Many fans of the Fantastic Four are likely wondering what version of the iconic team they will get in the MCU. While it’s a virtual lock the classic characters of Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, the Human Torch, and The Thing will appear, there are many versions of the Fantastic Four in the comics to choose from.
Some of the best alternate versions of the Fantastic Four hail from different realities through the multiverse, while others are different iterations of the lineup in Earth-616, the world of main Marvel continuity. Some are evil, some are weird, but they’re all interesting for different reasons to comic and movie fans alike.
10 Fantastic Five
The Fantastic Five is one of the best alternate versions of the team because it fulfills an idea broached in the very first issue of The Amazing Spider-Man. What If..? #1 sees Spider-Man join the team as an essential member in one of the strangest alternate realities of the What If..? series.
Spider-Man sought to become a member of the FF in The Amazing Spider-Man #1, but the young hero didn’t make the cut. This alternate team gives fans their first taste of Spidey on the FF, though it wouldn’t be the last.
9 The Frightful Four
Not every version of the Fantastic Four is heroic. The Frightful Four, a supervillain inverse of the team, is one of the better alternate versions for offering fans a dark echo of the heroes to fight against. Several versions of this team exist in the comics.
The original included the Inhuman Medusa, Paste-Pot Pete, The Wizard, and Sandman, who comic fans know is also one of the most powerful members of the Sinister Six. The Thing was briefly a member during a period when he was deeply frustrated with his rocky condition and angry at Reed Richards.
8 Challengers Of The Fantastic
Challengers of the Fantastic is a great version of the team because they combine elements of both the FF and the Challengers of the Unknown from DC Comics. The two teams shared some surface similarities, which made them naturals to fuse together in the Amalgam Comics crossover between Marvel and DC in the 90s.
In this story, the characters don’t gain superpowers as the FF does in Marvel Comics, but ‘Rocky Grimm’ does get turned to stone with four arms by the cosmic power of Galactiac (a fusion of Galactus and Brainiac).
The FF is great because it’s in a way the Lower Decks version of the Fantastic Four. This squad was assembled by the original Fantastic Four to enter service as they went off into space for a prolonged period of time. It’s composed of new and returning members like Ant-Man, She-Hulk, Medusa, and Miss Thing.
The team, co-created by writer Matt Fraction and artist Mike Allred, focuses on the rookie team learning as they go. Things go wrong, a lot, but it’s a lot of fun and returns a sense of newness to the team that had been missing for a while.
6 Ultimate Fantastic Four
The Ultimate Fantastic Four was also in some ways a chance to start over with the team, revising their history in the Ultimate Comics universe of Earth-1610. This is a good version for the team as it provides a new jumping-on point for fans and some interesting new updates to characters and events for the 21st century.
One of the most fascinating things about this team is that its version of Reed Richards goes on to become The Maker, a major supervillain both in Earth-1610 and the 616.
5 Fantastic Thors
The Fantastic Thors ranks among the best alternate versions of the team simply because they’re all Thors. This squad is made of the Thor Corps, alternate versions of Thor from across the multiverse, and debuted during the 2015 Secret Wars comic book event.
Every member of the original team proves their worthiness in the Seige spinoff series of the main event, and in issue #4, fans get to see Asgardian armored and hammer-wielding versions of The Thing, Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, and the Human Torch.
4 Four Fantastics
Comic book fans know that Doctor Doom is the greatest villain of the Fantastic Four, but one of the best alternate versions of the team features him as their leader.
The Four Fantastics appear in Exiles #95, the series in which a team of heroes travels across the vast Marvel multiverse. The team also is great because instead of the Thing, it features the Hulk. All isn’t what it seems though, and Doom is actually a despot who has genetically engineered everyone in this alternate reality to recognize him as their ruler.
3 MC2 Fantastic Five
The Fantastic Five of the MC2 universe (home of Spider-Girl, the daughter of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson) is one of the best alternate versions of the team for a few reasons. One is the way it provides a happier ending for the tragic figure of Lyja, the Skrull imposter who had fallen in love with the Human Torch.
Here she becomes his wife, and he becomes the leader of the team alongside The Thing, Franklin Richards, and a version of H.E.R.B.I.E. from the animated Fantastic Four series. The series shows that though there is tragedy and change, the team and family of the FF endures into the future.
2 80s Fantastic Four
One of the best versions of the team exists within main continuity. When the Thing decided to stay behind on Battleworld in the original 1985 Secret Wars event, he nominated She-Hulk in his place.
This started a new era for the team written and drawn by John Byrne in which Jennifer Walters gave the FF a new shot of energy. The enthusiasm of She-Hulk (in contrast to the occasional grumpiness of Ben Grimm) was a hallmark of this era that many fans consider as good as the original Stan Lee and Jack Kirby run.
1 The All-New Fantastic Four
Another Earth-616 iteration of the team that was among the best is ‘the all-new’ Fantastic Four that appeared very briefly in issues #347 and 348 of the series.
Wolverine, Spider-Man, Ghost Rider, and the Hulk fill out an all-star roster of fan favorites to rescue the original team from the Skrulls. This version of the team is great not just for its sheer coolness, but its outsize power. The team lowers the boom on the Skrulls and provides a fun mash of contrasting personalities and powersets.