Marvel Unlimited, Marvel’s digital comics subscription service, is once again offering all fans free access to some of Marvel’s most iconic stories from recent years, including now-classic Marvel Comics events and critically acclaimed runs featuring the Avengers, Spider-Man, Black Panther, Captain America, Captain Marvel, and more.
With that in mind, I’ve decided to take a look back at these classic stories and maybe help you decide whether or not you would like to check them out. Our next series goes way back to classic stories for Marvel’s first family.
Fantastic Four by John Byrne
This one is a bit unique, because it’s not one continuous story arc, but rather various adventures of the iconic team of heroes. The stories come from legendary comic creator John Byrne, who throughout his career has created comics for some of Marvel’s most iconic characters like Iron Man, Spider-Man, the X-Men and more.
This collection of stories sees the Fantastic Four begin training a new member, handling all kinds of new threats and even reuniting with the Inhumans to solve a major crisis. Of course, we also see all the usual issues facing the team, like the playful rivalry between the Thing and Human Torch and Reed Richards’ inability to tear himself away from his work in order to spend time with his family.
The ensuing issues see the Fantastic Four take on some of their greatest foes, including Ego the Living Planet, Maximus the Mad, Hammerhead and of course Doctor Doom. We also get to see them take on some less-than-memorable villains like the Spinnerette and Diablo.
Comics have certainly come a long way since these classic Fantastic Four stories. Still, it’s always a lot of fun to go back to some of the older stories and see how these characters became the legends they are today. Some of these stories may feel familiar, like how they handle Ego or of course one of the many times they take on Doctor Doom, but others are very unique and may be new to some Marvel fans looking for a classic story.
Plus, on top of all the great villains you get to see in these stories, you also get appearances from characters like the Inhumans, Quicksilver and even Ben Grimm’s favorite Aunt Petunia! And if that’s not enough, we even see the Fantastic Four become the Fantastic Five with the debut of Frankie Raye as Nova!
There is also a plus side to these issues not necessarily being one cohesive story. You can pick an choose which stories you would like to read. Sure, there is a bit of a progressize story for the live of the Fantastic Four, but for the most part you can pick up any new story and jump right in.
Also, another benefit of these older comics, is the crazy and wacky fun they get into. For example, it doesn’t get any crazier or wackier than Reed and the Thing going back in time and becoming pirates as part of a forced mission from Doctor Doom. On second thought, the only way it could get crazier is if the Thing actually becomes Black Beard thanks to a time paradox.
You can read “Fantastic Four” by John Byrne for free now. And be sure to check back as we look back the rest of these classic Marvel Comics stories over the next several weeks.
Mike is a writer that has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed “nerd.”