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“5 Things a GOOD Captain Marvel Movie Needs”

WARNING: CONTAINS ONE MINOR SPOILER FOR AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR!

First of all, notice that the title says a “good” movie. There is absolutely no question in my mind that the 2019 Marvel Studios film Captain Marvel, the story of Air Force pilot turned super-powered space warrior Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), will be a huge financial success. With the massive hype surrounding Avengers: Infinity War and the Captain Marvel teaser at the end of the credits, Captain Marvel could be the single worst film in history and it would still make an obscene amount of money. It would almost be delusional at this point to imagine Captain Marvel being a flop. It will make money. But as a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I don’t just want a movie that makes money. I want a GOOD movie that just happens to make money. What are some things that Marvel should do to make that happen? Here we go.

 

5. MAKE WISE USE OF THE 1990s SETTING.

Captain Marvel will be somewhat of a prequel in the vein of Captain America: The First Avenger as it is set in the past, the past being the 1990s rather than the 1940s in this case. Setting the film in the 1990s gives the film the opportunity for a lot of great moments, comedic and otherwise. Agent Phil Coulson can return, we can see a young Nick Fury in his prime, possibly Iron Man’s father Howard Stark, maybe a younger Hank Pym from his Ant-Man days, etc. The list is endless with the little moments they can create with this setting, not to mention the mystery of where has Captain Marvel been since the ‘90s and why no one but Nick Fury has ever seemingly heard of her or knows how to contact her. That being said, the 1990s setting will also undoubtedly provide ample opportunities for the expected Marvel wit and humor. That’s fine, but let’s try not to go overboard. Humor is great, but it’s better when it’s balanced and nuanced. The MCU’s previous outings of Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther pulled off the balancing act quite well. I expect July 2018’s  Ant-Man and the Wasp to be much more light-hearted and strong with the comedy coming on the heels of some of the heaviness of Infinity War. That’s fine for Ant-Man, but Captain Marvel should carefully walk the line between humorous moments and outright ridiculousness. It’s fine if they crack some jokes, but let’s treat Captain Marvel with the gravitas that a cosmic powerhouse like her warrants.

 

4. BE PROUD THAT CAPTAIN MARVEL IS A WOMAN.

Now, you might be thinking, that’s stupid. Of course they’re going to be proud that she’s a woman and Marvel is doing its first female lead solo film. They’ll be shouting that from the rooftops. No, I mean allow her to be feminine. There seems to be the weird idea that the way to make a female superhero is to essentially make her more masculine. The Captain Marvel comics are certainly guilty of that as you can see how they have altered her appearance and behavior over time and particularly in recent years. Wonder Woman proved the ridiculousness of the masculinization of female heroes. Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) was strong, independent, intelligent, and heroic. She was also feminine. Diana smiled, she was gentle, nurturing, went “awww…” at the sight of a baby, and fell in love with Steve Trevor(Chris Pine). Those things do not make a female character weaker. If anything it makes them stronger. It strikes a balance between this traditionally “man’s world” of fighting, war, military, and super heroics with traditionally feminine traits, showing that a woman can be at home in both worlds simultaneously. Captain Marvel would make for  a stronger character by following Wonder Woman’s example.

 

3. TREAT CAROL LIKE A REAL HUMAN BEING.

It should go without saying that women are human beings. Another unfortunate side effect of the female super hero is the tendency to not treat her like a real person. And no, I’m not talking about Carol having superpowers from alien contact. What I mean is when you end up with a character without any human flaws who makes no mistakes, never fails or suffers setbacks, and is generally not realistic. There’s even a pop culture term for it: a “Mary Sue” (yes, there’s a male equivalent, the “Gary Stu”). Rey from the Star Wars films, for example, is frequently accused of falling into the “Mary Sue” category. Whether you agree or not that that is the case with Rey, I don’t think anyone wants a character that is truly a Mary Sue or a Gary Stu. Women are people and people make mistakes and have flaws. It’s what makes a character endearing. It’s what makes us relate to them. We suffer with them in their failures and rejoice with them in their triumphs. Those are the characters we tend to remember and love be they men or women. When I see Brie Larson take on the character of Carol Danvers, I want to see a fully realized person, warts and all.

 

2. GIVE THE ORIGINAL CAPTAIN MARVEL THE RESPECT HE’S DUE.

While the Captain Marvel movie will focus on Carol Danvers as the titular character, it is important to remember that she is not the original Captain Marvel. That was the alien Kree warrior Mar-Vell who will be portrayed in the film by Jude Law. It is from Mar-Vell that Carol Danvers derives her powers. In the comic books, the original Captain Marvel died in 1982, allowing the mantle to eventually pass to Carol. Mar-Vell’s death occurred at a time when death in comics was rare and not treated like a revolving door. The original Captain Marvel’s death had a profound effect on readers at the time and remains one of the major comic book deaths that has not been reversed. Even though Carol is the central figure, the movie still needs to treat the original Captain Marvel and his legacy with care and respect. The MCU already has some experience with this as they deftly handed the title of Ant-Man to Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) while still preserving Hank Pym’s (Michael Douglas) place in history as the first Ant-Man and granted Pym the role of elder statesman and mentor to Scott. Captain Marvel should honor Mar-Vell and his fans in a similar fashion.

 

1. (MOSTLY) IGNORE THE COMIC BOOKS

This may seem like a strange one as usually I’m the last one to suggest such a heretical thing. I’m generally pretty big on preserving and adhering to the comic book lore, but the thing with Carol Danvers is that her comics just haven’t been that spectacular. I challenge anyone to point out even one timeless classic or generally beloved story from a Marvel Comic that featured Carol Danvers’ Captain Marvel as the central figure. What I’m saying is that other than some basic characterization and origin details, there isn’t that much from the character’s comic book history that is absolutely essential to properly translating Carol from comic to movie screen. That frees up the movie’s creators to go just about anywhere they want with the character. They certainly won’t have the immense pressure that director Patty Jenkins had in translating such a well-known and beloved character like Wonder Woman. Captain Marvel is largely unknown to general audiences and frankly isn’t really that big of a deal to most comic book fans. This movie has a very good chance of defining and popularizing this character in a way that the comics never have.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Comic Book Characters That Confuse “Casual” Fans

Yes, when it comes to comic books, I’m a super geeky fan with deep knowledge of the “lore” behind the characters. That’s not the case with everyone though. There are plenty of “casual” fans out there. They’ve seen some movies, maybe a cartoon, or played the odd video game. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. We’re all a casual fan of something. You could just about fill the Grand Canyon with everything I don’t know or understand about anime. So, this is for the casual comic book fans out there. I’ve noticed that certain characters tend to confuse and frustrate the casuals when presented with things that don’t match what they’ve seen in a movie, cartoon, video game, or whatever. Well, let this geek elite untangle the riddle of these puzzling characters.

 

1. CAPTAIN MARVEL

Captain Marvel? I thought his name was Shazam. I thought Captain Marvel was a woman. Of course Captain Marvel is a MARVEL character! Duh! No, Captain Marvel belongs to DC Comics! Confused yet? Those are just a few of the things I hear among casual fans when the name “Captain Marvel” is brought up. Let me clear things up.

This guy is the original Captain Marvel:

He first appeared in Whiz Comics #2 way back in 1940, and he didn’t belong to either Marvel or DC Comics at the time. He belonged to another comic book company called Whiz Comics. Oh, and he was popular. REALLY popular. I guess kids really connected with the idea of a child named Billy Batson being able to shout a magic word (Shazam!) and transforming into the heroic Captain Marvel (Yes, Captain Marvel was his name. Shazam was the magic word he shouted.) Captain Marvel was pretty much the only character of the World War II era that gave DC Comics’s Superman a run for his money in those days. So much so, that DC Comics eventually sued Whiz Comics, claiming that Captain Marvel was perhaps a little too similar to their boy Superman. Time passed, legal pressures mounted, and Whiz Comics eventually folded. Ironically, DC Comics ended up purchasing and becoming the owner of Captain Marvel, a character they had worked long and hard to shut down.

Now here’s where things get weird. Because of all the legal shenanigans, the copyright for the NAME Captain Marvel had lapsed. And guess who snatched it up? That’s right! MARVEL Comics! And it didn’t take Marvel long to create their very own Captain Marvel.

Marvel’s Captain Marvel debuted in Marvel Super-Heroes #12 in 1967. He was an alien space warrior named Mar-Vell. So, what happened to the other Captain Marvel? Well, DC Comics could still use the character and they could even still call him Captain Marvel, but they couldn’t market and promote the character using that name because Marvel Comics now owned it, so they had to find creative ways to do so. As a result, the magic word “Shazam” began to appear in some form on comic book covers and merchandise packaging to the point that Shazam became synonymous with DC’s Captain Marvel.

Meanwhile Marvel’s Captain Marvel was successful enough that Marvel spun off a female version of the character in 1977 when U.S. Air Force officer Carol Danvers gained superpowers and became Ms. Marvel.

Then in 1982, Marvel Comics up and killed their Captain Marvel leaving Ms. Marvel to carry on his legacy.

In 2012, Carol Danvers finally dropped the name Ms. Marvel and officially took up the title of Captain Marvel. Around the same time, DC Comics decided to drop the name Captain Marvel altogether and now it simply calls its guy Shazam seeing as how that’s what a lot of casual fans thought of him as anyway.

Both of these characters will be starring in their own respective movies in 2019 with Brie Larson cast as the Carol Danvers Captain Marvel for Marvel Studios and Zachary Levi taking on the role of Shazam for DC Films.

 

2. NICK FURY

When casual fans see the guy pictured above referred to as Nick Fury this is often followed by some serious head scratching and even sometimes outrage. Isn’t Nick Fury a black guy!? Samuel L. Jackson plays him in all those movies! First off all, yes, the guy above IS Nick Fury. He’s the original Nick Fury who has been appearing in Marvel Comics since 1963.

He even had a TV movie starring David Hasselhoff in 1998.

But here’s the thing. Comic books have long played with the concept of the “Multiverse.” The idea being that there are other universes separate and apart from the main one. On those other universes are other versions of characters who are similar in some ways and different in others.

In the Marvel “Multiverse,” one of those other universes is called the “Ultimate Universe.” When the Ultimate Universe debuted its version of Nick Fury in 2001 they made him a black man. They even purposefully made him to look like a certain Hollywood actor.

Yes, several years BEFORE the movies Ultimate Universe Nick Fury was designed to look like actor Samuel L. Jackson.

When Marvel Studios made a live action movie version of Nick Fury a few years later, that was the version they went with. Surprise, surprise, they naturally cast Samuel L. Jackson for the role.

With the huge success of the movies, Marvel Comics has even readjusted their original universe to more closely resemble the movie one. The original Nick Fury has moved on to a more cosmic level role leaving his mixed-race son Nick Fury, Jr. to take his place. Not surprisingly, his son looks a lot like Samuel L. Jackson and even managed to lose an eye just like dear old dad.

 

3. GREEN LANTERN

 

When the Green Lantern movie dropped in 2011, a number of casual fans were surprised to see Ryan Reynolds (a white dude) in the role. For some reason they were under the impression that Green Lantern was a black guy.

The reason for that is that for casual fans of a certain age their first real exposure to Green Lantern came from the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited cartoons that were on TV from 2001-2006 which featured John Stewart, an African-American former U.S. Marine, in the role of Green Lantern.

Here’s the thing about Green Lantern. There are A LOT of them. An entire Green Lantern Corps in fact. There are literally thousands of Green Lanterns all across the universe from a wide variety of alien species. A few of them have even been human. The first human to be made a member of the Green Lantern Corps was Hal Jordan who first appeared in comics in 1959. That’s the one Ryan Reynolds played in the movie. In 1971, John Stewart was tapped to be a back-up Green Lantern to Hal Jordan. John is the Green Lantern who appeared in the cartoon. Both Hal Jordan and John Stewart have long and distinguished histories as Green Lanterns in the comics, and they aren’t even the only humans to bear the name, but they are the most recognized. The word is that we will get a new Green Lantern movie in 2020 that will feature BOTH Hal Jordan and John Stewart as partners in kind of a buddy space cop type movie. Hopefully, that will clear up much of the confusion surrounding the question of Green Lantern’s identity.

 

4. IRON FIST

Until recently, I doubt your average casual fan knew much of anything about Iron Fist beyond maybe his name, what he looked like, and that he is some kind of martial artist even though he has been around since 1974. If you look at him in full costume, you can’t really tell much about who he is beneath the yellow mask.

Then in 2017, Marvel and Netflix launched the Iron Fist series. Suddenly, the Internet became flooded with stuff about making Iron Fist Asian. Why? Well, different reasons were given: diversity, inclusion, cultural appropriation, and probably the worst reason of all having something to do with well, if the guy knows kung fu, he must be Asian, right? Anyway, long story short. Iron Fist isn’t Asian, and he never was. Iron Fist is Danny Rand. Danny was a white kid who survived a plane crash in the Himalayas that killed both his parents. Danny then stumbled upon a mystical hidden city called K’un-Lun where he was raised and taught martial arts. Danny eventually arose to be the city’s champion and gained mystical powers by defeating a dragon. So what’s the problem with Danny being a white guy in the show then? Well, I think because there was a movement to change Iron Fist to Asian for the show, some casual fans came under the mistaken impression that Iron Fist was Asian in the comics, which meant that they were changing him into a white guy in the show.

It’s also possible that casual fans were mixing up Iron Fist with an entirely different Marvel character who is Asian.

Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu is Asian and one of Marvel Comics’s foremost martial arts based characters. He would also be a welcome addition to Iron Fist season two. Are you listening Marvel and Netflix?

 

5. Colossus

It was recently announced by Marvel Comics that Colossus and Shadowcat, one of the X-Men’s most beloved couples will be getting married in the pages of an X-Men comic in 2018. If you read the comments section of just about any website that posted this news, you would have seen that numerous comments or questions all had something to do with Colossus being gay.

First of all, Colossus (Peter Rasputin) has been a mainstay of X-Men comics since 1975. He has only ever been depicted as a straight man with Shadowcat (Kitty Pryde) being his primary love interest. Now, remember that stuff about the “Multiverse” that we talked about with Nick Fury? Well, that same separate universe where Nick Fury looked like Samuel L. Jackson also had its own version of Colossus. In that universe’s version, the writers chose to make Colossus a homosexual man. That decision, however, had no affect on the original Colossus in the main Marvel Universe. He is still the same character he has always been and will soon be tying the knot with Ms. Kitty Pryde. So, why the confusion? Probably somewhere along the way, casual fans saw or read something about Colossus being gay because that kind of thing usually makes headlines. Then when it was announced that Colossus was marrying a woman, confusion followed. Hopefully this clears things up.

 

Are there other characters that confuse and bug you? Mention them in the comments, and maybe we can clear those up too!

 

 

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TOP 5: THINGS THAT WOULD BE BETTER TV SHOWS THAN MOVIES

Movies are great. I love movies, but in some cases, television just does it better. Certain stories, characters, and properties lend themselves well to the long format approach that television offers. It allows for more in depth stories, character exploration, and large casts of characters that movies can be thin at presenting. The opportunities that television offers has benefited properties like The Walking DeadGame of Thrones, and the Marvel Netflix series (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders, The Punisher). Some of those have tried the movie route with mixed success while others like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones could not have become the smashing successes they are as merely a two hour movie. There are several properties that Hollywood have tried and failed to make into movies, but I believe could have been successful as television series. Then there are those that have yet to be attempted in any form, but again I feel that TV is the way to go. Here are my top 5:

5. G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO

For people of older generations, G.I. Joe might conjure up images of a large soldier doll that was kind of marketed as a boys’ Barbie. That all changed in the early 1980s when G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero hit toy shelves with a variety of smaller action figures featuring a diverse line of characters complete with distinct stories and backgrounds that made every character unique. This spawned an equally successful Saturday morning cartoon and one of the best-selling Marvel comics of the 1980s. Hollywood has tried twice with varying results to bring these characters to life on the big screen. First was the 2009’s mediocre G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra followed by a slightly better G.I. Joe: Retaliation in 2013. Neither seemed to capture audiences’ imaginations like those cartoons and comics of the ’80s. Reportedly, a third attempt is now on the horizon.

I say to forget it. Make a live action G.I. Joe television series. Set it during the 1980s Cold War and give us the characters as they worked best. A television series would allow the opportunity to explore the very large and diverse cast of characters that comprise the G.I. Joe franchise. Like with The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones, characters could weave in and out of the story. Some characters can die while new ones replace them. G.I. Joe is large enough to accomplish this. It would also allow more in depth character studies of both the Joes and their Cobra enemies in a way that the movies likely never could.

 

4. THE WHEEL OF TIME

Taking inspiration from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and Frank Herbert’s classic science-fiction novel Dune and debuting several years before George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones or J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter novel hit bookshelves, there was author Robert Jordan’s #1 best-selling epic fantasy series The Wheel of Time. Comprised of 14 novels (several of them at over a thousand pages) and beloved by legions of fans, there is simply no way that a movie or even a series of movies could do justice to these intricate novels with dozens of major and minor characters. A television series is the only way I can imagine the grand tale of the Dragon Reborn being brought to life.

 

3. NEIL GAIMAN’S SANDMAN

Written by Neil Gaiman, Sandman was the groundbreaking comic book series published by DC Comics’s adults only Vertigo line from 1989 to 1993. Sandman has the distinction of being the only comic book to ever win the World Fantasy Award, an honor generally reserved for only “serious” fantasy and science-fiction literature. Sandman is one of those comic books that comic readers tend to recommend to people who have never read comic books or tend to look down on them as “low brow” or “kid stuff.” Gaiman’s tale of Morpheus, the personification of sleep and dreams, remains one of the most seminal comic book series of all time. Rumors of a Sandman movie has been floating for years, but I believe that there are simply too many nuances and quiet introspective moments that explore the human condition for a two hour action packed comic movie blockbuster to really explore. Sandman is not that kind of comic book. It would make more sense as a television series comparable to something like HBO’s Westworld.

 

2. MARVEL COMICS’S HORROR CHARACTERS

We all know Marvel Studios as the unstoppable entertainment juggernaut that has brought us fun blockbuster movies like The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy as well as darker gritty Netflix series like Daredevil and The Punisher. So, where do Marvel’s horror themed characters fall into the mix? With the exception of the car driving Robbie Reyes version of Ghost Rider having an extended guest starring role on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., this remains a largely unexplored corner of the Marvel Universe. I think these characters fall firmly into the camp of the dark and gritty. As such, original television series on Netflix is where these characters would best fit. Follow the Netflix formula used with the street heroes who make up The Defenders teamup series. Give Blade the vampire hunter, the motorcycle riding Johnny Blaze Ghost Rider, the schizophrenic vigilante Moon Knight, Werewolf by Night, etc. their own individual series and then team them up in a Nightstalkers series named after the Marvel horror team comic of the same name.

 

1. STEPHEN KING’S THE DARK TOWER

Stephen King’s seven volume magnum opus is the prolific horror writer’s longest work as well as the glue that connects nearly everything else he has written. It is a masterful work that blends multiple genres, most notably the high fantasy of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and the Clint Eastwood Spaghetti Western. Yes, The Dark Tower did receive the Hollywood treatment in 2017 in a less than two hour film starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey that bombed at the box office. While many of the elements and surface details were there, the film was simply a weak, watered down, and highly compressed attempt at adapting one of King’s most beloved works. Television is the ideal medium to properly translate this vast work that King continued to revisit over the course of more than 30 years of his writing career. When the man in black flees across the desert, and the gunslinger follows, Dark Tower fans want to see the journey from beginning to end and back again in all its wondrous detail rather than the highly abridged version that the movie gave them.

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How Can the Fantastic Four and X-Men Join the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

 

The dream of many a geek came true recently when it was announced that Disney had purchased a significant portion of the holdings of 20th Century Fox, including the Fantastic Four and the X-Men. This means that these two key pieces of the Marvel Comics Universe can now join their Marvel brethren on the big screen as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe(MCU) which includes the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man, and numerous other characters. But how exactly is this going to work? The Marvel Cinematic Universe is well established as is Fox’s X-Men universe. Here I offer my suggestions on how to make this happen as smoothly as possible.

First things first. The previous Fox produced Fantastic Four and X-Men films and TV series? Gone. That’s right. Let them all go. Logan was a well received and critically acclaimed farewell to Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. The upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix The New Mutants, and Deadpool 2 can be the final installments for this franchise. The less said about the three Fantastic Four films the better. It’s time to start afresh. New continuity, new stories, and new actors. Yes, that includes recasting Wolverine. Hugh Jackman wielded the claws with honor for nearly two decades, but Wolverine is bigger than any single actor.

Okay, I’ll make one exception. Ryan Reynolds can continue as Deadpool. The unique nature of the Deadpool character makes him self aware of the fact that he is a comic book and movie character. In Deadpool, the “merc’ with the mouth” was aware of his previous timeline from X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Deadpool being aware of his transfer from Fox to Disney is fertile ground for 4th wall breaking jokes and bits in future movies.

So, how do we suddenly introduce mutants into the well established Marvel Cinematic Universe? A number of suggestions have been offered by fans, but the solution I would go for is simply this: MUTANTS WERE ALWAYS HERE. So, what happened? The concept is that for a time, mutants were a part of the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe until the day that Professor Charles Xavier decided that the best way to protect mutants from a world that fears and even hates them was to use his incredible psychic powers combined with his power enhancing Cerebro devise to make the entire world forget that mutants ever existed. Think about it. You’re a part of the MCU, and up until a certain point, mutants were there. Imagine the scene in Captain America: The First Avenger when Cap returns from rescuing Bucky and the other soldiers and you see Wolverine in the crowd or a shot of mutants marching with MLK for civil rights. It was all there until Charles Xavier made it disappear from our minds.

But what happens when Magneto or some other mutant causes a scene? How do you cover that up? Well, that’s where the X-Men come in. Think of the X-Men kind of like the Men in Black. They show up, contain a situation, erase the memories of any witnesses, and suddenly everyone is talking about a gas leak or natural disaster rather than some big mutant battle. You find some old newspaper article about mutants from decades ago? Your mind just blocks it out because Xavier’s mental suggestion is so deeply implanted. The world has been “X-ed” by the X-Men (a new layer of meaning!) Get on the Internet and you’ll find bizarre and outlandish conspiracy theories about the mysterious “X-Men,” because no cover-up is perfect, right?

Eventually of course you have to let the cat out of the bag and reveal to the world the existence of mutants. Now, at this point in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, enhanced individuals with powers like those of the Avengers are well known, accepted, and even viewed as heroes. So, where does the fear and hatred of mutants come from? How about from the fact that they have taken it upon themselves to mess with people’s minds and alter their perception of the history of the world. Imagine that you’re Tony Stark or Steve Rogers. Are you going to automatically trust and be OK with these powerful people who have manipulated you and the rest of the world even if they thought it was for the best? What gives them the right?  This scenario sets up conflict between the X-Men and the Avengers and between mutants and the entire world that makes sense in a world where people with powers are already a thing.

Then there is the Fantastic Four. Where does Marvel’s “first family,” the franchise that essentially launched Marvel Comics as we know it, fit into the tapestry of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

“The New Frontier is here whether we seek it or not. Beyond that frontier are uncharted areas of science and space,” – John F. Kennedy

I see those words spoken by John F. Kennedy in 1960 as the impetus for the Fantastic Four. Let’s run with that.  Initially, the Fantastic Four would be set in the Cold War era of the early 1960s with the whole space race between the United States and the Soviet Union just as Stan Lee and Jack Kirby did it in 1961 in the original Fantastic Four comic book. Dr. Reed Richards could have easily been a brilliant contemporary of Howard Stark (Iron Man’s father) and Hank Pym (the original Ant-Man). Reed’s theories about space travel would’ve been revolutionary, controversial, and largely misunderstood and unaccepted by most of the scientific community. With or without official government approval, Reed was determined to launch his own prototype spacecraft. Along with Ben Grimm, Sue Storm, and Johnny Storm, they launch…and are lost.

Or so it is believed.

The reality is that these four intrepid explorers found themselves hurtled into the far reaches of space and have spent the last few years exploring and discovering alien worlds, technologies, and dimensions far beyond human understanding. Of course during all of this exploring the primary mission has been to find their way back home. Eventually they do, but it is only to discover that while it has only been a few years for them, decades have passed on Earth. To complicate matters even more, upon their arrival on Earth, Reed, Ben, Sue, and Johnny are bombarded with strange cosmic rays which transform them into those familiar characters we know as Mr. Fantastic, the Thing, the Invisible Woman, and the Human Torch…THE FANTASTIC FOUR! The Fantastic Four’s return and transformation turn them into instant celebrities.

Of course this fame and notoriety brings from the shadows a man who has walked the earth for nearly a century, kept young by studying abominable practices of mixing science and sorcery. He was once a friend of Reed Richards, now an enemy consumed with petty jealousy, old grudges, and a desire for revenge and power. He was once the heir to the throne of the small and insignificant Eastern European country of Latveria (renamed Sokovia when his aristocratic family was ousted from power–see what I did there, MCU fans?). He is Victor Von Doom, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe will soon tremble before this man dubbed DOCTOR DOOM!