Following the death of one of its founding members in the latest issue of the Fantastic Four, the long running series will come to an end next month with issue Fantastic Four #588.
Marvel has released a teaser image from that issue, which offers a glimpse at some of the upcoming events.
In the top image, Spider-Man appears to be comforting Franklin Richards in the aftermath of his family’s loss. But the second image is perhaps the most intriguing, as Valeria Richards erases a list of potential replacements on the team, including She Hulk, Storm, Black Panther, Luke Cage, Alex Power and even the non-powered Wyatt Wingfoot, who hasn’t been seen in comics for quite some time. Also of note, of all the names listed, only Power and Wingfoot have never been members of the core FF.
The third image tells us that Reed Richards placed the return of his son Franklin’s powers as a threat on the level of an invasion by the Universal Inhumans or the forces of the Negative Zone. And the final image is of a man’s haunted expression, but it’s unclear if it’s Reed Richards or Ben Grimm.
Over at Comic Book Resources, Jonathan Hickman dropped a few more hints about the final issue.
"In this issue, everyone is struggling with [their loss]," said Hickman. "They’re family. That’s one of the reasons [we killed ******]. It creates even more tension within the family dynamic. Regardless of the situations that the group has found themselves in my run so far, they’ve remained a happy, loving family for the most part. Regardless of the external circumstances, they’ve had solidarity, but this is the kind of thing that can cause a schism within that."
"We’ve intentionally not written a whole lot of [Doctor] Doom in the book so far," added Hickman. "While the next issue is the last issue of ‘Fantastic Four,’ Doom is in a good chunk of it. I’m sure wherever these characters end up going forward and whatever form that takes, Doom is going to be a huge part of that."
Fantastic Four # 588 will be written by Hickman with art by Nick Dragotta and it hits stores on February 23.