Marvel Showcase Fraction's Fantastic Four and FF – But Defenders is Cancelled

By Steve Morris

Marvel have spent this week showing off shiny covers for their Marvel NOOOWWWWWW!!! rebranding, and I’ll gather them all together at the end of the week (Friday, just so you know) for you to look into. But USA Today have today revealed the first cover for Matt Fraction and Mike Allred’s ‘FF’ series and, well…

So the book is heading in a radically new direction, you can see. Not only does the focus seem to have moved away from the students enrolled at Reed Richards’ ‘Future Foundation’, but it’s moved towards Ant Man, Medusa, She-Hulk, and… a woman wearing a Thing costume.

This sounds like exactly the kind of project which would play to Fraction and Allred. Apparently the new female character is called ‘Miss Thing’, which means she’ll likely become an instant fan-favourite amongst camp people. And can you even imagine how exciting the world is, now that we know Mike Allred is going to be drawing She-Hulk EVERY MONTH? These are golden times.

Over on the Fraction/Mark Bagley Fantastic Four title, it looks like Valeria and Franklin Richards are going to head back to their family for some cosmic adventuring, too. Fraction seems set on making this a big adventure series, with all six members of the Fantastic Four back together in the same book.

Now for the sad news. The article also confirms that Fraction’s Defenders – which had a massive decline in sales figures – will be concluding with issue #12 in November. From one She-Hulk to another, and one team to two teams. Sad to see the book go, but it’ll be interesting to see what this means for Marvel’s lineup next year. Will Dr Strange or Iron Fist show up somewhere else, now? Is this the last time we’ll get to see a Defenders title?


  1. Synsidar says

    Medusa looks sexier in her costume than She-Hulk does. That’s a reversal.


  2. Sue says

    Crushed Defenders has to die, but as much as I adore the book, the sales weren’t enough to keep it afloat.

    Really hope Doctor Strange lands a regular appearance in either Hickman or Parker’s books.

    So bummed :(

  3. Eric H. says

    I’m with ya Comic Book Candy. The Allred / Milligan X-Force was fantastic.

  4. says

    Defenders has quickly turn into a disapointment. I stick with it hoping it would move away from the very confusing current Omega plot, but instead it kept focused even more on it. I was planning to drop it with issue 11, seems I’ll stay with it one last issue to see if, at least, the ending was worth the wait.

  5. Josef says

    Fraction is a terrible launch writer. He sells acceptably on well known properties on the strength of the properties.

    Give him something new? IT gets bogged down in nonsensical waffle about Captain Nemo. Nobody cares and then it stops.

    See Venom/Remender for how to open up a new book successfully.

  6. says

    Color me uninterested with Marvel’s Music Chairs Event but these actually look good and fun.

    What is with the little “001” in the lower right hand corner? Issue number? Do they really think they are going to get to 100 issues before another relaunch?

    “Is this the last time we’ll get to see a Defenders title?”

    Silly reporter! You know better than that. :)

  7. says

    “It gets bogged down in nonsensical waffle about Captain Nemo. Nobody cares and then it stops.”

    This. It was at that moment, while reading (I don’t remember which issue) when I literally put the book down and asked myself, ‘what the hell *is* this nonsense?’

    I can’t recall ever being so excited for a series, and being so disappointed so quickly.

  8. says

    What’s this? A FOUR DOLLAR comic book starring THE DEFENDERS was quickly canceled…? I am shocked. Shocked!

    Well, shocked that anyone at Marvel thought, “Hey, maybe if we make this much, much more expensive than all those other Defenders comics we canceled, it will work this time!”

  9. Cerebro says

    “What is with the little “001″ in the lower right hand corner? Issue number? Do they really think they are going to get to 100 issues before another relaunch?”

    Wouldn’t bet on it. I’d be surprised if FF lasts that long. And FANTASTIC FOUR will, surely, revert back to it’s original numbering when issue #700 rolls around.

    If nothing else, I’m glad to see both books are remaining at $2.99. I was worried that the relaunches would give Marvel an excuse to change that.

  10. abc says

    both f.f. books look interesting enough to give them a try. have to agree with shark jumper about the book being relaunched (again) before getting to issue 100 (hell, before getting to issue 50 these days). also have to kinda agree with cerebro, that marvel would probably revert back to the original numbering of the f.f. when getting close to issue 700. silly shit all around when it comes to marvel numbering their books.
    real shame about the defenders, but i have to admit that this current story is just meandering way too long. they should have been done with the whole thing by issue 4 and moved on to something else. so does this mean the end of the defenders, maybe, or maybe, just maybe this will lead to next years big cross-over event, which will be: THE AVENGERS & X-MEN VS. THE DEFENDERS & GREAT LAKE AVENGERS/X-MEN/whatever the hell they call themselves these days!!!!! yeah, that’s the ticket. it’ll be the greatest cross-over event of all time!!!! loads of cross-overs with main stream books,loads of all new mini-series that tie into the event, and all new relaunches (again) of all main stream books when it’s all over……….. then again, NAH! :)

  11. says

    I swear Iron Man, which is on what? Issue 56 or something (ignoring the renumbering) has had like three storylines. The book bored the living daylights out of me til I finally just had to drop it. Fraction is not a quick six issue arc writer, that’s for sure.

  12. Louis Lane says

    Defenders also had at least five different art teams in five consecutive issues. No wonder the book tanked.


  13. Kard says

    Miss Thing? Jeez – why can’t Marvel create brand new characters instead of derivatives? Why must all their female characters be versions of the men (like She Hulk)?

    Why does this FF book even need to exist? It’s like – the Fantastic Four now do the cosmic stuff, while this other Fantastic Four (let’s face it, it is) do the street stuff. Why can’t all that exist in just ONE book, like it used to??

  14. Richard H says

    Why couldn’t Allred be on the main F4 book? Bagley’s still looks like he’s learning to draw.

  15. Mike L says

    Allred drawing Ant-Man, She-Hulk AND Medusa? That makes my day. I was completely happy with the previous kid-centric incarnation of FF, but this gets elevated to awesome.

    This looks like it’ll be very tongue-in-cheek and a lot of fun . . . which means it probably won’t last long, but it’ll be a interesting ride while it does. The core Marvel audience doesn’t have much of a sense of humor, sadly.

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