Today, we’re taking a look at your picks for the 6-4 of the greatest Fantastic Four stories ever told!
As always, you have voted, I have counted the votes and now we are counting them back, four at a time. If I don’t add a date for the series, it means that this is the original volume of the series I’m talking about.
6. The Fantastic Four # 261-262 “The Trial of Reed Richards”
After the release of Fantastic Four # 243-244 (which you’ll see on the countdown below), writer Chris Claremont challenged the story. He was mostly upset that he had to kill Jean Gray because she had destroyed a planet by the name of Dark Phoenix, but now a guy whose ALL PURPOSE was to destroy planets was being saved as if he wasn’t. was no big deal.
So, in “Uncanny X-Men” # 167 (by Chris Claremont, Paul Smith and Bob Wiacek), Lilandra of the Shi’ar Empire finds out what happened and calls out the Fantastic Four about it. John Byrne saw it and he wasn’t happy. No one asked him if it was okay for the Fantastic Four to appear in Uncanny X-Men (this was around the time you usually had to ask permission to use characters from other books. Which probably still is. pretty much still something you have to do, but it was a bigger deal back in the days when there was less character crossover) and not just that, but they basically got his characters to say that there was something wrong with his previous plot! He complained to editor Jim Shooter who told Byrne to respond if he wanted.
This led to Fantastic Four # 262, which is famous for having invited writer and number artist John Byrne. It was part of “Associate Editors Month, where each headline did something a little weird under the idea that the associate editors were in charge for a month while the senior editors were at San Diego Comic Con. Byrne was in. brought in from his home due to his status in the Marvel Universe as the official licensed Fantastic Four comic writer / artist, and was asked to report on the events of a cosmic courtroom where Reed Richards was on trial for his role in saving Galactus’ life in a previous Fantastic Four storyline.
Giving up all of his non-interference pledge, Uatu actually served as Reed’s defense attorney in the lawsuit (Uatu won through using Eternity to show everyone that Galactus was serving a natural purpose in universe).
Byrne even replaced the fans when he asked why Uatu was not compelled by his oath, but Sue Richards explained that it was too important an event for him to remain silent.
5. The Fantastic Four # 39-41 “The Battle of the Baxter Building”
What’s really fascinating about thinking back to that classic era of Fantastic Four stories is the way they go in and out of storylines without really closing or starting a story proper. The Fantastic Four # 38 saw the Fantastic Four defeated by the Scary Four and their powers were taken from them. They then had to team up with Daredevil to make their way through their own headquarters, as Doctor Doom had taken over the Baxter building.
In the final battle, after Reed found a way to bring back everyone else’s powers, he finally had to do the same with Ben Grimm, who loved the loss of his powers and the fact that he was finally human again. . However, only the Thing could stop Doctor Doom. Check out this awesome sequence of Jack Kirby, Stan Lee and Vince Coletta …
Wow. This then leads to an epic hero versus villain fight that shows the Thing’s strongest ability – the ability to persevere!
A breathtaking ending.
4. The Fantastic Four # 242-244 “Beginnings and Endings”
This story opened with the return of the former herald of Galactus, Terrax, to Earth and he used the Power Cosmic to levitate the entire island of Manhattan into Earth orbit and only the power of Terrax keeps pumping oxygen to the island.
He came to the Fantastic Four with an offer: destroy Galactus or he will destroy Manhattan.
The Fantastic Four are obviously not ready to assassinate Galactus, but have to play the game, and in Fantastic Four # 243 (by John Byrne), they face off against Galactus. Reed tries to reason with him but Terrax shows up.
Galactus is dealing with Terrax quickly (stripping the Herald of cosmic power), so you’d think the problem would be solved, right?
Except that Galactus is now so drained of his power that he decides he needs to feed on Earth. The Fantastic Four (well, just Reed, Ben, and Johnny) are determined not to let that happen, but they’re vastly outclassed, until more people show up.
When Terrax levitated Manhattan into space, he overlooked the fact that this tiny island is also home to a whole bunch of superheroes. .
And then, to REALLY help matters, Doctor Strange shows up to lend a hand, and that leads straight to the awesome full-page splash of Galactus… falling!
However, in the aftermath of Galactus ‘defeat, Reed shocks everyone by revealing that they actually have to SAVE Galactus’ life!
Darth Vader struggled to defeat the forgotten Star Wars martial art
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