and Lockjaw is sent with them to continue the search. At the end of the issue, though, the Baxter Building is somehow transported to the Negative Zone.)
FF #7 (Continues from FF #6. Now brought into the Negative Zone, Scott Lang assembles the kids and prepares them to fight. The Wizard and Blastarr have Bentley-23 and are mind-controlling Medusa. It's all a plot based on The Wizard wanting Bentley back into his "family". The fight begins and the bad guys are winning until Bentley-23 creates a clothes device to trap Blastarr's energy. The villain is then catapulted into space where a wandering battle-craft approaches upon him.)

This is a Story Arc Summary Page provided by The Superheroes List. If you're just arriving, Marvel NOW! is a reformation of the Marvel Comics Publishing Group, reinventing and revitalizing their great superheroes and villains to the latest era. Are you interested in what's happening with Marvel NOW!? Well you're not alone. You can find the Reading Order and more information at The Marvel NOW! Reading Order. Twitter #MarvelNOW

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