The Fantastic Four, created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, made their debut in 1961 as Marvel Comics’ first superhero team. Comprised of Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, the Human Torch, and the Thing, the Fantastic Four quickly became one of Marvel’s most iconic and beloved groups. Over the years, they have faced numerous villains, explored the cosmos, and captivated readers with their unique blend of science, adventure, and family dynamics. In this article, we will delve into the 10 greatest Fantastic Four comics that have left an indelible mark on the franchise’s history.
10. “Fantastic Four: The Coming of Galactus!” (Fantastic Four #48-50, 1966): This storyline introduced one of the most formidable and enigmatic villains in the Marvel Universe – Galactus, the devourer of worlds. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s cosmic epic takes readers on a thrilling journey as the Fantastic Four face the imminent destruction of Earth and must find a way to stop Galactus and his herald, the Silver Surfer.
9. “Fantastic Four: The Galactus Trilogy” (Fantastic Four #48-50, 1966): Building upon the previous entry, this storyline continues the battle against Galactus and delves deeper into the cosmic realms of the Marvel Universe. With stunning artwork and a captivating narrative, this trilogy showcases the Fantastic Four’s bravery and resourcefulness in the face of overwhelming odds.
8. “Fantastic Four: Days of Future Past” (Fantastic Four #141-142, 1973): In this classic two-part story by writer Roy Thomas and artist John Buscema, the Fantastic Four find themselves in a dystopian future ruled by mutant-hunting Sentinels. The team must race against time to prevent this dark future from becoming a reality, making it a standout tale that explores the consequences of actions taken in the present.
7. “Fantastic Four: The Master Plan of Doctor Doom!” (Fantastic Four #84-87, 1969): Doctor Doom, the Fantastic Four’s arch-nemesis, is known for his intricate plans and relentless pursuit of power. In this storyline, writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby showcase Doom’s genius as he manipulates both heroes and villains alike, setting the stage for a climactic showdown.
6. “Fantastic Four: The Coming of the Inhumans!” (Fantastic Four #45-48, 1965): This storyline introduces the Inhumans, a race of superhumans with unique powers and a hidden city of Attilan. With the Inhumans’ first appearance, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby once again expand the Fantastic Four’s world, exploring themes of prejudice and acceptance.
5. “Fantastic Four: This Man, This Monster” (Fantastic Four #51, 1966): In this iconic standalone issue, writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby deliver a poignant and introspective story that examines the Thing’s struggle with his monstrous appearance. With minimal action and a focus on character development, “This Man, This Monster” showcases the emotional depth that sets the Fantastic Four apart from other superhero teams.
4. “Fantastic Four: The Trial of Galactus” (Fantastic Four #242-244, 1982): In this storyline by writer John Byrne and artist John Byrne, the Fantastic Four act as witnesses in a cosmic trial to determine the fate of Galactus. As they present evidence and arguments, readers are treated to a thought-provoking exploration of morality, the nature of good and evil, and the role of superheroes in the universe.
3. “Fantastic Four: The Coming of the Watcher” (Fantastic Four #13, 1963): The Watcher, a cosmic entity tasked with observing significant events across the universe, makes his first appearance in this issue. Writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby introduce readers to the vastness of the Marvel Universe, setting the stage for countless cosmic adventures to come.
2. “Fantastic Four: The Kree-Skrull War” (Fantastic Four #89-97, 1970): In this epic storyline by writer Roy Thomas and artist Neal Adams, the Fantastic Four find themselves caught in a conflict between two alien races, the Kree and the Skrulls. With its sprawling narrative, political intrigue, and superb artwork, “The Kree-Skrull War” showcases the Fantastic Four’s ability to navigate the complexities of an intergalactic conflict.
1. “Fantastic Four: The Coming of Galactus” (Fantastic Four #48-50, 1966): Topping our list is the debut of Galactus, one of Marvel’s most iconic villains. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s masterful storytelling, combined with breathtaking artwork, make this storyline a true classic. It not only introduced Galactus and the Silver Surfer but also showcased the Fantastic Four’s unwavering determination to protect Earth, solidifying their place as Marvel’s First Family.
These 10 greatest Fantastic Four comics represent the best of the franchise, showcasing the team’s enduring appeal and ability to captivate readers with their unique blend of science, adventure, and family dynamics. Whether battling cosmic threats or exploring the depths of human emotion, the Fantastic Four’s stories continue to inspire and entertain comic book fans around the world.