Comics Creators

Casting Fantastic Four and The X-Men in the MCU


Incredibly, i was thinking the same thing.


The primary difference between the Incredibles and the Fantastic Four is that the Incredibles are a rip off of the Fantastic Four… I mean, with the Incredibles, they are “superheroes.” They live in a world where superhero is an established occupation. Like being an electrician or in maintenance - or more like a sports star. It’s a real job.

This is kinda why I’d like the Fantastic Four to remain in a world separate from the Avengers or The X-men. They are adventurers. They aren’t superheroes or in a world where superheroes are a thing. In fact, it would be kinda cool if the idea of superheroes would be ridiculous to the Fantastic Four.

Johnny: “Fight crime? Rescue people? That’s why we have police and firefighters. I’m not qualified for any of that!”

Reed: “What sort of society would put up with random people taking the law into their own hands just because they have some unusual abilities?”

Ben: “Listen. You threaten my friends or family, and I’m gonna get involved. Otherwise, you got a problem? Don’t call me, call 9-1-1.”

Sue: “I don’t really have an opinion on any of that. Coffee, anyone?”


It’s interesting how many different views of the FF there are, but I guess the FF themselves have been transformed several times over the years. Even with their current movies we have very different versions of the characters. Marvel have their work cut out to figure out how to make the property work in the cinematic universe.


I don’t think that attitude is going to go down well with anyone. :joy:


Honestly, I think they should go that way. The temptation is to make Sue out to be much more assertive and active in the movies than she’s ever been in the comics when I think she works best by downplaying it and seeming far more “invisible” than she really is. It should become clear that even though she doesn’t act like the men, that is the reason she is actually the most important member of the group.

Too often, I think movies try to make their heroines more masculine, but that plays into the idea that being feminine is weak. Feminine power is far more effective than that. She’s in the Jackie Kennedy mode. You may not see Sue, but she can crush you just as easily as Ben can and from a lot farther away.


I think where Marvel excels is consistency of tone (within each film), character execution, and competentcy - areas where the previous FF films failed. Story’s was too camp/comedic and workmanlike (not unlike Green Lantern) while Trank’s was too dark and incompetently executed. A few exceptions aside, Marvel is good at knowing what they want each property to be, having everyone on board agreeing, and making that happen. Plot is almost secondary.


I think of it less as feminine/masculine or active/passive and more that Sue is the balanced center amongst three extreme personalities. And I’d make her realization of that - starting out feeling invisible and growing to realize all of her strengths - the arc for her character.


With 60-80 years of stories for most of the big comics characters it’s true of most of them. Think of the different approaches to Thor (standard superhero, cosmic adventure, medieval myth) or Hulk (from straight up horror to almost a sitcom feel under Peter David at times).

Even someone fairly one-note like The Punisher has gone from a Death Wish clone to the over the top comedy violence in Ennis’ first run or ultra gritty social commentary stuff under his and Aaron’s Max runs.

I actually started my read of FF with the kids today. You have to make tweaks to the origin whatever, it’s written around the time the first man went into space so the science was defunct almost immediately afterwards but I agree the Musk/Branson era we’re now in actually makes it easier than before to convincingly have Reed design and launch his own space ship.


Absolutely. What’s fascinating though is that Marvel went with something completely different than what was in the comics for most of their characters. So what came in the comics is pretty irrelevant, MCU will do something else. And I imagine it’ll be amazing because it feels like almost every change they’ve made has been a change for the better. I think it speaks volumes for how the studio system can work over how the publishers limited themselves. And it speaks to the fans. If Marvel had published a dude-bro Thor 20 years ago fans would have marched on the streets, but dude-bro Thor is loved by everyone now. It reinforces that the fans are part of the problem for all these characters.


For me, I think she should know who she is as a person and have confidence in that. I think the more dramatic realization is that she can’t depend on Reed to make the best decisions for their family, and the dramatic internal arc of the story forces Reed to win back her trust. This is what I think the first story should really be about and why the kids would be important as well.

At heart, it’s a family that lost trust due to one big mistake they all participated in, but was led by Reed. Their superpowers are externalized responses to that mistake - the guilt. Sue turns invisible but passive-aggressively puts up walls. To get away from the guilt, Reed stretches himself in all directions he can until he ties himself up in knots. Ben turns hard and breaks things. Johnny flies off on fire angry and thoughtless.

This forces the children to essentially develop powers to fend for themselves, but the children also give the family a focus. Without the children, the Four could go on pretending that there isn’t a problem, but when it puts the kids at risk, they have to face it, deal with it and win back each other’s trust.


I think Feige is really into ‘pick and mix’. He has said he tells his writers not to reinvent the wheel but take from the source (with some concessions to the modern day like the changed Mandarin from a ‘yellow peril’ figure or having a female Ancient One).

I think pretty much most of what you see is in the comics somewhere but not necessarily at the same time. Like ‘Ned’ in Homecoming is exactly like Ganke in the Miles Morales book in look and character but he never knew Peter in the comics, there’s riffs on Damage Control and the Iron Spider stuff from around Civil War.

In Thor there are bits plucked from everywhere, the small town setting comes from JMS’ run, the Warriors 3 waltzing down the road in full regalia played for laughs is a lift from Simonson’s run.

I expect if and when they get to FF you’ll get a bit of Byrne here, Stan and Jack there, Simonson and Hickman in other aspects, all melded together to what fits for them (along with the usual dollop of Ultimate).


I agree with most of this. I’d hold off on the kids, especially given Marvel’s production schedule. I’d go no kids for the first film, but maybe ending with Sue expecting Franklin, then a 3-5 year old Franklin in the second film and end with a misdirect establishing that they’re only going to have one kid. Then the third film comes along and you’ve got a ten or so year old Franklin and a five year-old genius Valeria. It allows you to maintain the family w/kids element through multiple films, and allows for recasting that doesn’t feel jarring. It also gives the team at least one movie to not feel (fairly or unfairly) like an Incredibles retread.




I think Feige and Marvel Studios get the true “essence” of the characters. If you look at the entire published history of the characters, you can see the MCU version but spread out at different points over the decades. They understand what works about the characters that will successfully translate to the big screen and find directors and writers to make it a reality…


I think it would be unwise to avoid comparisons to the Incredibles since that is a very successful way to handle a Super-family. However, I can see how having super-kids in the first one would take the focus off of establishing the four main characters.


Feige’s getting alot of credit for other peoples work, which I guess is how he wants it.

I know it’s internet wisdom to compare the Incredibles to the Fantastic Four but I’ve never agreed with it. They’re barely the same - if Elasti-girl had different powers I don’t think the comparison would even be made. They’ve vastly different properties, I hope Marvel does something that just ends that particular narrative.


I think the FF actually has more variety and potential than The Incredibles. The Incredibles sequel doesn’t look like it really expands on the story very much - basically switches out the roles and tells the same story.

FF is quite different in the sense that the family dynamic is changed quite a lot AND, again, the Fantastic Four are not super-heroes in the traditional sense.

However, I don’t think the filmmakers should do or not do something because it is or isn’t like the Incredibles. That’s not a useful consideration. They should decide whether or not it fits the story they are telling rather than someone else’s story.


Oh I think it’s a necessary consideration. Disney are making brands here, they don’t want two properties occupying similar spaces. They’ve been very deliberate with Marvel to make sure each brand is distinct with little overlap. Thor is different from Iron Man is different from Guardians is different from Doc Strange. Captain Marvel I expect to be something different again. Disney don’t want any comparisons made between the Incredibles and the FF, they’ll work hard to kill this internet narrative.

Personally I’ve always thought Lost in Space was a more fitting comparison, and I’m really excited to see what Netflix have done with that franchise.


Selfish, entitled egomaniacs get their asses handed to them and learn humility and sympathy for others and to take responsibility for their place in the world.

Disney won’t avoid comparisons. They like formulas that support superficially different elements. It’s not like they are actively trying to avoid elements from Guardians in their Star Wars movies. Wreck-It Ralph might as well have been a Pixar movie.

If Netflix’s Lost in Space does well, then maybe an FF show would be a good fit for Disney’s new service.


I agree with you on Feige. He should give the Chief millions as a thank you for the source material.

As for the FF/Incredibles, they’re totally comparable. Each team has a member with elasticity powers, invisibility, and super strong/invulnerable. The only difference is the Human Torch and Dash.