Countdown To Fantastic 416

January 7, 2015


“I — I warned you about ’em!”

Oh, dear Whatnauts — we warned you about this, too. Starting January 19 (or so current plans would suggest), we’re going to be doing three episodes a month, with the third* being a dedicated Fantastic Four readthrough, from the very first issue from 1961 through the final issue of the series’ original run, 1996’s #416. It’ll be like the Avengers readthrough from last year, except it won’t be an afterthought at the end of regular episodes, and we’ll be going further than just three hundred issues.

We’ll also not be doing a set number of issues every month, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, there are going to be times when we’ll just read through a bunch because there’s not much to say about them (Hello, a chunk of the series in the 1970s!), and secondly, there’re also going to be times when we have too much to say about a small number… like our first episode, which will take in the first twelve issues of the series.

For those who want to read along: please do! It’ll be like a book club where two people dominate the conversation except in the comments (You’ll all leave comments, I hope). You’ve got just under two weeks to read twelve issues. We’ll see you back here Jan. 19 to talk about them. And, I mean, hopefully before then for the “regular” episode that we’ll be going live January 12, and also the written posts between now and then, as well…


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13 comments on “Countdown To Fantastic 416

  1. really looking forward to this. Fantastic Four is one of those things I’ve respected but never really loved on its own as attempts to get into it just found it far too continuity dense to enjoy on its own.

  2. Got my Marvel Unlimited subscription! I’m excited!

  3. The first twelve are really good (well, other than Kurrrgo). My all-time favorite, ish #6, is in there, with Dr. Doom in full Shakespearian mode, manipulating the Submariner into carrying out his master plan. Great stuff. After the first dozen or so, it hits kind of a slump in my opinion, and doesn’t pick itself up until Sinnott comes on at around #44. I’d be curious to see your takes on those sophomore issues, pre-Sinnott, post new-car-smell, of Fantastic Four.

    • I haven’t read pretty much anything before #48 or so in years, but I remember feeling the same. That said, my response to the first three issues the other night was entirely different to my original reading of them a decade or so ago, so who can tell…?

  4. John Q Jan 7, 2015

    Looking forward to this. I really enjoyed that Avengers read-through.

  5. Please don’t plow too quickly through those 70s issues. That was my childhood.

    And that Impossible Man issue pairs nicely with Sean Howe’s book.

    • Reprints of the 1970s stuff was part of my childhood too, so I’m sure I’ll not want to speed through it FAR too much, but still — I seem to remember that it comes as a massive disappointment after those first hundred issues. We’ll see…!

  6. Looking forward to it! It’s only a vague impression, but I think F4 might hold up a better mirror to the pop culture of the day than Avengers did (though X-Men might track more true with youth culture… or at least the idea of youth culture as seen through the lens of aging, white New Yorkers).

    Actually, I skimmed through the first years of F4 a while ago, since I had down time, and now have a copious amount of screen shots of F4 pages, which I was considering posting in a Tumblr named something like, “Reed Richards Could Be A Sexist Dick”. Dot com, of course.

  7. Matt for Hire Jan 8, 2015

    So, my big question is, are you guys going to be reading annuals and the like this time around? I really can’t wait for this.

    • Yes to annuals, as long as we remember them at the time. But it’s definitely the plan. As to other stuff — well, I can’t see us doing Fantastic Force when we get to it, to be honest. I might try and convince Jeff that we need to do some Marvel Two-in-One or the Thing or something at some point…?

      • Mike Loughlin Jan 8, 2015

        The first 8 issues of Marvel Two-In-One are written by Steve Gerber. I would love to hear you guys talk about them, although I understand how busy you are and that they don’t tie too directly to FF.

        I’m looking forward to the read through!

  8. To appropriately match the material, I will post some truly profound comments early on, then copy-paste them repeatedly with a few added idiosyncracies, and occasionally make some new comments but not really follow-up on them as the reviews go on.

  9. Dan Coyle Jan 12, 2015

    I already anticipate my favorite part of this run will be the Byrne/Stern/Englehart sections.