10 Characters Worthy of Inclusion in the MCU’s ‘The Fantastic Four’

When the First Family of Marvel Comics finally joins the MCU in 2025, it will have been a decade since Fant4astic Four was in theaters and TWO DECADES since Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis brought the team into live-action for the first time in 2005’s Fantastic Four. With the 2007 film Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer added in, Fox made three live-action films in 10 years and all fans got out of it were 2 awful Doctor Dooms, one cosmic fart cloud that was supposed to be Galactus and zero idea of just how fantastic the world of the Fantastic Four really is. Marvel Studios has been working on the project since 2019 and if there’s one thing they’ve hopefully kept in mind while doing so, it should be that working with the Fantastic Four means working with some of Marvel Comics most fascinating characters and ideas and enough storytelling capital to redefine the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Creating the MCU’s The Fantastic Four isn’t like creating a film in a solo franchise so that the characters in that film can show up in the next installment of The Avengers; creating the MCU’s The Fantastic Four is creating a film with characters, environments and themes so rich that they lead to their own “event films” within the FF’s corner of the MCU. Other characters should be so lucky as to crossover into future FF films rather than the FF being the guests. While the plot of The Fantastic Four is being kept locked away for now, FF mainstays Doctor Doom, Galactus and the Silver Surfer are all rumored to have some role in the (maybe) ’60s set film. That’s all well and good and the FF would not be the FF without those characters; however, for Marvel Studios to really set its adaptation apart from Fox’s (and to convince fans they know how to handle the property better than Fox did), they’ll need to tap into the very deep well of heroes and villains associated with the Fantastic Four and do some significant world-building. Fortunately, that’s something director Matt Shakman has experience with, having worked a bit on HBO’s Game of Thrones and a lot of Apple TV’s Monarch: Legacy of Monsters. With that said, should Marvel Studios and Shakman have the big picture and the long game in mind, here are XXXX characters they should be sure to sow the seeds for in The Fantastic Four.

Red Ghost

The artwork which served as the official casting announcement of Pedro Pascal, Vanessa Kirby, Joseph Quinn and Ebon Moss-Bachrach as the Fantastic Four hinted at a potential 1960s setting for The Fantastic Four. Furthermore, the photo of astronaut Ben Grimm in the background could also indicate that the Space Race may play some role in the film. If so, Ivan Kragoff would be an ideal candidate to appear in the film. Kragoff both fits the mold of many Marvel Studios villains in that his origins as a villain are uniquely tied to the heroes and he also has enough ties to other characters and potential storylines that he could be kept around and used again down the road. A brilliant Russian scientist, Kragoff was fascinated with Cosmic Rays and, following the exposure of the Fantastic Four to them built his own spacecraft, loaded it up with primates and intentionally exposed himself to Cosmic Rays as well. He and his simian sidekicks were all mutated by the exposure and took on the Fantastic Four on the Blue Area of the Moon. Everything about the character and his early exploits screams campy ’60s sci-fi and with the film reportedly looking to cast an older, male villain, Red Ghost makes as much sense as anyone!


If Marvel Studios fails to introduce the Negative Zone and Annihilus through either The Fantastic Four or a sequel, it will stand as a massive waste of a rich storytelling opportunity and an example of gross negligence on their part. Reed’s discovery of the Negative Zone and subsequent exploration of it taps into one of the core values of the Fantastic Four–they are a family of adventurers! Beyond that, the Bug King is one of Marvel Comics most fascinating villains and, in terms of the threat he poses, could stand on the level of Thanos. Among Marvel Studios unused villains, Annihilus stands alongside Magneto and Doctor Doom as having the most narrative potential. All it would take is for Shakman to make mention of the Negative Zone (he’s already shown a willingness to tease via Easter eggs and references over the course of WandaVision) and establish the potential for the anti-matter universe to matter down the road. As much as I’d like to see post-credit scenes disappear, an Annihilus stinger would get back to what was great about them in the first place.

Molecule Man

Jonathan Hickman did with Owen Reece what he does best and made him ten times more interesting through is arc in 2015’s Secret Wars. It’s not to say that the Molecule Man wasn’t already a notable character, however, only that the greater, multiversal purpose given to him by Hickman made him an essential Marvel Comics character. That version of him doesn’t need to exist here (though it sure would be a lot cooler if it did) but his connection to The Beyonder and the Beyonders, who could well end up being the new big bad of the Multiverse Saga, would make him a worthwhile addition to the film.

Mole Man

The Fantastic Four’s first villain, Harvey Elder needs to be given his due! In August 1961’s Fantastic Four #1, Elder and his army of monsters attempted to take over the surface world before being defeated by Reed, Sue, Johnny and Ben…and he never forgot it. As Mole Man stewed on his throne on Monster Isle, the rule of Subterranea and his moloids launched plot after plot against the Fantastic Four. Matt Shakman can find a way to work Mole Man into the script without taking too much time away from the main plot and by doing so, bring the kingdom of Subterranea to life for use in a future project.

The Wizard

Though he didn’t debut in the pages of a Fantastic Four comic, Bentley Wittman is as fantastic of a Fantastic Four villain as any. Another super genius, Wittman’s obsession with the Fantastic Four–especially with Reed’s intellect–makes him a fine inclusion while his potential for campiness and relative inability to provide a true threat to the team could also provide some comic relief. Including him in the first film might also open the door for the formation of The Frightful Four in a sequel (yeah, the timeline stuff may make that rough) which would be an incredibly fun group to bring into live-action. Ultimately a loser that the audience will learn to love, The Wizard really seems like a must. I wonder if Ben Stiller is busy?

The House of Agon

Whatever parts of ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. you might like to hold onto, the presentation of Inhumans and the subsequent disaster of a series that introduced the Inhuman Royal Family can’t truly be among them. Fortunately, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness established that somewhere in the Multiverse there’s an actual Black Bolt and if there’s one, there can be another and yes, The Fantastic Four might just be the best place to introduce whatever version of the Inhumans the MCU eventually wants to use (if they do at all). If The Fantastic Four is set in the 1960s, it actually provides the perfect opportunity to introduce the Inhuman Royal Family who first appeared in the comics in Fantastic Four #45. Like many of the characters on the list, the House of Agon wouldn’t need to take up much screentime in order to bring them into the MCU and allow for further use later. A mention of an encounter with them or a visit to their Great Refuge is all it would take to establish their existence within the MCU. Should the MCU really want to get funky, they could take their cues for the 616 Inhumans from Alex Ross’ Earth X series.

The Puppet Master

There’s no doubt that working Phillip Masters into the MCU would take some creative thinking on the part of Shakman and scribe Josh Friedman but if his daughter, Alicia, is going to be part of the plan down the road, then giving the Puppet Master some screen time shouldn’t be too much to ask. A weird dude, to be sure, he could provide a different, serial stalker kind of threat to the team.

Impossible Man

Deemed “too unusual and too frivolous” by his own creator, Stan Lee, The Impossible Man is a bit Mr. Mxyzptlk-ish and while he’s no villain, he’s a giant pain in the ass. Disruptive and obnoxious, he’s also served as guide to the heroes in their time of need and as a walking–sometimes floating–talking encyclopedia. If the FF are already established as heroes, as the artwork seems to indicate they are, a cameo by The Impossible Man would be…fanastic.

The Mad Thinker

A stereotypical mad scientist, the Mad Thinker could, like Bentley Wittman, provide an ongoing antagonist for the team without ever providing much of a threat. A ’60s setting is perfect for the Mad Thinker, whose obsession with robots and early A.I. could allow for some light-hearted moments, provide an antagonist for another member of the team who showed up in the artwork (H.E.R.B.I.E.) and, of course, lead to the inclusion of his greatest creation: Awesome Andy.


If the Negative Zone is going to truly make its way into the fabric of the MCU, than Annihilus can’t be the only would be conqueror to make his way to Earth. Reed’s exploration of the Negative Zone led him into contact with the one time King of Baluur who became a frequent foe of the Fantastic Four over the years. The Living Bomb-Burst also went on to play a major role in Marvel Comics Annihilation event before becoming King of the Negative Zone. He’s a wonderfully designed character who could really help set the Fantastic Four’s corner of the MCU apart from the rest.

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