After years of theorizing, The Marvels is the optimum project to set up the MCU’s Fantastic Four. Since a Fantastic Four movie in the MCU was announced at San Diego Comic Con in 2019, theories about when they would debut have run rampant. This largely began with 2021’s WandaVision, with many hoping that Monica Rambeau’s S.W.O.R.D. connections would prove a link to Reed Richards, also known as Mister Fantastic.
When this was not the case, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness added more fuel to the fire concerning Marvel’s Fantastic Four movie. John Krasinski – one of the most commonly theorized fan castings for Mister Fantastic – appeared in the film as Earth-838’s version of Reed Richards. This led many to believe he would be cast as the Earth-616 version of the hero, something that is still unclear. After more theories about The Fantastic Four were disproved with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, The Marvels is the next project that could set up the team – and also makes the most sense concerning The Fantastic Four’s comic book history.
The Fantastic Four’s Powers Come From Space
Arguably the main reason why The Marvels is perfect to set up The Fantastic Four is because of how the latter team’s powers originate in Marvel Comics. In Marvel Comics, The Fantastic Four gained their powers from space. An experimental space flight resulted in Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm, and Ben Grimm being exposed to cosmic rays, which altered their bodies on a molecular level and gave them superpowers.
As hinted at in the first teaser trailer for The Marvels, the phenomenon that causes Kamala Khan, Carol Danvers, and Monica Rambeau to swap powers is cosmic in nature. While unlikely to be connected to The Fantastic Four themselves, The Marvels could certainly explore the cosmic elements of the MCU that affect power bases, which could make the inevitable inclusion of The Fantastic Four more believable in terms of their origins. All other MCU projects in which Fantastic Four theories have been found have had nothing to do with space, meaning The Marvels makes the most sense for laying the groundwork for their introduction.
The Fantastic Four’s MCU Absence Makes The Marvels’ Set-Up Better
Similarly, The Marvels has the opportunity to explore The Fantastic Four’s absence from the MCU’s Earth-616 thus far. Throughout much of Phase 4, Marvel Studios have faced the issue of explaining where other superhero teams like the Eternals have been throughout the Infinity Saga. It has already been revealed that Fantastic Four will not be an origin story, meaning the team will likely already have their powers in their introduction. This means that Marvel would again need to think of a compelling reason as to why they have been absent from wider MCU issues of the past.
Through The Marvels, the MCU could explore the true depth of space and how The Fantastic Four could be missing for so long after gaining their powers. Similarly, this could even be explored through Carol herself, who disappeared into deep space for nearly two decades between Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame. In having the potential to explore both The Fantastic Four’s origins and absence from the MCU, The Marvels remains the optimal project for Marvel Studios to truly begin planting seeds at Marvel Comics’ cosmic superhero family before their big-screen debut in 2025.
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