This map is not that creative. For the most part, volumes are broken down by creators. A lot of these are thick, so I’ll offer a few suggestions for possible break points. I’m using legacy numbers with the actual published numbers next to it. This covers the start of volume 3 through the renumbering back to volume 1 up through the end of Millar’s run.
Fantastic Four #430-441 (vol. 3 #1-12)
Fantastic Four Annual #28 (Annual ’98)
There is an optional Silver Surfer tie-in with FF #4, but it seems like it feel somewhat redundant if included. The Annual is the FF/FF teamup annual by Kesel and Immonen. I included the Uncanny X-Men/FF ’98 annual in my X-Men collection, since it was more of an X-Men book.
Fantastic Four #442-444 (vol. 3 #13-15)
Iron Man #359 (vol. 3 #14)
Fantastic Four #445-452 (vol. 3 #16-23)
Fantastic Four Annual #29 (Annual ’99)
Fantastic Four #453-460 (vol. 3 #24-31)
Fantastic Four Annual #30 (Annual 2000)
Fantastic Four #461-463 (vol. 3 #32-34)
There is the Heroes Reborn event that Claremont handled that could go at the beginning. I was going to include the two bookends (Doomsday and Doom) as preludes, but just couldn’t get through them. I figure the reader can learn about Doom’s return the same way the FF does.
Fantastic Four #464-474 (vol. 3 #35-45)
Fantastic Four Annual #31 (Annual 2001) – main story only
Fantastic Four #475-483 (vol. 3 #46-54)
This is the Pacheco/Marin run, with Loeb on dialouge for most of it. The only backup from FF #50 that I included in this volume was the Loeb/Pacheco story that parodied Marvel. I placed that at the end of the book.
Possible breakpoint: before FF Annual 2001.
Ever-Lovin’ Blue Eyed
Thing/She-Hulk: The Long Night
Fantastic Four Annual #31 (Annual 2001) – backup
Fantastic Four #484-488 (vol. 3 #55-59)
Fantastic Four #479 (vol. 3 #50) - backups
It’s interesting that during this fill in run of issues, most of the creators decided to focus on Ben Grimm. That’s why I included the Thing/She-Hulk special that came out around that time, and the backups from #50 and the annual, which also focused on Ben.
Fantastic Four #489-499 (vol. 3#60-70)
Fantastic Four #500-524
The Waid/’Ringo run. I was considering one large volume, because starting with #67, there’s pretty much a continuous narrative until #511, which made it hard for me to break up into multiple volumes. But then I found some good deals on the oversized hardcovers and got those.
Possible breakpoints: after #500, 502, 508, or 511
Oversized HC breakpoints: after #502 and #516
The Life Fantastic
Fantastic Four #525-537
We start with a two issue fill-in by Karl Kesel, which actually picks up shortly after FF #524. However, I didn’t want to dilute the ending of Waid’s run with this story. The rest of the book is the beginning of JMS’s run, including the Road to Civil War arc.
FF #536-542 should go into Civil War volumes.
There were several one-shots that came out during this time, mostly to gloss over the fact that the monthly series was slipping off track. Without commenting on quality, none of them are really that important, so I’ve skipped them.
Fantastic Four #543-553
All of McDuffie’s run.
FF: World’s Greatest
Fantastic Four #554-569
All of Mark Millar’s run.