10 Things Marvel Need to do to Avoid a Fourth Fantastic Four Flop in the MCU
The first family of superheroes have been confirmed to be joining the ever growing roster of heroes in the MCU. But how can Marvel avoid another fantastic disaster for the first family of Marvel?
To say the Fantastic Four films produced by 20th Century Fox are perhaps some of the most panned superhero films of all time would be kind. While their first two attempts were slightly more successful, their 2015 film reboot was a complete disaster. This has fans of the first family concerned that they will never get a good adaptation of the beloved comic book series.
But with the ownership of the Fantastic Four now back in the hands of Marvel, there is hope. Marvel have been successfully adapting true live-action counterparts of practically all the MCU characters. But they still need to tread carefully as skepticism high amongst fans. Here we will look at some of what they need to do to make it a success and undo the damage of the terrible trio that came before.
Keep Family at the Core of the Story
Perhaps the biggest downfall was the lack of the team feeling like a family. The original two films did achieve this better, but the reboot threw this out the moment they started casting the actors. The simple fact is, making Sue adopted weakened the concept from the start. There is no issue with them altering the ethnicity of Johnny by casting Micheal B. Jordan in the role. But they should have followed this with Sue and cast a black female actor in the role. This would have at least helped in keeping a true blood connection between the pair.
It is sadly what has been lacking with the team in all three films. We need more family heart into the script to play out. Marvel created the team in the comics and branded them their first family of superheroes. This is what the MCU need to do also. Yes, they need to be heroes for the film to work, but that should almost be their second priority when writing how the four interact. The family politics have always made their stories more interesting, such as when Reed and Sue took opposite sides in the Civil War storyline. Fans want to see them go through tough times, but come out at the end with stronger family bonds than before.
Make Reed the Genius for Heroes of the MCU
Reed is perhaps one of the smartest Earth based heroes in the comics. With the conclusion of Avengers: Endgame and the confirmation he is done with the role, Ironman has left the MCU for good. This leaves a void for a big brain to take his place. Ironman fans are about to punch the air in anger for this, but Reed is actually smarter than Ironman. Yes Tony can build you a weapon or gadget that can aid you in battle, but Reed's abilities far outdo Tony's.
Reed's scientific accomplishments in the comics are hard to surpass. The guy has invented gateways to alternate dimensions, a universal translator, a prison for super villains housed in the Negative Zone and even made a clone of Thor. Sometimes his inventions can get the best of him, a bit like Ironman in the MCU, but his intentions are always good to start with. He would be a character that can easily cameo in other heroes films as a brain to aid the hero and to offer solutions that no one else could offer. Even if this is through a simple video phone call, it would just show how valuable he is as an intellectual. They need a new super-brain in the MCU and Reed Richards would be a perfect fit for that hole to be filled.
More on Ben and Alicia's Romance
While Reed and Susan are husband and wife, the true romance that shines from the team is seen between Ben and Alicia. The pair have a true soul connection and reminds reader of how beauty can be seen in different ways. Kerry Washington did a fantastic job of portraying Alicia in the first two films, but we did not get enough of her and Ben. Through two films her and Ben's relationship wasn't shown as well as it could have been. We simply did not get enough of just the pair and for their love story to be focused on properly.
You might think, why do we need focus on their love story? The simple answer, to contrast Reed and Sue. Reed and Sue's relationship has already reached a mature marital state, where Ben and Alicia are a budding young romance. They you would have two couple to show how love and romance change over time and the different phases couples go through, enhancing the family aspect of the title further. It would also be awesome to see Daredevil give Alicia her guide stick that can split in two for self defence purposes. It should also be noted, her father is also a villain, the Puppet Master, who is a foe to the Fantastic Four. So there is an easy option to use her more in a film.
Do Not Start with Doctor Doom as the Villain
When you consider villains the Fantastic Four face on a regular basis, Doctor Doom is one of the first people will list. However, too many villains have been thrown away by the MCU and as a result big comic villains are coming off weaker in the films. Doom is a villain that needs a good MCU build-up, much like how Thanos was built on before becoming the threat. Doom should be avoided at all costs from being the villain in the Fantastic Four films and should be a villain for the combined forces of the MCU to face together.
But if not Doom, then who? Well there are actually dozens of options. A more recent addition to the MCU is very likely, the Skrulls. The Skrulls and the Fantastic Four have quite the history (which we will get to later), but the Fantastic Four could result in Super Skrull being created. Mole Man is another option, but he may need a small MCU rebranding in his name. But perhaps the best candidate would be Annihilus and allow the Fantastic Four to explore other universes within the MCU.
Show Some Intergalactic Love into the MCU
As mentioned above, the Fantastic Four and the Skrulls have ran into each other too many times to list. But one interesting factor was when Lyja was the green intergalactic temptress to finally get Johnny Storm to settle down, or at least for a time. Her debut in the comics revolved around her replace Alicia Masters only to be uncovered and revealed as a Skrull. She then aided the Fantastic Four in rescuing the real Alicia. From there she eventually started a relationship with the Human Torch and even became a member of the team. But being Marvel Comics, it wasn't a simple happily ever after story.
While the MCU does need to introduce Johnny as the womanising hero he is. They also need to show how every man will eventually find that person they can not be without. With how the MCU plays the long game with sub-layers of story crossing multiple films. It is easy to see Lyja entering the MCU and for her relationship with Johnny to slowly build over time. It would be a great way for the MCU to also explore the prejudice some can exhibit still over mixed relationships. Which would be up Marvel's street as they have enjoyed playing political messages within their film via superhero themes.
The Female of the Species is More Deadly
Many will instantly be arguing with this point on how The Thing must be the strongest member as he can smash down walls. Well, sadly those fans are massively wrong on this fact. In the initial conception of the team, they would be correct, as Sue Storm only had the ability to turn invisible. However, as the years have gone by her powers have grown to levels unmatched on the team. In fact, the rest of the team have seen little change or advancement to their powers. But, Sue is still adding abilities even to this day. Recently in the comics her daughter taught her how to manipulate the light around her to alter her appearance, making her a sort of shape-shifter along with all her other powers.
With the concoction of powers and abilities she has, she is now the strongest member of the team. She has even taken down some powerhouses in the comics solo, including the all-powerful Hulk. The MCU need to establish Sue as one of the strongest heroes in the entire MCU. Honestly, if she was in the Endgame final battle against Thanos, she would have beaten him easily. All she would need to do is create a small force bubble in his brain and expand it. It may sound like something a hero would never do, but Fantastic Four readers would argue Sue would do this. She has become more ruthless over the years since becoming a mother. Her desire to protect her children are unbound and she will do anything to do so. So if the MCU give her Franklin and Valeria, she would become deadly.
Bring in the Next Generation of Supers
As I just mentioned, Sue becomes more dangerous once she adds the title of mother to her list. But hers and Reed's children are perhaps even more dangerous. Now, I will not breakdown their abilities here, that is an article all in itself. But, just to give you an idea of how complex this duo are in the comics they are Franklin and Valeria Richards and are set to change the world. Both are extremely powerful, with both nearly killing themselves and their mother before being born due to how powerful their powers are.
With their inherited gifts, the MCU can have a lot of fun if they get to the point where this pair are born. One really cool thing they could do is have adult versions of the children return to the past to aid their family in a coming crisis. This could even be how Sue and Reed discover they are destined to be parents. Fans could see the conflict Sue and Reed endure as they come to terms with their predestined future and the moment they find the feelings for their future children. It would also benefit fans as they can see the pair grown without holding the future actors of the Fantastic Four to a 20 year long contract. But, let's face it, we would all be laughing at the heroes being able to face death in battle, but flea from the smell of a dirty diaper.
Have Namor Aim to Claim Sue Storm
Now many probably know that Doctor Doom has an interest in Sue Storm. But when it comes down to who she chooses, Doom actually accepts her choice of Reed, proving he is not always a bad guy. However, Namor is a far different story. He loves Sue Storm and would literally do anything to remove Reed from the equation and claim her for himself. The pair have even been intimate in the comics as he has come close many times to fully seducing her. Obviously, with the birth of Franklin and Valeria it proves that it is Sue and Reed all the way. But the temptation adds to their story in the comics.
Anyone who has been in the a long-term relationship would be lying if they said they had never thought the grass might be greener on the other side. With the MCU aiming to always have the character portraying believable emotions at the core. The Fantastic Four offer a couple set for longevity. But you need those road bumps along the way. What is more believable than a woman having to decide which man is the man for her? With so many easter eggs already in the MCU hinting at the Sub Mariner's entrance, it would be surprising if he was not on a course to try and claim Sue's heart along the way.
Explore that Multiverse Fantastic Four Style
The Marvel Multiverse is set to make its debut in the upcoming 2022 film, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse Madness. So we know it is a thing in the MCU and is causing fans to already speculate what we might start seeing. The reason this is so big is because the Multiverse is constantly impacting on the main 616 Marvel Universe. Spider-Gwen, Miles Morales and Rachel Summers are some of the characters to make a big impact in the 616 Universe and have become fan favourites in the process. With the Multiverse being opened in the MCU, hopefully some of these characters can start to appear.
But the Fantastic Four is the best option they have to explore the different worlds to a greater extent. The Fantastic Four often pop into different universes and have even used this ability to try and steer the course of the mainstream 616 Marvel Universe. Two examples where during the Civil War and Secret Invasion story arcs, as Reed searched for ways those conflicts ended in other universes. But the exciting part is just getting the chance for the Fantastic Four to meet twisted version of the characters we know. That is what all the fans want to see more than anything.
Over Time Change Up the Members
While the core team has predominantly been Reed, Sue, Johnny & Ben, there have been shifts in the roster at times in the comics. These new line-ups are often a result of a member needing a break. Examples of this was when She-Hulk replaced The Thing when he needed time away and when Black Panther and Storm replaced Reed and Sue so they could repair to their marriage after Civil War. But there has been on the odd occasion a completely new team of four heroes taking their spots to create a new Fantastic Four.
With the MCU in it for the long haul, it is highly likely we could see other MCU heroes become temporary members of the Fantastic Four. But, the team have even altered at times to become the Fantastic Five or the Future Foundation. It is possible in a future major conflict, akin to Thanos, we see the Future Foundation formed to stop the treat instead of the Avengers. While some may find that idea controversial, as the Avengers were the start of the MCU, anything is now possible. With both the X-Men and Fantastic Four set to arrive in the MCU, it could mean another title of heroes will take over as the front runners of the Cinematic Universe.
What do you want to see when the Fantastic Four arrive in the MCU? Do you have fears a failed Fantastic Four film could end the first family of superheroes forever?