Marvel hasn’t published an issue of Fantastic Four since April 2015 — a conspicuously long absence for the series that kickstarted the Marvel Universe as fans know it back in 1961. There has been plenty of speculation recently about what the future of these characters may entail, and Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso only added fuel to the fire Wednesday afternoon with a teaser image released via Twitter of Fantastic Four mainstay The Thing — with the “4” on his belt buckle replaced by a “2.”
It takes 2 pic.twitter.com/6UNbi2VVjd
— axel alonso (@axelalonsomarv) June 21, 2017
“It takes 2,” Alonso wrote, accompanying the image. Beyond a reference to the 1988 hit by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock, does this mean that something akin to Fantastic Two is in the works? Or a new version of Marvel Two-in-One, which was a 1974–1983 team-up series starring The Thing joining forces with a different hero in each issue? The answers remains to be revealed, but there’s plenty of guesses to make in the meantime.
This teaser comes days after a report from Bleeding Cool that Marvel had promoted something titled “Fantastic Three” to retailers — and a subsequent report from the same outlet that “Fantastic Three” is in fact the title of a story starting in October’s Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur #24. Marvel has not commented on “Fantastic Three.” Making the timing of this teaser even more interesting, this week Bleeding Cool also reported a rumor that 20th Century Fox has a “kid-centric” Fantastic Four film in development.
The most recent Fantastic Four comic book series ended in 2015, the same year that Fox’s much-maligned Fantastic Four feature film was released. The movie was both a critical and commercial flop, and it was widely speculated — though never confirmed on the record — that the Fantastic Four comic book series was ending was due to dissatisfaction on Marvel’s part in its relationship with Fox.
In November 2014, Marvel Senior Vice President of Publishing Tom Brevoort told CBR that Fantastic Four‘s cancellation was due to not finding an “idea that connects with a massive audience” in recent years, and suggested that a return was likely.
“There was no Thor book for a couple of years,” Brevoort said. “And when Thor came back, it was a big event. Granted, he came back on the cusp of the wave of Civil War, but really, [J. Micharl Straczynski] and Olivier Coipel put that character back on the map in a big way, and the sales showed it. The same sort of thing is true of anybody’s characters, really. And Fantastic Four is no different.”
The end of 2015-2016’s Secret Wars event left Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman and their kids Franklin and Valeria off the board in Marvel’s monthly releases, casted in the unique role of restructuring Marvel’s multiverse, as quasi-cosmic entities. The Human Torch and The Thing have remained in circulation, with Johnny Storm appearing in Uncanny Inhumans and the freshly debuted Peter Parker: Spectacular Spider-Man, and The Thing in Guardians of the Galaxy and Infamous Iron Man.
Keep reading CBR for the latest on Alonso’s “Fantastic Two” teaser.
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