Fantastic Four: Origins and Evolutions

Everything you need to know about Marvel’s first family of superheroes before Fantastic Four opens in theaters!

Josh Trank’s upcoming reboot of Fantastic Four will hit theaters on August 7, and there’s a lot riding on it for 20th Century Fox. As one of the few Marvel properties not under the control of Marvel Studios, Fox is hoping to capitalize on the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s success and build a universe of movies around the Fantastic Four much in the way that Fox has already done for the X-Men.

But as many movie studios can attest, it’s not that easy. Two previous Fantastic Four films at Fox were not the super blockbusters that the studio was hoping for. Even in the world of comic books, it’s been a long time since Fantastic Four was one of the top-selling comics. And yet the Marvel Universe owes everything to the Fantastic Four.

In 1961, writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby’s Fantastic Four was unlike any other superhero title. The characters were allowed to be imperfect, they fought with each other and they didn’t even hide who they were! The Fantastic Four were celebrities in a world where superheroes weren’t yet commonplace, and the success of the comic book series led to the Marvel Universe as we know it.

For over 100 issues, Lee and Kirby stayed with the flagship Fantastic Four series. Their FF run introduced other Marvel superheroes who have launched titles and even movies of their own. Even after Lee and Kirby were gone, Fantastic Four continued to have memorable runs by several creators, including John Byrne, Roy Thomas, Walter Simonson, Steve Englehart, Mark Millar, Dwayne McDuffie, Jonathan Hickman, Matt Fraction, and James Robinson. There have even been four different Fantastic Four animated series over the past five decades.

Ahead of the latest Fantastic Four film, SuperheroHype’s Origins and Evolutions has taken a broad look back at the biggest moments from the FF’s history. Everything you need to know is right here!