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The MCU Fantastic Four Should Take Inspiration From Family Dramas

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  • Posted on 08th Apr, 2022 23:00 PM
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The MCU has officially confirmed a Fantastic Four movie, but if they want it to be successful and faithful to comics, family drama should be a focus.

p>DC and Marvel Comics are both in the same business of superheroes but have always had different ways of creating and showcasing them. DC for the most part focuses on gods and myths among humanity, while Marvel focuses on the humanity within the heroes, creating personalities that are more relatable to its readers.

Perhaps the biggest Marvel superhero of all time, Spider-Man, is a great example of this. Yes, he has super strength and can swing from webs, but for the most part, he is a very ordinary young man trying to find his way in the world. He has growing pains and real-life struggles that readers see in their own lives. It's real, and it makes the books more compelling to read. But before Spider-Man was trying to find his way in the world while taking photos of Spider-Man for the Daily Bugle, Marvel had comics' first family, The Fantastic Four.

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The Fantastic Four was created in 1961 during what is considered the "Silver Age" of comic books. It was one of the iconic duo of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's first major creations together in comic books-and arguably is their most important creation in comics. The Fantastic Four was Marvel's reaction to DC creating the Justice League of America. Stan Lee's publisher wanting them to create a team of their own, and Stan Lee would go on to do exactly that, all the while changing the formula, focusing on the humanity inside the superhero a classic Marvel trope.

This soon-to-be iconic team would consist of four members, Reed Richards who acts in the role of leader and father figure for the group, alongside his wife, Susan Storm, who would be the glue of the team as well as a mother figure. Her brother, Johnny Storm, acts as the hotheaded son and figurative brother of Ben Grimm. Ben, is the emotional core of the group and a representation for all those who feel like outsiders in the world, or even in their own bodies. There's something there for all fans, whether they empathize with parenthood, relate to the sibling relationship, or see parts of their own insecurities within those of the characters.

This concept and thusly, this comic, has endured for decades because of these dynamics. The connections between the characters has created a gripping and relatable drama that shines in through the comic book medium. The problem in the past Fantastic Four film adaptations however is how they actually go about this conflict and drama between members, or rather- how they don't. Although the original two Tim Story-directed films had that family drama in them, the conflict didn't bring anything meaningful to the movies. In fact, it came off somewhat artificial. Josh Trank's Fantastic Four barely had any signs of familial connections at all only further distancing the movies from what makes the comics so special, and from Marvel's usual calling card.

The conflict between each other is supposed to inform the audience about who each character is, and how they work--especially in the face of the massive science fiction quests that they go on together. In the movies, these were boring characters who didn't have much personality while on the ground surrounded by buildings that viewers can see right outside, they don't even go on exciting Sci-Fi quests. It should almost be like a family vacation with the readers or viewers along for the ride while they explore and argue with each other.

This is especially evident with Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm's characters, who are supposed to be filled with the character and personality that keeps the story fun with their bickering. The previous attempts are fully missing the point with what The Fantastic Four even is, and if the MCU wants to be successful with their adaptation, they need to focus on the familial Sci-Fi drama.

For the most part, the comics are just about a family with all their quirks and disagreements that go on big Sci-Fi trips with each other-or vacations in the sense of traditional family dramas. The stories told about them are as fun as much as they are emotionally stimulating as they are some of the most human characters you can find in Marvel. The comics don't necessarily focus on action, as is seen in the movies, instead, they give priority to the science fiction and family drama that create the spark that makes The Fantastic Four the fan-favorite that it is.

While it's understandable that the movies dip into action, there is so much more to this story that could be brought to the big screen. So many worlds, beings, and just fun family adventures that make these stories as fun as they are. It shouldn't be dark in tone or color, and they shouldn't be as stagnant as they have been in previous film adaptations. And no more origin story.

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