Marvel erases the Fantastic Four’s kids from comics – just in time for their entry into the MCU.

The Fantastic Four are losing their kids in a devastating development for Marvel’s first family – but a brilliant move by the writers. Reed Richards, Susan Storm, Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm were once the most popular superheroes in the genre, but their franchise has fallen behind the likes of the Avengers and the X-Men in recent years. The disappearance of their children, as strange as it may seem, could change their fortunes for the better.

In Fantastic Four #4, written by Ryan North with art by Iban Coello, the writing team continues the story established in the first issue: the Fantastic Four are pariahs in New York after an unexplained disaster caused the city to reject the team. Readers finally see what happened months ago: during an alien invasion, team leader Reed Richards was faced with no other option than to teleport the entire Baxter Building forward in time an entire year. This rids the structure of aliens, but all the personal inside – including Reed and Ben’s children – will be gone for a year as well.


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The Fantastic Four Lose Their Kids For A Year In A Brilliant Writing Move

The Fantastic Four lose their kids

Reed informs a distraught Ben and Alicia that their children won’t even realize they were missing, but the parents are naturally furious and inconsolable. This may be Reed’s “genius” worst decision yet: a perfectly in-character action that still manages to save the Earth while hurting everyone around him. But while the smartest man alive did not take the thoughts of others into account, the same cannot be said for Marvel’s writers, who have struggled to redefine the Fantastic Four in the modern era.

Unfortunately, the children of the group have yet to be accepted into popular knowledge; many non-regular readers are not even aware they exist. By removing the likes of Franklin, Valeria and the others from the narrative, the book is allowed to focus on a more limited cast; it is a more familiar and simplistic presentation. Perhaps it is Marvel’s hope that this will make the book more approachable to new fans – just in time for the upcoming release of the Fantastic Four’s debut in the MCU, tentatively scheduled for 2025.

If what Reed says is true, the children of the team will appear in the same exact spot one year from this issue, no worse for wear and having no idea that any time passed at all. But the Fantastic Four are not the only ones hurt: everyone in and around the Baxter Building has similarly disappeared, separating families and devastating a large part of the city. The Fantastic Four have faced difficulties before, but the absence of the children will finally allow Marvel to bring the team back to their roots as they struggle once again.

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