— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) March 29, 2018
Finally the Fantastic Four are coming back.
Marvel’s new Editor in Chief CB Cebulski has finally moved back to NYC from Shanghai for a fresh start of his own. And he’s made his Marvel PR debut with a big announcement. Appearing on Marvel twitter with Ryan Penagos a few minutes ago, they confirmed that, at long last, the FF, Marvel’s first family, are coming back in a monthly Marvel series, to be written by Dan Slott and drawn by Sara Pichelli. The book, which hits in August, will feature Reed, Sue, Ben and Johnny – the FF that’s you’ve known and loved since the dawn of the Marvel Universe.
The FF have long been banished from the MCU as part of a punitive strike against rival studio Fox, which has the movie rights to the team. Marvel president Ike Perlmutter is said to have ordered the ban, and the FF have been absent since the last issue of the Jonathan Hickman/Ryan Stegman run, #611, which ended back in 2012.
It’s been a long time. But now Disney is going to buy Fox and I guess it’s time to let bygones be bygones.
In the video, Cebulski and Penagos wax enthusiastic about the creative team. Penagos recalls the time Slott spent 15 minutes telling him a Silver Surfer story idea. Cebulski notes that Slott has “this uncanny ability to have an encyclopedic memory of every thing that ever happened in a Marvel Comic,” adding that Slott also bring new ideas that drive things forward.
They praised Pichelli for her storytelling via body language which, to be fair, is among the elite in comics.
Marvel’s new management team (basically the old team minus Axel plus John Nee and now Sven Larsen) is shaking things up in small ways, although bringing back the FF is pretty major. Comic characters come back from death all the time, but coming back from a rights issue? That’s a very big deal indeed.
UPDATE – the debut story is in the NY Times:
Mr. Slott said the Fantastic Four were in the first comics he ever read back when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby had the team meet the cosmic entity Galactus in 1965. “I started my adventures in the Marvel Universe with a freaked-out Reed Richards, the Watcher and the Silver Surfer,” Mr. Slott recalled. “I’ve wanted this for so long.”
Ms. Pichelli was excited about working on the series, but coy. “I can’t wait to draw a lot of the characters, but there’s one in particular I can’t reveal yet,” she said in an email interview. “You will know why they’re my favorite when you read the book!”
Mr. Slott will complete a 10-year-run writing Spider-Man this summer. He is envisioning writing at least 55 issues for the Fantastic Four, which would get the heroes to issue No. 700 (using comic book math, which stitches together three previous series). Fans should be used to these types of shenanigans. Captain America, for example, will reach issue 700 in April, only to be followed up by a new No. 1 in July written by Ta-Nehisi Coates.