Next month, the Fantastic Four will finally reunite in the pages of the World's Greatest Comic Magazine when Fantastic Four #1 arrives from Marvel Comics. It's a long-awaited return for many FF fans, and one of the series' legends is coming along for one last posthumous ride.
Marvel announced Monday that one of the variant covers for the issue, written by Dan Slott (Amazing Spider-Man), with art by Sara Pichelli (Ultimate Comics Spider-Man), will feature never-before-seen art by Mike Wieringo, a fan-favorite Marvel artist who passed away in 2007 at the age of 44. If you're a longtime Fantastic Four reader, you know what a big deal that is.
“It’s so exciting to see Mike’s work gracing another Marvel cover after 10 years,” Mike’s brother, Matt Wieringo, said. “The Fantastic Four was one of his dream assignments, and I’m sure Mike would have been pleased to participate in the return of Marvel’s first family. And, as Mike’s biggest fan, it’s a genuine pleasure for me to see his art on the stands again.”
Wieringo's breakthrough work in superhero comics came in the early 1990s at DC, when he was paired with writer Mark Waid during Waid's legendary run on The Flash. In 2002, the pair re-teamed at Marvel for another seminal run, this time on Fantastic Four. Waid and Wieringo ('Ringo, as he became known to fans) continued to collaborate on the title, with a few other artists taking over at times, for nearly three years. The team-up was so popular that, according to Newsarama, Marvel tried to take them off the book only to have fans essentially demand they continue their work. The run began Fantastic Four (volume three) #60, continued through the title returning to its original numbering during the classic "Unthinkable" storyline, and ended with #524. It remains an essential era of Fantastic Four history.
Now, more than a decade after his untimely death, Wieringo gets to return to the book, if only for a moment, to celebrate Marvel's First Family. Check out the cover below.
Fantastic Four #1 arrives in comic book stores August 8.