Fantastic Four Get A New, Updated Origin in Marvel Preview

Fantastic Four: Life Story provides readers with a fresh, new look at the team’s origin, all in time for the Fantastic Four’s 60th anniversary!

Potential spoilers for Fantastic Four: Life Story #1 ahead!

The Fantastic Four’s origin gets a fresh new update in a special preview for Fantastic Four: Life Story #1, on sale in print and digital May 19.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Fantastic Four’s debut, which launched the Marvel Universe fans know today, and to celebrate, Marvel is retelling the group’s history in this new mini-series, starting with the group’s first appearance in the 1960s. The book will follow the group’s adventures through each subsequent decade, weaving in real-world events to create a fresh look at Marvel’s First Family. In a preview for issue one, readers are treated to a reimagined look at the team’s classic origin.

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Related: The Fantastic Four’s Latest Mission is Secretly Their Darkest Ever

The preview opens in 1961, with Reed Richards frantically trying to assemble a crew to help him test his experimental space ship, the Cassandra 4; Sue Storm throws her lot in and introduces Reed to her younger brother Johnny, who asks to tag along. Reed is aghast at the idea, citing Johnny’s age and the dangerous nature of the mission, but Johnny threatens to call NASA on Reed if he does not let him come along. Reed now needs a pilot and asks if anyone knows a good one. Johnny takes Reed to his friend Ben Grimm, who just lost his regular pilot job. With the final piece of the puzzle in place, the crew sneaks onto the top-secret base housing the Cassandra and blasts off on their fateful journey, one that will see the birth of the Fantastic Four!

Fantastic Four Life Story

Fantastic Four Life Story

Fantastic Four Life Story

Fantastic Four Life Story

Fantastic Four Life Story

The preview ends there, and the origin presented in it is extremely faithful to the origin Stan Lee and Jack Kirby laid out in 1961’s Fantastic Four #1. The key difference between the two versions is Life Story provides little details that flesh the Fantastic Four’s origin out any further. For instance, Reed was initially against Johnny coming on the mission – a detail missing in the original.  Readers can feel Reed’s anxiety over the mission and feel Ben’s anguish over losing his job and potentially his fiancé -once again, all elements missing in the original. These details do not detract from Lee and Kirby’s original masterpiece, but instead enhance it by filling in gaps and giving readers a fresh look at a classic.

The Fantastic Four’s 60th anniversary is a milestone, not just for the Marvel Universe, but comics in general. It inaugurated the Marvel Age of Comics, ushering in more complex stories and characters, and to honor this occasion, Marvel is providing a new look at where it all started in Fantastic Four: Life Story. The book is written by Mark Russell, with art by Sean Izaakse, colors by Nolan Woodard and letters by Joe Caramanga.

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