Last night I ran a reduced spoilers review of The Fantastic Four. But I have been inundated with questions from people thinking about going to see the movie. So, for them, here are a few deeper spoilers, sometimes repeated what I said in the review, sometimes adding more detail, and in others brand new revelations. Be warned, there are big spoilers going in from here.
Before I start, there really are lots of scenes that seem based on Bendis, Miller and Kubert’s Ultimate Fantastic Four, moreover than the Kirby/Lee original. I feel another article coming on. But as for the film…
One. The guy in charge at the Baxter Building research centre is Harvey Elder, who in the Fantastic Four comics is Mole Man, their first superhero villain. He shows no sign of Mole Man behaviour in this, aside from wearing sunglasses (with everyone else) when the transdimensional equipment is in operation.
Two. The Four gain their different powers through luck, not a reflection of their psychological state. When escaping Planet Zero, Ben’s capsule is flooded by rocks, Johnny’s by fire, Sue tries to hide and protect herself, Doom’s suit is melted onto him, and when his foot is trapped, Reed tries to pull it out. Their powers are formed by the circumstances of their contact with the alien energy goo. Though Doom does show his propensity for electronic control of his surroundings with a Google Glass-alike….
Three. After getting their powers and being captured by the military in Area 57, we get a One Year Later scenario, where all the characters have, to different degrees, moved on. The Thing is a weapon, Johnny is going that way, Sue is resisting and Reed Richards is on the run, building a one man transdimensional shuttle. Its status, at the end of the film, is undetermined. Oh and Reed Richards pulls the “disguise the face” trick
Four. Sue Storm is not American, she was born in Kosovo, which may explain why she may have been adopted. And why she may have an aversion to the military. She has specialist skills in pattern recognition which see her beat Reed Richards’ brain, tracking him down when she is on the run. Oh and she listens to Portishead.
Five. The Thing has 43 confirmed kills as a military weapon. This is not addressed. And you don’t get to see the Reed dropping Thing moment from the trailer. But you do discover that “It’s clobbering time” comes from his brother, giving him a beating as a child.
Six. Doom kills people like in Scanners. He gains telekinetic powers and, although not stated, the reason the Fantastic Four no longer need suits to survive on Planet Zero, the other dimension, could be because Doom has terraformed the place with his mind.
Seven. Doom kills Franklin Storm, Johnny and Sue’s father. And tried to use the transdimensional bridge as a way to destroy the Earth, in the same way he accuses the young Reed Richards of almost doing by accident. It is very very similar to Big Hero 6.
Eight. The big scientific HQ granted by the government to the Four is called Central City. In the comics, Central City, California, was their original home before the Baxter Building, and where they were attacked by Mole Man.
Nine. “Doctor Doom” is only so named in a sarcastic aside from Sue, as he is predicting the end of everything. “Listen to Doctor Doom here.”The character do not have or use their superhero names or even the name of the team, until the final coda which sees them trying out comedy names for the team. “The Human Torch and the Torchettes”, “Big Brain and the neurons”. Grimm says they are fantastic. Richards is inspired. “The Fantastic…” cut to black. I wanted to hit someone.
Ten. It’s worth seeing. Even with the cheesiest of final scenes, straight out of seventies/eighties TV action shows where they have to do the “funny” bit at the end before freezing and breaking out the saxophone. Not that much of a spoiler, but it’s something few are willing to admit…