Fantastic Four #7 will mark the 'legacy numbered' milestone issue Fantastic Four #700 this May - and the publisher is setting another milestone with the help of artist Scott Koblish, who created a wraparound variant cover for the issue which features 700 characters.
The cover is so massive, it'll be spread out over both May's Fantastic Four #7 and June's Fantastic Four #8 - and now both parts have been revealed, showing off a list of characters that comprises a significant portion of the entire Marvel Universe.
"I've been a big fan of the Fantastic Four since I was a little kid, so not only was it an honor to draw this cover, but it was a dream come true to scroll through every issue of Fantastic Four ever," Koblish states in Marvel's announcement. "I hope I was able to convey all of the sheer joy, wonder, and boundless creativity that the Fantastic Four have embodied for six decades and I hope it continues to be a shining beacon for decades to come."
Marvel isn't billing the cover this way, but that figure of 700 characters more than doubles IDW Publishing's previous claim of a "world record" for the most characters on a single issue cover with a variant for November 2022's G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #300 cover which boasted "over 300" characters.
That said, those 700 characters are technically spread over two issues whose covers constitute a single combined image, so that may be a factor in the purported world record.
So maybe Marvel is setting a world record with the cover? The publisher will have to sort that out with Guiness. Either way, here's Koblish's epic Fantastic Four #700 cover, which features pretty much every FF hero, villain, supporting character, and guest star you can think of, and probably even more:
In terms of what's under the cover, what could be more appropriate for such a milestone than a confrontation between the FF and their greatest foe, Doctor Doom?
In Fantastic Four #7/#700, writer Ryan North and artist Iban Coello will follow up the mystery that has been at the heart of their run since it launched - an incident caused by the Fantastic Four which formed a rift between the team members and changed the public's perception of the Fantastic Four.
That question was answered in February 15's Fantastic Four #4, which showed that Reed teleported an entire city block one year into the future to stop an invasion from the Negative Zone.
In FF #7/#700, Doom will enter the picture to complicate the sitation for Reed and the Fantastic Four even further.
"The iconic villain will embark on an epic journey across space and time to reverse the damage that his most bitter foes have unleashed on the Marvel Universe," reads Marvel's description of Fantastic Four #700. "Will he be able to succeed where Reed Richards failed? Or will his meddling make matters far, far worse?"
This seems to indicate that Doom will attempt to bring the people Reed displaced into the future back to the present without causing any further harm - something Reed hasn't been able to do.
"A big anniversary issue like this demands a similarly big story, something meaningful, impactful, and memorable," states writer Ryan North in Marvel's announcement. "And given that it's a supersized issue with more room to play, everything aligned to do a story with the Fantastic Four's most meaningful, impactful, memorable, and supersized villain: Doctor Doom."
Fantastic Four #700 goes on sale May 17.
Doctor Doom tops the list of the best Marvel supervillains of all time.