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What Happened to the Fantastic Four?

Some members are missing in the All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe.

With several of the new books released in the All-New, All-Different Marvel wave of titles, there are still some characters and teams that are missing. One team, in particular, is the Fantastic Four. People have been talking about their apparent absence when the images for the All-New, All-Different Marvel characters designs were revealed. What we want to look at is the reasoning in the comics rather than speculate over a possible feud between companies over movie rights.

So far we have half the team present. The Human Torch is appearing in two different titles, UNCANNY AVENGERS and UNCANNY INHUMANS, while the Thing is now part of the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. Along with this month’s AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #3, we’re slowly getting some answers to the fate of the team.

These books are taking place eight months after Secret Wars ended. What we know so far is Ben Grimm has left Earth to roam space with the Guardians of the Galaxy.

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He made the point of how this was what he originally intended for himself—to fly through the stars as an astronaut. Ben has taken a leave of absence from the team before but there was always a good reason. He wouldn’t just leave the team without someone filling in for him in the muscle department. With the team currently not in existence, he doesn’t have to worry about that. The bigger question is, what reason other would he have for running away from Earth?

In UNCANNY AVENGERS #1, we saw Johnny Storm make an ominous statement about the team to Spider-Man.

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Saying that Reed and Sue are “gone” and trying to “serve in their memory,” things don’t look too good for Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Woman. If they just took time off, that wouldn't be the first time. Specifically saying he wanted to serve in their memory tells us it's something more serious.

In AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #3, we found out why Peter Parker has purchased the Baxter Building, the former home of the Fantastic Four, and moved the New York office of Parker Industries there.

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His announcement didn’t go over too well with Johnny. He saw it as a betrayal. After a heated battle (sorry, that pun was intended), Peter shows Johnny the memorial in the lobby he commissioned from Alicia Masters.

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Peter then explains to Johnny that the Baxter Building will always be home to the Fantastic Four. Other industries were bidding on the building, trying to buy it for themselves. Peter wanted to “keep it in the family.”

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But the question remains, what happened to Reed and Sue. Also, what about Franklin and Valeria? We would assume Ben or Johnny would be taking part in raising or protecting Reed and Sue’s kids if something happened to them. Who else would get custody of them? With Ben leaving Earth, we have to assume they’re still with the Richards.

But are the Richards still alive? Johnny mentions mourning their loss. With Doctor Doom’s role in SECRET WARS, we can’t help but wonder if we’ll be getting these answers in the remaining issues. The solicit for SECRET WARS #7 states someone makes "the greatest sacrifice." Did Reed and Sue have to sacrifice their lives in order to stop GodDoom and restore the Marvel Universe to what we’re familiar with?

Peter is certain the FF would return someday. Reed, Sue, Franklin, and Valeria all dying seems pretty extreme. It’s more likely they’re probably trapped in some alternate reality, micro-verse or Negative Zone type location. Even if they did “die,” we know comic book deaths don’t last for too long.

We have no choice but to wait for their return. It doesn’t make sense for Marvel to throw away or kill off characters forever. We may not get the actual Fantastic Four back any time soon but hopefully we’ll find out what happened to Reed and Sue soon along with why Ultimate Reed Richards (the Maker) is in the Marvel Universe causing problems in NEW AVENGERS.

We say Reed, Sue, Franklin, and Valeria are stuck in some other dimension. What do you think happened to them to cause the team to completely disband?