Warning: SPOILERS For Fantastic Four #2
The latest issue of Marvel's Fantastic Four reveals that Reed and Susan Richards have been busy rebuilding the multiverse - one universe at a time - with the aid of their children and some friends. The couple, better known to comics fans as Mister Fantastic and The Invisible Woman, have been presumed dead by the Marvel Universe at large following the events of 2015's Secret Wars storyline.
Many fans of Marvel's First Family were disappointed when the much-hyped first issue of the new Fantastic Four comic book didn't see The Richards reunited with teammates Johnny Storm (The Human Torch) and Ben Grimm (The Thing). Most of the issue was instead focused on Ben's proposal to long-time girlfriend Alicia Masters, and Victor Von Doom liberating Latveria from the the fascist government that arose in his absence.
It was not until the end of the book that we finally saw Sue and Reed, as they activated a beacon that sent the familiar 4-symbol across reality to the skies over Manhattan to signal that they were alive.
Fantastic Four #2 tells the story up until that point, revealing where Sue and Reed have been since the end of Secret Wars, what they have been doing and who they have been traveling with. The story of Secret Wars capped years of the main Marvel Comics Universe being attacked by incursions - parallel universes formed by divergent timelines, whose existence threatened to destroy both conflicting realities. In the end of the Secret Wars storyline, the threat of the incursions was ended, but most of the Marvel Universe's known alternate realities had died in the process. This left Reed, whose arrogance had helped to aggravate the crisis, with a need to atone for his past crimes by repairing the damage that he had done.
Reed accomplished this with the aid of his son, Franklin Richards, and his new friend, reformed supervillain Owen Reece - The Molecule Man. Franklin is an Omega-Level mutant with incredible psionic powers that allow him to alter reality around him at will. Reece has the extraordinary ability to manipulate the fundamental nature of matter at its most basic level. Together, with the knowledge Reed had gathered about the various realities that had existed beforehand, it was a simple (albeit time-consuming matter) for them to start reassembling reality as it had been... and to start building upon it.
This latest issue of Fantastic Four also reveals that with the multiverse restored as it was, Reed allowed Franklin, his daughter Valeria and the rest of his adopted children to begin creating whole new worlds based on the wildly imaginative ideas that only children can come up with. Why? Because it gave him and his family that which he wanted most - new horizons to explore and whole new worlds filled with the unexpected.
Fantastic Four #2 is now available from Marvel Comics.