Last week Screencrush broke the news that the Fantastic Four film rights were reverting back to Marvel Studios. Sadly, Fox and Marvel both refuted the rumor. But don't forget: Sony and Marvel also denied any Spider-Man collaboration and 3 weeks later they announced Spidey's arrival the MCU. I've heard from a very reliable source inside Marvel that negotiations are in progress, and this is tied into Marvel TV collaborating to create the two X-Men TV series.
Even when Marvel snags the rights, they have a lot of goodwill to repair with the public. It'll be to reboot the FF AGAIN, after the Fant4stic turd Fox and Josh Trank fed us in August. So, here are eight characters Marvel should integrate before they do a big screen relaunch of their first superhero team.
8: Annihilus & The Negative Zone
Annihilus is a warlord who rules over the Negative Zone, a dimension where all matter has a negative charge. The Negative Zone is filled with hordes of monsters that Annihilus commands with his control rod. Yup, that’s its actual name. Might as well have called it a “bossy stick.”
Annihilus is constantly invading our dimension, (which I guess he would call the Positive Zone?). At one point he even annihilates the Nova Corps on Xandar, just like Ronan did in Guardians of the Galaxy. (By the way, the Nova Corps have been destroyed several times in the comics. They’re the Glass Joe of space police.)
The Negative Zone would open up all sorts of storylines in the MCU. During the comics’ Civil War, Iron Man builds a prison in the Negative Zone for all the heroes he’s captured. The Negative Zone also contains a place called the Crossroads to Infinity, that is a junction to everywhere. This gateway to other dimensions could be used by Dr. Strange, tying the Marvel mystic to the cosmic.
7: The Thing
So why the Thing and not the other three members of the Fantastic Four? Simply put: he’s the best character on the team. He’s the only one who can’t control his abilities, so he’s stuck looking like a monster. He spends the day saving lives, but can’t get a taxi home. (Makes you wonder who’s the real monster, doesn’t it society?)
So why doesn’t he become a villain? Because underneath all the rocks he’s still Ben Grimm, a working-class Jewish guy from the Lower East Side. He still goes to the old neighborhood to have a beer, then gets pranked by the local street gang.
He’s been a member of both the Avengers and Defenders, and he’s the only member of the FF who had his own title for a stretch. And who doesn’t want to hear him shout “It’s Clobberin’ Time!” at the Hulk?
6: The Watchers
The Watchers are an ancient race with incredibly advanced technology, but they have vowed to never interfere with other planets. Instead, they live in secret bases near populated worlds and record everything that happens. Yes, that’s right…they record everything you do in your bedroom while you watch old school Full House. They’re like species of creepy bald space Santas.
They could be introduced in a Guardians of the Galaxy film, Star Lord makes a Kojak joke, and everyone has a good time.
The Watcher assigned to Earth, Uatu, could break his vow to warn the Avengers about Thanos, just like he did in the comics when Number 5 came to visit.
Oh God, not that one. This one:
Galactus, like the Infinity stones, existed in a universe that preceded this one. To survive, he has to feast on the energy of living planets. Though he’s technically a villain, Galactus doesn’t take any pleasure from killing billions of people. He sees himself as a cursed bringer of extinction. Like a vampire, but with whole planets.
Of course, Galactus means we’ll also see everyone’s favorite silver-diapered herald of destruction:
4: The Silver Surfer
The Silver Surfer was an ordinary alien named Norrin Radd. He went to alien work, banged his alien wife—until Galactus showed up to eat his planet. He made a deal with the big guy: spare my planet, and I’ll help you find other planets to eat. That seems noble, until you think about it. It’s like saying to a burglar, “Hey, don’t kill my family. I’ll come with you and we’ll kill all the other families. I know where the Hendersons keep their spare key.”
So Galactus acts like Bodhi in Point Break, corrupting Norrin
Radd and teaching him to surf. After coming to Earth and seeing that we have water slides and candy bars, the Surfer fights to keep Galactus, from eating us.
Hollywood has been trying to put together a Silver Surfer movie for decades. Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer was even kind of a back door pilot for the hero. He also plays an important role in the Infinity Gauntlet storyline. Another potentially important player on the cosmic scene is…
3: Kang the Conqueror
Kang is a time traveling villain from the 30th Century. He uses superior technology form the future to attempt to conquer the past. Kang is one of the Avengers’ most powerful foes, because he’s basically an evil Bill and Ted. He uses time travel to set up scenarios so he’ll always be the victor.
The MCU still has 2 infinity stones to introduce: Soul and Time. Kang would be a perfect candidate to introduce the time stone. Also, in the Infinity War comic, he’s paired up with another iconic Fantastic Four villain:
2: Dr. Doom
Dr. Victor von Doom, PhD, is THE Marvel villain. He’s one of, if not the smartest man on the planet. He is monarch of an entire country with his own castle and army of doombots, and he is a mother-f*cking wizard. Seriously, he’s a master of the mystic arts, second in line for Sorcerer Supreme (behind Doctor Strange). That’s “Sorcerer Supreme” the mystical title, not “sorcerer supreme” the Taco Bell Harry Potter meal.
Despite being in four films, he’s never been done justice on screen. I’m sure Marvel could find a way to make a movie about a European monarch super scientist with an army of robots and a book of magic spells.
1: The Skrull Empire
The Skrull Empire is a highly advanced race of shape-shifting aliens, one of the most formidable military forces in the universe. They command armadas of warships, and rule thousands of planets. The Skrulls conquer, in part, by using their shape shifting abilities to infiltrate and replace key members of the population. This is how they nearly conquered Earth in the 2008 comic crossover “Secret Invasion.”
In Secret Invasion, it’s revealed that some heroes have been Skrull agents for many years. Suddenly, no one trusts each other, while an alien invasion force is entering our atmosphere. It’s like the Avengers, except this time the aliens are all T-1000s.
Another famous storyline is the Kree-Skrull war, when two galactic empires fought for control of the universe. Eventually the Kree-Skrull conflict spreads to Earth, and Marvel heroes did the bar fight equivalent of getting white girl wasted and bashing in their skulls with their high heels.
Audiences are already familiar with the blue-skinned Kree from Guardians of the Galaxy and Agents of SHIELD. Secret Invasion and the Kree-Skrull War would be great over-arching stoyrlines for Marvel’s Phase 4, 5, and 6.
I hope you enjoyed this list, but we want to know what you think. Are there any characters I missed? Post in the comments below, or respond to me on twitter @ryanarey