As the Fantastic Four begin a new era as cosmic explorers, stunning Alex Ross art reveals new costumes which answer fans’ demands for the team.
A new era of Fantastic Four is coming to Marvel Comics, complete with new costumes for team leader Reed Richards (aka Mister Fantastic), the Invisible Woman, the Thing, and the Human Torch. These new looks are showcased in art from comics legend Alex Ross, and reflect a shift towards a characterization of Marvel’s First Family that fans have been requesting for years.
The first superheroes of Marvel’s modern age, the Fantastic Four were initially presented as adventurers exploring strange new worlds and situations, aided by the bizarre powers granted to them by a voyage into space gone wrong. A lot has changed since then – the FF saved the multiverse, expanded their family, and found out the true origin of their powers – and yet nothing has ever suited the group quite as well as hopping from new world to new world, exposing four archetypal characters to high-concept sci-fi concepts.
Now, as Ryan North (Power Pack, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl) and Iban Coello (Venom, Dark Ages) take over the series, it seems Marvel is recommitting to this concept with a new era in the vein of classic Stark Trek. This is reflected in the team’s new costumes, seen in most detail thanks to a recent Facebook post by artist Alex Ross, who is handling multiple covers for the new era’s first issue. In a black and white variant cover of Reed Richards, the team appeared to be wearing variations on their classic costumes, emblazoned with a huge ‘4.’ However, the central zip and thick black gloves evoke astronaut jumpsuits and scientific experimentation – the perspective that has characterized the team’s most beloved eras.
The costumes can be seen in even more detail in Ross’ other cover art (below), and seemingly lean away from traditional superhero aesthetics and towards safety worn equipment while exploring a potentially hazardous multiverse. Ryan North’s past work with Marvel has leant heavily into practical sci-fi, taking superpowers and exploring their implications in a world defined by otherwise realistic physics – for example, his run on Power Pack (along with Nico Leon) explored how the young heroes could use their powers to generate free, clean energy (and how that fact could be exploited by supervillains, of course.) Indeed, North recently published How to Take Over the Worldwhich uses real science to devise Doctor Doom-esque plans to seize the planet.
In short, the Fantastic Four are getting the exploratory makeover fans have demanded, along with a promise of tight stories focused on the team’s core characters. Despite their prominence, The Fantastic Four have long been one of Marvel’s most inconsistent properties, however it seems their new era will return to what fans have long argued they do best, with new costumes hinting at sci-fi brilliance taking prominence over family squabbles.
Source: Alex Ross