Fantastic Four & More
(Who can fill the shoes of the World’s Greatest Comic Magazine)
By Phil Perich for the True Believers Blog
The inspiration for this week’s blog came to me when I was recording the Superconnectivity podcast yesterday with my cohost Charlie Esser. Charlie had an idea for a new book for Marvel with the working title of “Superior Four”. His idea is a book to fill in the gap left by the absence of a Fantastic Four book presently. Charlie wrote to Marvel with the idea that this new team would be led by Victor Von Doom, who claims to be seeking redemption currently in the pages of Brian Michael Bendis’s Invincible Iron Man. Charlie and I were discussing who could join Doom on this new team. We asked for listener suggestions, but I figured in this week’s blog I could run down some past incarnations of the Fantastic Four and maybe spark some inspiration.
- Inhuman Fantastic Four
Two different members of the Royal family of the Inhuman race have replaced Sue Storm Richards when she had to temporarily leave the team. Crystal is an elemental who has control over water, fire, earth, and air. Medusa, the queen of the Inhumans has hair that can move and complete varied tasks of much complexity and strength, whatever she wills.
2. Fantastic Four for Hire
At one point when Ben Grimm had been accidentally transformed back to normal and lost his Thing abilities, Reed Richards hired Luke Cage, then using the name Power Man, to fill the strong man role on the team. Only later did Ben discover that Cage was a temporary replacement until Reed finished building Ben an exoskeleton to simulate his lost powers.
3. Not so mean and green Fantastic Four
After the events of the original Secret Wars, Ben Grimm decided to stay on Battleworld, where most of Earth’s superheroes and villains had been transported to. Looking for an immediate replacement for the Thing’s mighty abilities, Reed Richards asked then Avenger Jennifer Walters, known to the world as the She-Hulk, to fill in until the Thing returned.
4. Bashful Benjy’s Fantastic Four
When Reed and Sue Richards decided to (temporarily) retire from the superhero business to spend more time with their son Franklin, Ben Grimm was left as the man in charge. The Thing assembled his own, new Fantastic Four. Original members Thing and Human Torch were joined by Crystal who had served as a substitute FF member in the past and super strong, former unlimited class wrestler Sharon Ventura, who then went by the name Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers was operating as Binary at this point). Even this fill in team went through it’s own evolutions, such as when Crystal left to return to her people the Inhumans and an accident transformed Sharon into another version of the Thing.
5. Popular 1990’s Fantastic Four
When the original Fantastic Four go missing and are presumed dead, an alien shapeshifter assembles a new Fantastic Four comprised of some the most popular Marvel characters of the 1990’s. Spider-Man, Hulk, Ghost Rider, and Wolverine worked as a team for three issues until the originals were found. They later reunited to confront the original FF when they were harboring a fugitive from the law, Johnny Storm, the Human Torch!
So I hope this has inspired some ideas. Who do you think should join Doctor Doom on Charlie’s Superior Four? Let us know in any of the following ways:
@nightwingpdp or @marvel_roundup on Twitter.
You can hear me and Charlie (@CharlieEsser) discuss all things Marvel every week on our podcasts All New Marvel Roundup and Superconnectivity. I also write another blog, Legends of DC. You can find all my podcasts, blogs, and those of others at www.southgatemediagroup.
You can also find links to all my podcasts and blogs at www.philperich.wordpress.com
So that’s all for now. Until next time…NUFF SAID!