The death of a superhero: It's now the Fantastic 3 - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

The death of a superhero: It's now the Fantastic 3

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -- Months of debate was silenced Tuesday with the release of issue 587 of Marvel's "Fantastic Four" comic book. The issue ends in the death of one of the main characters.

Mike Blanchard, with The Core in Cedar Falls, says many comic books have killed off characters through the years. He remembers the impact in the early 1990's with the death of Superman. Blanchard sold about 5,000 copies of that comic and had lines of people waiting to get into his store.

Blanchard says the "Fantastic Four" was created in 1961 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. He says it probably came about as reaction to the "Justice League of America" by DC Comics.

"Stan Lee wrote the Fantastic Four as one he would have wanted to read. Him and Jack Kirby created the Fantastic Four, which consisted of Reid Richards, the leader who was a scientist, his girlfriend Sue Storm who became the invisible woman, her younger brother Johnny Storm who became the Human Torch and his best friend Ben Grimm who became "The Thing," Blanchard said.

Blanchard says it was the first comic book where the heroes had problems just like real people. He has one copy of that first issue in his store. The comic that sold for 10 cents in 1961 is now worth thousands of dollars.

"They weren't super heroes, there were people that were given super powers and didn't quite know how to deal with them all. So, a lot of people could relate to them. It was something new in the 1960's," Blanchard said.

Rob Rodgers, with Limited Edition Comics on College Hill in Cedar Falls, opened packages containing the issue early Tuesday. Issue 587 came wrapped in black plastic with the number "3" printed on the outside. Both Rodgers and Blanchard predicted the Human Torch would be killed off.

"I never would have guessed him, honestly," Limited Edition customer Bob Chase said upon learning the outcome of issue 587. Chase continued, "The Human Torch just died. He's probably the one character you'd get away with and still keep going. I hate to say it. At some point I think he's going to come back but it will be kind of awkward without him being there. The title change is going to be weird enough."

Issue 587 is in stores now. The Core in Cedar Falls had a shipment of 750 issues. Limited Edition Comics also had a large shipment. As for the future of the series:

"After this issue, 587, which is in the black bag, they're doing one more issue and then they're cancelling the series. Then they're starting the series over with number one issue. It's going to be called FF," Blanchard said.

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