Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Ben lead individual teams, each dedicated to a single facet of the FF’s greater mission.
Al Ewing(The Ultimates, New Avengers, Mighty Avengers)
Stuart Immonen(Star Wars, Nextwave, Empress)
Marvel’s First Family come to realize that they can optimize their impact by each focusing on one of FF’s foundational priorities. Accordingly, each member leads a diverse set of handpicked heroes to pursue their distinct, yet complimentary missions:
Reed assembles a team of cosmic-scale problem solvers. (This is essentially a continuation of Ewing’s Ultimates book, which in many ways was itself a spiritual successor to the Fantastic Four). Reed’s teammates combine intellect and intuition with cosmic power…
Core Ultimates memeber Adam Brasher, the Blue Marvel is a key member of the team for his scientific acumen and superhuman power.
Tamara Devoux, retains her Captain Universe power and brings a unique kind of cosmic awareness to the group.
Tech wizard Toni Ho discovers she is able to expand an infinite array of mission-specific components to her girlfriend Aikku Joniken’s Enigma suit. With Joniken’s blessing, Ho adopts the suit to become Module.
Much like the best Fantastic Four stories and Ewing’s Ultimates book, these solution-oriented missions are cosmic in scope and inspire awe.
Potential spinoff miniseries by Al Ewing and Dustin Weaver.
THE FUTURE FOUNDATION
Sue is as adept with people as her husband is with technology, and sets out to save the world for all humanity. Forming a superpowered NGO intervention operation, she seeks to apply superpowers to problems in ways that don’t necessarily involve “beating people up.” But while they seek to avoid aggressive tactics, they are ready to defend against violent opposing forces. Her handpicked foursome have abilities that appear superficially passive (much like Sue’s own), but it only takes a degree of creative application to reveal the incalculable magnitude of their power…
Kitty Pryde, aka Shadowcat, whose intangibility powers are so powerful, they enabled her to phase a moon-sized bullet through planet Earth.
Faiza Hussain’s control over biological matter not only enable her to hijack a human’s motor functions, they also make her a world-class healer. While she previously adopted the identity Excalibur, wielding a sword is a bit at odds with a doctor’s oath to “do no harm.” Accordingly, she exchanges the name of a sword for that of a scalpel: Lancet, one more befitting a doctor.
Eden Fesi's Manifold powers allow him to move people and matter from one location to another at levels greater than any other Marvel teleporter.
This foursome is far and away the most likable souls one could encounter and the way they carry out their missions is affecting in the most life-affirming way.
Potential spinoff miniseries by G. Willow Wilson and Phil Noto.
Johnny sets about using celebrity, social media, and marketing to popularize heroism (in a way that’s rare in the contentious Marvel Universe). Equipped with experience (and careful not to repeat the mistakes of the New Warriors), he uses a set of HERBIEs to livestream his team’s exploits. To this end, he populates his team with photogenic, youthful heroes with tons of personal magnetism…
America Chavez, aka Miss America; a tough, no-nonsense badass
Kate Bishop, aka Hawkeye; who can see through everyone’s bullshit and is armed with sass and sarcasm as sharp as her finely honed skills
Noh-Varr, aka Marvel Boy; whose charisma and good looks start to threaten the Torch’s ego (though Johnny doesn’t admit it).
The Torch’s team is the cool kids’ table. The energy in this cast of characters is electric and is brimming with youthful sass and confidence.
Potential spinoff miniseries by Keiron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie.
THE FEARLESS FORAY
Ben is an adventurous explorer in search of exotic locales of the Marvel Universe, both familiar and as-yet-undiscovered. He selects a crew every bit as unusual as he is. Meta-textually, this team is designed to (mostly) be a collection of classic Jack Kirby creations with big personalities. Joining the orange rock-monster is…
a robot, Machine Man
a T-Rex, Devil Dinosaur
and a 9-year old Inhuman prodigy, Moon Girl(while Lunella Lafayette isn’t a Kirby creation like Moon Boy is, her Inhuman lineage does actually make her a member of a Kirby-created race).
This oddball cast brims with clashing personalities and injects a strong dose of unpredictable adventure to the book.
Potential spinoff miniseries by Dan Slott and Mike Allred.
Shifting from four individuals to four missions injects the Fantastic Four book with new blood. Instead of sacrificing the four personalities at the core, the new additions actually emphasize the identities of the classic members. It also approximates how the Fantastic Four might have been different under the leadership of Sue, Johnny or Ben.
By giving the FF “day jobs” with a cast of characters distinct from the core family unit, the book can better portray Marvel’s “first family” with recognizable and realistic family dynamics. With more time spent away from the family, the more valuable those moments become to the characters and the reader.
Having four equal narratives running throughout the book provides creative storytelling opportunities, from having four intersecting stories run parallel to one another in an Robert Altman manner. There could even be an arc or annual to be presented in four-quadrants of two-page spreads in the manner of Timecode.
0) Forewarning, I get a little more frank about my distaste for this film than I expected. So if you like this film and are tired of the criticisms about it, feel free to scroll past.
1) So this film had a troubled start. Fox took a while to pull the trigger and when they did Bryan Singer had signed on to direct Superman Returns which he now claims to regret. They hired Matthew Vaughn to direct - and he even made some casting and conceptual progress - but he had to bow out after a family issue. Then they brought in Brett Ratner because the film was rushed into production and he had made a successful film in a rush for the studio with Rush Hour. This - in my opinion - leads to a lot of the issues the film has.
2) This film does not open with the monologue which has opened both previous X-Men films, instead getting straight into a prologue involving Erik and Charles in 1986 visiting a young Jean Grey.
This is probably one of the earliest in depth uses of the CGI facelift technology which Hollywood seems to be all the rage about these days. It’s weird, I’m glad it doesn’t last long.
3) So in 1986 Charles can walk…but in X-Men: First Class he couldn’t walk because of Erik. Then in X-Men: Days of Future Past (before Wolverine altered the timeline) it was established he CAN walk at the expense of his powers. I can head canon a remedy for why Charles and Erik are working together despite being strained, but this is a great example of how continuity in the X-Men films kinda goes to crap after a while.
4) Not only do we get a Stan Lee cameo, but also a Chris Claremont cameo (Chris Claremont being one of the most quintessential X-Men comics writers).
(Claremont is the guy with the lawnmower, Stan Lee with the water hose.)
5) The intro scene with young Warren Worthington/Angel tearing off his wings is very much inline with the dark tone that the previous films had. Too bad nothing really comes of it.
6) The Danger Room.
Honestly this is one of the strongest elements of the film right here. We actually get to see the team sorta work together (as well as the one time Rogue actually uses her powers in this film), Logan in teaching mode is fun, Colossus has his one line in the whole film, and it’s a fun two minutes (I’m guessing at the time) of screen time.
7) I started discussing this in my X2 recap, but Cyclops in this film literally does nothing.
There were a lot of “casualties” born from the rushed production, and James Marsden was one of them. Cyclops was the badass leader of the X-Men in the comics, with great relationships with Jean and Professor X. In this film? He mopes about Jean’s death, goes shoots up a lake with his eye beams, then dies off screen within the first twenty minutes. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt as bad if he’d had more to do in X2 but you can remedy his lack of screen time in X2 with the promise that he’ll get to do something in this film. But no. No he doesn’t.
8) Similarly, Rogue in this film gets to do absolutely nothing.
All she does is feel bad about her powers, get shoved into an awkward and underdeveloped love triangle between her, Iceman and Kitty Pryde, stand in line at a pharmacy, and have her powers removed. She doesn’t even get a fight scene! This is the end of the trilogy. This is what Rogue was supposed to be growing into all along, the badass heroine we know from the comics. And while the continued conflict with her powers and total frustration with them is a good concept, it does not stand well on its own. It needs more. ROGUE needs more.
9) Kelsey Grammer as Beast.
According to IMDb, Grammer was cast when Matthew Vaughn was still directing. Which makes sense, because he is an absolutely fucking perfect fit for the character. In every way. Easily the best part of this film is Grammer as Beast. Like Alan Cumming as Nightcrawler in X2, you don’t feel like you’re watching an actor here. He perfectly represents not only the X-Man’s intellect but also his when needed ferocity. Unfortunately Beast gets a little lost in the mess of the film, but damn if Kelsey Grammer is not just totally phenomenal in the part (which makes the rest of the film’s mediocrity all the more disappointing).
10) The idea of a mutant ethics class taught by Professor Xavier is wonderful, and if explored a little more illustrates an inherent hypocrisy in the character. Professor X has not always been the stalwart in the comics that many believe him to be. He is flawed, often times superior and filled with hypocrisy. Saying one thing then doing another. This film gives us our best peak into that, teaching a class on mutant ethics before it being revealed that he - without consent - went into Jean’s mind and set up barricades. Making her afraid of her powers instead of teaching her to use them. Unfortunately this isn’t explored as in depth throughout the film as it could be.
11) One thing I really REALLY do not like about this film is Storm.
According to IMDb:
Halle Berry had initially decided not to reprise her role as Storm for this film, citing lack of character development in the previous two installments, and a tense relationship with Bryan Singer. However, after Singer’s departure, and suffering a major box-office flop with Catwoman (2004), Berry agreed to return, on the condition that her role be expanded. Consequently, in this film, Storm replaces Cyclops and Professor Xavier as team leader of the X-Men (which is keeping with the comics, where for a time Storm served as team leader in Xavier’s absence).
In the film’s attempt to make Storm stronger, the filmmakers instead make her impatient, judgmental, superior, angry, and rash. None of these are traits I would use to describe Storm in the previous two installments nor in the comics or any other medium. It is a total disservice to the wise, patient, empathetic character we were introduced to in X-Men. The one who stood by the bedside of a man who hated her just so he wouldn’t be alone when he died. Trust me, there are plenty of moments in this recap where I am going to be calling out Storm’s characterization.
12) I believe when Bryan Singer was slated to come up, the film was going to exclusively concern itself with the Dark Phoenix Saga. Instead with his departure, Jean Grey’s return as the Dark Phoenix is reduced to a subplot to the mutant cure plot. And honestly? The mutant cure is wildly interesting. Taking inspiration from the first arc of the Joss Whedon penned Astonishing X-Men, I am consistently more interested in the plot with the cure than the Dark Phoenix plot in this film. I think both (especially Dark Phoenix) are put to a disservice by being paired together, and instead they should have been their own thing.
13) Did I mention how much I dislike Storm’s characterization in this film?
Storm [after Beast tells them about the cure]: “Who would want this cure? I mean what kind of coward would take it just to fit in?”
Beast: “Not all of us can fit in so easily. You don’t shed on the furniture.”
First: this is remarkably judgmental of Storm, especially considering in X2 she offered Nightcrawler a safe place from the outside world. It just doesn’t make sense.
Second: GOOD ON YOU BEAST! Storm is being sort of ignorant in that statement. Her powers are practically invisible. But does she actually hear what Beast says? No. Because not two minutes later…
(Screenshot taken of a GIF set who’s source is unknown [if this screenshot is of your GIFs, please let me know].)
There are so many things I want to say about this, but I think it’s said perfectly in these comments from @marxisforbros, @helioscentrifuge, and @kawaiite-mage:
This - more than anything else - perfectly represents my issues with storm in the film.
14) Even in what is by far the weakest of the first three X-Men films, Ian McKellen as Magneto is still wonderfully strong.
Magneto [after a mutant asks why he has no tattoos]: “I had a mark once my dear and let me assure you no needle shall touch my skin again.”
15) Added to the seemingly infinite list of things which are underdeveloped because this film is trying to do too much, Pyro’s return brings nothing to the film. He’s not developed, he’s not peeled back, his rivalry with Iceman is never fully explored, he’s just there out of obligation to the ending of X2. Which is - like a lot of this film - unfortunate.
16) Another item to add to the above mentioned list: Ben Foster as Angel.
Angel is one of the founding members of the X-Men in the comics along with Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, and Iceman. And in this film he just serves no purpose. At all. I think he’s here largely for fan service but I think we only get three distinct scenes with him which are: he runs away from his father for trying to cure him, he is seen at Xavier mansion looking for a safe place, and he goes to save his father. He never really interacts with anyone, we never really get to see him fight, or develop. He just is present in the film.
17) Okay, for the sake of time, here is everything that this film is trying to do: the cure storyline, the Dark Phoenix saga, introduce and develop Angel, continue Rogue’s struggle with her powers, introduce Kitty Pryde, continue Pyro and Iceman’s rivalry, continue Logan’s feelings for Jean, while also introducing iconic characters like the Juggernaut. And none of these things are done well. They are all desperately fighting for time and development and end up being underserved and under baked.
Vinnie Jones as the Juggernaut is particularly disappointing because he could’ve been a great Juggernaut but ends up being stupid comic relief instead.
18) Mystique deserved a better end to her story than get cured, get ditched by Magneto, and feed the feds dirt on Magneto. Again, this is a result of the rushed production as Rebecca Romijn had other scheduling conflicts.
19) Jean Grey’s Dark Phoenix is also not really developed well. We don’t really get a peek into what it felt like to be held back for all these years with invasive and nonconsensual psychic barriers. Instead she’s really fucking horny, does a lot of weird standing around, occasionally has a moment of clarity where she begs for death, and then goes back into being someone who just stares in the distance and doesn’t really talk. And she also aligns herself with Magneto for some reason.
Xavier [after Jean wakes up and escapes]: “What have you done?…I warned you.”
Logan…literally did nothing. He didn’t wake her up, he didn’t let her lose. She woke up, talked to him, and escaped on her own. And you’re fucking giving him crap? What the hell did you do buddy? You created this. You taught her to be afraid of her powers! Don’t give me this Jedi Council mentality that you were doing the right thing all along by teaching her to be afraid of herself. Okay I’m done.
21) When you agree with “death to all humans” Magneto you know there’s a problem.
Xavier [about Jean]: “She needs help, she’s not well.”
Magneto: “Funny, you sound just like her parents.”
Magneto: “You’ve always held her back.”
Xavier: “For her own good!”
22) This film also suffers from just boring fight choreography. Like the fight at the house is sorta dumb and lazily choreographed in my opinion. Storm flying in the air at the beginning is cool but then everyone else is just kinda…hitting each other.
23) Xavier’s death is remarkably sudden. Like, too sudden. We are left in shock, not in tears. We don’t really have the time to process it. Although seeing the school in morning over his death is done well, the actual effect it has on the audience is miniscule.
24) You know what else this film totally drops the ball on? Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde.
You know what hurts most? Ellen Page could be a freaking amazing Kitty Pryde and the fact the character is so lackluster in the film is not through any fault of her own. Kitty is one of the most badass fan favorite characters in the X-Men comics, but instead of using that to their advantage the filmmakers decide to thrust her into a half baked love triangle with Iceman and Rogue and only have her use her powers for a few minutes in an overstuffed fight scene at the very end. We never really get to know her as a character or analyze her relationships with the other teammates. But it’s Academy Award nominated actress Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde! That should be way more awesome than the filmmakers ended up making it.
25) Hey, remember how the relationship between Logan and Rogue was so freaking amazing in the first film? Yeah, this is all we get of it in this film.
Rogue [when Logan catches her leaving X Mansion]: “I want to be able to touch people, Logan. A hug. A handshake. A kiss.”
Logan: “I hope you’re not doing this for some boy. If wanna go, then go. Just be sure it’s what you want.”
[Rogue asks Logan if he shouldn’t be telling her to stay.]
Logan [warmly]: “I’m not your father, I’m your friend.”
Man, I really need to watch the Rogue Cut of Days of Future Past.
26) The most frustrating part of this film is that there are great moments and aspects to it. Jackman is still great as Wolverine, Kelsey Grammer as Beast, the idea of the cure. This line in particular has always stood out to me.
Magento [after Pyro he says he could’ve killed Xavier if he’d been asked]: “Charles Xavier did more for mutants than you’ll ever know. My single greatest regret is that he head to die for our dream to live.”
That line is remarkably powerful, for even though the pair are at incredible odds with each other they’re friends. They have respect, they both want a similar goal (for mutants to be free form oppression) they just are going about it differently. I love that line.
27) Hey, remember how I said I really dislike Storm in this film?
Storm [after Jean killed the professor]: “She’s gone Logan, she’s not coming back.”
Storm: “She made her choice, now it’s time we make ours.”
Okay, first of all: isn’t Jean supposed to be like one of your best friends in the world? Weren’t you Xavier’s first students together? You wash your hands of her pretty freaking quickly and get REAL comfortable with that REAL fast. And then second: the hell do you mean she made her choice? SHE MADE NO CHOICE! This is the result of Professor X screwing around with her mind to the point where she can’t control her own damn powers! Like hell this is a choice! God, I hate what they did to Storm in this film.
28) Wait, is that…that’s R. Lee Ermey. The voice of a sergeant as the military prepares to go fight the brotherhood, that’s R. Lee Ermey!
Kitty: “There’s only six of us, Logan.”
Yeah, because Rogue doesn’t get to do anything, you killed off Cyclops, Angel is also barely there, you don’t really get developed as a character, and Colossus already had his one line for the film.
30) I think this is the last time I’ll say this, but I really hate what they did to Storm in this film.
Storm [to Logan, about Jean]: “But are you ready to do what you need to do when the time comes?”
Except for that weird line about what happens to a toad when it’s struck by lightning in X-Men, when has Storm ever gone into battle expecting to murder someone? What part of Xavier’s teachings or his memory would make her think that being EAGER to kill Jean is fucking okay? I just…ugh. Moving on.
31) One of the best parts of this film is the scene where Magneto moves the Golden Gate Bridge so it drops them all off on Alcatraz. It is an incredibly powerful and memorable visual and one of the standout aspects of the film.
32) So Magneto moves the Golden Gate Bridge, gets to Alcatraz (where the cure is being held), and sets his army of mutants lose before saying…
Magneto: “In chess the pawns go first.”
For one thing, Magneto is all into mutant brotherhood and everything. He has never once shown to think that one mutant’s right to live free was more important than the others, so why are these guys suddenly pawns. Secondly, and I don’t know how clear I can make this…
You have the freaking Dark Phoenix on your side, the most powerful mutant ever with no limits to her powers. AND SHE’S JUST GOING TO STAND THERE UNTIL THE BATTLE IS OVER!?!?
33) In the climactic battle, the X-Men don’t really fight like a team. At all. They’re sorta each doing their own thing while standing next to each other. It’s…boring.
34) Okay, this line is probably very stupid but I love it.
According to IMDb:
Cain Marko’s line “Don’t you know who I am? I’m the Juggernaut, bitch!” was inspired by a popular web parody film that made use of scenes from X-Men (1992). Throughout the parody , the Juggernaut character repeatedly says, “I’m the Juggernaut, bitch!” According to the Wikipedia, Brett Ratner even has a link to this parody on his own website.
35) I will say, even though this film has its problems, the way they defeat Magneto at the end (by distracting him with Wolverine) is very smart I think.
36) I have nothing to say about Phoenix’s demise that I haven’t said before. Underdeveloped, sorta doesn’t make sense, all that jazz.
37) So Rogue decided to get the mutant “cure” after all. And when she talks to Bobby about it…
Bobby: “This isn’t what I wanted.”
Rogue: “I know, it’s what I wanted.”
While I admire the idea for Rogue to take this decision in her own hands, I get the feeling the filmmakers were very noncommittal on this idea. They shot an alternate scene where Rogue tells Bobby she DIDN’T get the cure, meaning they didn’t really know which one fit the story better so they don’t invest in either idea. Also - and I said this earlier - Rogue didn’t do anything during the entire film.
38) The final glimpse of Magneto playing chess is actually a pretty nice way to end the film. It drives home how he has no one - not even Charles - while also setting up things to come. But…wouldn’t he still be under arrest? He’s still a terrorist, powers or not.
This film is an underdeveloped mess in my opinion. While there are still strong performances and worthwhile additions (notable Kelsey Grammer and the Golden Gate Bridge scene), there are characters who are just pretty much forgotten and the fact it’s trying to do too much means nothing is done particularly well. If you liked X2 you should watch it just to get some sort of closure after that film, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll enjoy it. It’s just…eh, in my opinion. I do not enjoy it.
Omg someone asked CC if she was wirting a book about Kit and Ty and she said "ask me after LoS." Do you think she's gonna kill either of them?? She said 5 people would be dying😫😓
I’m glad you asked! I don’t think she is hinting at death there! Because Cassie has tweeted about the protagonists in The Wicked Powers.
So this tweet she is saying that there will be a Herondale in TWP that isn’t Jace, i’m assuming Kit, unless there is another Herondale but i doubt that. So I’m pretty sure Kit won’t die, i mean it would be strange that he gets killed off, we’ve only just met him!
and in another tweet about TWP
she means Ty and Livvy because she says two Blackthorns, and Livvy and Ty are inseparable and Tavvy will only be 11 in the year of TWP (not the typical age for a YA protagonists) and Dru will be like.. 15? Cassie even confirmed Tavvy isn’t the protag so I’m sure it’s about Ty and Livvy. It’d make sense.
So what I’m saying is, no I don’t think either of them will die! So you can all take a sigh of relief.
but she’s definitely hinting at something there.
EDIT: Also Ty is autistic and I don’t think Cassie will kill of an autistic character since he represents neurotypical people and she knows the hate she will receive if she does kill off Ty.
Honestly I’m so conflicted about Cassandra Clare because TMI is so problematic and I want to hate her for that, but she also gave us a book with a realistically (from my understanding) autistic character, and there’s SO little neurodivergent representation in the media. Plus, she’s writing a whole book series where the aforementioned autistic character is one of the three main protagonists and possibly in a gay relationship with another protagonist. What do I do??? I don’t condone her choices for TMI, but I can’t help but love TDA so far!