With the Disney/Fox merger going ahead, Marvel fans are waiting to see how the X-Men and Fantastic Four will be integrated into the ever-growing world of the MCU. Introducing the concept of mutants will be a tall ask for Marvel Studios, but working the Four into existing continuity shouldn’t prove to be too difficult. For example, here’s one method that could work, as suggested by Reddit user @Meme_abstinent.
This fan theory puts forward the idea that perhaps the First Family could be slowly introduced into the MCU across several movies, with each of the four heroes appearing on their own individually before teaming up and receiving their powers in a later standalone venture.
Here’s how the Redditor argued their case:
-Reed Richards and Susan Storm should be introduced first as powerless scientists.
They don’t even need to be married yet, or even be in the same movie. Reed could be in Ant-Man 3 to help with some crazy device they need to build. Meanwhile Susan could be in Doctor Strange 2 to help understand into realm travel more (I dunno bare with me)
-Johnny Storm could be introduced as a classmate to Peter Parker in a Spider-Man film.
I mean, he was 16 when he got his powers. Eventually when he does get his powers his relationship with Peter will be all the more interesting.
For example, imagine these two trying to hide their identities from one another just to eventually figure them out anyway and become super competitive with their hero work. That would be a blast.
-Ben Grimm could be a friend to Reed who’s only mentioned about.
Or maybe he still serves in the Marines at this time. Or a test pilot still. I’m sure eventually Marvel will integrate the Netflix heroes in and maybe he’ll be in Punisher.
Rebooting Johnny Storm as a teenage contemporary of Peter Parker’s would certainly be a brilliant move, as Spidey and Torch are best buds in the comics, so Marvel fans would love to see that happen. Also, the MCU is so full of genius scientists that Reed and Sue would be natural colleagues of the likes of Hank Pym and Tony Stark. Putting Ben Grimm in The Punisher is probably out of the question, though, unfortunately.
As for why Marvel should hold off on giving the FF their powers straight away, the theorist argues that it would make more sense to test the waters and slowly introduce audiences to these characters instead of serving up another Fantastic Four reboot.
The reason they should be introduced powerless that, lets face it, Marvel has missed the target at all three Fantastic 4 films. So, I think that Marvel may introduce them as powerless scientists and side characters first through another hero’s movie, much like Hank Pym or Erik Selvig, to avoid having to make another movie so soon. Doing so also allows these characters to grow and make relationships with our established heroes before they even power up.
The theory also includes the common idea that perhaps Avengers Tower, previously sold off in Spider-Man: Homecoming, could become the Baxter Building, the Four’s HQ.
While some would argue it could be Oscorp, I would argue against it. Thus far in Peter Parker’s arc, Kevin Feige has seemed pretty intent on putting together the Sinister Six, Spidey’s greatest challenge ever (other than Carnage, damn you Sony). That being said I doubt they will introduce Oscorp until after Spidey’s first MCU arc wraps.
So why would Marvel focus so heavily on this specific detail? The tower needn’t to be sold in order for Vulture to steal Avengers tech; they sold the tower for a bigger reason. And if it’s not Oscorp, then it’s almost certainly the Baxter Building. And while some would say Marvel couldn’t have known about the deal, talks were already underway back then. If they deal fell through then welp…Oscorp it probably was.
Finally, the theorist has worked out a time frame for this slow-burn introduction of the Fantastic Four, with the scheme lasting three years until the gang get their own film:
“So essentially, the 2019 they are introduced, and 2020 they get their powers, and in 2021 They have their own movie.”
This method of making the Fantastic Four work in the MCU has a lot of advantages, as the big challenge Marvel Studios will face is how to get enough mileage out of the fan favorite team without making another disappointing standalone film. Maybe using them as supporting characters in other movies, thereby building up good will for the FF once again before giving them their own franchise, would be the right way to do it, though.