Marvel to Relaunch 'Fantastic Four' in February

The series that launched the Marvel Universe will be relaunched with a new #1 next year, courtesy of James Robinson and Leonard Kirk.
Alex Ross/Marvel Entertainment

When writer James Robinson and artist Leonard Kirk relaunch Marvel's Fantastic Four next year as part of the publisher's All-New Marvel NOW! initiative, fans can expect to see the return of some familiar faces and situations -- but the creators say that the new series will be more than just an exercise in nostalgia.

"What I hope to do is tie in their past without making it too referential and (touch on) how the past and can affect the future," Robinson, whose work includes stints on Superman, Justice League of America and, most recently, Earth 2 at DC Comics, told USA Today, adding that he may not be reinventing the series, but "I'm certainly adding a side to it we maybe haven't seen for a while."

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That doesn't just mean the re-emergence of the romance between the Thing and Alicia Masters -- "in a hopefully charming way," Robinson teased -- but also the return of Wyatt Wingfoot, the Human Torch's college buddy seen most recently on the arm of the She-Hulk. Old-school villains Doctor Doom and the Frightful Four will be making appearances, as well.

The new Fantastic Four series -- the fourth relaunch for the title in its 52-year history -- will offer new storylines in addition to shout-outs to the past, with the Thing being imprisoned for murder, the Human Torch losing his powers and the son of Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman growing a little too powerful for his family's good all being teased as future plots.

"We're going to see the fragmentation of the family due to villainous outside forces that are slowing picking at them and eroding them," Robinson promised. "The arc I'm going to be telling is basically the fall and the rise of the Fantastic Four."

Fantastic Four #1 will be released in February.