As suspected, Matt Fraction is taking on both Fantastic Four and the "extended" family at FF as part of the Marvel NOW! relaunch, the comic book writer confirmed at USA Today. Artist Mark Bagley joins Fraction on Marvel's First Family of superheroics, while Mike Allred, only recently doing more work-for-hire, will provide art on the title featuring the brand new "extended family" team.
FF's lineup is certainly the most surprising part of the story. Gone are the Richards kids and their freaky friends. Instead, the Future Foundation team will be lead by Ant-Man, with She-Hulk (Jen type), Medusa the queen of the Inhumans, and Miss Thing, a new human character wearing a Thing suit backing him up.
The kids, Valeria and Franklin, will move into the main Fantastic Four book, where Fraction and Bagley will take them on "a journey through time and space," says USA Today's report.
The two books will be intertwined, but not in a strict story sense. The
main title will be heavy into the idea of this unit being much more than
just a team. "It's the first family, and we're putting family first," Fraction told USA Today. He'll be taking the family, kids and all, on a field trip all over history for a one-year trip that lasts four minutes on Earth. "If they're studying ancient Rome, then by God let's go have lunch with Caesar on the Ides of March. If they're looking at the Big Bang, they're going to watch it from the front row," said Fraction. Thanks to the "trip" format, every issue will be a one-and-done adventure.
"This is the place to be wildly inventive, and I would like to put as
many things down on the page as humanly possible and offer up another
dose next issue," said the writer, while showing great reverence for Kirby and Lee's creation of "the entirety of the Marvel Universe in 104 issues."
Scott Lang was chosen by Richards due to his scientific acumen and the recent loss of his daughter Cassie. Medusa was chosen by Sue because of her family sense while also being a hero linked to the team. She-Hulk is a former member, and was Ben's pick. As for Miss Thing, Johnny's pick was the girl he was with the night before leaving on the trip. "She's the regular person, she's the human, she's the overwhelmed 'Whaaa?' of it all," said Fraction.
The FF will take on many of the Fantastic Four's gallery of villains, but will have a decidedly different tone to the family-centric main title. "It's a dark twist on what the Fantastic Four is about — it's the other side of the coin," said the writer. "My hope is that it will be quirky in the same way that the Fantastic
Four were quirky when they first appeared in the early '60s," Executive Editor Tom Brevoort said. "We know who they are, we know what they're about, but when
they first showed up, it was like a bomb going off in comics."
While Fraction is "terrified" to fail, he's also very excited, and hopes to make Fantastic Four a truly all-ages book.
"I feel that one of the best Fantastic Four stories was The Incredibles,
and I want to take that back. It's so arrogant to say but it should
have been us. We should have done that," Fraction told USA Today, laughing.
"If this could be the Pixar version of the Fantastic Four, something that everyone can enjoy, not just our medium 30-year-old white-dude reader, I'd be happy."