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James Robinson Ready to Knock Down and Relaunch the Fantastic Four

Find out what the writer has planned for Marvel's First Family.

With Marvel's All-New Marvel Now relaunching titles (again), one book that will see some big changes is FANTASTIC FOUR. James Robinson will be taking over the book and it doesn't look like he plans on being too nice to the team.

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According to USA Today, the Future Foundation will be evicted from the Baxter Building, the Thing is in prison for murder, Johnny Storm lost his powers, Dragon Man is sentenced to death, Franklin's power are likely causing problems and Valeria is on her own. It's Robinson's plan to knock the family down and have them come together to face adversity.

"What I hope to do is tie in their past without making it too referential and (touch on) how the past can affect the future," Robinson says. "While I'm not reinventing the book, I'm certainly adding a side to it we maybe haven't seen for a while.

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

Joining Robinson is Leonard Kirk on pencils.

Robinson also plans on looking into the changes Johnny's character has gone through recently, the romance between Ben and Alicia Masters, Johnny and Ben's relationship and bringing Wyatt Wingfoot into the series in a bigger role.

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Fans of FF can rest assured as Robinson plans to keep Scott Lang and Darla Deering around and Doctor Doom will definitely have a role to play along with plenty of other villains.

The new series and Robinson's run begins in February.

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Avatar image for impossibilly
Posted By impossibilly

@inkink: That Justice League run by Robinson was a bit unfortunate. From what I understand, there were a lot of editorial changes to his plots and scripts due to status quo changes in solo titles and company wide events that caused his run to suffer. From his appearances on the Comic Vine podcast, even James doesn't sound satisfied with his Justice League of America run. Marvel's current editorial regime seems to support individual writers' voices more than DC these days. I'm hoping they give James the room he needs to really flesh out his titles there.

Avatar image for sora_thekey
Posted By sora_thekey
405684-21736-131121-1-marvel-knights-4.jpg

Um, isn't the premise a little bit too much like Marvel Knights: 4?

I haven't been following the F4 or FF lately but when did Ben commit murder??

I like the idea of showing these characters on their own, since we always tend to think of them as a unit rather than individuals. Also, I really hate that title font!

Avatar image for agent_prince
Posted By Agent_Prince

I will definitely give it a go, it is the Fantastic Four after all. But I've never really enjoyed a James Robinson book. Always far too much narrative for my taste. I guess we'll see.

Avatar image for scarletbatman
Edited By ScarletBatman

@adamhollander4 said:

They should go back to the original numbering. If they want to grab new readers all they need to do is say "jumping on point!" on the cover or something like that and someone can jump right in. Silly Marvel.

The problem is that "Jumping On Point" only works for one issue, where as Issue 2, 3, 4, etc. give a visual indicator of where to jump on and that it was only a few issues back (thus encouraging the purchase of back issues).

Having said that, I agree with you. I think just sticking with the old number system better, but only for experienced comic buyers.

My honest opinion is to just list the date on the cover and get rid of the idea of issue numbers.

Of course that will never happen because a) grognards will complain and b) it robs Marvel of those juicy #1 sales bumps. Plus, it can make older comics seem dated and old, compared to the vague nature of "Issue #24".

Avatar image for adamhollander4
Posted By adamhollander4

They should go back to the original numbering. If they want to grab new readers all they need to do is say "jumping on point!" on the cover or something like that and someone can jump right in. Silly Marvel.

Avatar image for chocolatefrogs
Posted By ChocolateFrogs

Good to see Robinson is settling into the Marvel family. I hope DC is kicking themselves for whatever bad decision made yet another one of their writers leave.

As for F4, I'm still waiting to see the follow up to 605.1. I'll just wait for Hickman to return to the title; there are a handful of Marvel writers that just cycle around between each title.

Avatar image for baberaham_lincoln
Posted By Baberaham_Lincoln

Leonard Kirk!!! YAY. His time on Hunger was amazing! it was beautiful actually. With the addition of James Robinson, who's been stellar on Earth 2 imo, this is a definite pick up. Never got around to reading Fraction's run... seemed irrelevant.

Avatar image for scarletbatman
Posted By ScarletBatman

SUCCESS!

I can't stand F4 but I will miss FF. Especially the Allreds. :(

Still Robinson has a chance to make the F4 relevant again and I am all for that!

Avatar image for night_thrasher
Posted By Night Thrasher

I dropped Fraction's F4 and FF early along with Remender's Captain America. But, Robinson has some interesting ideas. I like Robinson and LOVE F4 but I hope he leans more towards Waid/Wieringo and not towards Millar/Hitch on this book. I not even going to place Hickman expectations on his run because that wouldn't even be fair!

Avatar image for blackkitty
Posted By blackkitty

Sadly I was most interested in Medusa. Doubt I'll get this. Fantastic Four hasn't interested me in years. Want to get my attention have reed stand trial for his Illumination involvement.

Avatar image for v_scarlotte_rose
Posted By V_Scarlotte_Rose

I wasn't really planning on getting this, but if Scott and Darla are in it, I may have to consider it.

Avatar image for perfect_10
Posted By Perfect 10

SIGH forget johnny can we get some sue love already? and are they're costumes red now? sigh. i personally prefer their future foundation costumes, individual while still being thematic but ce la vie. wish they could do some awesome stories like in the 80s and 90s. its fantastic four, time to get weird and crazy like only these "science heroes" can get

Avatar image for mega_spidey01
Edited By Mega_spidey01

i'll check it out.

Avatar image for owie
Posted By Owie

How many times do they have to relaunch the FF? It's too bad they can't find a more stable readership.

Avatar image for feargalr
Posted By feargalr

My mind literally just blew up. AWESOME!!!!! :D

Avatar image for catfightfan
Edited By catfightfan

Long live the Frightful Four!

Avatar image for falcomadol
Posted By FalcomAdol

Marvel Now megashipped a lot of books though. Fraction was really writing a 28-issue series in two books over the course of a year. You can only take that kind of breakneck pace for so long.

Avengers has already shipped more than 20 issues in Marvel Now, and New Avengers another dozen as of this week (plus Infinity). Superior Spider-Man has already shipped 20 issues this year (plus Avenging and Team-Up). It's craziness.

It's no surprise they have to rotate creative teams at this point.

Avatar image for makkyd
Posted By MakkyD

A different take on F4 will be interesting but why'd they have to relaunch it, the other series was even Marvel Now!

Avatar image for dantetheredknight
Edited By DanteTheRedKnight

This is getting annoying -.-

Avatar image for inkink
Posted By InkInk

@impossibilly: Okay I will track it down and hopefully read it before his first Fantastic Four issue lands. My experiences with Robinson have been a weak run on Justice League a bad miniseries and Earth Two which is a book were I found none of the character likable so I just did not care about it.

Avatar image for impossibilly
Posted By impossibilly

@inkink: You should definitely read Starman. It's excellent. To address your question though, no it wasn't just painful drama. In Starman, Robinson really delved deep into what it means to be a father, a son, and a brother. It's easily one of the best series to come out of the 1990s. I highly recommend tracking down the omnibuses.

Avatar image for jonny_anonymous
Posted By Jonny_Anonymous

Hmm I miss the sci fi

Avatar image for squalleon
Posted By Squalleon

@lvenger said:

@br_havoc said:

I'm really nervous about this, I love the Fantastic Four and how the family always manages to become stronger threw adversary but Robinson can be lights out or screw things up and leave a huge mess for the next writer to clean up.

I really hope he does not lean on shock and do something silly like divorcing Sue and Reed or killing off a major character just for the sake of doing it.

Summed up my thoughts exactly. Though given Robinson's plans to imprison the Thing and depower Johnny Storm, it seems Robinson's planning on putting them through a trial by fire in this series. Whether that's a good thing has yet to be seen but I still have mixed feelings about the whole reveal.

What these guys said.

Avatar image for stmichalofwilson
Posted By StMichalofWilson

Interesting

Avatar image for lvenger
Posted By lvenger

@br_havoc said:

I'm really nervous about this, I love the Fantastic Four and how the family always manages to become stronger threw adversary but Robinson can be lights out or screw things up and leave a huge mess for the next writer to clean up.

I really hope he does not lean on shock and do something silly like divorcing Sue and Reed or killing off a major character just for the sake of doing it.

Summed up my thoughts exactly. Though given Robinson's plans to imprison the Thing and depower Johnny Storm, it seems Robinson's planning on putting them through a trial by fire in this series. Whether that's a good thing has yet to be seen but I still have mixed feelings about the whole reveal.

Avatar image for teerack
Posted By Teerack

Awh, for a second I thought the Fantastic Four was gonna start wearing red. Too bad that's not the case.

Avatar image for inkink
Posted By InkInk

@impossibilly: Never read his Starman so I'm curious how did he handle the family angle? Was it just painful drama that brought them closer or was there some happy moments as well?

Avatar image for inkink
Posted By InkInk

This sounds like a darker version of Marvel Knights 4 which I am not feeling. I will try it but I hope this is not Earth 2 again were it was like he went out of his way to make characters not likable and dragged the story out for far to long.

Avatar image for br_havoc
Posted By BR_Havoc

I'm really nervous about this, I love the Fantastic Four and how the family always manages to become stronger threw adversary but Robinson can be lights out or screw things up and leave a huge mess for the next writer to clean up.

I really hope he does not lean on shock and do something silly like divorcing Sue and Reed or killing off a major character just for the sake of doing it.

Avatar image for cap10nate
Edited By Cap10nate

This most recent run of Fantastic Four is one of only a couple series that I have ever dropped in the middle of an arc due to not liking the title. It just never caught on for me even though I love the F4 and the fact that they are a family with a and not everybody is miserable all the time. I will probably pick this back up at the relaunch.

I'm not a huge fan of the Future Foundation cast either so I hope that the book spends most of it's time focusing on the family.

Avatar image for allstarsuperman
Posted By AllStarSuperman

I loved Earth 2, and to be honest I'm not a F4 fan at all, but ill give this a try.

Avatar image for maddpanda531
Posted By Maddpanda531

I cannot express how sad I am to see Fraction and the Allreds leaving FF. Especially the Allreds. I'm really glad to see that Scott and Darla will be continuing on into the new series, although I still feel that, like with Captain Marvel, a total renumbering is a bit unnecessary...

Avatar image for maddpanda531
Posted By Maddpanda531

I cannot express how sad I am to see Fraction and the Allreds leaving FF. Especially the Allreds. I'm really glad to see that Scott and Darla will be continuing on into the new series, although I still feel that, like with Captain Marvel, a total renumbering is a bit unnecessary...

Avatar image for hawkguy
Posted By Hawkguy

I think I'll read All-New Invaders over this. This will just get rebooted next year again anyway

Avatar image for kidchipotle
Edited By kidchipotle

I dropped F4 a whiles back because I just wasn't enjoying the story that much but I'll try to get back into the team with Robinson's run.

Avatar image for lcazt1996
Posted By LCazT1996

I'm looking forward to this a lot. I like Fraction's run on the title, but I think its good to return to basics. :)

Avatar image for impossibilly
Edited By impossibilly

Count me in. James Robinson handling a book that hinges around family dynamics? As a fan of Starman, all I can say is, "Yes, please."

Avatar image for joec_mommy
Posted By JoeC_Mommy

On the one hand, I'm happy to hear that Darla will play a role. (How her character has developed in FF has taken me by surprise.) On the other hand, I'm saddened that another artist, no matter how accomplished or talented, will draw her. When I picture Darla, I see her as drawn by Mike Allred and as colored by Laura Allred. And I may always.

Avatar image for bunkerbuster05
Edited By bunkerbuster05

Huh, I really liked Fraction's run on both Fantastic Four and FF.

I don't like when series are around for only a year, makes it look like they weren't good.

Same. FF is probably my favorite book out right now. Real shame.

Not that I dislike Mr. Robinson. I'm quite glad he's joining the Marvel family!

Avatar image for gaza_stripper
Posted By Gaza_Stripper

I'm glad Miss Thing is still going be around....

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Avatar image for themanintheshoe
Posted By TheManInTheShoe

but man the design of that title is bad.

Didn't even notice that. You're right.

Avatar image for mucklefluga
Posted By Mucklefluga

That drawing of the Thing is unbelievably fantastic. WOW.

This description of the plot sounds awesome but man the design of that title is bad.

Avatar image for akbogert
Posted By akbogert

I have almost no interest in the Fantastic Four but good grief that art is glorious.

Avatar image for mrmazz
Posted By MrMazz

Well I guess I'll have to start picking F4 up. And ooo goody Alex Ross Art

Avatar image for xthumper32x
Posted By xthumper32x

Yay more number 1's! NOT... I wish they would just go back to classic numbering and be done with it.

Avatar image for shika1dude
Edited By Shika1Dude

ALEX ROSSSSSS O;ASMNOuha"£$F4t43fg4LANNFADSA-nerd-gasm

Avatar image for themanintheshoe
Edited By TheManInTheShoe

Huh, I really liked Fraction's run on both Fantastic Four and FF.

I don't like when series are around for only a year, makes it look like they weren't good.

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