September 15's Fantastic Four #35 is an oversized issue celebrating 60 years since Fantastic Four #1. In contains stories from writers Dan Slott, Jason Loo, and Mark Waid, with art from Loo, John Romita Jr., Paul Renaud, JP Meyer, Cam Smith, Mark Morales, Rafael Fonteriz, Scott Hanna, Marte Gracia, and Erick Arciniega.
Appropriately for the milestone, Fantastic Four #35's main story digs into the FF's central concept of family in some strange ways dealing with Kang and his many variants, and Reed Richards' own father/Kang's ancestor Nathaniel Richards - all of which culminates in a major bombshell revelation about Reed Richards and his past.
Spoilers ahead for Fantastic Four #35.
Picking up just after the events of Fantastic Four #34, in which the wedding of Doctor Doom was shown to be a ruse and during which Doom sent Johnny Storm's powers out of control, the FF return home with Johnny in a protective bubble, as he can't turn off his flaming powers.
Quickly discovering that, despite their security measures, a strange-looking object of unknown origin has manifested itself in an invisibility field in the newly unveiled, remodeled Baxter Building, Reed and Sue find and capture the object.
The story then jumps to Null Space, the area outside the time-space continuum where Kang and his many variants congregate. In Null Space, Immortus assembles Kang and his fellow variants Scarlet Centurion and Rama-Tut, as well as an apparently new variant known as the Scion, who claims to be Kang's final form from far in the future.
Immortus explains that their ancestor Nathaniel Richards, the father of Reed Richards, created a special device, splitting it into four parts that are hidden in different eras of Reed's history. The Kang variants must all come together to obtain the four pieces of the mysterious device, which Immortus says will grant its wielder untold power. Kang, Rama-Tut, Scarlet Centurion, and Scion all depart to different points in the FF's past with the goal of killing the FF and stealing the piece of the object that is hidden in each respective era.
All four Kang variants are apparently successful, gathering together back in Null Space with the pieces of the device now gathered, and with a series of new, divergent timelines now created as a result of the deaths of the FF in the past.
With the device promised to go to the person with the best story, Rama-Tut, Scarlet Centurion, and Kang all recount their own fights against the heroes and how they dispatched the FF.
Their stories reflect Kang's personal philosophies during each different phase of his life, from Rama-Tut's overly elaborate, Silver Age-ish scheme, Scarlet Centurion enlisting the Thunderbolts to do his bidding for him, and Kang preferring to kill the Fantastic Four face-to-face in bloody combat.
But it's Scion, the new variant, who totally turns the scheme on its head, revealing that not only did he save members of the FF from each of his counterparts' attempts to kill them, he's also not even actually a Kang variant at all.
Who is he? Well, the name 'Scion' turns out to be a clue, as the villain is actually Reed Richards in disguise - the true scion of Nathaniel Richards. Reed explains that he was able to get the drop on Kang and his time-traveling ilk for once, outsmarting them and assembling his father's mystery device for himself.
Back at the Baxter Building, Reed assembles the machine, discovering a message from his father meant solely for him. And in that message, Nathaniel Richards drops a bombshell: he had a secret, second family, including a daughter - Reed's long lost sister, whom Nathaniel tasks the FF with protecting.
The Fantastic Five, anyone?
The story continues in September 22's Fantastic Four #36.
The Kang variants in Fantastic Four #35 are just the tip of the iceberg. Get to know Kang's many variants, including Immortus, Scarlet Centurion, and Rama-Tut as his new chapter unfolds in Fantastic Four.