Spoiler images and solicitations for the Fantastic Four's next big storyline, simply entitled "3", have been popping up in interviews, at conventions, and online for months now. At first it was assumed (mostly by the editor of this distinguished weblog) that the storyline had something to do with Ben Grimm, the superhero known as the ever lovin blue eyed Thing, joining the New Avengers team. But now that the arc is drawing nearer, Marvel has unleashed some more cryptic warnings.
After reading an interview on ComicBookResources with writer Jonathan Hickman, it is revealed that the story will feature the war of the four cities, the resurgences of Galactus and Dr. Doom, and that through it's course one of the members of the team will die. Hickman went on to say that unlike previous times the team has lost a member and found a replacement, he will approach this loss with more of a "family-oriented" attitude. The approach makes sense, because if someone's little brother dies, they don't just go and get the neighbor kid to take his place. Marvel released these teaser images accordingly:
So it would appear that either Reed Richards or Susan Richards will no longer be on the team after issue #587. As it is comics, there is a good possibility that the change will not be permanent, and could just serve the story for a short time before being reversed. After all, there have been plenty of issues where one, more, or all of the cosmic quartet have died and been revived. The above images were done by the incomparable Steve Epting, who will be joining the book for the "3" arc. Many know the artist as the man who helped kill Steve Rogers, illustrating the now classic Captain America #25. Ifanboy had both those teaser images, as well as some preview pages, one of which can be seen below:
Things are certainly looking up for the "World's Greatest Comics Magazine." Until the book becomes Fantastic One, vive le fantastique!