Prepare for Doom’s day…
Fox haven’t done particularly well with the Fantastic Four, whereas their X-Men franchise has been mostly well received, its efforts with Marvel’s first family have never passed the dizzy heights of being a bit ‘Meh.’ Tim Story’s Fantastic Four and its sequel Fantastic Four:Rise of the Silver Surfer didn’t do too badly at the box office but fandom hated them with a fury, the likes of which had not been equalled until the 13th Doctor was revealed to be female. They were too camp you see, cosmic rays granting super powers is a deadly serious affair.
In what must must have been a moment of utter madness, Fox took the criticism a little too hard and decided to reboot the Fantastic Four with a ‘grittier’ and more ‘modern’ sensibility. That always ends well. The result was Josh Trank’s 2015 take on the team, which fans and critics both agreed was a complete and utter fail; killing both the franchise and Trank’s career.
So it should come as no surprise that Fox want to revitalise and reboot the Fantastic Four franchise, but avoid the actual Fantastic Four. Makes sense. Now, spin-offs for popular related characters is the way to go.
The first was announced at the tail end of Legion’s first ever panel at San Diego Comic-Con, creator Noah Hawley said:“It’s worth mentioning a film I’m developing at Fox which you guys might be excited about. I’ll just say two words. The first one is ‘Doctor’, and the second one is ‘Doom.’” Exciting.
Debuting in 1962’s ‘Fantastic Four #5’, Doctor Doom a dictator, genius, and sorcerer, was the first true supervillain, intimidating name and all, of the fledgling Marvel Universe. In his first appearance, he captured the Invisible Woman to force the remaining members of the Fantastic Four to travel back in time and retrieve enchanted treasure from Blackbeard. Although Mr Fantastic managed to trick him with some old chains, so at that time his evil genius powers must have been low.
Before he was a super villain, Victor Von Doom belonged to a group of Roma living in Latveria, menaced by a tyrant named the Baron, and protected his people using a combination of technical wizardry and sorcery. Which led to an invitation from Empire State University in the US, his first meeting with Reed Richards, and developing the machine that was meant to travel to the afterlife but would actually explode in his face. Ever since his initial encounter with the Fantastic Four, Doom has tried to best them using: mind swaps, hallucinogenic berry juice, stolen cosmic powers, and sorcery. Failing each time, but we all love a supervillain who tries, especially when they have such an endearing tendency to refer to themselves in the third person, and pun their own name, as Doom is want to do.
As well as a solo venture for Marvel’s greatest villain, LEGO Batman co-writer, Seth Grahame-Smith is rumoured to be developing a film featuring Franklin and Valeria Richards, the children of Mr Fantastic and the Invisible Woman. Which may or may not explore the trouble a boy with reality altering powers and his super smart sister can cause a robot guardian named HERBIE. The answer would be: a lot.
The as yet untitled Doctor Doom and Franklin Richards spin-offs are yet to receive a release date.