Rumors that infamous planet-eater of the Marvel Universe, Galactus, is headed to the Marvel Cinematic Universe has fans buzzing with excitement. With Galactus comes a whole new side of the Marvel Cosmic Universe that fans have been waiting to see, as well as a certain set of heroes that the cosmic destroyer is inevitably tied to: The Fantastic Four.
Galactus’ introduction to the MCU as a way of introducing Fantastic Four to the franchise
As discussed on a recent episode of the ComicBook Nation Podcast, there’s a great opportunity to use Galactus’ introduction to the MCU as a way of also introducing the Fantastic Four to the franchise. First, let’s address the goals Marvel Studios has to meet while introducing the Fantastic Four to the MCU this late in the game:
- Reasonably explaining how the heroes get their powers now. Or, if they’re introduced as already established heroes, why they didn’t appear until now.
- Finding the right balance between the classic Fantastic Four of the Kirby era, and the modern versions that creators like Brian Michael Bendis and Jonathan Hickman won fans over with.
- Tell a compelling Fantastic Four story that combines superhero action, heady sci-fi concepts, family-drama, comedy, and heart.
Galactus is the perfect entry point to all this, thanks to the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
What is the idea?
The idea is this: Thanos obtaining and using the Infinity Gauntlet – and The Avengers later doing the same – will basically be used a major signal to the rest of the universe that Earth has become a major galactic threat and/or power. One fallout of that will be Galactus getting the signal that Earth houses a great source of power for him to consume.
Galactus’ origin story marks him as a being that existed in the old universe, before The Big Bang. It’s also been the case in comics that he’s shifted between dimensions of the multiverse (like the main Marvel 616 an Ultimate 16-10 universes). So, it’s no stretch that MCU Galactus is a being who traverses the entire Marvel multiverse looking for planets to consume – or that after both the Infinity Gauntlet snaps and Avengers’ “Time Heist,” Galactus now has eyes on the MCU 199999 dimension.
That brings us to the Fantastic Four. Galactus would be drawn to the MCU by the events of the Infinity Saga – but he wouldn’t come alone. Tracking Galactus would be none other than The Maker, a mysterious interdimensional hunter who is after the cosmic destroyer. The Maker would meet heroes of the MCU and reveal that he was a hero of his own dimension – a great scientist who was part of his Earth’s most famous team of heroes, The Fantastic Four. The flashbacks of The Maker’s days as Mr. Fantastic would be an Easter egg trove of Jack Kirby references, as that team would be the classic Fantastic Four that helped launch Marvel Comics in its ’60s heyday. However, a tragic end to the kitchsy fun days of this Fantastic Four would come with the arrival of Galactus in their universe.
Unlike the classic Fantastic Four storyline we know, The Maker would reveal to the MCU heroes that his team failed to stop Galactus because of some miscalculation in Reed’s world-saving device, resulting in his Earth and family being obliterated. He’d been on the hunt for Galactus ever since, and now that fight has come to Earth 1999999. The Maker would need this dimension’s Fantastic Four in order to be able correct his mistake and repel Galactus – only problem is, they don’t exist in the MCU.
Therein lies a Fantastic Four story that fans haven’t really seen before, but would embody all he great core aspects of the characters and their story.
The Maker and the Fantastic Four
The Fantastic Four movie would then introduce the MCU versions of Reed Richards and Gen Grimm, who are recruited by SHIELD to meet Sue and Johnny Storm, at the behest of The Maker. The middle act of the film would be a unique family comedy, as four people destined to form an unbreakable bond have to navigate the major awkwardness of not yet knowing one another, or why they should like one another at all. On top of that comedic / dramatic richness, would be the heady sci-fi twist of The Maker artificially re-creating the incident that gave his Fantastic Four their powers, and forcing the MCU Reed, Sue, Johnny and Ben to go through the process without their consent or knowledge.
With The Maker revealed to be more mad scientist than noble hero, a newly-powered, totally inexperienced, and completely dysfunctional Fantastic Four team would have trust in fate and each other, to come together and build the world-saving device and stop Galactus. As a result of doing so, The Fantastic Four would become the world’s most famous heroes – but instead of blue spandex, they’d do it their way and start the Future Foundation.
Final twist: The Maker’s origin story would be revealed to be a lie. His family never died, they just left him when Reed turned evil. It would be The Maker who somehow got control of Galactus and brought him to the MCU, in the hopes of being left unchecked to conduct his crazy experiment with the universe, and hopefully be allied with a version of his family that isn’t trying to bring him down.