Warning! Spoilers for multiple Marvel Comics titles below
It’s been an extremely rough past month for the Fantastic Four, as three of their members have been killed across different timelines in three new stories from Marvel Comics. While Reed Richards and the Human Torch bit the bullet in Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow and Fantastic Four: Life Story last month, Ben Grimm, aka The Thing, was just destroyed in gruesome fashion by a massive cosmic villain in the new Dark Ages miniseries.
In two alt-universe stories last month, two different members of the Fantastic Four perished. In Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow #5 by Chip Zdarsky, Pasqual Ferry, and Matt Hollingworth, Reed Richards was killed by the alien symbiote Peter Parker brought back to Earth, as he was impaled by one of its spikes. The death led to Spider-Man joining the Fantastic Four in his place. Meanwhile, in Fantastic Four: Life Story by Mark Russell, Sean Izaakse, and Nolan Woodard, Johnny Storm, aka the Human Torch, was killed saving New York City from a missile that would have leveled the city – as it was a tragic yet heroic death.
In Dark Ages #1 by Tom Taylor, Iban Coello, Brian Reber, and VC’s Joe Sabino, the Thing is killed while trying to save the universe himself. In the comic, the Watcher reveals the reason he had been watching the Marvel Universe was to warn it of the Unmaker, a cosmic villain who’s been asleep for eons. With the universe-destroying entity awakening, the greatest heroes – including Doctor Strange, Ben Grimm, Scarlet Witch, and Sue Storm – try to fight it head-on. That proves to be a great mistake, as everybody except for Sue dies. Ben Grimm is hit with a blast of energy so powerful he disintegrates.
Ben became the third Fantastic Four member to be killed in a comic in the last month – as Sue is the only member of the team who’s made it out of all three stories unscathed. However, in Dark Ages #1, she nearly dies too, but Doctor Strange creates a portal and uses his last breath to send her away from the Unmaker and keep her from being killed.
Unlike the recently promoted deaths of Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, and Scarlet Witch in the main comics canon, the Fantastic Four’s deaths are separate from one another and didn’t occur in 616-continuity. And unlike those storylines, Marvel’s first family aren’t being killed to seemingly realign heroes with their MCU counterparts. Instead, they’ve just had some bad luck in three different non-canon stories. So, will Sue Storm survive the rest of the month, or will a version of the hero join her fellow Fantastic Four heroes in being killed by Marvel? Readers will find out more soon.