I have something of a tradition that has served me well over the past few years when it comes to shitty superhero movies. I go find the comics and check them out for myself if the movie turned out crappy. Each time I’ve done this I’ve been greatly surprised, even finding two of my favorites with Deadpool and Green Lantern. The third was the Fantastic 4.
My first experience with Marvel’s first family was the 2005 film. I was alright with it when it first came out; hell, I even enjoyed the sequel. But I couldn’t understand why I felt something was off about it. Years later I was in my local comic shop in downtown Scranton and found Ultimate Fantastic 4, volume 1 on the discount table so I picked it up and was immediately got interested. Between the Ultimate and Marvel Knights series, I came to love the deep sci-fi elements of classic Star Trek or Lost in Space with a dysfunctional family of interesting characters and strange stories. The Fantastic 4 have a wide range of villains from Mole Man, Diablo, Puppet Master, the Thinker, and the Skrull to the planet swallowing Galactus and of course Dr. Doom, one of Marvel’s most iconic villains. Dr. Doom has been in all three big screen adaptations of the 4, and never done remotely right. I can’t blame the actors though because from my understanding there has never a F4 movie made with passion like the Avengers or Iron Man. Pretty much every iteration was made because Fox Studios was about to lose the rights to the franchise and they didn’t want Marvel and essentially Disney to get the rights back. In 2015 it finally exploded in their faces like a trick cigar with :
Fant4stic, named by many critics to be one of the worst movies of 2015 but one of the worst superhero movies ever made. Now I started to hear rumors of a fourth iteration of the family coming to light. Whereas Fant4stic focused on a darker, grittier sci-fi version of their origin, this fourth version is allegedly going to revolve around Sue and Reed’s children under the guidance of The Thing and Human Torch is going to be more of a family film. After three consecutive crap-shoots in a row, I’m not a believer. I’d be ecstatic if Marvel retook the rights back like they were able to with Daredevil and Ghost Rider, both formerly Fox properties. Both, reinserted into the TV side of the MCU have been far more successful than as big budget, half assed movies with A-list actors. The Fantastic 4 would fit in especially great now that the cosmic side of Marvel is opening wide with the Guardians of the Galaxy and the upcoming Captain Marvell, especially integrating the Silver Surfer and Galactus would be damn right epic. Dr. Doom alone is an asset all by himself. He has technological intellect to compete with Iron Man, Knowledge of mysticism to contest Dr. Strange and has gone toe to toe with not only Fantastic 4, Iron Man, and Dr. Strange but the X-men, Thor, and the Avengers too. Done properly he could take Loki’s place in the MCU as most memorable villain to date. A huge problem the movies have had so far is trying to condense Doom into an origin villain; he deserves to be developed over a longer period. I would do a simpler villain for a first movie; any of those first few I named would be interesting and could be epic if done with care. I just wanted to share my views and if anyone agrees or has any ideas what to do with F4, please leave a comment below or hit me up @TorstenV on twitter. May the gaming gods be with you all.