What was only recently a film shrouded in secrecy and skepticism has quickly begun to lay its super-powered cards on the table. Amid the heavy onslaught of early summer blockbuster hype, Twentieth Century Fox is steadily promoting its upcoming Fantastic Four reboot with trailers, posters, and even a movie website – all to (hopefully) convince the masses that this is a necessary and worthwhile upgrade to Marvel’s first family.

Just two weeks ago, Fox released a second trailer, which not only provided brief glimpses of Mr. Fantastic’s revamped abilities and Dr. Doom’s metallic mutation, but also more clearly established the coming-of-age scope and stakes facing our rookie heroes. And to lighten the otherwise serious mood, it even managed to squeeze in a bit of humor here and there – most notably at the Thing’s expense. That being said, the newly released character posters are anything but humorous and continue the studio’s marketing trend of depicting a dark, gritty, and ashen film.

Take a look (click for full resolution):

Johnny F4 5x8 sRGB 640x1024 Fantastic Four Character Posters Confirm Darker Tone

Reed F4 5x8 sRGB 640x1024 Fantastic Four Character Posters Confirm Darker Tone

Sue F4 5x8 sRGB 640x1024 Fantastic Four Character Posters Confirm Darker Tone

Thing F4 5x8 sRGB 640x1024 Fantastic Four Character Posters Confirm Darker Tone

 Fantastic Four Character Posters Confirm Darker Tone

Literally ashen. The posters follow a common stylistic trend in which the film’s protagonists stand solemnly with their weapon – or power – in hand, amidst falling debris and flying sparks.

If it feels like you’ve seen the images before, you’re not entirely wrong. A host of past action-adventure flicks have employed the same trite, quasi-dramatic design to convey disastrous doom and gloom. Interestingly enough, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight was one of them. Now, whether you take that as a simple coincidence or an indication that Nolan’s films inspired the new Fantastic Four, it certainly speaks to the more grounded approach Fox has decided to take with the reboot.

The Dark Knight Poster Fantastic Four Character Posters Confirm Darker Tone

Aside from confirming the film’s darker tone, the posters fail to add anything new to what we’ve already seen. Considering the studio most likely wants to keep the heroes’ traditional blue costumes a surprise until the film debuts – that is, if they’re even in the film – we shouldn’t expect anything too shocking or fantastic in terms of the characters’  future marketing.

Are you getting more excited for Marvel’s first family to return to the big screen? Or are you still unconvinced of the film’s potential? OR, are you one of the rare viewers who actually enjoyed the campy, original Fantastic Four? No shame.

Fantastic Four flies into theaters August 7, 2015.

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