The Fantastic 4


The whole idea of Fantastic Four started in the head, of the two comic book writers, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1961. Lee and Kirby both worked for Marvel Comics. Actually, the reason the two comic book lovers created Fantastic Four was that they had seen how well DC-comic’s Justice League did worldwide. So they thought: ”If they can have a superhero-team, so can we”. Therefore, they started brainstorming on a superhero-team. And out of it came The Fantastic Four, who published for the first time in The Fantastic 4 #1 November 1961.

Background:


Fantastic_Four.jpg
Fantastic 4 in action
The four original characters were Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic), Susan Storm (The Invisible Woman), Johnny Storm (The Human Torch) and Ben Grimm (The Thing). Reed Richards is a scientific genius, and is also the leader of the group. Susan Storm is also a scientist, and Richards wife. Johnny Storm, who is Susan Storm’s brother, is also a fine mechanic. Finally Ben Grimm is an excellent space pilot, and best friends with Reed Richards. They were all sent out in space to prevent a cosmic storm hitting earth. But instead of hitting earth, the cosmic storm hit the space station were they four are located. Because of the strong cosmic rays, the astronauts gained supernatural powers.

Abilities:


Mr. Fantastic gained the ability to stretch his rubber-like body as he pleased. The Invisible Woman could make herself and other things invisible, and she also had the ability to create force fields. This comes to hand in combat situations. The Human Torch is able to set himself on fire. Furthermore, he is the only one in the group who has the ability to fly. Ben Grimm is probably the unluckiest of the four superheroes. His entire body changed into stone. He is able to walk, talk and do all the normal things, but his skin and body organs all turned into stone. But, he also got supernatural strength as a power. Together, they joined forces to keep the world safe from supernatural threats. And they have done well. They have over the years, in movies, comic books and in the animated series fought against aliens, all kinds of enemies who wanted to take over the planet, like Doctor Doom, Mole Man, Frightful Four, Impossible Man, Blastaar, Diablo etc. and they have prevented the end of the world uncountable times.

Heroism:


The Fantastic Four have never tried to keep secret identities. People know who they are. And by that, people can easily identify with them. They are normal people, well more or less, and you can just walk up and talk to them on the street. And when Stan Lee wrote the stories, he said: “I want to make a story, that I would enjoy to read myself.” And not only Stan Lee enjoyed reading the stories. Up throughout the 60’s and 70’s, the superheroes were the most famous comic books on colleges and high schools all over North America.
doom.jpg
Doctor Doom

Archenemy:


Doctor Doom, or Victor von Doom which is his real name, is the first and probably the villain who has appeared most since 1961. He has no actual superpowers, but is a scientific and technical genius and masters all kinds of traps and gadgets. He is very char acteristic, with a green hood, and iron armor. Originally he came to America from the fictional country Latveria. When he first came to the States to study, he met Reed Richards. Reed Richards, as a fellow student, offered von Doom his friendship, but von Doom rejected the offer, because of his jealousy of Richards’s brilliance. From the first meeting, Victor von Doom, and Reed Richards were archenemies.
Later on in life, after Richards’s failure in space, von Doom tried a questionable scientific experiment. But the experiment went wrong, and his face and upper body was scarred for life. The superficial and shallow von Doom is horrified by his new look, and journeys to Tibet, where no one knows him. In Tibet, he develops an iron armor, which is one of his characteristic looks.

Footnotes:


  • Besides the four heroes mentioned above, there have been a vast number of members, of The Fantastic Four. The current members are said to be: Black Panther, The Human Torch, Storm and The Thing. But heroes like Ant-man, Ms. Marvel, Medusa, Power man and She-Hulk are also some of the names of previous members.
  • In the Fantastic Four movie, Victor von Doom said: "Do you really think that fate turned us into gods, so we could refuse these gifts"

A lot of more or less obscure things have happened in the history of Fantastic Four:


  • At one point, Doctor Doom kills The Thing, and the remaining three travel to the gates of Heaven to get him back.
  • Doctor Doom helped giving birth to Reed Richards's and Susan Storm's children, though, later on Doom kills their children, only for them to be reborn in a hyper storm in space.
  • A mentally sick person named Kristof Vernard blew up the Baxtor Building (Fantastic 4's headquarters in New York City), because he was programmed to believe that he was Doctor Doom.

Below you see two trailers for two Fantastic Four movies. The first one is from 1994, and is just called The Fantastic Four. It was highly criticized by all Fantastic Four fans, for being absurd and ridiculously bad. And, the only reason that the Marvel company made the movie, was to keep the rights to a Fantastic Four movie. Therefore, there was not put so much effort into special effects or the plot.
The same cannot be said about the Fantastic Four; Rise Of The Silver Surfer movie, from 2007. This is clearly one of the best superhero movies today. One to watch!

The 1994 Fantastic 4 movie trailer:


The 2007 Fantastic 4 Rise Of The Silver Surfer movie Trailer:


Sources:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_Doom
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantastic_4http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stan_Lee
http://www.marvel.com/universe/Fantastic_Four
http://www.marvel.com/universe/Category:Teams