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How the First Fantastic Four Graphic Novel Ended Up Unpublished

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics, Comic News Comment
How the First Fantastic Four Graphic Novel Ended Up Unpublished

In Nothing Was Delivered, we look at announced comic book projects that never came about. We’ll try to find out WHY they didn’t come out. I’m sure you all know tons of examples of comic book projects like these, so feel free to write me at brianc@cbr.com to tell me some for future columns.

Reader Jason M. wanted to know what happened to Fantastic Four: Fathers and Sons, which was supposed to be the very first Fantastic Four graphic novel.

It was announced in Marvel Age Annual #4…

However, M.D. Bright ended up too busy to keep working on it, so Al Milgrom took over as the artist. The story was not just about Reed and Franklin and Mad Thinker and Quasimodo, but also about the Vision and his twin sons (plus, of course, Ben Grimm and the fact that he had no children).

Jarrod Buttery did a feature on the unpublished project in Back Issue #46. Here is one of Milgrom’s finished pages…

And here are some unfinished Milgrom pages…

It seems like what really got the project was a problem that many Marvel projects of the era had. Everyone was SO busy (with the boom in production due to the speculator market boom) that there was always something more important to do, so projects that could be put on the back burner like graphic novels often WERE put on the back burner (Al Milgrom was working on SO much stuff for Marvel in the early 1990s and Fingeroth eventually became the head of the Spider-Man group of titles).

Milgrom noted that Tom DeFalco really pushed for the project to come out finally in 1991, which was the Fantastic Four’s 30th Anniversary, but it just didn’t get done by then and at this point, Vision’s role in the comic was now wholly outdated due to his kids turning out to be creations of the Scarlet Witch’s powers and thus no longer existed. So the comic no longer fit into continuity, which was more or less the nail in the coffin for the comic book actually coming out.

Tom Brevoort told Buttery in 2011 that Marvel no longer even had the original pages in their possession anymore, so the project is most likely just dead.

But who knows, people love nostalgia, so maybe there’s a chance that it could somehow get done in the future, as I’m sure Milgrom and Fingeroth would love to complete it.

Fingeroth and Milgrom DID do one issue of Fantastic Four, right before Tom DeFalco and Paul Ryan’s run began, Fantastic Four #355. That’s where the featured image for this article came from. It was a nice look into Ben Grimm’s life growing up in New York City.

Thanks to Jarrod Buttery, Danny Fingeroth, Al Milgrom and Tom Brevoort for all the information and the awesome images!

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