Fantastic Four

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Name: Fantastic Four
Abbreviation(s): F4
Creator: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Date(s): 1961 - present
Medium: Comics, Films, Cartoons, Video Games
Country of Origin: United States
External Links: Wikipedia
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Fantastic Four is a superhero comic book series created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for Marvel Comics in 1961.

Canon

Fantastic Four first appeared The Fantastic Four #1 (November 1961). It focused on four characters who gained superpowers after exposure to cosmic rays in outer space:

  • Reed Richards became known as Mister Fantastic - a scientific genius and is considered the leader; has the ability to stretch his body into incredible lengths and shapes
  • Susan "Sue" Storm became known as the Invisible Woman - has the ability to become invisible and project powerful force fields; she later married Reed.
  • Johnny Storm became known as the Human Torch - Sue's younger brother; has the ability to generate flames and the power of flight
  • Ben Grimm became known as The Thing - Reed's grumpy but benevolent best friend and a pilot; has the ability of superhuman strength and endurance due to the nature of his stone-like flesh.

Other characters are considered reoccurring such as Alicia Masters, Agatha Harkness, Namor, Lyja the Skrull (impersonated Alicia and married Johnny), Valeria Richards and Franklin Richards (Sue and Reed's children). Other Marvel Comics characters have also temporary joined F4 such as Ant-Man, Black Panther, Crystal, Medusa, Ms. Marvel, Power Man, She-Hulk, Storm, and Spider-Man. The most popular villain for the team is Doctor Doom (aka Victor von Doom), although he has often aided the team as well. Other well known villains include Galactus, Mole Man, and the Skrulls.

Fantastic Four Comics

This article or section needs expansion.

Earth-616

Ultimate Universe

MC2 The team is called Fantastic Five which officially included Johnny Storm, Franklin Richards as Psi-Lord, Ben Grimm, Lyja Storm as Ms. Fantastic, and Reed Richards controlling a robot body remotely known as Big Brain.

Fantastic Four Cartoons

The Fantastic Four briefly appeared in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Doctor Doom is prominently shown in The Super Hero Squad Show as well as various other Marvel animated series: Avengers Assemble, Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Ultimate Spider-Man, Iron Man: Armored Adventures, and Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H..

Fantastic Four Films

The Fantastic Four (1994)[1] was a low-budget film made by Roger Corman and never distributed to theaters; it was made purely to retain film rights to the characters. It is currently available on YouTube.[2]

Another Fantastic Four film was released in July 2005 starring Ioan Gruffudd as Reed Richards, Jessica Alba as Susan Storm, Chris Evans as Johnny Storm, Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm and Julian McMahon as Victor Von Doom. A sequel was released June 2007 with the same cast with an edition of Kerry Washington as Alicia Masters and Doug Jones & Laurence Fishburne as Silver Surfer.

A reboot was released in 2015 which starred Michael B. Jordan as Johnny, Kate Mara as Sue, Toby Kebbell as Doom, Miles Teller as Reed and Jamie Bell as Ben. The film was distributed by 20th Century Fox and is not connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It received generally unfavorable reviews for its gloomy tone, undynamic characters, and lack of faithfulness to the source material.

In December 2017, the Walt Disney Company agreed to a $52.4 billion dollar deal to acquire 21st Century Fox, including its subsidiary 20th Century Fox. Disney's CEO Bob Iger stated that they plan to integrate the Fantastic Four into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Fandom

This article or section needs expansion.

pre-internet fandom, any late 90s or early 2000s fandom before the films?, mailing lists, etc

The Fantastic Four fandom is much smaller in comparison with the other Marvel main titles such as The Avengers, Spider-Man and X-Men despite being around longer than the other fandoms. The amount of fanfiction created about F4 is much smaller and less constant in comparison with the Avengers, Spider-Man and X-Men[3][4]. This might be because of their cartoons and films fandom never produced such a dedicated and enthusiastic following in comparison to the Avengers (Marvel Cinematic Universe), X-Men (X-Men Movieverse, X-Men: Evolution) and Spider-Man (Spider-Man Trilogy, The Amazing Spider-Man) which had helped the fandoms explode in popularity. While the F4 05/07 Movieverse and F4: World's Greatest Heroes was generally liked and produced some fandom presence, the 2015 Movieverse was generally disliked and has produced very little fandom presence overall. Fantastic Four crossovers frequently appear with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, usually to pair up with MCU characters (see Shipping) or playing on the same-actor crossover due to Chris Evans playing both Johnny Storm and Steve Rogers.

Other types of fanworks are fairly common to find especially fanart, although fanvids seem to be produced less for F4. Fans often cosplay the main F4 cast along with She-Hulk (See examples here).

Fan Casting the F4 has always appeared, however there has been a spike of interest now due to the Fox/Disney merger that will bring the Fantastic Four joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Kristen Bell and Emily Blunt is favored for Sue Storm, John Krasinski as Reed Richards and Adam Driver for Victor von Doom.

LiveJournal communities focused on Fantastic Four created from 2004-2005 and were all active till around 2010-2012. A few communities were active until 2017. Some of the fandom migration went on to Tumblr and DreamWidth after the Strikethrough and Boldthrough events.

Shipping

Fantastic Four fandom predominantly prefers slash and/or gen works compared to het fanworks, probably due to the amount of male members of the group.

The most common het pairings in the fandom is Reed Richards/Susan Storm which is a canon pairing, as is Ben Grimm/Alicia Masters which is fairly common. Fairly rare het pairings are Ben Grimm/Susan Storm and the incest pairing of Johnny Storm/Susan Storm.

The most common slash pairings in the F4 fandom are:

Crossovers with other Marvel fandoms are pretty common which leads to other pairings such as Loki/Victor van Doom, Darcy Lewis/Johnny Storm, Phil Coulson/Johnny Storm, Loki/Susan Storm, Susan Storm/Tony Stark, etc. Crossovers with other fandoms also happen which leads to other pairings such as Chloe Sullivan/Johnny Storm (Smallville crossover).

For the film reboot F4 fandom, Ben/Reed is popular. Although the other pairings: Susan/Victor, Reed/Victor, Ben/Susan and Reed/Johnny are fairly rare. Johnny/Peter appeared as a crossover with The Amazing Spider-Man.

Fanworks

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Arts

Fancasts:

Fics

Meta

Vids

A Harpic Productions game show parody was performed live at Time-Warped convention in Sydney, Australia. Perfect Botch (1986) was a parody of Australian TV's Perfect Match (aka Blind Date). Members of the Fantastic Four - Marvel Comics' Mr Fantastic, Invisible Woman and Human Torch - hosted, with Tackee the green Orion slave girl, and then The Thing, as the mystery dates for selected audience member contestants.

05/07 Movieverse

Crossovers with MCU

Archives and Fannish Links

LiveJournal Communities

Character-specific:

Pairing-specific:

Crossover-specific:

DreamWidth Communities

Groups

Tumblr

Fansites

Resources

References

  1. The Fantastic Four on Wikipedia (accessed 2nd August 2015)
  2. The Fantastic Four on YouTube (accessed 2nd August 2015)
  3. As of May 28, 2019: AO3 has Avengers listed as 147,374 works, Spider-Man listed as 26,479 works, X-Men listed as 29,100 works, and F4 only has 1,606 works listed.
  4. As of May 28, 2019: FFN has only 785 works combined for F4 (adding all comics/movies/cartoons together); X-Men (adding all comics/movies/cartoons) has 49,690 works, meanwhile with Avengers (adding all comics/movies/cartoons) has 48,457 works, and Spider-Man (adding all comics/movies/cartoons) has 8,452 works. (Note: For Avengers/XM/SM I looked at the main titles, no spin-offs.)