With Disney acquiring a bunch of Fox’s assets in one of the biggest deals in the history of the film industry, we’ll be seeing, among other things, a lot of Marvel’s characters joining the MCU. Those characters include the X-Men, the Silver Surfer, and yes, the Fantastic Four. After two previous attempts to adapt the Fantastic Four comics for the big screen by Fox failed to please fans or critics, hopefully Marvel Studios will be able to do the characters justice.
10 Don’t want to see: Days of Future Present
“Days of Future Present” was the sequel to the acclaimed X-Men storyline “Days of Future Past.” And while both storylines were well-received by both fans and critics, we only need to look at how much Bryan Singer’s adaptation of the “Days of Future Past” storyline messed up the X-Men movie franchise’s timeline and continuity to know that time travel plots really screw up a series of superhero films. A few years later, fans would be so put off by the incongruous timelines that the X-Men movies would be a shadow of their former selves and Fox would be selling the rights back to Marvel. Let’s not get off on the wrong foot.
9 Want to see: 1-2-3-4
This storyline by the great Grant Morrison began with Reed Richards vanishing and only escalated from there. It was just a miniseries, making the story the perfect length to be translated almost directly into a feature-length film. The problem with the oversaturated superhero movie market is that it’s getting harder and harder to keep the excitement up in the third act. We’ve seen the world get threatened by and saved from alien threats dozens of times. Fortunately, “1-2-3-4” ends with an earth-shattering climax that will satisfy even today’s moviegoing audiences, as the fabric of reality – not just New York City – is at stake.
8 Don’t want to see: Ultimate Fantastic Four
The Ultimate Fantastic Four storyline inspired the 2015 reboot starring Miles Teller and Kate Mara. That movie was even worse than the original Ioan Gruffudd/Jessica Alba ones, because like the Ultimate Fantastic Four storyline, the characters were much younger. They all looked like teenagers and it was tough to take them seriously as scientists or as superheroes.
The Fantastic Four need to be an older generation of heroes, especially if they make it into the MCU. There’s enough young blood out there. The Fantastic Four are the adults of Marvel Comics. Reed and Sue are at their best when they’re married and have kids.
7 Want to see: The Inhumans Saga
Before Galactus’ momentous debut in the Fantastic Four canon, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby toyed around with the idea of the Inhumans, the secret society of superpowered individuals living on the fringes of civilization. ABC tried to bring the Inhumans characters into the MCU with a TV series back in 2017, but it was slated by critics and audiences alike and the show was canned after just eight episodes. “The Inhumans Saga” from the Fantastic Four comics is a terrific storyline that would be a great second chance for the MCU’s depiction of the Inhumans in addition to a Fantastic Four reboot.
6 Don’t want to see: Marvel Knights 4
Written by playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Marvel Knights 4 isn’t really a superhero comic. It focuses less on the science fiction elements and more on the characters’ day-to-day lives. There are no high-stakes battles with villains or big action sequences. It’s more of a situational storyline than the kind of grandiose epic that make for the best superhero movies. At first, it’s interesting to see the characters in a different light, and Aguirre-Sacasa nailed the characterization of each member of the team, but the 30-issue series very quickly became one of the most boring runs in comic book history and not many people missed it when Marvel decided to cancel it.
5 Want to see: Spider-Man/The Human Torch #1-5
This would have to be after the Fantastic Four reboot introduces the characters into the MCU, and maybe even after that, when they’ve been fully ingratiated into the ensemble cast. But if the Fantastic Four are joining the MCU, then we need to see Spider-Man and the Human Torch team up. They’re the two most juvenile superheroes in New York and their team-ups are among the most fun storylines in Marvel canon.
To see Tom Holland’s Spider-Man pair up with whoever Marvel casts as the third big-screen (well, technically fourth, but Roger Corman never released the FF movie he made on the cheap in the ‘90s just to retain the rights) version of the Human Torch would fulfill many a comic book fan’s dream.
4 Don’t want to see: The Council of Reeds
You know the Council of Ricks in Rick and Morty? It’s an absurd idea, right? A governing body run by a bunch of alternate versions of one guy that only governs that guy’s actions across the multiverse? Well, it wasn’t a wholly original idea. It was a parody of a similar idea from the Fantastic Four comics: the Council of Reeds. There was an entire storyline built around the organization in the comics, and while it might be an interesting gimmick to see a group of the same actor on the screen at the same time (it was admittedly a lot of fun when Daniel Radcliffe did it in the second-to-last Harry Potter movie), it would ultimately be too crazy to be taken seriously.
3 Want to see: Unthinkable
Doctor Doom is one of the greatest villains in Marvel Comics history – maybe the best – and he still has yet to be properly portrayed on the big screen. Julian McMahon and Toby Kebbell’s incarnations haven’t captured what makes him a terrific villain, and that is his diplomatic immunity. His political alliance with Latveria means that he can go to America, commit a crime right in front of a cop, and get away with it. It’s about time he was done justice in a movie, and what better way to that than by adapting “Unthinkable,” Mark Waid’s definitive Doctor Doom storyline, for the screen? The storyline sees Doom kidnap Reed Richards and Sue Storm’s kids, forcing the Fantastic Four to travel to Latveria to save them.
2 Don’t want to see: Fantastic Four #16
The Invisible Woman’s whole existence is pretty sexist. A cosmic storm gives three men awesome superpowers like flame manipulation and fists made of rock, and then gives the only woman in the group the ability to not block her husband’s view of the TV while she’s doing housework and not much else. This was back in the ‘60s and Sue Storm, despite being a brilliant scientist, was basically the team’s personal maid. In Fantastic Four #16, the team was trapped in the Microverse and the villain threatened to make Sue their maid. There wasn’t the slightest hint of irony and that was the whole conflict of the story. If this story made it to the screen, it would be a huge step backwards for female superheroes.
1 Want to see: The Galactus Trilogy
“The Galactus Trilogy” isn’t just considered to be the greatest Fantastic Four story; it’s been called “the indisputable pinnacle of the so-called Silver Age of comic books” by the Atlantic. That’s pretty high praise. The storyline sees the Fantastic Four struggling to battle Galactus, with the Silver Surfer and the Skrulls thrown in for good measure. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer teased the arrival of Galactus, but that movie didn’t grasp the stakes and weight of his presence. Galactus is the devourer of planets! He is well and truly fearsome. Without question, he would give Thanos a run for his money as the MCU’s most powerful villain.