Fantastic Four

Marvel takes no part in upcoming movie

More stories from David Weaver

Fox Studios has released its trailer for Fantastic Four, and Marvel Studios has absolutely nothing to do with it.  Unlike Sony, who tried to stick to the Spider-Man Marvel fans know and love, Fox has looked at the stories and are completely reimagining the concept of the classic Marvel best seller.  Since the series’s creation at the birth of the modern Marvel comics, sales for the FF have slowly diminished.  In fact, the sales have dropped so much that the explorers no longer have their own series, and will only be appearing as supporting characters in Marvel comics.

Another cause of the series’s aforementioned discontinuation is that Fox studios will not do Marvel’s first heroes any justice and Marvel doesn’t want to give Fox any of their ideas to help sell counterfeit characters and keep the hero’s rights.

So what is the Fantastic Four supposed to be like if the movie is a counterfeit?  First of all, the Fantastic Four are not superheroes–they are explorers.  The common misconception comes from the many villains they encounter on their travels and the ensuing battles.  For instance, when Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic discovered the Negative Zone they battled the overlord of the antimatter dimension, Annihilus, or upon the discovery of Subterrania they battled the evil Mole-Man who sought to conquer the Earth.  They even battled the Atlantean mercenary Attuma who often seeks to destroy the the surface world.  Their superheroics are the consequence of their being explorers.  They explore and they clean up their messes, explaining their constant battles with the nationalist tyrant of Latveria, Dr. Victor Von Doom, who holds a grudge against Reed Richards and the Fantastic Four dating back to their college days.


If you’ve seen the first Fantastic Four movie, you know the heroes’ origin, but even though the first movie was more similar to the comics there were still discrepancies between the two story arcs.  In the comics, Reed Richards is a scientist and one of the smartest men (if not the smartest man) on Earth rivaled only by Victor Von Doom and familiar heroes like Iron Man and Ant-Man.  Ben Grimm is Reed Richard’s best friend from State College and an accomplished pilot and astronaut.  Susan Storm is Reed’s long time girlfriend (later wife) and lab assistant.  Jonathan Storm was merely Susan’s brother and only family, and gained a free ride to space.

Unlike Fox’s 2005 film, Victor Von Doom did not accompany the quartet into space and gain powers.  In fact, he did not appear until Fantastic Four #5, three issues after the Skulls.  Dr. Doom, after taking over his home country, built his own weapons and suit of armor.  Combined with his scientific prowess he has pursued the mystic arts and become a formidable foe to almost every hero in Marvel’s universe.

The most important thing about the comic series is that it was the kick start of the Marvel Universe.  Marvel’s predecessor, Timely Comics, contributed Namor the Submariner, and many heroes after their debut also starred in the comics.  The Incredible Hulk came to issues #25-26, Doctor Strange came in issue #27, the X-Men in #28, and Namor came back to close the first year in issue #33.  Daredevil came in issues #39-49, and the one of the most incredible, powerful, and mysterious groups of heroes, the Inhumans, who snuck in first in the person of Medusa when she was in the Frightful Four in issue #36, and made the official debut in issue #44.

Over the years, the Fantastic Four has been pushed to the backburner, but not without becoming reserve Avengers, dying, coming back, and having a very loose roster.  The roster has included but isn’t limited to the Black Panther, Storm, She-Hulk, Luke Cage, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Ghost Rider, Hulk, Medusa, and Crystal.

In the end, it is the irony of the Fantastic Fours’ current situation that is most brutal.  They began as Marvel’s first family and hit comic, now their movies aren’t even considered canon and every one of their iterations’ series is being put to an end.  Nevertheless, many fans would love to see the new take on the heroes and many would like to see Fox lose the rights.  Either way, they’re in for a good story.


To watch the trailer go here: