That's What's Up: Do we really need the Fantastic Four?
Each week, comic book writer Chris Sims answers the burning questions you have about the world of comics and pop culture: what's up with that? If you'd like to ask Chris a question, please send it to @theisb on Twitter with the hashtag #WhatsUpChris, or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "That's What's Up."
Q: Do we still need the Fantastic Four? — @_Miller_Andrew
Of course we do. Who else is going to deal with Galactus when he shows up and tries to eat the planet?
Okay, all joking aside for the next sentence or so: The Fantastic Four are in a pretty weird position. They're not just one of Marvel's major franchises, they were the foundation of Marvel Comics as we know it, and arguably the foundation of all modern superhero comics besides. With 108 issues by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Fantastic Four was the book by the creative team at Marvel, and sits at the core of everything those first ten years were built on. These days, though, not so much.
Despite the fact that there has been at least one genuinely great FF run in every decade since the book began — and usually two or three — the Marvel Universe as it stands right now seems to have largely moved past the team, and is doing just fine without them. We're actually at the point where the surprising thing isn't that you asked the question of whether we still need them, but that I actually have to stop and think about the answer.