Ranking some of the best Fantastic Four Superhero story arcs

The world cheered as Marvel studios announced their latest legendary Fantastic Four cast, which will be played by Pedro Pascal as Reed Richards (aka Mr. Fantastic), Vanessa Kirby as Sue Storm (aka the Invisible Woman), Joseph Quinn as Johnny Storm (aka the Human Torch) and Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Ben Grimm (aka the Thing).

Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, this Marvel’s “royal” family first debuted way back in November 1961 and never looked back. From the FF series spawn multiple famous villains and is ranked some of the most awesome superheroes ever. 

With so many great stories under their belt and so little time, we help you to filter out which are the ones that will be worth your time to read over and over again.

The Galactus Trilogy (#48-50)

“The Galactus Trilogy” is a classic storyline from Marvel Comics’ Fantastic Four series, featuring the iconic cosmic entity known as Galactus and his herald, the Silver Surfer. It follows the Fantastic Four as they face their greatest cosmic threat yet: Galactus, the Devourer of Worlds. When Galactus sets his sights on Earth as his next target for consumption, the Fantastic Four must band together to save their planet from annihilation. Along the way, they encounter the Silver Surfer, a cosmic being who serves as Galactus’s herald and harbinger of doom.

As the Fantastic Four confront Galactus and his herald, they embark on a thrilling adventure across the cosmos, battling cosmic forces and facing impossible odds. With the fate of Earth hanging in the balance, the team must summon all of their courage, ingenuity, and strength to stand against the cosmic threat posed by Galactus and his insatiable hunger.

This storyline marks the debut of two of Marvel’s most iconic characters: Galactus, the enigmatic cosmic entity who consumes planets to sustain himself, and the Silver Surfer, his noble and tragic herald. Both characters have become fan favorites and have played significant roles in Marvel Comics lore. “The Galactus Trilogy” takes readers on an epic journey across the cosmos, as the Fantastic Four travel to distant worlds and face cosmic threats beyond imagination. The storyline showcases the vastness and grandeur of the Marvel Universe, offering readers a glimpse into the wonders and dangers of outer space.

“Heroes Reborn” (#1 – 13, 1996-1997)

In the “Heroes Reborn” storyline, the Marvel Universe is reimagined following the events of the “Onslaught Saga,” which resulted in the apparent deaths of several major superheroes, including the Fantastic Four. However, rather than perishing, these heroes are transported to a pocket universe created by the cosmic entity known as Franklin Richards.

In this new reality, the Fantastic Four are reborn with altered origins and identities. Reed Richards is no longer a scientist but an industrialist, Susan Storm is a successful businesswoman, Johnny Storm is a celebrity actor, and Ben Grimm is a government agent. Together, they must come to terms with their new lives and identities while facing threats from familiar adversaries, including Doctor Doom and the Mole Man.

“Heroes Reborn” offers readers a fresh and innovative reinterpretation of the Fantastic Four and their world. By exploring alternate versions of the characters and their origins, the storyline provides a new perspective on familiar heroes and villains.

The “Heroes Reborn” storyline features artwork by some of the industry’s top talent, including renowned artists such as Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, and Salvador Larroca. The artwork is dynamic and visually stunning, bringing the action-packed storyline to life with breathtaking illustrations and vibrant colors.

Mr. And Mrs. Grimm – Fantastic Four (2018) #5, Fantastic Four Wedding Special #1

“Mr. and Mrs. Grimm” offers a heartfelt exploration of the relationship between Ben Grimm and Alicia Masters, two beloved characters in the Fantastic Four mythos. The storyline delves into their personal struggles, insecurities, and triumphs, providing readers with a nuanced and emotionally resonant portrayal of their love story. Their relationship has endured challenges due to Ben’s rocky exterior and Alicia’s blindness.

As Ben and Alicia’s relationship deepens, they face various obstacles and conflicts, both personal and external. From dealing with Ben’s insecurities about his appearance to confronting threats from supervillains and cosmic forces, the couple must rely on their love and resilience to overcome adversity and strengthen their bond.

The narrative includes flashbacks exploring the history of Ben and Alicia’s relationship, providing a deeper understanding of their connection. Ultimately, the story celebrates the power of love, acceptance, and commitment, showcasing a different side of the Fantastic Four’s adventures. Compared to stories with cosmic threats or villainous attacks, “Mr. And Mrs. Grimm” offers a lighter and more heartwarming tone, focusing on a significant event in the characters’ lives.

“The Inhumans Saga” is a notable storyline from Marvel Comics’ Fantastic Four series, featuring the introduction and exploration of the Inhumans, a race of superpowered beings with a hidden society. It begins with the Fantastic Four discovering the hidden city of Attilan, home to the enigmatic Inhuman race, led by their ruler, Black Bolt. The Fantastic Four’s encounter with the Inhumans leads to a series of events that reveal the secret history and society of this advanced civilization.

The Inhumans Saga (Fantastic Four #44-48) 

Despite their isolation, the Inhumans have a rich and complex history that spans thousands of years. According to their mythology, the Inhumans were once an ancient race of humans who were experimented on by the Kree, a powerful alien race. These experiments were conducted in an effort to create a superhuman army to fight their enemies. However, the experiments had unintended consequences. The Terrigen Mist, a substance that was used to activate the latent powers within the Inhumans, caused a genetic mutation in their DNA. This mutation resulted in the emergence of unique and diverse abilities among the Inhuman population.

As a result of their newfound powers, the Inhumans faced discrimination and fear from the rest of humanity. This led them to retreat to the safety of Attilan, where they could live in peace and harmony. In Attilan, the Inhumans developed a highly advanced society, utilizing their powers for the betterment of their people.

Black Bolt, the enigmatic and powerful king of the Inhumans, possesses a voice so destructive that even a whisper can level a city. Due to the destructive nature of his power, Black Bolt must remain silent at all times, communicating through sign language or through his trusted advisor, Medusa, who can interpret his subtle facial expressions.

Medusa, with her long, prehensile hair, serves as the queen of the Inhumans and is a formidable warrior in her own right. Her hair can be used as a weapon, capable of restraining or attacking enemies with incredible precision.

As the storyline unfolds, the Fantastic Four become embroiled in the internal conflicts and power struggles within the Inhuman society. They face off against threats from within and outside of Attilan, including the villainous Maximus the Mad, Black Bolt’s scheming brother.

Throughout the saga, the Fantastic Four forge alliances with key members of the Inhuman royal family, including Medusa, Karnak, Gorgon, and Crystal, as they navigate the complex dynamics of Inhuman politics and culture. Together, they must overcome adversity and unite to protect Attilan from external threats and ensure the survival of the Inhuman race.

The Fantastic Origin of Doctor Doom! (Fantastic Four Annual #2)

In “The Fantastic Origin of Doctor Doom!” readers are treated to an in-depth exploration of the origin of one of Marvel’s most iconic villains, Doctor Victor Von Doom, also known as Doctor Doom. The storyline delves into Doom’s tragic past, his upbringing in the fictional European country of Latveria, and his transformation into the fearsome ruler and sorcerer known as Doctor Doom.

The narrative follows Doom’s early years as a brilliant but arrogant student at Empire State University, where he forms a rivalry with fellow student Reed Richards, later known as Mr. Fantastic. A disastrous experiment aimed at contacting his deceased mother results in an explosion that scars Doom’s face, leading to his eventual transformation into the masked figure of Doctor Doom.

As the storyline unfolds, readers witness Doom’s descent into darkness and his quest for power and vengeance against those he holds responsible for his disfigurement. From his mastery of science and technology to his dabbling in dark sorcery, Doom’s origin story is a compelling tale of tragedy, ambition, and redemption.

Three (Fantastic Four #583-588)

“Three” is a storyline from Marvel Comics’ Fantastic Four series, specifically issues #583 to #588, written by Jonathan Hickman. 

In “Three,” the Fantastic Four faces a dire threat that puts the entire universe at risk. The storyline begins with the discovery of a series of Earths from alternate dimensions colliding with each other, resulting in catastrophic consequences. To prevent further destruction, Reed Richards, also known as Mr. Fantastic, devises a plan to explore these alternate Earths and find a solution to the crisis.

Reed, along with his wife Sue Storm (Invisible Woman), his brother-in-law Johnny Storm (Human Torch), and their friend Ben Grimm (The Thing), embark on a perilous journey across the multiverse. As the story unfolds, we witness the Fantastic Four grappling with their own insecurities and doubts. Reed Richards, the brilliant and stoic leader of the team, finds himself questioning his abilities as a husband and father. His relentless pursuit of scientific knowledge often takes precedence over his family, causing tension between him and Sue Storm, his wife and the heart of the group.

Sue, on the other hand, struggles with her identity outside of being the Invisible Woman. She yearns for a sense of purpose beyond her role as a superhero and longs to explore her own potential. This internal conflict leads her to question whether she can truly balance her personal aspirations with her responsibilities to her family and the world.

Johnny Storm, the impulsive and hot-headed member of the team, faces his own demons as he grapples with the fear of losing his powers. The Human Torch’s reckless behavior and desire for fame often overshadow his desire to protect and serve, causing strain within the team and pushing him to confront his own selfishness.

Lastly, Ben Grimm, the Thing, battles with his own self-image and the constant reminder of his physical transformation. Despite his incredible strength, he struggles with feelings of isolation and self-doubt, yearning for acceptance and a sense of normalcy.

If you’re a big fan of the Human Torch, be prepared for a story that deals with his apparent demise.

Solve Everything (#570-572)

In “Solve Everything,” Reed Richards, also known as Mr. Fantastic, embarks on a quest to solve some of the greatest challenges facing humanity. Utilizing his intellect and scientific prowess, Reed seeks to tackle problems ranging from disease and famine to space exploration and energy crises. To achieve this, Reed assembles a team of brilliant minds from across the multiverse, known as the Council of Reeds.

As the Council of Reeds collaborates on solutions to these global issues, they encounter resistance from various sources, including alternate versions of Reed Richards who have become corrupt or misguided in their pursuit of power. Along the way, the Fantastic Four faces threats from cosmic entities and rival factions, testing their resolve and unity as a team.

As the storyline unfolds, readers are treated to a thought-provoking exploration of the potential and limitations of scientific progress, as well as the ethical implications of playing god and tampering with the natural order of the universe.

Unthinkable (Fantastic Four vol. 3, issues No. 67-70)

“Unthinkable” is a major storyline from Marvel Comics’ Fantastic Four series, written by Mark Waid and illustrated by Mike Wieringo. In “Unthinkable,” the Fantastic Four faces one of their most formidable adversaries yet: Doctor Doom. The storyline begins with Doom’s return to Latveria, where he enacts a complex plan to gain ultimate power by harnessing the mystical energies of the Faltine, powerful beings from another dimension. 

To achieve his goal, Doom kidnaps Franklin and Valeria Richards, the children of Reed and Sue, using them as leverage to achieve his goals.Reed, driven by desperation to save his children, contemplates crossing moral lines and using forbidden knowledge to combat Doom’s magic.

As Doom’s plan unfolds, the Fantastic Four must confront their personal demons and overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to stop him. The storyline delves into themes of sacrifice, redemption, and the limits of power as the Fantastic Four and their allies battle against Doom’s dark machinations.

“This Man…. This Monster!” (#51)

“This Man… This Monster!” revolves around the character of Ben Grimm, also known as the Thing, one of the founding members of the Fantastic Four. He wakes up to discover his powers are gone. In his place stands another man claiming to be the “real” Thing. This imposter, revealed to be a scientist named Ricardo Jones, stole the Thing’s powers and infiltrated the Baxter Building, the Fantastic Four’s headquarters. The remaining members of the Fantastic Four, initially distrustful of the real Thing’s claims, must decide who to believe. This creates tension and challenges their sense of trust. Ben Grimm, the man beneath the Thing’s rocky exterior, struggles to convince his friends of his true identity. While trying to expose the imposter, Ben must also contend with a new mission involving the Negative Zone, a dimension filled with anti-matter.

“This Man… This Monster!” delves deep into the psyche of Ben Grimm, exploring his insecurities, fears, and sense of identity as he grapples with the consequences of being trapped in the body of his enemy. The storyline offers a poignant and emotionally resonant portrayal of the Thing as a complex and multi-dimensional character.  The storyline raises thought-provoking questions about morality and heroism, as Ben Grimm is forced to confront the reality of being perceived as a villain while struggling to maintain his sense of self and integrity. Readers are challenged to consider the nature of heroism and the choices that define a person’s character.

The story is also filled with suspense and tension as the Fantastic Four race against time to stop the imposter wreaking havoc in Ben’s body while also searching for a way to rescue him. The storyline keeps readers on the edge of their seats with its twists, turns, and unexpected developments.

The Trial of Reed Richards – Fantastic Four #262

Reed Richards, the brilliant scientist and leader of the Fantastic Four, is put on trial by a galactic court for saving the life of Galactus, a planet-devouring cosmic entity.  While Galactus is a threat, he’s also a force of nature maintaining cosmic balance. By saving him, Reed potentially condemned countless planets to destruction. Reed argues that Galactus is a complex entity, not simply a villain. He also contends that saving his life might eventually serve a greater good, even if the risks are high. Survivors from planets Galactus devoured testify against Reed, while Odin, the Allfather of the Asgardians, provides insight into Galactus’s origins.The story leaves the verdict ambiguous. Reed may have pleaded guilty, but to save a life, not a crime. The true outcome and the consequences of Reed’s actions remain open to interpretation.

This story explores a complex moral question. Is it better to let a natural disaster take its course or intervene, potentially causing unintended consequences? The story also delves into Reed’s character, showcasing his intelligence, resourcefulness, and the burden of responsibility he carries as a leader. Most importantly, it expands the lore of the Marvel Universe by exploring the cosmic entities and the delicate balance they maintain.

The Fantastic Four (Fantastic Four #1)

“Fantastic Four #1” is a landmark issue in comic book history, marking the debut of one of Marvel Comics’ most iconic superhero teams and families. As the first appearance of the Fantastic Four, this issue holds significant cultural and historical importance within the comic book industry. Readers are introduced to the titular superhero team consisting of Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards), the Invisible Woman (Susan Storm), the Human Torch (Johnny Storm), and the Thing (Ben Grimm). The story begins with Reed Richards proposing a bold plan to explore space by traveling in a spacecraft of his own design. Along with his friends Susan, Johnny, and Ben, Reed embarks on the historic mission.

This issue offers three sub stories showing the team in action, from getting their powers to taking on Mole Man. Overall, “Fantastic Four #1” is a must-read for fans of superhero comics, offering an exciting introduction to one of Marvel’s most beloved superhero teams and setting the stage for countless epic adventures to come.

By Ace