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YMMV: Fantastic Four

The comics:

  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Sure, Reed is normally portrayed as brilliant and somewhat arrogant (more so after Civil War), but read these pages to see the Hidden Depths to the character. Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming and Tear Jerker.
      • In brief: Reed is just a humble scientist who couldn't care less about being famous or admired. His quest to turn his best friends into revered superheroes was all just penance for robbing them of the chance to live normal lives, because he knew they would have been exploited and used as lab experiments if they didn't have the public's love on their side.
    • Alternatively, Reed is a Villain with Good Publicity and the only reason he has yet to Take Over the World it is because Doctor Doom keeps distracting him.
      • May actually be canon, following Civil War. Certainly Doom held at least once press conference pointing out the atrocities being committed by Reed Richards and Tony Stark in the name of Security.
      • Pot to kettle: "You are black."
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Dr. Doom is an incredibly popular villain, which can lead to dissonance between exactly how evil and villainous he is and exactly how evil and villainous his fans think he is.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Doom has arguably become just as popular, if not more so, than the FF themselves, due in no small part to his Memetic Badass status amongst fans (which is not that inaccurate, as it turns out).
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Some people think Wizard looks somewhat silly with his odd shaped helmet and pink spandex costume.
    • Trapster when he was called Paste Pot Pete seemed to fit the bill, back then he looked like a rather sloppy Mad Artist (with a beret, giant bow tie and goofy mustache) rather then a fearsome super villain. Some of his later costumes were an improvement.
  • Ho Yay: There's an alternate universe where Reed married Johnny. Nuff said.
    • Johnny and Spider-Man have some epic bromance moments, including (but not limited to) Peter joking that Johnny got him pregnant .
    • To say nothing of Doom's obsession with Reed (there are LOTS of disturbing fanfics about the two) and Ben's sometimes heartwarmingly (and awkwardly) close relationships with both Reed and Johnny.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Thing started out as one, constantly lamenting about his appearance and picking fights with Johnny at every given opportunity, going so far as to threaten throwing a car at him. This tension reached the ultimate breaking point when, Johnny, after a massive argument with Ben, temporarily quit the FF, of which Ben couldn't have been more happy. Even when his relationship with Alica began, it was constantly riddled with Wangst over the fact that Alicia preferred The Thing over Ben.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Doctor Doom is a perfect example in the Marvel Universe. Through a lethal combination of magic, technological prowess, and manipulative brilliance he's been their definitive supervillain (and arguably, THE definitive supervillain), and the Big Bad of more crisis crossovers than can conveniently be counted. When a Norse God and the Devil both consider you a Worthy Opponent you qualify in a major way.
  • Mary Suetopia: Latveria, Depending on the Writer, in which case Dr. Doom's reign is depicted to be unrealistically benevolent.
  • Memetic Mutation: "It's clobberin' time!"
  • Memetic Sex Goddess: Susan Richards.
    • "FLAME ON!"
  • Moral Event Horizon:
  • Name's the Same: Nathanial Richards shares a name with Kang the Conqueror. They're different characters, though it's strongly implied the man who would become Kang was not only his direct descendant, but was inspired by the time-traveling ventures of his namesake who created the very utopia he grew disenchanted with, making him something of a Legacy Character.
  • Never Live It Down: Has any writer ever let Namor forget he used to have a crush on Sue?
    • Namor still has a crush on Sue. Sue will never live down the fact that she used to crush on him, too.
    • Trapster was originally named Paste Pot Pete before he changed his name to Trapster, a fact that many heroes and villains have mocked him for.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: It's hard to believe how much this comic actually played with Superhero tropes at the time it originally debuted, and in the 1990s, it makes the Fantastic Four look flat out tame in comparison. For starters, we had a superhero with a somewhat monstrous appearance (The Thing), the fact that the team actually spent a lot of their time fighting with each other, and that they didn't even use secret identities. Now after seeing way more Team angst and more deformed superheroes, the Fantatsic Four looks almost safe in comparison.
  • Squick: Reed and Sue's first meeting being Love at First Sight... when she was twelve. Matt Fraction has since retconned this version of their first meeting out of existence.
    • It was actually one-sided on Sue's part making it more of a Precocious Crush to the college-age Reed. It's only when Sue matured by the time they met again for the fateful rocketship journey that Reed took an interest.
  • Tear Jerker: The Last Stand of Johnny Storm.
  • Villain Sue: Mark Millar's controversial character "the Marquis of Death" may be a straight example or a subversion, depending on how you look at it. He was a Diabolus Ex Nihilo more powerful than Galactus who claimed to be the man behind Dr. Doom, at whom he got pissed for becoming a Noble Demon rather than the Card-Carrying Villain he wanted him to be. He effortlessly Mind Rapes and kills Doom, then declares himself Doom's successor. The subversion comes a few issues later when Doom comes back, reveals the Marquis didn't kill him properly, and blows him to Hell. Even with that considered, it's still generally thought of as a terrible story.
  • The Woobie: Ben Grimm, mutated into the monstrous-looking Thing, but also one of the most respected and beloved superheroes in the Marvel universe.
    • Word of God has stated that The Thing is the most beloved superhero in the entire Marvel Universe. This makes him analogous to Nightwing of DC Comics.
  • Toy Ship: Val and Bentley are a popular pairing, particular because they both act as Token Evil Teammates. Hell, it's not as if it's not essentially encouraged (Val actually says she'll kiss Bently when she's old enough, and Bentley actually says "I think I love you")

The animated series:

  • Awesome Music: The theme of the Season One opening.
  • Crowning Moment of Funny: The Frankenstein spoof in "The Silver Surfer and the Coming of Galactus" doesn't have much to do with the plot, but it's funny.
    • Reed's... pleased reaction to Susan still wearing her very sexy Malice costume at the end.
      • More than one Happily Married moment between Sue and Reed crosses into this. The Latin-American Spanish version makes it even funnier thanks to how the VA delivers Reed's lines almost completely seriously.
    • The huge lampshade to Johnny and Crystal's Strangledby The Red String situation. In one episode, Crystal sends out Lockjaw so he can guide Johnny to a prospect meeting spot. They never find it.
  • Growing the Beard: Season two.
  • Recycled Script: Both seasons end with Doctor Doom claiming the power of the Silver Surfer. The second season production team actually did this on purpose. They felt that the first season's take on the classic comic story was poorly handled and deserved a better adaptation.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Johnny's Human Torch rap and Ben/The Thing's "Clobberin' Time" rap.

The films:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: As this review tries to point out [1], Doom is actually quite a nice guy in the first film, while the heroes cause damage to the city. Indeed, he offers to fund everything and even creates their suits, while Reed repeatedly mangles science at every turn and repays Victor's kindness by stealing Sue from him.
  • Awesome Music: Composer John Ottman's contributions to the two movies, particularly the "Main Title" piece in the 2005 movie and the "Silver Surfer Theme" in Rise of the Silver Surfer.
  • Badass Decay: Doctor Doom and Sue Storm (the page image for Took a Level in Badass, mind you) both suffer from this.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: Alba standing in public, in her underwear?
  • Critic Proof: Critics hated it. But since audiences were kinder to it, the first film was very financially successful.
    • However, the sequel just barely made its budget back, and Fox was disappointed.
  • Crowning Moment Of Awesome: The Four's first public appearance, especially Grimm helping pull back the fire truck.
    • Also, taken almost word-for-for from the Warren Ellis comic book:
    General Hager: Let me make it clear for you and your band of freaks here; I'm the quarterback. You're on my team. Got it? but I guess you never played football in high school, did you, Richards?
    General Hager: ...Give him what he wants.
    • Johnny using all of the team's powers at the same time to beat down Doctor Doom.
    • The chase sequence between Johnny and the Silver Surfer.
  • Crowning Moment of Funny: "I cannot take orders from the underwear model! That wingnut washed out of NASA for sneaking two Victoria's Secret wannabes into a flight simulator. They crashed it into a wall. A flight simulator!!
    • "Don't Do Drugs!"
    • The extended cut of the 2005 film has a scene where Johnny is riding the elevator in the Baxter Building up and down, using his powers to raise the temperature so that whenever an attractive woman enters the elevator, she's forced to remove her clothes.
  • Designated Hero: As this Agony Booth recap insists, all of the heroes. They do little more than fight with each other, examine their powers and solve problems they themselves caused. Doom becomes a villain because Reed was incompetent at his job and miscalculated the cosmic storm's speed. The traffic jam on the bridge was the result of Ben destroying a semi saving a suicide jumper, the explosion soon afterwards is caused by Sue making a distraction. When escaping Doom's heat seeking missile Johnny sets a garbage barge on fire, likely killing or at least endangering whoever was driving it, and in the climactic street battle Doom is only at street level, where large amounts of civilians are located, because Ben knocked him down there.
  • Designated Villain: As noted above, Doom is actually a nice guy for most of the first film, until the others drive him over the edge with their Ungrateful Bastard antics.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Johnny making fun of Ben's appearance in the first film. He think's it's supposed to be the Plucky Comic Relief but Ben is so discriminated by others based on his appearance that Johnny became The Scrappy for his humor. This was intentional though, and Reed and Sue are constantly telling him to knock it off.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Reviews of the movies were all over the place, but there was one constant: Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm/The Thing was fantastic. It helps that he's a huge fan of the comics.
    • To another extent, some actually found Chris Evans to be genuinely charismatic in his turn as Johnny Storm. It's certainly a lesser example than Chiklis, as Johnny does come off as annoying at points in the film, but Evans does seem to be doing his best. Now that he's widely beloved for his performance as Captain America, he gets even more of it.
  • Estrogen Brigade: Johnny is always surrounded by women in public. Unsurprising, considering he's played by Chris Evans.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Watching Chris Evans' performance as Johnny is particularly funny with the knowledge that he went on to slip into the costume of another Marvel hero... Captain America. That's about as far removed from Johnny as you'll get.
    • The 2005 video game adaption of the first movie not only features the main cast of the movie reprising their roles for the game but also featured an appearance by Ultimate Nick Fury, meaning you get to hear Chris Evans talking to the Samuel L. Jackson version of the character a full six years before Evan's first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.note 
  • Narm: The bridge rescue doesn't really do enough to make clear that Sue is stripping so she can be fully invisible, making it look like Jessica Alba just went rogue and threw in some gratuitous fanservice.
  • Nightmare Fuel: You get to see Doom's scarred face very briefly in the sequel. When you see it you'll be glad it's only there for a second.
    • What's left of General Hager after Doom stole the Surfer's board in Siberia.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Both movies got reviews largely in this range.
    • This also seems to be the general opinion of the video game adaption of the first film. The one of the second movie on the other hand...
  • Special Effects Failure: In the sequel, it's grossly obvious whenever the Silver Surfer is CGI (which he is throughout the majority of the film) or just a man with special makeup effects.
    • Mr. Fantastic's stretching effects look ridiculously cartoony.
  • Squick: Reed's texting fingers.
    Johnny: You know, I've always been both impressed, and disgusted by that.
    • Plus the extended close up shot of Reed's hand squeezing beneath Ben's door in the first movie:
      Johnny ...That's gross.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Unlike in other versions Doom's reason for believing Reed ruined his life is far more justified, as it was his experiment that ruined his company.
    • Doom provided a spaceship, advanced unstable molecule suits, even a frickin space station, those would cost well tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars- not to mention the cost of paying for all those people who died along in that space station(after all it can't just be five people in there). Hell I'm suprised that Doom even agreed to Richard's insane plan.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The first film was noted as feeling like nothing but a long trailer for the sequel. Said sequel really didn't deliver on that promise.
  • The Woobie: The Thing. even the most savage of critics loved Michael Chiklis' performance as Marvel's most loveable Tragic Monster. Jessica Alba said that Micheal Chiklis was so damn good at pulling this off that she just wanted to hug him between takes because he looked so sad.
    • Plus, who didn't want to give Sue a hug after seeing the look on her face when her first wedding is crashed? Well, some of you would probably want to do more than hug her, but still.
  • What The Hell, Casting Agency?: Jessica Alba and Chris Evans as siblings? Really? Not a single person noticed the ethnic trench between them?
    • Unless someone mentions it, one could be forgiven for not knowing Alba is Latina. Especially in these movies where she is blonde. She is only one-third Hispanic in Real Life. The other parts being European: Spanish, Dutch, French.
      • But it's worth noting that a lot of people feel Alba is miscast in general. Being too young for the role and not resembling the character at all really. Not to mention her acting talent, or lack thereof.
      • The hair brings up another issue: if it was so important that it be the same color as in the comics, why not just get an actress who really was blonde?
    • Doctor Doom in general. Julian McMahon isn't to blame; he's a fine actor and did the best he could with the material. Even giving him powers is somewhat understandable, since it wasn't too likely they'd include the whole supernatural element of the character. The problem is that Doom was written as a Corrupt Corporate Executive like Norman Osborn rather than, you know, Doctor Doom.
    • The new reboot definitely is this. For pretty much everyone but Sue. The biggest example would be Michael B. Jordan as the Human Torch, changing it so that he and Susan are no longer full siblings. Even those who dislike the Marvel Cinematic Universe for its lack of racial diversity think this is going a bit too far for it. It doesn't help that. Michael B. Jordan has previously worked with the director on Chronicle, making it seem pretty much like doing the guy a favour.

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