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The Fantastic Four minus one

The Human Torch by Steve Epting

The Human Torch by Steve Epting

It’s a sad day for the Fantastic Four. This month’s issue, #587, marks the end of Marvel Comics flagship title and superhero group as we know it.

For months Marvel has been trumpeting the death of one of the characters. Now we know that the Human Torch will die in a battle that brings an ongoing storyline to its end. There will, apparently, be no issue #589 (#588 will be used to tie up loose ends).

The Fantastic Four by Jack Kirby.

The Fantastic Four by Jack Kirby.

The first issue of The Fantastic Four appeared in August 1961. The title has spawned animated television series and movies (including the two most recent iterations, which featured Jessica Alba playing the Invisible Girl, and a 1994 cheapo Roger Corman-produced version – see below for laugh-out-loud hilarity) along with dozens of different titles and a steady stream of merchandise.

Movie trailer – The Fantastic Four (1994, Corman version):

The mid-60s run of the title, which featured scripts by Stan Lee and art by Jack Kirby, is considered a high-water mark of the Silver Age of comics; such perennial characters as the Silver Surfer, Galactus, Dr. Doom and many more were introduced in the series.

Cover of the first issue of The Fantastic Four (1961).

Jack Kirby's cover for the first issue of The Fantastic Four (1961).

Writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Steve Epting are the current creative team.

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