A new creative team is on the horizon for The Fantastic Four. Marvel teased a new Fantastic Four creative team during its Next Big Thing Panel at San Diego Comic-Con. While the official announcement of who will take over the Fantastic Four creative reigns will come in November, Marvel is dropping clues for eager fans to comb through. Dan Slott and Sara Pichelli relaunched Fantastic Four in 2018, which was the first volume for the team following Secret Wars. The blockbuster event left Marvel's First Family on an adventure to recreate the multiverse alongside the Future Foundation and Molecule Man.
The teaser released at Comic-Con 2022 features a compass with the Fantastic Four logo in its center. The dials are currently pointing to the East and West, with the North representing the writer and the South the artist. Marvel claimed during the Next Big Thing Panel that there are clues in the teaser, leaving the door open to lots of speculation. For example, could East and West represent the initials for a member of the creative team, such as Al Ewing? His skillset would fit perfectly with the Fantastic Four. More information is promised in the coming weeks.
Dan Slott's work with the team has been filled with new angles for the group, some a long time coming and others retcons that have popped up out of nowhere. Among those are the revelation that Franklin Richards was no longer considered a mutant, revealing that his reality-altering power-set allowed him to believe that he was one. In addition, a big change was made to the Fantastic Four's origins and Johnny Storm was turned into a Permanent Human Torch, but most importantly, Ben Grimm finally got to marry Alicia Masters, something that happened within the first six issues of Slott taking over. The couple then adopted two teenage kids: the Skrull N'kalla and the Kree Jo-Venn, who were introduced in the fallout of Empyre.
Another Comic-Con announcement is that former Fantastic Four writer Jonathan Hickman is teaming with A.X.E.: Judgment Day artist Valerio Schiti for a secret project launching in 2023. The teaser released by Marvel has the phrase, "What Happens When the Powers That Be Meet the Natural Order of Things?" Hickman was a member of the Next Big Thing panel but didn't speak until the end, where he revealed how this new piece of work is "Sandman for the Marvel Universe." The prolific writer also revealed how he's been working on this series for three years, which is around the same time he began his X-Men tenure with House of X and Powers of X.
"It's probably too early to talk about my next thing. Especially in any way that would answer your question in a satisfying manner, but it's definitely not X-related," Hickman told AIPT during a Q&A session. "In fact, unless I come back into the office to do something later on, I'll intentionally steer clear of doing 'mutant stuff.'"
He continued: "At best it would feel like commentary, and at worst something like that would probably read as me 'writing over' everyone. And that, obviously, doesn't interest me at all."
Who would you like to see takeover Fantastic Four? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!