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Marvel Is Literally Telling Us What’s Going to Happen in the Fantastic Four Movie

Marvel Is Literally Telling Us What's Going to Happen in the Fantastic Four Movie


  • The Fantastic Four movie is finally here, set in the 1960s with iconic villains like Galactus and Silver Surfer.
  • Explore 5 essential comics before the film releases in 2025, offering a glimpse into the story and characters.
  • The Future Foundation, Franklin Richards, and alternate realities add exciting layers to the upcoming movie’s plot and potential twists.

It once seemed like fans would be left waiting forever for news on Marvel Studios The Fantastic Four. First hinted at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, the film was first announced in December 2020, with fans spending years speculating who would be cast as the iconic heroes for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. On February 14, 2024, Marvel Studios finally announced the cast and released a special Valentine’s Day announcement that offered plenty of hints about the movie, including the appearance of H.E.R.B.I.E. the robot and the fact that the movie would seemingly take place in the 1960s.

On April 3, 2024, they cast Julia Garner as a version of the Silver Surfer, and on the following day, April 4, 2024, in honor of 4-4-24 day, Marvel released a new piece of artwork with Joseph Quinn’s Human Torch in a backdrop that teased an alternate reality version of New York with a retro-futuristic design hinting that the film would take place not in the Sacred Timeline of the MCU but an alternate reality. In addition, Marvel released a message from “The Future Foundation” (more on them later) that fans might want to read in preparation for the upcoming film. Here are the five comics and what they tell us about The Fantastic Four.

What Are The Comics to Read Before The Fantastic Four

Marvel showed five comics to get fans excited about The Fantastic Four. The first was, of course, The Fantastic Four #1 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby from November 1961. This is not only the origin of the Fantastic Four but is seen as the beginning of the modern Marvel Universe as the successes of the comic eventually led to Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and the other artist at Marvel creating beloved characters like Spider-Man, The Hulk, Daredevil, the X-Men and The Avengers.

The next three issues form a trilogy and could be said to be the first epic event in Marvel Comics. These are Fantastic Four #48-50, more popularly known as The Galactus trilogy, from 1966. This three-issue event introduced both The Silver Surfer and Galactus into the Marvel Universe. For many, this is the creative peak of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s run in comics, particularly the Fantastic Four (which is saying something considering they introduced Black Panther just two issues following this one’s conclusion). While the first four issues were all published during Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s 1960s run on the title, the final issue is a more recent title but is deeply indebted to the work of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby during the ’60s.

It is Fantastic Four: Life Story #1 by writer Mark Russell and artist Sean Izaakse. The series begins in 1961 when the Fantastic Four get their powers, but the big new twist is that the characters age and the story in real-time, with each of the six issues being set in a different decade, concluding in 2010 as the team has grown old. In a twist from the main Marvel Universe, the coming of Galactus is a threat that Mister Fantastic has been preparing for since they got their powers in the 1960s, and the Silver Surfer does not even arrive to warn humanity of their impending doom until the 1990s, giving them ten years to prepare. It is a new spin on both the Fantastic Four’s origin and the Galactus. These five issues seem to offer some major hints about the plot of the MCU.

The Fantastic Four Movie Is Set In the 1960s

The biggest takeaway for The Fantastic Four is that it will be set in the 1960s. This seemed to be obvious from the cast announcement photo, but almost all of these five comics confirm it. Four of the five comics take place in the 1960s, with the fifth more modern comic being one set in the 1960s. While normally the additions of comics from the 1960s would not be an indicator of the plot, it is Fantastic Four: Life Story that guarantees it because they did a modern run on the team with a contemporary aesthetic, like the current run by Ryan North or even iconic runs from the likes of Mark Waid, Jonathan Hickman, or Dan Slott.

The Fantastic Four, being from the 1960s, has been a popular fan theory for how to bring the characters into the MCU since the early days of the franchise. Part of it comes from the fact that Ant-Man director Peyton Reed pitched a 1960s Fantastic Four film to 20th Century Fox in the early 2000s, but also the fact that the characters were at their most popular during that decade. While they have always been a major component of the Marvel Universe, starting in the 1970s and 1980s, their status to mainstream audiences was downplayed in favor of Spider-Man and the X-Men, while by the 2000s and 2010s, it has been The Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s incredible 100-issue run on The Fantastic Four in the 1960s is seen as one of the greatest in all of comics, and there is something about the aesthetic and mood of the period, bright and optimistic, that fits the Fantastic Four.

Galactus and the Silver Surfer Will Be the Main Villains

Four of the five comics recommended by Marvel feature Galactus and the Silver Surfer. Fantastic Four #1 is likely because it is the team’s first issue, and that is often a recommended starting point for all comic reading lists, but also features the origins of the team. Meanwhile, Fantastic Four #48-50 and Fantastic Four: Life Story are all centered around the threat of Galactus. The Galactus trilogy is the most iconic story and has been recreated a number of times, even being adapted in 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

Fantastic Four: Life Story, on the other hand, presents the threat of Galactus as one that spans decades. Mister Fantastic spends thirty years fearing and preparing for the threat of Galactus before the public becomes aware of it, and then the entire world needs to prepare. Instead of a matter of days like in the original comics, the doomsday apocalypse has been hanging over the world for ten years, and for Mister Fantastic, even longer.

The film has already confirmed the presence of The Silver Surfer, but it is not the one fans are used to. Instead of being Norin Radd, it is instead his love interest, Shalla-Bal, who will be the Silver Surfer. This happened in the alternate universe comic Universe X, but it also could hint that this is an alternate reality, meaning Galactus might actually destroy the Earth, and the Fantastic Four will be forced to flee to another dimension: the MCU.


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The Fantastic Four Won’t Be Set in the MCU (At Least Not at First)

The fact that the movie takes place in the 1960s, the threat of Galactus, and a distinctly alternate take on the Silver Surfer all seem to suggest that The Fantastic Four will not take place in the main MCU sacred timeline. Instead, it will take place in another universe, an alternate 1960s with a design aesthetic more akin to the artwork at the time than the reality of architecture. After all, this allows the Fantastic Four to operate in the 1960s as superheroes but not interfere with the main MCU continuity, which, at this point, does not mention what would have been a prominent superhero team that existed four decades before the first Iron Man.

It also allows audiences to see Galactus as a true threat. Galactus has been known as the “Devourer of Worlds” for years, but due to Earth being the primary setting of the comics, it never consumed it. Yet, in an alternate reality, one disconnected from the MCU, Marvel Studios might show the Fantastic Four failing to stop Galactus and save their home, forcing them to flee to another dimension: the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Much like Captain America being a man out of time, the Fantastic Four would be heroes both out of time and space in a new world they need to adjust to.

It is worth noting that TheFantastic Four is set for release on July 25, 2025. This means it will arrive less than one year before Avengers 5 in 2026. While details about that film are not known, as the original plans for The Kang Dynasty appear to be scrapped, it is known that it ties closely in with the following film, Avengers: Secret Wars. Secret Wars is likely going to be an adaptation of the 2015 event comic of the same name. While that event is known as a big multiverse epic, at its heart, it is a Fantastic Four story. Secret Wars #1 even sees the Fantastic Four constructing a life raft as the main Marvel Universe is destroyed. The Marvel heroes in the raft then find themselves in the newly constructed Battleworld, not affected by the changes done to reality.

This could be how the Fantastic Four ends. Adapting the Galactus trilogy, the movie might end with the Fantastic Four failing to save their world, and maybe even their universe, from Galactus, resulting in them creating a life raft that would find them stranded in the multiverse. They are confirmed not to appear in Avengers 5, but the film’s mid-credit scene could see the newly constructed Battleworld inhabits finding the life raft and having the Fantastic Four step out, setting them up for a major role in Avengers: Secret Wars.


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The Future Foundation and Franklin Richards

One final thing worth mentioning is the fact that on the Marvel website, the comics recommended were from the Future Foundation. Created by writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Steve Epting in Fantastic Four #579 in July 2010, the team was formed following the death of the Human Torch. They are a philanthropic organization created by Reed Richards to serve humanity’s future better and whose members include not only the surviving Fantastic Four members but also the team’s arch-enemy Doctor Doom, Spider-Man, members of the Power Pack, and Reed Richards and Susan Storm’s own kids, Franklin and Valerie Richards.

Franklin Richards is rumored to be part of The Fantastic Four film, and this might be the most interesting tease that Marvel has laid out. In the comics, Franklin Richards is one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe, possessing reality-manipulating and psionic powers. In Universe X, the same comic the Shalla-Bal Silver Surfer originates from, Franklin Richards ends up becoming that universe Galactus after the original one dies, as reality needs a Galactus to keep the cosmic balance.

An older version of Franklin Richards communicates with his younger self during the Future Foundation run, which could play out in Fantastic Four. Life Story spans decades, so The Fantastic Four film might be set in the 1960s in an alternate reality, but it also has a future version of Franklin Richards from later in that timeline, trying to communicate with his parents. It could give the team a look into the future they can create if they survive the destruction of the multiverse, one where they form the Future Foundation and have a family.

With just five comics, in addition to what Marvel Studios has coming down the pipeline, they have given plenty of clues about what the long-anticipated MCU Fantastic Four film could be about.

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