Jan 24, 2012

Project: Every Fantastic Four Appearance Ever.

Best Superhero team ever?
So I have a little project going and I need your help. My goal is simple. I want to collect every single appearance of the Fantastic Four (616 version) ever printed, and read them all in order, and hopefully review every single one of them.

Big task, right? Well I love the Fantastic Four! So... I've started this project by assembling a list. You can look at the list document here:

Here's the problem though... The list is probably incomplete! You might notice it only goes up to 2009, that's because that's when I actually started this project.

So I guess I need to tell you the rules for how I'm doing this.

1) Any appearance by even a single member of the Fantastic Four family counts.
           This includes: Mister Fantastic, Susan Storm, Ben Grimm, Johnny Storm, Franklin Richards, Valeria Richards, Nathaniel Richards and Doctor Doom. (Any appearances by Ben Grimm's immediate family, like Aunt Petunia, or the Storm's immediate family, like their father, also count.)

           I don't include appearances by other random or transient members like Black Panther, She-Hulk, Spider-Man or Luke Cage. Doctor Doom is included because of his ongoing relationship with, and importance to, the team. The fact that he was a member of the Future Foundation and considered Valeria's uncle just solidifies the idea that Doom is part of the FF family.

This one is an obvious one!

2) Any appearance counts.
           I don't care if it's just a single panel, I don't care if it's a flashback. I don't care if it's only one team member. I don't care if the appearance is entirely in silhouette. Any appearance counts, no matter how minor.

           I also count appearances on TV monitors, holograms, robots, and people pretending to be the Fantastic Four, especially ones where the story tries to fool you into thinking they're the Fantastic Four at the start. For example, in Alpha Flight #9 the Thing appears, only it later turns out he's actually the Super Skrull in disguise! Those sorts of appearances count.
Dire Wraiths pretending to be the
real Fantastic Four to fool the
Heroes for Hire? Eh. It counts!

3) The appearance must have been written as a 616 appearance.
           616 is the main Marvel universe. I'm not interested in alternate universe appearances like Ultimate Fantastic Four, or What If? issues. However if a comic was originally written with the intention of being a 616 appearance that's all I want.

           Things that have been since retconned out of existence still count. Also, 616 appearances in alternate universe stuff counts too. So What If? issues with a flashback to real events in 616 count as appearances, and are an area of deficiency in my list.

4) Reprints don't count
          While I might use reprints to *review* from (because some of the actual issues are insanely expensive), reprints don't count as new appearances.

This isn't a reprint. But it is freakin'
awesome, son. Freakin' awesome.

So what do I need you to do? Well basically, be vigilant. If you're reading a comic, whether it's old or new, and notice a fleeting appearance of the Fantatic Four I need you to come back here, check whether it's already on the list, and post about it in the comments section! To make things easier I'll be constantly updating the list to make sure that any appearances found in the comments section are added to it.

I wouldn't mind you looking through the list to see if there's comics that SHOULDN'T be there, too.

Keep in mind that this list doesn't reflect my own actual collection. I own a large amount of the comics here, but many in reprint form. There's also a lot of issues not on the list that I already own -- modern comics, mostly. The list stops at 2009, but I didn't stop collecting new appearances of the FF then. So there's plenty of issues not on the list from 2009 onwards that I do actually own. Still, if you want to suggest anything from 2009 onwards I am totally happy to add it to the list!

Hey... that's not on the list!
Also, just for the record I'm using cover dates/publishing dates just to make things simpler on myself, because they're easier to keep consistent, rather than trying to work out true dates. It means things are sometimes going to be a little innacurate, but oh well.

Anyway, that's it... help me if you can!

--Andrew S.
(Oh, by the way? The Fantastic Four have the best Rogues Gallery ever.)

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