Director Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four reboot is not exactly a nice topic among comic book geeks at the moment. Some die-hard fans were already incensed with the casting of Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm, but that deviation from the source was nothing when compared against Toby Kebbell’s recent revelation that his “Doctor Doom” is not the high-tech armour wearing, magic using Latverian despot that we all know and love, but rather a hacker named Victor Doomashev who goes by the internet handle “Doom”. But even the very vocal outcry against that reshaping of arguably the greatest villain in the Marvel comic book universe will probably be a mere blip on the radar if what I’m about to unveil turns out to be true.
Over the weekend, a very detailed summary of the film’s plot started popping up on popular sites like 4chan and Reddit (we got it via CBM) and has spread like wildfire . Now it’s not clear where this comes from, and the fact that it only showed up after the recent revelations about Doom does mean that there’s currently no way to corroborate it. In short, this could be nothing more than a piece of fan fiction dreamed up by somebody after they heard Kebbell’s reveal. That being said, I will still throw up a MASSIVE SPOILER WARNING as I wasn’t kidding when I said FULL plot summary – it’s a beat by beat description of the entire film, from start to finish.
If you’re still up for this, then just scroll down pass the pic, but do so at your own peril.
Reed is a genius convenience store clerk with Ben. Reed’s parents don’t care about him, and Ben’s dad is abusive. They’re good friends and have each other’s backs. Reed writes a paper for community college on teleportation that attracts the attention of Dr. Franklin Storm, CEO of the Baxter Building research center.
Storm has a son, Johnny, and an adoptive daughter, Sue, whose father, Storm’s old partner, died in an experiment gone wrong. Johnny and Sue are party kids, and Sue is particularly disdainful of science. Reed and Sue don’t get along at first.
Victor Doomashev is a anti-social Eastern European computer programmer and hacktivist who calls himself “Doom”. He hates the 1%, particularly Storm, whom he claims corrupts science for profit.
Storm uses Reed’s paper to complete some equations on a machine to access another dimension, the N-Zone. Reed invites Ben to watch the machine being turned on. Sue and Johnny are also there. Doom manages to hack into the Baxter Building’s servers and use a computer virus to damage the machine, which explodes. Reed, Sue, Johnny and Ben are exposed to otherwordly energy and become mutants with powers that they can’t control.
Storm takes them to the Baxter Building and creates containment suits for their powers. They begin to train. Reed and Storm also begin developing a way to revert the accident. Sue blames Reed for everything, but they eventually become friends and then a couple. Ben can switch off his powers when he’s not in danger. Johnny changes colors based on heat intensity, and Sue has some borderline telekinetic thing. Reed is pretty much Reed.
Doom finds out that the four have acquired powers and becomes angry it’s not him, so he comes up with a plan to break into the Baxter Building to access the N-Zone through the rebuild machine. As a distraction, he reprograms a bunch of stolen military drones, the “Doombots”, to attack the building. The four come together as a team for the first time and save people.
Doom activates the machine and gets technopathy powers or something, basically energy blasts and making machines obey to him, and a fight ensues. The machine goes critical, and, in order to prevent it from exploding and destroying the city, the four push into it and Storm shuts it off.
There’s a countdown before it reaches critical mass. Inside the N-Zone, the four battle Doom again, and manage to leave him trapped there after he disfigures himself soaking up too much power. The Four manage to escape, but Ben gets the blunt of it to protect Reed and can’t switch back.
The machine is destroyed, Doom is gone, the four have learned to work as a team, and Reed vows to find a cure for Ben. And it ends there.
You know what the biggest problem with that summary is? With just how off the wall the previous revelations were, I can’t even say that “Mr Fantastic is a convenience store clerk” or “the Human Torch has a handy colour coding system for his powers” are too far-fetched for this film. And to be totally honest, it’s not the worst thing I’ve ever read either. Yes, it a massive departure from the classic Fantastic Four that we grew up on, but if they had to put this story in some comic book revamp of the Fantastic Four, I might just read that. In fact, I have already read it – well, at least some of it.
When Marvel decided to launch their Ultimate Universe imprint – a modern reboot of several of their most well-known titles that exists in its own timeline – that new Fantastic Four consisted of a young Reed Richards with negligent parents who had a best friend named Ben Grimm. And this Reed also didn’t get along with Sue at first, but did go join them at the Baxter building thinktank run by Dr. Franklin Storm. They also created a machine to access the extra-dimensional N-Zone, and when the machine explodes it gives them all powers, including party boy Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm, who Reed had just invited along to watch.
I think you can see where I’m going with this. Admittedly, some elements – like 133t h4xx0r Doom and Human
Mood Ring Torch – are completely out of left-field, but the rest of it actually has an air of familiarity to it. This could mean that some fan was just channeling their favourite bits of the Ultimate Fantastic Four’s origin story to dream up this bit of fiction, or that the earlier reports that the film would be drawing heavily on this more modern incarnation of the characters were spot on.
Whatever the case, it all boils down to one thing: Whether or not Trank and co can actually make it good. When Marvel created the Ultimate version of the Fantastic Four, it was a huge deviation from what fans knew, but they not only accepted it but also praised it due to how well-thought out and perfectly executed it was – the science behind Reed’s stretchy physiology is a prime example of this – even though it had it’s only silly points (here Doom is snobby brat who is a descendant of Dracula called Victor Van Damme and has goat-legs. Really). This certainly may not be the classic Fantastic Four as envisioned by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby back in the 1960’s – and if that’s all you’re looking for then you can go ahead and start your raging at your earliest moment of convenience – but that doesn’t mean that this can’t be a fresh and exciting new take. Or it could just stink like Moleman after a few especially hot days underground. At this point it’s 50/50 for me.
Last Updated: November 19, 2014