Marvel's first family and first comic isn't all that well appreciated. Over the years, the comics have been under performing despite amazing art and stories. The same can be said about the movies.
Although I enjoyed 2005's Fantastic Four, I can see why others approach the film with such disdain. This new movie hasn't even come out and fans are already giving backlash on a film they haven't seen and have no idea what it's about. Whether you like it or not, fans are going to watch The Fantastic Four and I want everyone to walk out of the theater saying "That was actually fun."
Fantastic 4 is always about its humor, the adventures/exploration, and the chemistry between the characters and I believe we'll see that in this film. Here is a reading list of some of the best Fantastic Four stories out there.
Fantastic Four Vol. 4 #1-16 Written by Matt Fraction & Illustrated by Mark Bagley
To me, what make the Fantastic Four so great is that they're are space, exploring family. In this story the FF take a trip with their children and explore planets, dimensions, and time paradoxes. It's simply a fun read and shows us who the Fantastic Four really are at heart. Lasting only 16 issues, Matt Fraction is able to give us a beautiful story with a ton of heart. A easy series to get into, easily my favorite FF series. 'Nuff said.
You can find the graphic novel of this comic for about $15 in your nearest book store. It's affordable and a great binge worthy read.
Ultimate Fantastic Four #1-12 Written my Brian Michael Bendis and Warren Ellis & Illustrated by Adam Kubert and Warren Ellis
Now if your a comic fan like me, you'll most likely know that this new film is taking a huge inspiration from the Ultimate lineup. In this series, Reed, Susan, and Johnny are geniuses who are part of a special program for intelligent young minds. They create an experiment with Victor von Damme (Domachev in the movie) and something goes horribly wrong. They all get transported into another dimension and gain their powers; much like what the movie shows.
The first 12 issues are all you have to read to fully prepare for the film. The first six issues deals with them and their powers, basically their origins. While the next six issues deals with them facing Victor von Damme, who has become a silent ruler in a town in Latveria. It's a great, compellling story that I highly recommend to get in the mind set of the new film.
You can also find this series in a graphic novel for about $15-$20. A good read and one that will certainly prepare you for the film
Fantastic Four Vol. 1 #48-50 "The Galactus Trilogy" Written by Stan Lee and Illustrated by Jack Kirby
How could I not mention one of the most famous comic stories of all time? This comic is the first time we see our heroes pushed to the very core and put to the ultimate test. Galactus and his herald, The Silver Surfer, have come to Earth and have plans of devouring our planet. It's a story about family and redemption. This is just a great Stan Lee story, with great Jack Kirby art. If you are a fan of the Fantastic Four or you are becoming one, this is a must read.
Sadly, I only have #48 in my collection, but I have read all three issues online with Marvel unlimited, they cost about $2 so it's easy to purchase and after you read it, you're going to want the physical comic.
Now of course, there are other great Fantastic Four stories from Mark Waid, Johnathon Hickman, and John Byrne. However, the three stories I showed you are my favorite simply 'fantastic' reads. (Puns intended)
Hope you found this helpful and that we all enjoy the new Fantastic Four film. I will always be optimistic in superhero films, so I'm excited and I'll be waiting in line for the premier.
Thank you for reading and be sure to check out my other articles. Also, be sure to follow me on Twitter @MannyCastell