Ryan North's Fantastic Four comic series is A+ and underrated

Ryan North's run of Fantastic Four is (pun intended) fantastic. It combines action, comedy, and family issues to create a must-read series.
FANTASTIC FOUR #1 Teaser | Marvel Comics
FANTASTIC FOUR #1 Teaser | Marvel Comics / Marvel Entertainment

Who are the Fantastic Four? The first thing that comes to mind is their heroic feats. They’ve defeated Galactus, the Inhumans, and dozens of universe-ending threats.

For example, 2015’s Secret Invasion concluded with Reed, Sue, Franklin, and Valeria Richards helping rebuild the multiverse. The other thing they’re known for is being a family of adventurers. People forget that they're explorers and scientists first. Their primary job is to find ways to help everyone by traveling the multiverse and across their universe. They just happen to save lives while doing it. 

After combining everything mentioned, it’s understandable that Marvel Comics fans are patiently waiting for the Marvel Studios debut of Mr. Fantastic, The Invisible Woman, the Human Torch, and The Thing. Thankfully, there are a ton of Marvel comics to read while you wait for their MCU arrival. You could start at the beginning but maybe you want something new. That’s where Ryan North’s Fantastic Four comes in. Twenty issues in and it’s epitomized everything you’d want from Marvel’s First Family.

Instead of one six-issue arc after another, Ryan North focused on the Fantastic Four as a family. Sure, the series started with a storyline of their family sent a year into the future and continues with the world hating them, but it’s not the focus. Like Vin Diesel in the Fast and Furious franchise would say, it’s all about family. Within the love and life lessons, there’s still excitement and adventure.

The series begins with Ben Grimm and his wife Alicia in a town that repeats every day like the movie Groundhog Day. They save everyone by helping two people fall in love. It sounds cheesy, but it's a beautiful story with comedy and action. It was a great way to show us all what the series would be right from the beginning.

Later, in Fantastic Four No. 6, Sue Storm saves the world by blocking the sun’s rays for hours. This prevented a mirror bacteria from taking over and starving Earth. This issue showed the world how powerful she is. It's not like people needed a reminder, but it added more drama to the series and put the Fantastic Four on Maria Hill's radar. Not somewhere you want to be.

Fantastic Four. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL. /

There’s even a story where the Fantastic Four journey to an alternate reality with dinosaur versions of Earth’s heroes and villains (shocking to no one, Dr. Doom is a T-Rex). This was one of the silliest issues I've read, but comic books don't need to be serious. Sometimes seeing Dinosaur Avengers for two issues is worth it just for laughs. Plus it ends with Ben Grimm and his dinosaur counterpart tricking Dr. Doom and his dino-variant.

This year, the Fantastic Four have tackled world-ending events and things others may call mundane. Somehow, Ryan North makes even the most boring of things seem exciting. Take issue No. 20 for example. Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm get jobs as cashiers. This leads to a competition on who can be the better employee. Before the story ends, a reporter interviews Johnny about his “fall from grace.” Ben interrupts and sticks up for Johnny like any big brother would. Of course, Johnny teases him for it, but it’s a beautiful moment.

These moments make the Fantastic Four an elite comic book and superhero team. It isn’t always about punching villains, burning like the sun, or clobberin’ time. They’re a family that happens to have superpowers. Ryan North’s series reminds Marvel Comics fans of this. When his run is over people will remember it as something Stan Lee would be proud of. ‘Nuff said.

Are you reading Ryan North's Fantastic Four? What do you want to see from Marvel First Family in the MCU? Let us know on the Bam Smack Pow Twitter and Instagram and tell us your thoughts.

All 4 Fantastic Four movies ranked from worst to best. All 4 Fantastic Four movies ranked from worst to best. dark. Next