The list of comic book characters who have yet to be reintroduced (or introduced for the first time) in upcoming superhero movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe is getting shorter. Few are more feverishly anticipated than the Fantastic Four, whose much-needed big screen resurrection was officially announced in December 2020. We can likely infer that Marvel’s first superhero family will once again take on Doctor Doom in their upcoming MCU reboot, but there are a few other Fantastic Four villains whom we believe deserve to be let in on the fun for once - or even just more properly this time, at least.
So who else do we have in mind to face off against Mister Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch, and The Thing for what would be their fourth attempt at a film that lives up to their legacy (if you count producer Roger Corman’s unreleased adaptation from 1994)? The following are six of the Fantastic Four’s most notorious foes we would like to see in the Marvel movies soon, starting with the obvious choice.
If you ask me, Doctor Doom just might deserve his spot in the MCU more than any other villain in history and for a multitude of reasons. For one, the masked alter ego of Latverian scientist and monarch Victor von Doom has been the central antagonist in each one of the Fantastic Four’s big screen adaptations and, just like the titular superhero quartet, none have depicted the character in a way that lives up to his legacy in the eyes of his biggest fans. Yet, that is not even the biggest reason why his reboot is necessary.
While the Fantastic Four are clearly the villain’s most famous arch nemeses, the extremely powerful, uncompromisingly ruthless, and fascinatingly complex criminal mastermind has made enemies with all superheroes in the Marvel Universe by using his pristine intellect and sorcery to successfully outwit many of them in the ongoing attempt to assume control of whatever he sets his mind to. Doctor Doom could really do some damage and easily live up to Thanos as the MCU’s next big bad.
Despite his well earned reputation as their Number One enemy, Doctor Doom is not actually the first enemy the Fantastic Four would ever face. In November 1961’s Fantastic Four #1, from writer Stan Lee and illustrator Jack Kirby, the newly empowered superheroes took on former scientist Harvey Rupert Elder, nicknamed the Mole Man for using mole-like humanoid minions to carry out his evil scenes.
This is a character who could bring a real creep factor to the Marvel Cinematic Universe after only being depicted in 2015’s Fantastic Four as his pre-Mole Man alter ego, portrayed by Tim Blake Nelson. Pitting the Fantastic Four against him in their reboot, in addition to paying tribute to their comic book origins, could be a fun way to start things off for them before they meet their doom.
Many of Marvel’s best on-screen villains have had a personal connection to the superhero protagonist, such as Loki’s sibling rivalry with Thor or Erik Killmonger being T’Challa’s cousin in Black Panther. Ben Grimm, better known as The Thing, is romantically involved with Alicia Masters, much to the chagrin of her stepfather, who also happens to one of the Fantastic Four’s most notorious enemies.
Born Phillip Masters, Puppet Master is noted for being a genius with unparalleled skills in craftmanship, which he uses to create radioactive clay marionettes that have a voodoo-like effect on whoever they bear the likeness of. Other than the aforementioned familiar connection to the Fantastic Four, I like the idea of this weirdo in the MCU, especially with psychological manipulation being so frighteningly relevant right now.
Speaking of fright, that is the emotion this villainous alliance aims to invoke, as their collective title suggests. The original formation of the Frightful Four (which is more than just a group evil Fantastic Four clones in case your needed clarification) came about after the Wizard’s latest defeat at the hands of Human Torch convinced him to join forces with the Sandman, Paste-Pot Pete, and Madame Medusa to become the criminal counterpart to the superhero foursome.
The Frightful Four has actually consisted various interchanging members including Ulysses Klaw, The Punisher, Deadpool, and even The Thing at one point. So, while it may take a few creative liberties and the introduction of a few key villains first, seeing the Fantastic Four go toe-to-toe with an opposing team like this could make for one truly epic chapter in the MCU.
Namor The Sub-Mariner
You might be wondering why I am listing the character often called Marvel’s version of Aquaman (despite debuting two years before the Atlantean DC superhero) as a potential Fantastic Four movie antagonist. Well, as some more casual comic book fans may not realize, Namor the Sub-Mariner does not always play for the good guys and has notably come at odds with the Fantastic Four more than a few times.
Of course, when he is playing nice, the aquatic anti-hero has been known to come to aid of the superhero family, as well as the Avengers and the X-Men, so a team-up at some point may not be out of the question. However, first introducing him as the villain of their story would be an intriguing answer how Marvel could bring Namor into the MCU - an event many fans have been looking forward to since his existence was teased in Avengers: Endgame apparently.
Of course, a more hotly anticipated Marvel character than Namor would be Galactus, who is literally the ultimate of Marvel’s cosmic beings. I mean, being the creator of the current central comic book universe would, upon introduction, essentially make him the MCU equivalent of God, and who could be a more intimidating foil to the Fantastic Four (or anyone, for that matter) than that? Did I also mention how he eats planets?
Truth be told, this would not be Galactus’ first go-round on the big screen or his first face-off with the Fantastic Four, but it would be the first time he was depicted accurately as 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer just made him into a big space cloud for whatever reason. So, it goes without saying that this is another cinematic reintroduction that is much needed and even a subtle hint in the Fantastic Four reboot (if fans’ Guardians of the Galaxy theories have truly been debunked) seems like the most fitting avenue.
You know, I have always thought that, since T’Challa was originally introduced to Marvel Comics in a Fantastic Four issue, bringing them into the MCU through a Black Panther sequel would be a fun way to do it. That way they could skip the typical, overdone origin story and pit them all against a villain who could mean trouble for the entire universe. Do any of the names above seem like a good fit for that responsibility to you?
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Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.
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