In amazing new fanart, the Fantastic Four get a modern redesign, as the next generation of hero steps up to the plate with awesome new sci-fi costumes. The new team graduate from the Mr Fantastic/Invisible Woman/Thing/Human Torch era while still drawing from the team’s iconic history as Marvel’s First Family.
The fanart comes from Mike Becker – the creator behind Young Offenders!, Empyrex Adventures, and Big Green World. Becker often redesigns major superheroes, sharing the results on Twitter, and in this case reimagines the Fantastic Four. Becker’s team are Dr. Marvel, Incredi-Girl, an older Silver Surfer, and original character Kirbax. While Incredi-Girl and Kirbax are new additions to the team, Dr. Marvel is Franklin Richards, the godlike son of Reed Richards and Susan Storm, while Silver Surfer is a retired version of the cosmic hero who fills the Thing’s “weird uncle role.” Becker notes some amazing touches, such as Franklin using Kree Nega-Bands to focus his reality-warping powers and Kirbax being a reference to the team’s co-creator Jack Kirby and his signature ‘Kirby energy’ effect. The team also wear superhero/scientist/astronaut costumes which evoke their adventurer spirit.
The Marvelous Fantastic Four Are a Genius Redesign
This isn’t the first time Becker has given the Fantastic Four a gorgeous fanart redesign, however previous efforts (below) focused on the main team. This time, Becker imagines Marvel’s future, and redesigns the team with reference to comic history and the core idea of the Fantastic Four as a family. Interestingly, Incredi-Girl is a reference to The Incredibles, which has often been compared to the Fantastic Four by fans, but is called out as the Invisible Woman’s daughter (who also possesses super-strength.) It’s unlikely Marvel would reference Disney so directly, but the idea of Sue’s existing, super-smart daughter Valeria Richards copying her mom with technology rather than superpowers makes perfect sense, and could explain such varied abilities.
Fantastic Four Is Ready for a New Generation
Despite their fame, the Fantastic Four are among Marvel’s most inconsistent heroes, and boast some of the best and worst comic runs in the publisher’s history. Never quite fitting the role of traditional heroes, the team tend to work best as explorers of the impossible, with their family dynamics adding a dose of domestic realism. In recent years, Mister Fantastic and Invisible Woman’s two children, as well as the Thing’s adopted alien children and the Future Foundation think tank have added a younger generation to Fantastic Four lore, though still generally on the sidelines. Becker’s art takes the step Marvel likely never will in its mainstream reality, and hands the Fantastic Four title over to the kids, with awesome results.
The Fantastic Four’s Future Is Wide Open
The closest to this reimagining fans will find in the comics is likely the MC2 reality, where the Fantastic Five team includes a grown-up Franklin, as well as various heroes such as Doctor Doom’s adopted son Kristoff and a cybernetically-enhanced Thing. However, any image of the future is defined by the time in which it’s written, and the MC2 is firmly a ’90s conception of what the Fantastic Four could become. It’s fascinating to see a more forward-facing redesign of the team, and one which pays tribute to their history as characters and as a comic franchise. Marvel should take note of Becker’s intriguing Fantastic Four redesign, and see how much it’s possible to do with a franchise that is ripe for reinvention.