Skipping The Fantastic Four's Origin Story In The MCU Is A Mistake

The MCU’s Fantastic Four may skip the superhero team’s origin story, which would be a huge mistake for an important Marvel property. The Fantastic Four have, unfortunately, never had a truly authentic live-action film adaptation, but the upcoming MCU iteration is expected to finally do the property justice. While Marvel Studios generally respects the source material of the superheroes it adapts to film, the latest news regarding the MCU Fantastic Four movie is a worrying development for a highly anticipated movie.

The mainstream Marvel continuity began in 1939 during the Golden Age of comics, but most of their most famous superhero properties debuted in the 1960s, a.k.a. the Silver Age. Among these was The Fantastic Four, a comic featuring some of the first Marvel heroes to use the publisher’s signature style of writing naturalistic superheroes, characters who had few differences from ordinary people, aside from their powers. Despite their importance to the Marvel Comics universe, the Fantastic Four’s history in the movies consists of an unreleased 1994 film and three features across two continuities put out by 20th Century Fox. All four movies are poorly received, making the upcoming MCU version potentially the first quality Fantastic Four adaptation.

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In an interview regarding Marvel Studios’ upcoming properties, Kevin Feige strongly implied the MCU Fantastic Four will skip the origin story due to the general audience's familiarity with it. Feige may be correct that the Fantastic Four’s origin story is well-known at this point, but skipping it the way that recent Spider-Man and Batman movies have skipped their respective heroes’ origins would be a mistake. There have been numerous well-received Spider-Man and Batman origin stories in film, so newer adaptations of the heroes skipping them is understandable, but the Fantastic Four have not had a truly authentic movie yet, so the best move for the MCU is to start fresh and disregard the previous adaptations so they can finally make a Fantastic Four movie that’s worthy of the characters and their mythos.

Why The Fantastic Four Needs Their Origin Story To Be Told A Fourth Time

fantastic four comic teaming up in space

Spider-Man already had his origin story depicted on two separate occasions, and each film was well-received by critics and fans alike, so when the MCU skipped the origin of their Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming, viewers were relieved to have evaded seeing yet another instance of Peter Parker getting used to his new powers and inadvertently causing the death of Uncle Ben through selfish actions. The only problem is that the MCU’s Spider-Man, by skipping his origin, lacked the vital “great power, great responsibility” message that the two previous iterations had and only gradually developed the lesson over the course of his three solo films. Spider-Man’s origin is the thesis of his character, so skipping an Amazing Fantasy #15 adaptation in the MCU provided short-term relief for audiences while ultimately doing a disservice to Peter Parker’s character.

The MCU can avoid their Spider-Man origin mistake with the Fantastic Four adaptation by starting fresh with another origin story and not skipping out on the titular team’s core qualities. The Fantastic Four has had three different adaptations thus far and each has been a poor representation of one of Marvel’s most iconic properties, so it’s worth telling their origin story yet again if it means finally getting the characters right on film. The team's origin should not be something that the MCU avoids in Fantastic Four for the sake of being different when a better approach to it is simply “the fourth time’s the charm.”

2022-08-06T10:01:28.000Z

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