Marvel has recommended five issues of Marvel Comics ahead of the release of
The Fantastic Four
in the MCU’s Phase 6.
These five issues of Marvel Comics could hint at storylines, characters and events for the MCU’s
The Fantastic Four

The Fantastic Four
may explore the team’s origin story, introduce Inhumans, Galactus and Mole Man, and potentially include time jumps throughout the team’s history.

Marvel Studios has revealed several issues of Marvel Comics that could reveal more about the storyline of Phase 6’s upcoming The Fantastic Four. Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige teased the development of The Fantastic Four back in 2019, but only recently have major updates been reported surrounding the MCU reboot of Marvel’s First Family. Pedro Pascal, Vanessa Kirby, Joseph Quinn and Ebon Moss-Bachrach were cast as the MCU’s Fantastic Four in February, and Julia Garner joined the cast as Shalla-Bal’s Silver Surfer in April, with her inclusion hinting at more character debuts and plot threads for the highly-anticipated upcoming project.

Shortly after Julia Garner’s casting as the Silver Surfer was reported, Marvel recommended five issues of Marvel Comics to read ahead of the release of The Fantastic Four in July 2025. These include 1961’s Fantastic Four #1, 1966’s Fantastic Four #48, #49 and #50, and 2021’s Fantastic Four: Life Story #1, and each of these issues include some major storylines in the Fantastic Four’s history. These issues of Marvel Comics could reveal what direction Marvel Studios is taking with The Fantastic Four, teasing major villains, interesting supporting characters and game-changing events in the MCU’s vibrant recreation of the Fantastic Four.


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12 The Fantastic Four May Explore The Team’s Origin Story

Fantastic Four #1 (1961)

Both Fantastic Four #1 and Fantastic Four: Life Story #1 detail the team’s origin story, which suggests the MCU’s The Fantastic Four may also explore this element of their story. Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm received their abilities after being exposed to cosmic rays while on a mission to be the first Americans in space. They became instant celebrities, and began their journey as powerful superheroes, which would make for a brilliant story in the MCU’s Phase 6.

Marvel Studios Previously Stated The Fantastic Four Wouldn’t Be An Origin Story

In 2022, Feige revealed The Fantastic Four wouldn’t detail the team’s origin story. This means Marvel’s First Family may follow a similar pattern to Peter Parker’s Spider-Man and already be established superheroes, but the Marvel Comics inspiration may hint at the opposite. Marvel may have recommended these issues so that audiences will know the Fantastic Four’s origin, but it would still be great to see unfold in live-action.

11 Marvel Studios Could Debut Mole Man As The Fantastic Four’s First Villain

Fantastic Four #1 (1961)

After their origin story was explored in Fantastic Four #1, the titular team faced their first villain, Mole Man. Harvey Rupert Elder’s Mole Man employed his “Moloids”, mole-human hybrids, to make attempts at taking over the surface world. While Mole Man and his Moloids put up a strong fight against the newly-formed Fantastic Four, the team eventually defeated them by causing a rock slide, though Mole Man became one of the Fantastic Four’s most persistent, recurring villains.


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Mole Man Would Be A Great First Villain For The Fantastic Four

While more-powerful villains have been teased for The Fantastic Four, Mole Man would make for a brilliant, small-scale villain for the team in the opening of their debut MCU adventure. Mole Man could join the likes of Batroc, Crossbones, Surtur and Gargantos as villains defeated in the opening moments of their respective projects. Mole Man poses a smaller threat to the Fantastic Four, but would still mark a strong debut for the team.

10 Black Bolt & The Inhumans Could Return In The Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four #48 (1966)

Marvel Comics’ Inhumans first appeared in 1965’s Fantastic Four #45, and played a major role in one of the recommended comic issues ahead of The Fantastic Four’s release. 1966’s Fantastic Four #48 saw the Fantastic Four team up with Black Bolt and the Inhumans against Black Bolt’s evil brother, Maximus the Magnificent. Unfortunately, Maximus trapped himself and the Inhumans in a Negative Zone before he could be defeated, though this made way for a more powerful villain to debut.

Black Bolt Has Already Been Introduced To The MCU

Black Bolt and the Inhumans have already made their first MCU appearance, as Anson Mount appeared as a Black Bolt variant in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. While this version of Black Bolt was killed by the Scarlet Witch, it creates the opportunity for more variants to appear. This means Black Bolt and the Inhumans could appear in The Fantastic Four, perhaps bringing them into the MCU’s main continuity.

9 The Fantastic Four May Debut Norrin Radd’s Silver Surfer As Well As Shalla-Bal

Fantastic Four #49 (1966)

While Julia Garner has been confirmed to be appearing as Shalla-Bal’s Silver Surfer in The Fantastic Four, the recommended issues of Marvel Comics feature the debut of Norrin Radd’s Silver Surfer. Radd and Shalla-Bal were lovers in Marvel Comics, though the former was the original Silver Surfer, debuting in 1966’s Fantastic Four #48. This suggests that Norrin Radd’s Silver Surfer may appear alongside Shalla-Bal in the MCU’s Phase 6, opening the door for another villain’s debut.

Shalla-Bal Is The Silver Surfer Of An Alternate Universe In Marvel Comics

While Shalla-Bal has been confirmed to be the Silver Surfer in The Fantastic Four, Shalla-Bal didn’t become the Silver Surfer in Marvel Comics’ main universe. Instead, Shalla-Bal became the Silver Surfer in Marvel Comics’ Earth X series, which gives weight to theories that The Fantastic Four may be set in an alternate universe. Unfortunately, Shalla-Bal’s Silver Surfer died in her debut story in Earth X, perhaps spelling bad news for her in the MCU.

8 Galactus May Be The Fantastic Four’s Primary Antagonist

Fantastic Four #48 (1966)

Fantastic Four #48, #49 and #50 explored Galactus’ attack on Earth, hinting at the introduction of the major Marvel Comics supervillain in The Fantastic Four. The Silver Surfer brought news of Galactus’ impending attack, with the looming villain threatening to devour the Earth in an effort to sustain his own life force. Galactus debuted with a red-and-green design before taking on his more well-known purple costume in his second issue, which saw him take on the full force of the Fantastic Four and the Silver Surfer.


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Galactus Has Been Rumored For The Fantastic Four

Galactus is one of Marvel Comics’ most recognizable and memorable supervillains, and is intrinsically connected to the Fantastic Four. For this reason, Galactus was rumored to be appearing in the MCU for years. This speculation picked up steam more recently, with actors such as Javier Bardem and Antonio Banderas being rumored to be cast as Galactus, though Marvel Studios hasn’t yet confirmed this casting.

7 The Watcher Could Make His Live-Action Debut In The Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four #48 (1966)

After the Watcher had previous experiences with the Fantastic Four back in 1963’s Fantastic Four #13, 1966’s Fantastic Four #48 saw the Watcher return to warn the Fantastic Four about Galactus. Breaking his oath to never interfere, the Watcher provides his warning before trying to convince Galactus to spare Earth. The Watcher later sends Johnny Storm’s Human Torch to find a machine capable of defeating Galactus. The Watcher is a remarkably powerful character, so would be great to see in live-action.

Several Watchers Have Already Appeared In The MCU

The Watchers made their first MCU appearance in one of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’s post-credits scenes, though Jeffrey Wright’s animated Watcher in What If…? has had a more involving MCU career. Some have theorized that Jeffrey Wright could debut as the live-action Watcher in The Fantastic Four. This could see him warn of Galactus’ impending attack, and establish wider connections to the live-action realities of the MCU.

6 Alicia Masters May Be An Important Part Of Ben Grimm’s The Fantastic Four Story

Fantastic Four #49 (1966)

Alicia Masters made her first Marvel Comics appearance in 1962’s The Fantastic Four #8, but played a large role in Fantastic Four #49, as the Silver Surfer crashed into her apartment following a battle with the Fantastic Four. Masters is the love interest of Ben Grimm who uses her compassion to make him more comfortable in himself, just as she does to help the Silver Surfer. It would be great to see Alicia Masters debut in The Fantastic Four, fleshing out Ben Grimm’s backstory.

Alicia Masters Helps The Silver Surfer In Marvel Comics

While Alicia Masters would be an important fixture in Ben Grimm’s story in The Fantastic Four, she also has a huge part to play in the Silver Surfer’s storyline. After the cosmic being crashes into her apartment, Masters feeds the Silver Surfer, teaches him about emotions and beauty, and convinces him to help humanity. This could prove pivotal to saving the world in The Fantastic Four.

5 The Silver Surfer May Renounce Galactus In The Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four #49 (1966)

After potentially interacting with Alicia Masters, The Fantastic Four’s comic recommendations suggest that the Silver Surfer will renounce Galactus, and instead battle the villain alongside the Fantastic Four. This takes place in Fantastic Four #49 and #50, as Masters convinces the Silver Surfer that humanity deserves to be saved, and he subsequently uses his incredible power to fight Galactus, rather than continue to act as his Herald. The Silver Surfer proves crucial in bringing down Galactus, so would be great to see in the MCU.

Why The Silver Surfer’s MCU Debut Is So Exciting

The Silver Surfer quickly became one of Marvel Comics’ most iconic characters following his debut. The Norrin Radd version of the Silver Surfer has been a member of the Avengers, the Defenders and the Annihilators, and has established connections to many powerful Marvel heroes. While it’ll be Shalla-Bal debuting in The Fantastic Four, it’s exciting to see what the future holds for this cosmic hero.

4 Johnny Storm May Meet Crystal In The Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four #48 (1966)

While Marvel’s The Fantastic Four comic recommendations include Black Bolt and Maximus, other Inhumans also appear, including Crystal, an Inhuman with elemental abilities. This could be vital to Johnny Storm’s evolution, as he and Crystal strike up a romance in Marvel Comics that has a lasting effect on him when she is trapped in Maximus’ Negative Zone. This persists into Fantastic Four #50, which shows Johnny Storm attending college while still thinking about his lost love.

Crystal’s MCU Debut Could Also Tease The X-Men

While Crystal and Johnny Storm’s romance is one for the ages, later stories in Marvel Comics also associate the Inhuman Princess with the X-Men. Eventually, Crystal marries the then-mutant Quicksilver, and even has a child with him, Luna, who received the power to see individuals’ auras after exposure to the Terrigen Mists. Quicksilver was already played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson in the MCU, but Crystal’s X-Men connection could still be teased in The Fantastic Four.

3 The Fantastic Four’s Story Will Span Several Years

Fantastic Four: Life Story #1 (2021)

While the storylines of Fantastic Four #1, #48, #49 and #50 have a clear through-line, 2021’s Fantastic Four: Life Story #1 retold the team’s origin story, and focused on major events in their lives, spanning a total of eight years. This suggests that The Fantastic Four may not only focus on one time period in the lives of the Fantastic Four, but could actually include several time jumps to reveal as much about the team as possible.


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Marvel Comics’ Fantastic Four: Life Story Spans Almost A Decade

Fantastic Four: Life Story #1 takes place between 1961 and 1969, and examines major events in the Fantastic Four’s timeline. This means The Fantastic Four in the MCU could explore the origin of the team’s powers, Reed Richards and Sue Storm’s wedding, Mole Man’s attack, Galactus’ impending appearance and the heroes’ coming to terms with their powers. This would make The Fantastic Four an expansive story, marking a well-rounded introduction to the team.

2 The Fantastic Four May Debut Reed & Sue’s Son, Franklin Richards

Fantastic Four: Life Story #1 (2021)

One of the key events explored in Fantastic Four: Life Story #1 is the birth of Reed Richards and Sue Storm’s son, Franklin Richards. Born as a mutant, Franklin Richards’ potential debut in the MCU would be hugely exciting, particularly since his mutant, reality-warping abilities could alter the landscape of the MCU significantly. Fantastic Four: Life Story being recommended hints at The Fantastic Four being set in the 1960s, particularly since Franklin Richards was born in 1969 at the time of the Moon landing.

Franklin Richards Has Already Been Teased In The MCU

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness saw Doctor Strange and America Chavez travel to Earth-838, where they met a variant of Reed Richards, played by John Krasinski. While he was the only Fantastic Four member who appeared, he confirmed the existence of Sue Storm and their children. This proves Franklin and Valeria Richards exist in the multiverse, so they could debut in The Fantastic Four.

The Future Foundation Introduced The Fantastic Four’s Comic Inspiration

While the Future Foundation doesn’t appear in any of the recommended issues of Marvel Comics ahead of The Fantastic Four’s release, there was still a huge tease at the introduction of this organization. Marvel revealed the five recommended Marvel Comics issues under the banner of the Future Foundation, addressing readers as delegates. This suggests the Future Foundation could play a key role in the MCU’s The Fantastic Four, which may tease some major upcoming storylines in the MCU’s future.

Future Foundation Could Set Up Major MCU Storylines

Marvel Comics’ Future Foundation first appeared in 2010’s Fantastic Four #579, established as a philanthropic team brought together by Reed Richards to better the future of humankind. The Future Foundation’s potential MCU debut could hint at Johnny Storm’s demise, but could introduce younger heroes to train. The Future Foundation plays an important role in Marvel Comics’ Secret Wars, so their debut in The Fantastic Four could be game-changing for the MCU.

Marvel’s Fantastic Four

Marvel’s Fantastic Four is the first MCU movie to feature Marvel’s First Family in the same live-action universe as the Avengers. It introduces the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Ben Grimm, and Johnny Storm, and precedes Phase 6’s Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars.

Key Release Dates

Deadpool & Wolverine

Captain America: Brave New World

Marvel’s Thunderbolts

Marvel’s Fantastic Four

Blade (2025)

Avengers: The Kang Dynasty

Avengers: Secret Wars

“}]] Marvel Comics are inspiring The Fantastic Four.  Read More