The origins of the Fantastic Four are easy to recap: One day, four scientists—Reed Richards; his girlfriend, Susan Storm; her younger brother, Johnny Storm; and Reed’s old college chum Ben Grimm—were out flying around in space when they were bombarded by cosmic rays. After returning to Earth (via a crash landing, of course), Reed found he could stretch and twist his body in impossible ways, Susan had the power to disappear, Johnny could fly and hurl fireballs at the same time, and Ben, well, he looked like a human rock, with stone strength to match.

Less clear is whose idea it was to create these characters in the first place. Writer Stan Lee says his boss at Marvel, Martin Goodman, told him to come up with a superhero team to compete with DC’s Justice League. Lee was reportedly fed up with the comic-book world at that point, but he obliged. Artist Jack Kirby says that he already had all the drawings, and that all Stan Lee did was fill in some dialogue. Whatever.

What we do know is that the Fantastic Four were an instant hit when they debuted in U.S. drugstores and comic-book shops in November 1961. The roughly 500 issues that have followed are a testament to the quartet’s staying power. The first issue, in which our heroes battle the dreaded Mole Man, is of course collectible, as is the Galactus Trilogy (Fantastic Four numbers 48-50, March to May, 1966), in which the foursome meets the legendary Silver Surfer.

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Recent News: Fantastic Four Comics

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FILM REVIEW and TRAILER: Fantastic Four
Northumberland Gazette, September 3rd

The opening chapters of most superhero film series only have to illuminate one origin story but Fantastic Four has the unenviable task of putting flesh on the bones of a quartet of distinctly different protagonists and their mentally unhinged arch-nemesis...Read more

These Fantastic Four Costars Cozy Up as a Tempting Twosome, September 3rd

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes of this year's Fantastic Four reboot, rumors of a romantic relationship between Jamie Bell and Kate Mara somehow make the summer superhero flop worth it. Okay, maybe not quite worth it, but these two are pretty...Read more

Why was 'Fantastic Four' such a fail? Because Stan Lee didn't have a cameo
USA TODAY, September 3rd

Chock it up to bad direction, bad story, bad wigs, but it just wasn't a good movie. Perhaps it was the studio's fault, perhaps it was just a combination of tons of factors. But Stan Lee has a very singular reason that Fantastic Four flopped: Because he...Read more

Wait, Stan Lee STILL Hasn't Seen Fantastic Four?, September 2nd

Now, considering the movie's widely-reported box-office failure, the news that a hugely busy 92-year old man hasn't got around to seeing Fantastic Four yet might not actually seem all that surprising. After all, given that the movie hasn't actually...Read more

Casting Call: Fantastic Four, September 2nd

This week, Marvel's Fantastic Four! Yeah, yeah, yeah...we know the much hyped/lauded reboot has landed, crashed, and burned. We've all heard the cries from fandom to "GIVE THE RIGHTS BACK TO MARVEL!!" Fox has recently announced that they plan to ...Read more

Kate Mara rests her head on shirtless Jamie Bell
Daily Mail, August 31st

And Fantastic Four co-stars Jamie Bell and Kate Mara were doing very little to dismiss the speculation when they snuggled up on the beach to watch the full moon in Malibu. On Sunday, stylist Johnny Wujek Instagrammed a photo of his gal pal Kate, 32, ...Read more

Michael B. Jordan trades Fantastic Four for new comic book flick Blood Brothers
Blastr, August 31st

Though it was hard to tell in the hot mess that was Fantastic Four, Michael B. Jordan is one heck of an actor — and now he's trying his hand at a very different comic-book franchise. A report from The Tracking Board notes Jordan is in negotiations to...Read more

'Wolverine And The Fantastic Four': 5 Ways To Save A Doomed Franchise
Forbes, August 11th

Well the good news about last weekend's Fantastic Four wipe-out is that we're still talking about the film a few days after its release. In an era when most of the conversation seems to take place before the film is released, that's not nothing...Read more