SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Marvel Two-In-One #4 by Chip Zdarsky, Valerio Schiti, Frank Martin and Joe Caramagna, on sale now.
The whereabouts of The Future Foundation is one of the most interesting mysteries in the Marvel Universe right now, because while Ben Grimm has lied to Johnny Storm and told him their family is still alive somewhere out there in the multiverse, he doesn’t know that’s actually true.
Reed, Sue and the kids are currently reseeding the Multiverse, both with new worlds and reproductions of ones that were destroyed ahead of the most recent Secret War. But doing so many may be leading to some unintended consequences. Now, as Ben, Johnny and Rachna Koul explore an alternate dimension with its own incarnation of the Fantastic Four, it gives us a look at the larger results of the multiversal rebirth.
Way back in Jonathan Hickman’s first take on the Fantastic Four — the Dark Reign miniseries, before he took over the main title — he introduced the concept of The Council of Reeds. This group was a collective of all the Reed Richards in the Multiverse who had banded together to solve the biggest of problems, but to do so, they left their families and worlds behind. Reed Richards of Earth-616 was invited to join this group, but as the only Reed that grew up with a father — for very complicated reasons — he saw the value of family and rejected their offer. Ultimately, the Council of Reeds was slaughtered by the Mad Celestials of Earth-4280, with only four Reeds surviving.
These four Reeds made it to Earth-616 where they plotted among themselves, but each met fairly gruesome ends for their troubles — two of them were even melded together to create a new Supreme Intelligence of the Kree. While not confirmed, it’s likely not a coincidence that the final two surviving worlds of the incursions were worlds that still had a Reed Richards; Mr. Fantastic of Earth-616 and The Maker of Earth-1610, aka the Earth of the Ultimate Universe. The last time we saw the Council’s inter-dimensional headquarters, it was claimed by future incarnation of Valeria Richards who had her own plans for the future.
A Council Reborn
In this week’s issue of Marvel Two-In-One, the dimension hopping team are on the trail of their family but instead find a very different world where Ben Grimm is dead, Johnny is maybe a villain and Reed and Sue are separated. While there are certainly bigger things to take away — especially the revelations about Doctor Doom and Galactus — the fact that there are parallel worlds with their own Reeds again shouldn’t be overlooked. This is a major development for the Marvel Multiverse because if the universe has its own Reed, it’s more than likely all the others have their own Reeds too and you just know some of them are going to get the idea to band together and start up the Council of Reeds again.
As the remaining members of the Fantastic Four travel the Multiverse to track down their missing family, we’re likely going to see more Reeds and the possibility of running into a new Council is increasingly high. The headquarters — and the adult Valeria — is still out there and with a Multiverse full of Reeds, that’s a scary proposition. The Council of Reeds was possibly the most interesting idea of Hickman’s during his stint at Marvel which wasn’t explored to its fullest and the possibility it could return as part of the new Multiverse is a big invitation for any creators brave enough to step into those shoes and do something really interesting with the concept.
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