Although the Fantastic Four have an important recognition within the world of comics, the reality is that they have been vital in the Marvel Comics universe since some of the main heroes, villains, places and objects of the company were originally presented in some issue of our protagonists from today’s list.
Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm are the most important family in comics, so much that they’re usually referred to as the “First Family”. They are a key element of the Marvel universe to the point that you can’t simply comprehend it without the input of the Fantastic Four.
That is why we decided to make this list with the best comics of this legendary superhero family so that those who are not very knowledgeable of these characters can have a bit of motivation to start reading them.
Are you ready for our list of the best Fantastic Four comics that you MUST read? Buckle up and enjoy it!
The Best Fantastic Four Comics that you MUST read!
8. Ultimate Fantastic Four.
In a practice that was also done by DC Comics at the time, at the beginning of the 21st century Marvel released the Ultimate universe with the intention of attracting new readers through modified origin stories that will be updated and more in line with the events and trends of the early 2000s, thus offering a fresh new take and perspective on these established characters, plus providing a brand new starting point.
One of the properties that was benefited the most were the Fantastic Four who became a group of students who were involved in an accident that gave them their powers, but the one big problem that this new take has is that the general concept of the Fantastic Four is affected when Sue and Reed are boyfriends but not husbands, so the four are not a family as such and that opens the possibility that the problems between them do not always have a happy ending, which in a way is quite interesting but it can also lead to some moments of incoherence throughout the series.
This is a recommended title for those who are fans of the classic Fantastic Four and a very good starting point for those who want to start reading about these characters and do not want to do so from the first classic titles, plus they are also going to get a different perspective on Marvel’s first family, which can be interesting for a lot of young readers.
You may find these books in TP editions, but what I really recommend are these beautiful oversized hardcovers. They include the contents of 2 TP’s, and the size is really the best to fully appreciate the art. You won’t be disappointed, and they’re not thaaaaaat expensive to read a really great Fantastic Four comic!
If you go for this series, you shouldn’t miss the issues where the Fantastic Four meet the zombie universe, which was used many times later in the Marvel Zombies miniseries.
Again, the story by Mark Millar and the art by Greg Land justify this beautiful hardcover. This is a really frightening story, and definitely must be included in the best Fantastic Four comics list!
7. The Council of Reeds.
Jonathan Hickman’s Fantastic Four run might be the last great series that the title has gotten in recent years, which is a shame because these characters deserve a lot more.
But that doesn’t mean that Hickman didn’t deliver the goods–on the contrary, his work on the Fantastic Four deserves a lot more credit than what it actually gets. And his first storyline, The Council of Reeds, is a very good example of what he brings to the table as a writer.
Without wanting to give a lot of spoilers, the plot of the story is a bit complex and simple at the same time: Reed has been working way too much in recent days and he is not spending time with Sue and his kids, to the point that he manages to contact the other Reeds of the multiverse. These are versions of Reed that have slight changes to their origin stories, which leads to greater changes in their characters. And all these versions of Reed build a council where they address the potential threats that their universes are facing.
Ambitious, heartfelt and with a lot of quality storytelling, this storyline is a very fascinating Reed Richards character study and one that is definitely worth your time if you want a more modern comic about the Fantastic Four.
6. Terror in a Tiny Town.
John Byrne’s time in the Fantastic Four title in the 1980s left us with a ton of phenomenal stories and it can be interpreted as a love letter to the days of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee in the 1960s when you consider all the different elements that Byrne adds to his run. But make no mistake, the famous writer and artist is his own men and he adds his own sensibilities to the title, which results in one of the finest runs Marvel Comics has ever produced.
Terror in a Tiny Town is a comic reminiscent of those classic science fiction and horror movies from the 50s and 60s in which the author John Byrne places us in a reality in which the Fantastic Four live a quiet and happy life in a little town called Liddleville. None of them have their powers. In fact, they do not even remember having them, although some images of their life as superheroes appear in the form of nightmares and that is where the comic starts taking a direction towards the horror genre. May it remind you a little bit to Wandavision, the series from Disney+? Well, this was written many years ago.
The way the Fantastic Four got their powers and the consequences of that event have been running theme throughout the years in the series and a lot of writers have added their own takes and elements to said theme, but this particular story by Byrne is fascinating because he adds a few twists and turns, thus making for a very interesting read and offering a different perspective about Marvel’s premier family.
The ending somewhat marks the future of the Fantastic Four and is something that you cannot miss if you want to understand Byrne’s run on a deeper level.
Again, I’m recommending an Omnibus here! You can get different additions of the John Byrne’s run on the Fantastic Four, but this is really good classic material, it deserves the place as some of the best comic runs you can have in your library, and it’s definitely some of the best Fantastic Four comics you can read!
5. Special King Size Annual Number 3
This particular annual presents what is possibly the most important wedding in Marvel history: the wedding of Reed Richards and Sue Storm.
Logically, Doctor Doom could not stay without doing anything and devised a plan to ruin the event using a machine that alters emotions so that several villains attack the superheroes during the wedding, thus creating a battle between them and the many guests like Thor, Iron Man, etc. As the villains are defeated, Doom continues to use his machine to bring more into battle.
In the end, an almost divine intervention is necessary to resolve the situation, but we’re not going to spoil it for you. It is, though, one of the most celebrated moments in Marvel history and the beginning of the franchise’s longest-lasting marriage among their superheroes, so that is always worth celebrating and highlighting in a medium where heroes don’t usually get that.
4. The Negative Zone.
The Negative Zone was presented for the first time in the Fantastic Four title with Annihilus or Blastaar as the main (and almost only) representatives of the multiple creatures that inhabit it, although it later appeared in other Marvel Comics titles and other beings and areas.
But it is during John Byrne’s time in the title where the Negative Zone is given a new magnitude by considering the existence of new races and places that have never been presented before thanks to the fact that the Fantastic Four do a much deeper exploration work than anyone who has been done in the past.
It is a very interesting story because it expands on one of the key mythos of the Fantastic Four and it adds a lot of depth to it, which is a common theme during Byrne’s run. And it is simply a great story to boot, which is always nice as well.
3. This Man, This Monster! (Fantastic Four (v1) #51)
There are few comics that can claim to have such a lasting impact in the medium because of one just page, but those are the stories that have been so influential and memorable due to that mere simplicity that is actually quite complicated when you think about it. And this particular Fantastic Four story is a great example of that.
With just a few pages, the great and legendary duo of writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby present a story that does not have as its protagonist any of the 4 superheroes but rather a character who had only had a couple of symbolic presences in the previous issue.
The character in question seems an enemy of Reed Richards who wants to demonstrate his superiority on an intellectual level and for this he devises a plan to attract Ben (The Thing) and exchange bodies with him to infiltrate the residence of the group of heroes. At that time, Reed was in an investigation in which he required to go to subspace tied by a supposedly unbreakable rope that Ben was going to hold.
Taking his place, allowed the villain to see Reed from another perspective and even leads him to evaluate himself to the point that when the rope breaks and Reed falls into subspace, the villain goes after him with the intention of saving him. What happens next is full of emotion and drama that only geniuses like Lee and Kirby are capable of transmitting through a comic.
One of the most influential and significant comic books of all time, so you should definitely give it a read if you want to have a glimpse of what Jack and Stan were cooking at the time.
2. The Trial of Galactus / The Trial of Reed Richards
The Trial of Galactus is one of those stories that allowed John Byrne to establish himself as one of the best writers of the entirety of the history of the Fantastic Four and for a good reason because it has a lot of the key traits, elements and characteristics that make this franchise so important and so good in the Marvel Universe.
In this story we see an attempt by the cosmic entity, Galactus, to devour the Earth to satisfy his appetite that leads him to a great confrontation against the Fantastic Four, The Avengers and Doctor Strange. During that confrontation, Galactus runs out of energy and this becomes the perfect opportunity to end the villain forever, but Reed Richards avoids it and takes him to a kind of trial where he must justify the existence of Galactus as a primary part of the universal balance.
As you can imagine with this summary, there are a lot of moral discussions about the validity of keeping Galactus alive when he is such a consistent threat to the universe as a whole, the role of Reed in this whole thing and a lot of cosmic actors that play a key role in this situation. It is quintessential Fantastic Four and you should definitely give yourself the chance of experiencing one of the finest Marvel stories ever told.
1. The Galactus Trilogy.
We are talking here not only of one of the best Fantastic Four comics, but about one of the most important stories of Marvel Comics. The story that serves to introduce one of the company’s most iconic characters: Galactus.
Stan Lee had the intention of facing the Fantastic Four against an enemy with the power of a god and this is how this cosmic entity came to be: a character that, at first, was described in their plans as “The Fantastic Four facing God”.
The story begins with an intervention by The Watcher trying to create some chaos on the planet with the intention of disconcerting the Silver Surfer, the famous herald of Galactus and other of the characters introduced in this story. He wants to make him think that Earth is not a good “lunch” for his master. The Watcher’s attempt was unsuccessful and the Silver Surfer sends the signal to Galactus that causes him to reach Earth where Galactus fights against the Fantastic Four.
The development of the story has some unexpected twists that make it considered one of the best stories in Marvel Comics, despite being written more than 50 years ago. An indispensable title that every comic book fan should read.
Hope you liked our list of the best Fantastic Four comics that you MUST read. If we’re missing one of your favorite runs here, please comment!
And as we always say here… keep reading good comics!