Fantastic Four #296 (1986): 25th Anniversary Issue


A giant-size issue in which Thing rejoins the team but first takes a brief stint as The Mole Man. The issue celebrates the team’s 25th anniversary, with a bunch of vignettes including a re-telling of their origin and a story that brings The Thing back to the team.  The three non-She-Hulk members of the FF go to retrieve Ben from Monster Island, so there’s lots of big monster fights, which is consistent with the first 100 issues of this book.  So it’s a nice tribute to Kirby.  By the end, Thing is mutated back to his rocky self, and the FF are reformed as the original team.  She-Hulk leaves to join The Avengers.

So we get the “hands in” panel tribute to FF #1.

Sadly, this comic reintroduces, in a major way, the Thing-hates-the-way-he-looks storyline that John Byrne had managed to move away from–for the first time in the character’s history. The tired storyline sticks around for a long time, too.  Very few writers have been able to write Ben as anything more than one dimensional.

The best part of this issue is the roster of artists:


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