Home Book editor Fantastic Farewell: Dan Slott Reflects on ‘Fantastic Four’

Fantastic Farewell: Dan Slott Reflects on ‘Fantastic Four’


MARVEL.COM: During your career at Marvel, you’ve written books like SHE-HULK, THE THING, and SILVER SURFER, all featuring prominent FF members or frequent guest stars. It’s a bit like always building to write FANTASTIC FOUR. Did that sound like it to you?

DAN SLOT: Oh my God, yeah!

There was a time when Marvel didn’t publish a FANTASTIC FOUR book, and I was about to leave AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. Two or three times a month on Spidey used to wear me down a bit. I loved Spider-Man, but what kept me going Spidey were the milestones.

It was a bit like running a marathon: you look at the road thinking you can do it. You climb a mountain bit by bit, but you can always see what you are aiming for. What kept me going was knowing that if I wrote a certain number of issues, I had written a fifth of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. There was a time when the 800 number was coming and I wanted to be the guy who wrote the 600, 700, and 800 numbers. I could go through the program without going crazy because I had my eye on the prize. Once I hit #800, the next milestones were so far in the future that I knew I was done. It was the concert of my dreams, but I couldn’t continue.

So I told Marvel that after AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #800 there was a grace note number I wanted to do, and then I left Spidey. Around SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN, they had given me a blank check to stay on Spider-Man as long as I wanted. I thought I would never leave, but I hit #800 and I was ready. I went to see Axel [Alonso]who was editor at the time, and told him I was done, but I gave enough notice that they asked me what I wanted to do next.

They offered me some really nice things. At one point Axel asked me to take over the X-Men franchise. I’ve always been more of a Marvel superhero guy than an X-Men reader. I knew my X was low. I hadn’t really read the X-Men religiously in over a decade. I was at company retreats and picked up issues here and there about where the characters were or where they were going – “Now they’re in San Francisco!” etc I said I wouldn’t do a good job, that I would go all the way if I tried to do X-Men. [Laughs]

I said no thanks to the X-Men and Axel asked me what I wanted to do. I said I wanted to do FANTASTIC FOUR Indiana Jones. Axel said we weren’t doing FANTASTIC FOUR Indiana Jones. OK. We would meet every two weeks and he would introduce me to, say, DEADPOOL – hey, I just did Spider-Man, it’s kind of X-adjacent. So he asked me what I wanted to do. “I would like to do FANTASTIC FOUR IndianaJones.” “We don’t make FANTASTIC FOUR IndianaJonesIt became a running race. They offered me things and I just said I wanted to do FANTASTIC FOUR. Eventually FANTASTIC FOUR opened up and they gave it to me! Yay!