In Part 1, I showed the early days of Spider-Man being a member of the Fantastic Four. By the late 1970’s, sales of the Fantastic Four began sagging again, so once again, Stan Lee brought in Spider-Man again, to stimulate sales. Only this time, Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, stayed, so for a time, they became known as the Fantastic Five! In the first issue, Spider-Man wore his traditional costume but with the spider logo replaced by a 5.
Later Peter Parker went back to his blue and black “Fantastic Spider-Man” suit only this time with a 5 instead of a 4 on the chest. By issue Five they had the ultimate foe when they fought the planet devourer Galactus, after that, there was seemingly no place else to go with the series, which is why Fantastic Five only lasted 10 issues. Despite that, Marvel has continued to treat Spider-Man as the fifth member of the team, in an off again, on again basis.
In 2010, for issue #600, with the Human Torch currently dead, Spider-Man once again filled in. Shortly afterward the FF change to white costumes. He continues for another 20 issues; then Johnny Storm comes back to life–which always seems to happen in comic books–and returns to the team.
Marvel Comics has gone to the Spider-Man well so often, it’s only a matter of time before Peter Parker once again becomes a member of the Fantastic Four. One thing is always certain about Marvel, they keep pulling the same tricks over and over again.