Spoilers ahead for Secret Wars #9.
The conclusion of Secret Wars #9 left the Fantastic Four - or at least the Richards family - in a fairly definitive place, performing a task that will likely take them some time. Now, Marvel Senior Vice President of Publishing Tom Brevoort has clarified the fate of the Richardses and the Future Foundation, saying that Secret Wars was created as "the last Fantastic Four story."
“At a certain point, we set out here to do the last Fantastic Four story, at least for the time being,” Brevoort told CBR. “We didn't necessarily start with that as the original goal way back even with Avengers #1. That having been said, it's such a natural end point because a lot of this stuff organically grows out of Jonathan's Fantastic Four run. It seems like a fitting capstone to all of that.”
When asked if the Fantastic Four were "on a shelf," Brevoort said, “It's a shelf in that the Fantastic Four as a unit are now split up. Ben and Johnny are in Guardians [of the Galaxy], Inhumans and Uncanny Avengers, and there isn't a Fantastic Four title. None of these characters are dead, though. Therefore, the future will inevitably and invariably get to a point where we'll see more of Reed, Sue, Franklin, Val, Dragon Man and the Future Foundation."
As for when readers will see the FF return, Brevoort was somewhat cagey.
"We will get to that point. I don't know that we'll get to it quickly. Maybe we will. Maybe we won't. Hopefully we'll get to it when you least expect it so their reappearance on the Marvel stage can have some resonance to it.”
Brevoort also expounded on the fate of Marvel's multiverse, which the Richardses were left to rebuild in Secret Wars #9, particularly mentioning that the issue signaled the end of the term "616" to refer to the mainstream Marvel Universe, in favor of the term "Prime Earth."
“It's effectively a new multiverse. The biggest and most important thing here that nobody in the world will like, and that I'm the only one that keeps poking at, is the fact that the Marvel Universe is no longer the 616. I don't know if by the end of Secret Wars #9 there are 616 universes yet. There will be an infinite number of them. Realities that we've known and new ones that we've never visited before are being constantly created, and then mapped and explored by Reed and his family.”
“They started by restoring the Marvel Universe. So really, it's now the Prime Universe.”