Human Torch is a real hothead in Fantastic Four #39 preview

Fantastic Four #39 excerpt
Fantastic Four #39 excerpt (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

The Reckoning War is coming to the Fantastic Four, but before the team can handle that they have a personal matter to attend to - one of their greatest FF villains is seeking custody of one of the Richards's children.

The Wizard is suing the Richards family for custody of Bentley-23, one of the Richards's adopted children. How can he claim parental rights like that? Well, Bentley-23 is a clone of the Wizard - one of many the villain created as fodder in his long-running battle against the superhero team. Debuting back in 2009's Fantastic Four #570, Bentley-23 was rescued by Reed Richards and taken in as part of the FF family, later becoming enrolled in the Future Foundation alongside Franklin Richards, Valeria Richards, and others.

This legal battle is coming to a head in January 12's Fantastic Four #39, but may be sidetracked due to another issue going on with the Human Torch. Check out this preview of Fantastic Four #39 by Dan Slott and Francesco Manna:

What's going on with the Human Torch? A few issues back Doctor Doom was able to forcibly amplify Johnny Storm's fiery powers. The result is the Human Torch is burning stronger than ever, but can't turn it off. (Insert 'Flame off!' jokes here).

Terry and Rachel Dodson have illustrated the primary cover for Fantastic Four #39, and are joined with variant covers by the team of Carlo Gomez and Jesus Aburtov (a Devil's Reign villains-themed variant), and Ivan Shavrin. Check them out here:

Fantastic Four #39 goes on sale on January 12.

Read up on all the best Fantastic Four stories of all time.

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)