The 6 Characters in My Fantastic Four
Welcome to Comic-Con Week! The party is down in San Diego, but I’m still here in Central New York, doin’ my thang. Someday I’ll be at the big show, but until then, I’m gonna have some fun on my blog. In what has become a fun tradition here at Henchman-4-Hire, it’s time to pick a superhero dream team!
This year, I’m going to tackle the Fantastic Four! I’ve never been a diehard fan of the team, but I think I have some neat ideas. In the past, I’ve done the X-Men, Avengers, Justice League, Teen Titans, X-Force and even the Sinister Six. But today I’m all about the Four!
You’d think the Fantastic Four list would be easy. Heck, you might even take umbrage with the fact that I’m making a List of SIX out of the Fantastic FOUR. Well, don’t worry, friends, because I think I’ve got some solid ideas. Unlike most superhero teams, the Fantastic Four rarely change their roster. They tend to stick with Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, the Human Torch and the Thing. It’s a solid family dynamic and has served the comic well for decades. But every once and awhile, Marvel likes to shake-up the line-up and try some new stories.
If I was hired to write the Fantastic Four and had cart blanche to do and write whatever I wanted, this would be my Fantastic Four roster.
And feel free to join me in the comments with your own fantasy Fantastic Four!
6. Doctor Doom
Who is he: Let’s get the big one out of the way right away. Doctor Doom is the greatest supervillain in all of comics, and has been the Fantastic Four’s #1 foe since the very beginning. Victor von Doom is a scientist and a sorcerer who has declared a lifelong grudge against his hated enemy, Reed Richards. He rules the European nation of Latveria and wears a powerful suit of armor. Doctor Doom is as bad as they come.
Why pick him: Until my storyline. The key change that kicks off my entire Fantastic Four would be Doctor Doom and Mr. Fantastic setting aside their rivalry in the name of science! I know this goes against everything that Doctor Doom stands for, but you can’t tell me that Marvel isn’t about shaking up the status quo these days. So my first issue would end with Doom and Reed shaking hands like colleagues, and Reed inviting Doom to the team. I don’t know where this would go or what Doom’s end game would be, but he’d be a legit member of the team, and the story would be about him and Reed working together as science bros!
5. Mr. Fantastic
Who is he: For my idea to work, you’ve got to have Reed Richards, too. Leader of the Fantastic Four, Mr. Fantastic is the smartest man in the entire Marvel Universe. He’s as brilliant as they come, with the power to super stretch his body. Often, he’s more focused on his work than on his family.
Why pick him: Can’t exactly do my big Doctor Doom plan without Reed Richards. He would still be the leader of the team, unchanged, and he would would arm-in-arm with Doom to do great science. This pair would cure cancer and make the combustion engine obsolete. Reed would keep his eye on Doom, of course, but for the most part, this would be a big, glorious team-up into unexplored and hopefully fascinating territory.
4. Human Torch
Who is he: A hot-headed member of the regular team who has been around since the beginning. Johnny Storm is the prankster of the group, and has been up and down the block a few times.
Why pick him: I’m going to keep most of the regular Fantastic Four together. My ideas don’t involve a complete change to the status quo, a la the Secret Fantastic Four or Matt Fraction’s FF. So I’ll keep Johnny around and keep him happy and content…or something. I dunno. But he’s definitely in.
3. Invisible Woman
Who is she: One of the most powerful and important women in the entire Marvel Universe, Sue Richards is everything you want from a superhero. Awesome, powerful, badass and all manner of cool, she’s just plain a good character. Like her name implies, she can turn invisible, among other cool powers.
Why pick her: Like with Johnny, I’m keeping Sue around because I want most of the core team in tact. Sue can be a good sounding board for Reed when he embarks on his new mission with Doom, and she’ll be there to keep the ship sailing smoothly should any trouble arise. Sue probably doesn’t trust Doom as far as she can throw him, but she’ll be there to keep everybody in line.
Who is she: Thundra is a longtime frenemy of the Fantastic Four, sometimes as a friend and ally, and sometimes as a friendly adversary. She hails from the far future, when an amazon society has taken over the world. She’s a strong warrior woman who has always had a thing for the Thing. Looking for a solid challenge in a fight, Thundra traveled back in time to do battle with Ben Grimm time and again, and has often tried to get in his pants.
Why pick her: So here’s the other big twist: no Thing. Maybe he doesn’t like the idea of Doom on the team. Maybe he’s taking a break from superheroics to get back together with Alicia. Maybe he’s in prison. I don’t know yet. But in my story, the Thing has departed the team, and as per tradition, he’s asked Thundra to take his place. The Fantastic Four always find somebody to fill their specific slot on the squad, and we need a strong warrior. Why Thundra? I’ll explain in a moment.
Also, I’d be willing to go with She-Hulk instead.
1. Valeria Richards
Who is she: Young daughter of Reed and Sue Richards, Valeria is probably the smartest 7-year-old on the planet. She’s the firebrand of the family, smarter even than her dad, and unafraid to prove it.
Why pick her: First of all, I want to keep the children in the Fantastic Four. Franklin will be around as well, but he won’t be as big of a deal as Valeria. Second, the new partnership between Reed and Doom will be the main focus of the book, but under the surface will be the growth of Valeria and whether or not she sides with her father or sides with Doom. This will be the subplot that builds over the course of my series. Valeria has always had a soft spot for Uncle Doom (he named her, after all), and that is a great story to explore. It’s probably been done already, by better people than me, but it’s still what I’m going with.
And why Thundra? Because she’s the one that Valeria really chooses! I’d build up to this big Reed vs. Doom over the soul of Valeria thing, but all the while, Valeria will have been building up this awesome friendship/mentorship with Thundra. Because I like fun.
That’s my team, what about yours? Who is your dream team Fantastic Four? Share with the group in the comments!