The Fantastic Four is one of the most overlooked comic book teams in the industry. They are part of the core of marvel, Reed being one of the smartest people alive. They are also the ones who helped usher a new level of realism into comics during the ’60s. Yet, they are never mentioned in the same breath as the X-men or Avengers.
Part of that is certainly due to three attempts at a live-action movie, none of which turned out more than okay. None of them are Baraka-pool level bad, but they weren’t good either. We are hoping that Marvel can find a way to make a movie worthy of such an epic team (and not screw up Dr. Doom) so this team can gain prominence in the MCU.
10 A Fourth Movie
Most people know about Josh Trank’s attempt at the franchise and his woeful take of Dr. Doom and a good bit of people remember the Jessica Alba flicks from the mid-2000s. What most may not know is that there was an unreleased film from 1994. It made minor changes to their origins, making it a comet that gave them their powers rather than cosmic rays. Even with that, the script wasn’t awful, it was the special effects that sank it. A film can have the greatest script in the world, but if it looks like a bunch of college kids shot it for an assignment, it’s never going to succeed.
9 Dr. Doom Named Their Second Child
This is the level of strange nonsense that happens in comics from time to time and you just got to roll with it. First, you have Franklin Richards using his vast psionic powers to transport Valeria to an alternate dimension and then reverting her to an unborn child back in Susan’s womb. Valeria began radiating within Susan as she came to term, forcing Johnny to turn to the only man he thought could help, Dr. Doom. Doom helped give birth to the child with a mix of science and sorcery, naming her Valeria, after his childhood love. It got even crazier after that, but needless to say, Doom is a doctor of all things.
8 Duality Of Their Powers
The fact their powers all tie into their characters rather than just being randomly assembled is one of the coolest parts of the team. Johnny is the most obvious, his hot-headed nature lending itself to being able to control fire. Ben is also fairly obvious as he has a rough exterior, one used to hide away the fact he’s truly a big softy underneath.
Susan is a little more subtle as her ability to go invisible plays into the fact she often feels that way around Reed, science always seeming to take the first spot in his heart, instead of her. Reed’s elasticity goes hand in hand with his intelligence, his knowledge always expanding.
7 They’ve Been To Heaven And Hell
It isn’t shocking that they’ve been to hell, many a hero has been forced to deal with Mephisto, the ruler of that realm. You won’t be surprised to hear Dr. Doom was the reason they were there either, sending Franklin to the fiery pit. Thanks to Dr. Strange and some shrewd thinking, they managed to not only free Franklin but trap Doom there. What’s more surprising is they’ve been to heaven to retrieve Ben, running into a god that looked an awful lot like Jack Kirby. This is your usual silliness from that era of comics, but the team is some of the few who’ve made it to the pearly gates.
6 They Predate The Avengers
While many older fans of comics would know this, newer fans who have been brought in via the MCU likely do not. With how much publicity the Avengers have gotten, you’d think they were the original team within Marvel comics, but that isn’t the case. The Fantastic Four predate the Avengers by two years, making them some of the company’s most iconic characters. They also started the dysfunctional family dynamic within comics, something that is prevalent within MCU movies. In many ways, they are to comics what Akira was to anime, the trendsetter.
5 Ben Was A Wrestler
This came about after Ben found out his girlfriend was cheating on him with Johnny, the sleazebag that he is. As a result, he ended up joining the UCWF, a super-powered organization of wrestlers. As awesome as it would have been to see Grimm taking elbow drops from Randy “Macho Man” Savage or stunners from Stone Cold Steve Austin, that wasn’t the case here.
It was mostly used as a platform to introduce some new characters to the universe and give Ben something fun to do while away from the team. This brand of silliness is always welcome in comics.
4 They’ve Fought Hitler
Captain America isn’t the only man who’s gotten the opportunity of punching real-life dictator, Adolf Hitler, in the face. The Fantastic Four actually did battle with him in an early issue of their initial run, squaring off against a villain known as the Hate-Monger. It was revealed later that this man was actually a clone of Hitler. That wasn’t even the last time they ran into the dictator as they were forced to travel back in time to stop Nick Fury from assassinating him. This all turned out to be a dream sequence brought on by a mutant.
3 The Thing Doesn’t Age
It’s a fact that should be obvious, but one rarely anyone thinks about, even the writers. Ben is made of orange rock, rocks that don’t have a life span as a normal human would. They don’t age as we do, staying firm and sturdy until the weather starts to erode them, rather than age. It’s even hinted at many times in books where heroes go into the future, The Thing almost always being shown alive and well, milling around like nothing’s changed. While he can be killed and has been, it’d be interesting to see what a futuristic Ben Grimm would look like without the Fantastic Four around him.
2 Their Powers Are Tied To Love
It’s cheesy to think about and something that was never even thought about until Secret Wars in 2015, but the Fantastic Four need each other more than they realize. The source of their power is in their unity as a family. They are called the Fantastic Four for a reason, after all. This was shown when the foursome broke up after Secret Wars, Reed and Susan going into the multiverse, Ben going into space with the Guardians and Johnny joining the Avengers Unity squad. The powers of Ben and Johnny began to diminish the longer they were apart, proving that love is charge their batteries need.
1 They Have Multiple Animated Series
There’s the most notable one, pictured above, that ran from 1994 to 1996. It encompassed two seasons and mostly retold the classic stories from Jack Kirby in season 1 while growing more mature in season 2. It didn’t manage to make it into a third season despite being a decent show for its era. They also had a 1967 cartoon that only managed to last one season, cartoons failing to really strike it big back then. Most recently they had 2006 show that you can watch on Disney Plus if you are so inclined. It’s a pretty solid show if you don’t mind the lack of overarching storylines. It’s more a story a week sort of thing, but it does the characters justice.
One of the most ignored team of the Marvel Universe, there's many things you probably don't know about the Fantastic Four.