The Fantastic Four is one of the first superhero families in comic’s history, if not the first. They were at first an answer to DC’s Justice League, but soon after their inception they developed their own personality. As the team tackled villains, scientific discovery, and their own personal demons, they showed people what family was about. As time went on and the modern times, came sales went down and Marvel’s first family was pulled from production.
“So much going on . . . you think they even remember us,” Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, said in Marvel Legacy #1. “I worry . . . the world doesn’t need us anymore, Ben.”
In today’s time period, is family even a real thing anymore? Divorce rates are high, and society basically encourages cheating. Of course, the 1960s were a different time considering it was towards the end of the baby boomer period. Since the Fantastic Four was created in 1961, their focus was geared more toward family audiences. Now everything is geared more toward being with who you want and when you want instead of settling with the one you love.
According to Onyx Truth in the article “Is 2014 the year of the side chick,” it was in the 2014 that the word “side chick” seemed to be more prevalent in society. In 2014, the storyline “the fall of the Fantastic Four” came about seemingly in response to family trends in society. This storyline essentially became the fall of the family. One of their children lives in a separate household on alternate weekend, their home is taken away, and secrets come to light. These events tear the family a part to the point where they are all split up and ripe for a villain’s wrath.
In Fantastic Four vol. 5 #7, the Invisible Woman is pushed by her inner demons to lash out at the world, while the Thing is at the Human Torch’s throat for screwing up his attempt at a cure. The after-effects of these events leave The Thing in jail, the Human Torch partying his life away, and the Invisible Woman hell-bent on getting her child back. Things seem bleak but they realize they can make it past these issues, so they forgive one another and move toward a brighter day.
“Do they need us,” Ben Grimm, The Thing, said in Marvel Legacy#1. “You bet my sweet Aunt Petunia They need us Johnny. Now more than damn ever. Who cares what folks remember or don’t. Just as long as we don’t forget.”
While the Fantastic Four are no longer here in print, Marvel wants people to keep those family values that include caring, loving, forgiving, and laughing with one another. Family isn’t just about blood. Marvel has hinted the FF’s return recently in Marvel Legacy No. 1, and with that hint I believe that Marvel wants people to think about the legacies in their own families. You can forget the side chicks but never forget family. Just because you settle doesn’t mean it won’t be an exciting ride.
Written by Bryce Ethridge.
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