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Old November 9th, 2015   TJLamb0518 is offline   #1
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Default So, let's have some fun with the FF

....because someone has to.


We all know at some point when all the issues with the FF movies and Marvel are worked out that the comic will be reintroduced, right? BUT, the team has not been a top seller in a long time. So, when they are reintroduced things should be shaken up to be more distinctive and make them a better seller. Let's spit-ball what Marvel might or should do to make the book a competitor.

My ideas:

1) Sue should be leader. Nothing against Reed (well, a LOT against Reed actually) but being the smartest guy does not make him the best leader. He should be the science guy, the inventor, the brains of the outfit and Ben is definitely the heart of the team but Susan is the soul of the team. And, as has been infrequently seen, she's the one who has been training with the use of her powers and expanding what she can do and testing herself. In other words, she's the most improved one when it comes to being combat-ready. I think she has a tactical depth that can be explored to no end. And I think she is the one who would grasp that....

2) The leader should really be more of an....overarching title. These guys have been heroes forever, they shouldn't need someone to shout orders and plans in the heat of a battle. They KNOW what they can do. They have mostly been the same team for the entirety of their existence so they know what each other can do. You don't need to tell Johnny to catch Sue when they are plummeting from a great height...he'll do it.

3) Reed needs governance. Yes, he's the smartest man on the planet, but he also embodies the old axiom that knowledge does not equal wisdom. Since their first appearance, Reed has shown a propensity for big plans without seeing all the consequences. Civil War? The man was convinced that registration was the only viable option. Here we are years later and well....guess he was wrong. Secret Wars? He and the others spent months scrambling to stop the incursions and save everyone....and Doom ended up being the one to do it. If Doom hadn't done whatever he did, Reed and the Illuminati would have failed. And there are countless other examples where Reed's lofty ideas that break the boundaries of human knowledge end up with a huge amount of fallout. I mean, the man not only put his highly visible headquarters in the midst of midtown Manhattan (causing it to be launched into space TWICE), he regularly launches rockets from it AND has an unregulated inter dimensional portal in it! YIKES!!!! And on top of all this, Reed's BIGGEST failing is that he feels the need to keep a ton of secrets from his team, which is his FAMILY. And these secrets are never small. They're huge secrets that bite the team on their unstable molecules. He needs to be watched.

4) Johnny....they need to do something with him. He's been a hero longer than Spider-Man, longer than Cyclops, longer than 99.9999% of the Marvel Universe and he still comes across like the hotheaded kid he was in the 60's. Either he needs to be written as an experienced, battle hardened hero (he can still have fun, just not infantile fun) or be shown to be brain damaged and have his place on the team filled by Jim Hammod or Toro.

5) Mark Waid I think played up the idea that this team are not super-heroes they are "Imaginauts". Play THAT up. Let Doom be the boogeyman of the entire Marvel U and let the FF push boundaries and explore.
 
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Old November 9th, 2015   starks is offline   #2
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Never really read their title on an ongoing basis, so this may be sacrilege, but I'd disband the group and actually have them in four separate titles.

The first would be that I'd Planet Hulk Reed, shoot him to outer space & see if the "Smartest Man Alive" can survive on his own in a strange environment. Make it a space traveling book too, perhaps, exploring new worlds until he finally finds his own. I'd have Banner as the person who did this to him. Title would be Mr. Fantastic, naturally.

The second would be The Invisible Woman: Agent of SHIELD. Make this an espionage title.

The third would be The Thing, make this a title like the old Hulk TV show, him just wandering. No family, no team, no direction. But show that he has the ability to mask his look (like The Chameleon or Deadpool can do), and that he got this tech not from Reed, but from Banner, saying that it's a temporary fix & he's working on a cure for him. Perhaps have Banner as a mentor of sorts.

The fourth would be Johnny Storm. I'd make this a regular super hero comic, give him his own villains and everything. Have him have the ability to make fire constructs as well.

Lastly, don't know how old the kids are, but I'd age them enough (say tweens or teens) and have them create their own Fantastic Four group by adding new members (title would actually be called The Fantastic Four). Maybe have Banner as a tutor/mentor as well.
 
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Old November 9th, 2015   superfriend is offline   #3
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i'd close Secret Wars with something like the threat of the break-up of Reed and Sue and have that be one of the few things that carry over into ANAD. if the theme is family, then start with this one being broken...

and then rebuild the concept for a modern audience. you need diversity and you need female strength.

i like the idea of Sue being leader and that it's not a "phase". she proves it takes more than intellect to keep a family together and in the final analysis Reed has a good deal to answer for for his patriarchal bravado. let's have Sue run things and let's have that be the new normal. i'd have Sue running everything FF and being the backbone, move everything over to Storm Enterprises because Reed forfeited all his inventions and have her do a name change from Sue Richards to Sue Storm-Richards. the conflict would be an inevitable divorce proceeding but that would be avoided by reconciliation. the structural/business side should stay with Sue along with the new hyphenated last name. Sue changes.

i like oversight for Reed. i'd like to see him sort've paying his debt to society by being an indentured servant to SHIELD. akin to SHIELD's relationship to Banner in some portrayals over the years. he's taking orders but he's also repurposing some of SHIELD's resources to keep tabs on Victor and trying to actively work against Maker or something. he should be soul searching and trying to put off the divorce papers Sue sends him but he's still up to his old tricks...until he finally realizes the importance of family for the first time, again. Reed needs to soliloquize how he's always misunderstood things like humility and empathy and love exactly because they can't be measured or quantified empirically. Reed changes.

Johnny does need to grow up. since Reed and Sue aren't the core anymore Johnny should settle down with Crystal...have Johnny be part of the Royal Family for awhile and try and find his purpose there. have a kid or two with Crystal. but his perpetual restlessness should keep him ready for an F4 reunion and adventure at any time. Jim or Toro can fill in/be primaries. having an android veteran or the Benito Serrano Toro slotted in from the Secret Wars shift make for some nice variety and diversity. probably opt for the youth and diversity of the Young Allie's Toro.

Ben is in outer space with the Guardians. honestly, Ben is the one i wouldn't mind seeing racebent. his street-level Marvel NY connections suit a different ethnic origin and despite his human appearance it doesn't change the character's visual at all. can't think of a way to do it tastefully though. making a big deal about Ben changing back to human to have the elephant in the room be he's a different race derails a story so badly. not sure about the Thing.

i'd launch the book with #650. Marvel's worn out the renumbering thing so much they only have swerves at this point and everyone's expecting a shiny, new #1. seeing as how the last volume ended with #645 in April 2015 you give the internet something to work on with the 4 "Lost Episodes" and what occurred inside them. and because #645 was a $6 final issue it got the base out (as they say in this election season) to the tune of a little over 39k. to make this a best seller, it's going to need as many variants, incentives, schemes, hooks, gimmicks and whatever else you can think of to try and triple that number with a relaunch. storywise, come in media res with it and have it be "darkest before the dawn" with a thing-that-shall-not-be-named in the threat of a first-ever Marvel divorce proceeding. it's perfectly tacky enough to be a Marvel move and it bookends nicely with the fear of divorce so palpable with Marvel that they had Peter Parker work with the devil to avoid it.

i'd save the real story of Reed being served with divorce papers for the 4-parter in Fantastic Four #646-649 that would be published retroactively sometime around the culmination of the storyline and its resolution after say the first 8 issues.

i'd make the first year basically a team-up book following Reed and Sue with occasional interaction with Ben (who is starring in the Guardians already) and a new member to the Inhumans' ensemble, Johnny. SHIELD leaning on Reed to use his vaunted intellect and rolodex to team and neutralize various threats and Sue remapping new pathways for a 21st century F4 by working with regents and dignitaries like T'Challa and Namor and freelance heroes who come under her employ as "on-call" F4 members.

Valeria and Franklin need an outlet. a new Power Pack #1 would sell to nostalgists and is a workable concept anyway...lots of adventure with a youth movement. depending on how old they're portrayed, you get all kinds of teen issues you can deal with (gender identification, sexuality, body image).

because being a top seller not named Batman or Star Wars and trying to maintain existence beyond the launch issue is hard these days, an A game needs to be brought. who does Marvel have/could get that would be a good fit/exciting for people to want to check out?

the above isn't necessarily everything i care about or want but if the stipulation is to have a successful F4 book/brand then these are the things that immediately come to mind...like you said, spitballing.

ultimately the book can win on the concept of high adventure, imagination, a vast history of both and a hint of old-timey heroism but its got to get people's attention first.
Last edited by superfriend; November 9th, 2015 at 11:24 AM.
 
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Old November 9th, 2015   superfriend is offline   #4
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Jim or Toro can fill in/be primaries. having an android veteran or the Benito Serrano Toro slotted in from the Secret Wars shift make for some nice variety and diversity. probably opt for the youth and diversity of the Young Allie's Toro.
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that's hilarious. i've never even read that new Young Allies series, i just knew there was a new Toro in it. decided to look this guy up out of curiosity...he doesn't have flame powers, he turns into a man-bull...

i have no business talking about this stuff. lol
 
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Old November 10th, 2015   Green Guardsman is offline   #5
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I would move them out of New York and put them in a city that does not have a hero on every corner. And I get rid of the extra characters like the Future Foundation kids. Just focus on the original 4 and Reed and Sue's children.
 
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Old November 10th, 2015   Amentep is offline   #6
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I like a lot of the ideas here (and I'd totally read Invisible Woman: Agent of SHIELD, just saying - the recent AoS issue with her in it was one of the best ones in that series). And moving from New York might not be a bad idea either although I imagine long term fans may call foul. But the long time fans aren't reading it enough to keep it afloat so maybe change will get new fans in (or if it fails, when the traditional take returns make old fans embrace what they weren't realizing they were missing).

Hmmm....okay so I'm probably lousy at this stuff but, lets see...

So for me when I think about revitalizing a team (like I've done this before, ha-ha) I like to go back to what the team was about. In the old days they were explorers of the scientific fantastic as much as superheroes. Mark Waid called them imaginauts. But they found ancient civilization, weird science menaces, other dimensions. But over the years their biggest villains (Doom, Annhilus, etc) have become world level threats.

Marvel Universe already has (several) Avengers groups to handle the big threats. Putting the FF against world spanning villains will only lead to "Where are the Avengers/X-Men/Other Avengers/no really what about the other other Avengers".

Returning to the explorers of the fantastic manifests in my mind as a path for the team defined by exploring the unknown and solving mysteries. If the Avengers are the go-to guys now for a menace attacking the world, the Fantastic Four should be the go to guys when something completely unknown and unrecognizable or impossible happens.

This could be represented in a number of ways; for example a story arc might feature the FF having to travel through an ancient portal to another realm to find a missing town, they may be called upon to solve an impossible locked-room murder of a former super-villain, investigate why a series of people across the globe are finding multiple versions of themselves showing up at their work and home; race to find a way to stop a ten dimensional being from breaking three dimensional space. Think big, think weird.

They could still come into conflict with their biggest villains but rather than "Fantastic Four go to Latveria (again) to face Doom", make it more about investigating, unraveling and foiling plans than necessary fisticuffing Doom (again).

In this capacity I'd split the group between two areas.

RESEARCH TEAM (Future Foundation): Led by Reed, this team features the Future Foundation group. While still an educational environment for the kids, and a workshop/think tank for moving the MarvelU forward, it also serves as a data gathering and analysis team for whatever the main team is working on/investigating.

RESPONSE TEAM (Fantastic Four): Led by Sue, this team also includes Johnny and Ben. I'd add a fourth member of the team (to be a "Fantastic Four"), but I'm a little torn on who I'd use as there's a lot of different people who could be interesting. To allow Johnny to remain mature, the new character should take the place of team conflict generator. To balance the team powerwise, I'd prefer a character with subtler powers than Johnny or Ben. And I'd want to avoid characters who've already been FF members so that it doesn't feel like I'm treading the past.

If you've read this far and don't already think that the title as I've planned out is cancellation bait then my perfect candidate for 4th member of the team will probably lead you to think of that - Moondragon.

Moondragon - despite mellowing in the DnA Guardians series still has the ability to create team conflict. She's teamed up with Thing before and has ties to a lot of the more cosmic parts of the Marvel U which makes her a great knowledgebase (and she has Titanian science training). Her telepathic powers make her an addition to the team worth the potential conflict she could cause - they'd be essential in first contact scenarios and in inquiries into mysteries. She's not currently being used (to my knowledge) in the Marvel U and IIRC when last seen she thought that Phyla Vel was still "out there". So her reason to join is that the Future Foundation has agreed to investigate the matter to help her find what happened to Phyla.

In a way, to differentiate the FF from the Avengers, I'd push the group into Comic Book CSI territory. They can still face their old advesaries, but have them do it sparingly and in different ways. Concentrate on the dynamics of the characters without forcing drama (like the legal loss of the kids felt in the Robinson series). Does Reed take to the role of being lead teacher to the kids? Does Sue feel guilty leading a team that gives Reed more time with the kids than her? What does a maturer Johnny do now? What friends does he still have in his life? Where does the decidedly unscientific Ben fit in in a group that is full of egg-heads? How long will Moondragon be patient with the FF to get their help?

Like I said, it'd probably be canceled by 12 but at the very least it'd try to stake out a different part of the Marvel U than that occupied by the other "batlling the big bad" groups do.
 
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Old November 10th, 2015   TJLamb0518 is offline   #7
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I would move them out of New York and put them in a city that does not have a hero on every corner. And I get rid of the extra characters like the Future Foundation kids. Just focus on the original 4 and Reed and Sue's children.
ddf
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Would you want them to remain in the US? Chicago would be GREAT, but I could also see London or even Dublin being a unique place for them....
 
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Old November 10th, 2015   TJLamb0518 is offline   #8
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I like a lot of the ideas here (and I'd totally read Invisible Woman: Agent of SHIELD, just saying - the recent AoS issue with her in it was one of the best ones in that series). And moving from New York might not be a bad idea either although I imagine long term fans may call foul. But the long time fans aren't reading it enough to keep it afloat so maybe change will get new fans in (or if it fails, when the traditional take returns make old fans embrace what they weren't realizing they were missing).

Hmmm....okay so I'm probably lousy at this stuff but, lets see...

So for me when I think about revitalizing a team (like I've done this before, ha-ha) I like to go back to what the team was about. In the old days they were explorers of the scientific fantastic as much as superheroes. Mark Waid called them imaginauts. But they found ancient civilization, weird science menaces, other dimensions. But over the years their biggest villains (Doom, Annhilus, etc) have become world level threats.

Marvel Universe already has (several) Avengers groups to handle the big threats. Putting the FF against world spanning villains will only lead to "Where are the Avengers/X-Men/Other Avengers/no really what about the other other Avengers".

Returning to the explorers of the fantastic manifests in my mind as a path for the team defined by exploring the unknown and solving mysteries. If the Avengers are the go-to guys now for a menace attacking the world, the Fantastic Four should be the go to guys when something completely unknown and unrecognizable or impossible happens.

This could be represented in a number of ways; for example a story arc might feature the FF having to travel through an ancient portal to another realm to find a missing town, they may be called upon to solve an impossible locked-room murder of a former super-villain, investigate why a series of people across the globe are finding multiple versions of themselves showing up at their work and home; race to find a way to stop a ten dimensional being from breaking three dimensional space. Think big, think weird.

They could still come into conflict with their biggest villains but rather than "Fantastic Four go to Latveria (again) to face Doom", make it more about investigating, unraveling and foiling plans than necessary fisticuffing Doom (again).

In this capacity I'd split the group between two areas.

RESEARCH TEAM (Future Foundation): Led by Reed, this team features the Future Foundation group. While still an educational environment for the kids, and a workshop/think tank for moving the MarvelU forward, it also serves as a data gathering and analysis team for whatever the main team is working on/investigating.

RESPONSE TEAM (Fantastic Four): Led by Sue, this team also includes Johnny and Ben. I'd add a fourth member of the team (to be a "Fantastic Four"), but I'm a little torn on who I'd use as there's a lot of different people who could be interesting. To allow Johnny to remain mature, the new character should take the place of team conflict generator. To balance the team powerwise, I'd prefer a character with subtler powers than Johnny or Ben. And I'd want to avoid characters who've already been FF members so that it doesn't feel like I'm treading the past.

If you've read this far and don't already think that the title as I've planned out is cancellation bait then my perfect candidate for 4th member of the team will probably lead you to think of that - Moondragon.

Moondragon - despite mellowing in the DnA Guardians series still has the ability to create team conflict. She's teamed up with Thing before and has ties to a lot of the more cosmic parts of the Marvel U which makes her a great knowledgebase (and she has Titanian science training). Her telepathic powers make her an addition to the team worth the potential conflict she could cause - they'd be essential in first contact scenarios and in inquiries into mysteries. She's not currently being used (to my knowledge) in the Marvel U and IIRC when last seen she thought that Phyla Vel was still "out there". So her reason to join is that the Future Foundation has agreed to investigate the matter to help her find what happened to Phyla.

In a way, to differentiate the FF from the Avengers, I'd push the group into Comic Book CSI territory. They can still face their old advesaries, but have them do it sparingly and in different ways. Concentrate on the dynamics of the characters without forcing drama (like the legal loss of the kids felt in the Robinson series). Does Reed take to the role of being lead teacher to the kids? Does Sue feel guilty leading a team that gives Reed more time with the kids than her? What does a maturer Johnny do now? What friends does he still have in his life? Where does the decidedly unscientific Ben fit in in a group that is full of egg-heads? How long will Moondragon be patient with the FF to get their help?

Like I said, it'd probably be canceled by 12 but at the very least it'd try to stake out a different part of the Marvel U than that occupied by the other "batlling the big bad" groups do.
ddf
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I like the idea of the split, but am very nervous about Reed leading a research team when he and Valeria seem to (again) not think things through when they get all science-y.


And for a fourth member I'd go with someone like Quasar before Moondragon, but that's just me.
 
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Old November 10th, 2015   Amentep is offline   #9
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Quasar is a good character and could work, but would he really drive any conflict with the group? You're right about Reed and Valeria, BUT I think getting him away from leading the team could make him oddly enough more responsible to his family.

Although to be honest, putting Quasar as the head of the research team and Reed as a member of the other team but not the leader could work...

Not that I guess it matters, I mean my book is a guaranteed cancel at 7.
 
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Old November 11th, 2015   Green Guardsman is offline   #10
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Would you want them to remain in the US? Chicago would be GREAT, but I could also see London or even Dublin being a unique place for them....
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I was thinking of Miami, which would put them close to both NASA and the Bermuda Triangle, opening up both cosmic and inter-dimensional weird and wild stuff.
 
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Old November 12th, 2015   BART ALLEN is offline   #11
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Karl Kesel and Tom Grummette and Karl Kesel is still my idea
 
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Old November 14th, 2015   TJLamb0518 is offline   #12
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Karl Kesel and Tom Grummette and Karl Kesel is still my idea
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Bart, while I agree the creative team is important....we're talking about "in book" direction.
 
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Old January 7th, 2016   Amentep is offline   #13
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Bart, while I agree the creative team is important....we're talking about "in book" direction.
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Maybe he wants Kessel to be Johnny Storm to Grummet's Ben Grimm?
 
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