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Mr. Fantastic, Human Torch, and The Thing fly toward a black and white entity Image: Alex Ross/Abrams ComicArts

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Behold new pages from legendary artist Alex Ross’ new Fantastic Four epic

In Fantastic Four: Full Circle, Ross reimagines stories originally concocted by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee

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Over the last 30 years, comic artist Alex Ross has redefined the Marvel and DC hero pantheon through hyperrealistic painting. From his acclaimed work in the graphic novel Kingdom Come to countless iconic covers (including a recent run on Immortal Hulk) and illustrations that gave Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy a soul, Ross’ style ties the past, present, and future of comic characters through works that could easily fit alongside fine art. But in his new graphic novel, he steps outside his comfort zone into the Negative Zone to imbue Marvel’s first family with mind-melting psychedelic energy.

The 64-page Fantastic Four: Full Circle finds Ross as both artist and writer for the first time, returning to a number of Stan Lee/Jack Kirby plot lines from the 1960s, specifically Fantastic Four #51, which sam Ben Grimm meet his doppelganger in the antimatter universe. To nod to the print style of Lee and Kirby’s day, Ross also shook up his painting process, opting for flat coloring, swapping watercolor for black ink, shading in a whole new style, and adding a digital dot screen effect. The result has Roy Lichtenstein flair while still being uniquely Ross.

In anticipation of Fantastic Four: Full Circle’s publication, Polygon presents a set of new interior pages from the book. After the Thing’s lookalike travels back to Reed Richards’ lab in our universe, all hell breaks loose — out of the guy’s mouth. In Ross’ hands, the expulsion is pure comic book spectacle.

The Fantastic Four examine Ben Grimm’s Negative Zone doppelganer on a table. He’s cocooned in writhing black shapes, and one begins to peek out of his mouth.
The black squiggles explode out of the Negative Zone guy and turn into monsters
Human Torch, Reed, and Sue Storm try to stop the monsters with their powers
The Human Torch blows away a bunch of the monsters with fire
Sue Storm uses force field powers to trap the bugs while The Thing punches and Reed Richard uses a metal plate to cover the doppelganger’s mouth

And here’s another taste of the eye-popping horrors within:

Sue, Reed, Johnny, and Ben fly through the negative zone
Fantastic Four panels: The family zips through a gave over several panels
The Fantastic Four enter a chamber full of monsters of every color Image: Alex Ross/Abrams ComicArts

And finally, take a look at Ross’ process in designing the book’s incredible cover:

A sketch of the logo for Fantastic Four: Full Circle Image: Alex Ross/Abrams ComicArts
A preliminary sketch of the Fantastic Four on the cover of Fantastic Four: Full Circle.
A preliminary sketch of the Fantastic Four in a more dynamic pose on the cover of Fantastic Four: Full Circle Image: Alex Ross/Abrams ComicArts
A sketch of the cover of Fantastic Four: Full Circle with an even more dynamic pose
A preliminary sketch of the cover of Fantastic Four: Full Circle. Image: Alex Ross/Abrams ComicArts
Pencil linework, sans logo, from the cover of Fantastic Four: Full Circle
Final pencils plus the title logo from the cover of Fantastic Four: Full Circl.
Preliminary colors for the cover of Fantastic Four: Full Circle.
A second pass on colors for the cover of Fantastic Four: Full Circle.
Final cover art for Fantastic Four: Full Circle in which the Marvel heroes are getting sucked into the Negative Zone

Fantastic Four: Full Circle arrives everywhere graphic novels are sold on Sept. 6.

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