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Ways We Don't Want The Fantastic Four To Enter The Marvel Cinematic Universe

If there's one glaring absence from the wildly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's Marvel's first family, the Fantastic Four. The close-knit superteam has been fighting comics' greatest villains for decades, but they've been legally barred from appearing in Marvel's movies due to licensing issues. Rumors hit in October 2015 that Fox may have relinquished its rights to the Fantastic Four back to Marvel, all after Fox's Fantastic Four movie from the same year tanked at the box office. As a result, comic nerds everywhere are pretty excited. But don't count those cosmically-irradiated chickens yet—there are still plenty of ways that Marvel could mess up the Fantastic Four.

Don't Treat Them As Guest Stars

Marvel will be shoehorning a bunch of previously unseen heroes into Captain America: Civil War, including Black Panther and the new Spider-Man, but are cameo appearances really the best way to introduce new, important superheroes to an existing universe? To unify the Fantastic Four with the rest of the MCU, the Avengers should make a cameo in a standalone Fantastic Four film, and not the other way around. We know that the Fantastic Four have had a terrible time finding cinematic success, but it's time for Marvel to go whole hog, or go home.

Don't Make Them Kids

Josh Trank's terrible Fantastic Four borrowed heavily from the FF's "Ultimate Universe" origins, in which the team is a bunch of teenagers playing with science stuff. While it worked as an alternate universe retelling of the Fantastic Four's origins, it didn't work on-screen, and it wouldn't work in the context of the all-adult Avengers already ruling the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The best Reed Richards is a troubled, distant genius with a shock of white hair at his temples. He's a grown man whose arrogance donked up the life of his family and friends. If that's not a compelling story by itself, just throw the whole franchise into the trash. Or give it to Uwe Boll. Same thing.

Don't Make An Origin Film

Many classic comic series begin in the middle of the hero's story, and only go back to explore the mystery of their thrilling origins many issues later. At this point, we all know the Fantastic Four's origins by heart (especially after two cinematic versions), and we're a little sick of seeing the subtle variations on the story of a bunch of nerds getting hit by cosmic rays. The Fantastic Four are a classic, slightly cheesy, sci-fi comic book, so a treatment that mimics Silver Age awesomeness could be the change of pace they might really need to succeed on screen. Throw them into immediate action and explain it later—and only if you really need to.

Don't Take Them Too Seriously

The great success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that it often acknowledges how ridiculous it is, especially with films like Ant-Man, which is an understated, funny, and excellent addition to the world of Marvel. A superhero family is a pretty goofy idea, so Marvel should embrace them as traditionally as they possibly can, and avoid thrusting them into edgy, modern costumes or a super-slick headquarters. Sure, Reed can be a pioneer in new, disruptive, and innovative technologies...but maybe his super-jet also has beaded curtains.

Don't Forget About Galactus

The Devourer of Worlds might seem like a really big gun to whip out on the Marvel movie world, but he's one of the most requested baddies in all of villaindom, and no, Rise of the Silver Surfer doesn't count for half a squat. With Marvel's movie heroes only recently becoming marginally aware that there's crazy bad guy stuff happening out in space, the impending threat of Galactus needs to be out there for Marvel to truly be Marvel. It's time to get ol' Handlebar Helmet to take a bite out of Earth.

Don't Make Sue Storm a Scientist

One of the greatest things about Susan Storm, aka The Invisible Woman, is that she's an innocent bystander who makes the best of her new, accidental superpowers by becoming the most powerful member of the Fantastic Four, while still exhibiting unshakeable loyalty, humanity, and strength for her family. Her simple comic origins describe her as a swimmer and an aspiring actress, but her true strength as a resilient character is reduced every time she's rewritten as a female Reed Richards. Sue Storm can be a badass without fundamentally changing her character.

Don't Make The Thing Look Stupid

A pile of gravel with a heart of gold, the Thing is one of the more difficult characters to bring to the screen. Movie dorks have complained about every Thing costume or CGI Thing that's ever been seen on-screen, so getting the guy right is a pretty critical aspect of a successful Fantastic Four film. Marvel succeeded with its designs for unusual characters like Vision and Hulk, so it can probably give us the Thing we really need. Are orange rocks really that hard to animate? Can Marvel make us truly believe this man of masonry?

Just Be Marvel

Marvel has turned great comics into great movies. Ignore all of the fantastic disasters that have come before. By just being Marvel, the studio can avoid making the same mistakes. Even if the filmmakers cast another Jessica Alba, they'll still get a better performance out of her because they're working directly with Marvel, and their script won't stink like hot August roadkill. Marvel has now built an unshakeable foundation for any hero, and that includes the terminally problematic Fantastic Four. All they have to do now is show up and not actively suck, and you've got a blockbuster film, because Marvel knows the way.