Iconic prose novelist Walter Mosley is many things to many people, but to me one of the big things is that he's a fellow Fantastic Four fan. Over the past few months, Mosley has been able to strike a goal off his bucket list and write an actual Fantastic Four story itself - and he's playing for keeps.
In a preview of February 2's The Thing #4 (opens in new tab) by Mosley and series artist Tom Reilly, the Thing's future wife Alicia Masters has a vividly traumatic dream of Ben having his head caved in with an axe from a mystery assailant. Check it out:
So who is the axe-wielding Grim Reaper-looking fellow? No, it's not the Grim Reaper himself - it's a new character called Mot, who Mosley and Reilly have created for their Thing series. Mot has been the big bad of the Thing so far, using intermediaries such as the Champion, a new villain called Brusque, and others to make the hero's life as difficult as possible. And now, he's intruding in on not just Ben Grimm's life, but Alicia's as well.
Mosley and Reilly's Thing series is one of several recent 'untold tales' style stories - new stories set in past, familiar Marvel continuity. This series is years prior to the Thing and Alicia getting married, and delving into a time when the two lovebirds broke up - and it appears Mot is to blame.
Reilly has drawn the main cover to The Thing #4, and he's joined with a variant from Joshua Cassara and colorist Dean White. You can check them both out here:
The Thing #4 (of 6) goes on sale on February 2.
Ben Grimm is the foundation of many of the best Fantastic Four stories of all time.