Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

I’ve been hearing rumors. Here and there for a while now. Fantastic Four rumors. I’ve been thinking to myself- when this whole Avengers business is done? What has Marvel got going on after that?

They’ve got a few loose characters on the side to work with- Dr. Strange, Heroes for Hire (Luke Cage and Iron Fist- NOT that girly T and A book they put out. Misty Knight is awesome and what they did was inexcusable), Deadpool. See, I think the F.F. movies might be the most problematic they’ve made. Why? Because they aren’t…BAD. Really, I’m not saying that. They aren’t terrible movies.

Actually, I loved the cast for F.F. I always pictured Susan Richards a little bit older, but I thought Jessica Alba brought a lot more depth to that role than you thought. I wouldn’t ask for somebody else to play Ben and Reed. And actually? Chris Evans as Johnny Storm kind of steals the show a bit. And seeing the four of them together- the chemistry was right, anyway.

Now, Julian McMahon as Doom- such a great cast. Doom was always meant to have this sort of Phantom of the Opera sex appeal: and who better to pull this off than kind-of-scary Nip/Tuck star MacMahon? And yes, I walked out of these movies so disappointed with Doom. Not because of McMahon. It was the execution- the execution of these movies is where it’s hurting.

It’s sort of like if the F.F. movie was directed by people who had maybe read a few comics here and there- just enough to MAKE a movie. But not enough to really get what makes this book tick. And therein lies the problem- if the movie had just SUCKED, completely SUCKED, than maybe they would have just bagged it and remade it right then and there. Or at least, faded into obscurity.

But instead…the movie was average. The problem with an average movie is that it’s hard to determine what to do with it- keep going? Relaunch? What? More likely- nothing. Nothing at all. Average movies don’t exactly highlight a missed opportunity- instead, they demonstrate a lack of marketing-power for a franchise.

To begin with, Doom’s story and relationship with the F.F. is SO complex that it could have used its own movie. Really, I could have watched a whole film without Doom, and then a sequel strictly without Doom. Now, I get that this is a tough sell. When you go to watch an F.F. movie you want to see Doom. But it was all just…too poppy, with Doom. Too silly, too snarky…too obvious. Doom is sinister. Doom plans methodically. Doom is also the poison in the Richards’ family that they just can’t get rid of. And I just didn’t feel it in this movie.

Of course, all of that is nothing- NOTHING- compared to Galactus.

Ooohhh…the shame.

Here’s how the second movie SHOULD have ended:

Silver Surfer (looking up): “The Destroyer has come!”

The F.F., including a wounded Susan, look to the sky hopelessly.

Galactus appears, larger than life. People scream, running for their lives.

Ben: “What do we do Reed!? What do we do!?”

Close up of Reed’s face, staring in terror

Cut to black: TO BE CONTINUED…

How, HOW, did the story that launched Marvel comics to success- THE COMIC STORY that made them the company they are- the F.F. versus Galactus- get boiled down into a five minute sound bite? I can’t go on. I was so shocked and disappointed.

I don’t want Silver Surfer to fly into the sky and blow Galactus up, like I’m frickin’ watching Independence Day! I want the full-on, book of Revelations, end-of-the-world thing happening. I want to see looters and panic in the street. I want to see Galactus start converting the planet like he was some sort of lost, forgotten God.

And most importantly- I want to SEE Galactus!

But then again, this is getting at my point, in a roundabout way. It’s like the people who made this movie just don’t get what makes F.F. the F.F. Fantastic Four has always been a little bit more Twlight Zone than superhero. I mean, different writers give it different flavors. But I staunchly believe that it’s that crazy, lost-in-space, Dr. Who, 1950’s space explorer WEIRDNESS that makes that comic great.

The fact that they’re astronauts- explorers- that’s what really drives that book. And it’s when they run into really bizarre stuff and have to make sense of it that they really shine. A Fantastic Four movie should look and feel like the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still (only, you know, better).

So I hear a reboot is in the works. A shame to just gun through such a great cast like that. But I am grateful that this franchise is getting another shot. Weird thing is- I hear animation might be up, as a possibility? I haven’t quite made up my mind how I feel about this. It MIGHT be cool…it just seems like it puts the F.F. movie on a smaller scale than the other Marvel movies. And I don’t dig that.

Still, I hope to God whoever is at the helm steers this thing right. Stuff I would love to see in an F.F. movie, ranked:

1. The Negative Zone (tell me that wouldn’t be totally bizarre, freaky, and awesome)
2. Annihilus (on the heels of the last- very underrated F.F. villain)
3. The Watcher and the Blue Area of the moon (C’mon Marvel…like you need me to tell you to get Uatu in here)
4. The Ultimate Nullifier
5. The Inhumans (complete with very hot actress playing Crystal)
6. Namor and Atlantis
7. The Psycho-man and the Microverse (now this would be OBSCURE…but that’s exactly what I’m aiming for on this list)
8. The Skrull empire
9. Super-Skrull (Would be totally weird…but cool.)
10. The Red Ghost and a bunch of talking Apes