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YMMV / Fantastic Four

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    The comics 

YMMV for The Comics

  • Alternative 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 Heartwarming Moment 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.
  • Angst? What Angst?: During Hickman's run, Johnny's ex-girlfriend Psionics, from Mark Millar's run, returns as a psychotic maniac who murders a woman in front of Johnny before getting her head smushed in. Johnny's reaction to any of this? Uh... nothing, actually. And her dad doesn't seem to be terribly upset about it either.
  • Cliché Storm: Dan Slott's run has been criticized for repeating several notable cliches and plots without doing anything memorable with them and often pulling plot points from past books and storylines. Many had even compared it to X-Men: Gold because of the cliches.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Abraxas is one of the oldest and most powerful beings in the multiverse, opposing Eternity's order and stability with chaos and destruction. Freed by the death of Galactus, Abraxas runs rampant through the multiverse, slaughtering at will and murdering the children of Reed and Sue Richards with great relish on multiple realities, as well as murdering alternate versions of Galactus and announcing his coming by throwing the decapitated head of the Devourer into civilian populations. Gleefully trying to wipe out life on Earth, Abraxas reveals he is after the Ultimate Nullifer so he can end the entire Multiverse and kill every being who exists and has ever existed, plotting destruction on scales most villains would never even dream of.
    • (The) Master(s) of Doom by Mark Millar, Bryan Hitch, et al.: The Marquis of Death, originally one version of the brain-damaged Clyde Wyncham on an alternate Earth, discovered his love of slaughter after murdering dozens of heroes and villains when his mind was fully returned to him, and became dedicated to killing as many things as possible. First massacring every single one of the 7 billion people on his own Earth, the Marquis spent the next billion years traveling to various Earths then slowly exterminating all life on each and every one, always drawing out the deaths of heroes and forcing them into sadistic choices for his own sick amusement. Through this, the Marquis annihilates millions of universes and amasses an unfathomable body count before finally showing up on the 616 Earth, where he annihilates all of Latveria before viciously executing his loyal servant Doctor Doom for going too slow in destroying 616's heroes. The Marquis goes on to torment the Fantastic Four with the millions of versions of their loves ones he has murdered, then tries to manipulate Mr. Fantastic into compromising his morality for the life of his universe, after which he attempts to simply kill this Earth as well then continue his dimension-wide omnicide spree.
  • Damsel Scrappy:
    • In the early "Invisible Girl" years of the first run, Sue was much more of a liability with her limited power set, and constantly exhibited poor judgment or absent-mindedness (as Seanbaby points out, not only did she constantly forget whether or not she was invisible, but actually walked into traffic on more than one occasion); in an effort by multiple writers to make amends for this, her power levels and competency have increased exponentially over the years, to the point where she's become by far the strongest member of the team.
    • This is the same problem with Franklin Richards. Despite his tremendous power, he is always used as a puller of retcons or this trope. From being kidnapped for experimentation, trapped in Hell to demonstrate Doom's evil, or manipulated into handing over power to Onslaught. This is why so many fans latch onto Hickman's characterization during his run or his Power Pack characterization.
  • 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. Also helped by several contradictory depictions of Doom over the years, with some writers giving him plenty of Pet the Dog moments and others depicting him as willing to both hurt and kill his own Morality Pets.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • 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 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. He's gotten so popular is often outsourced to other heroes like Iron Man and Spider-Man. After Secret Wars Doom more or less became the Earth-based Big Bad for the Marvel Universe itself.
    • Galactus, while not exactly evil, but is still antagonist, and is undeniably a badass one. Like Doom, he's so popular that he's been outsourced as enemy to many other heroes.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain:
    • Some people think Wizard looks somewhat silly with his oddly 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.
    • Kang's iconic costume has always been fairly goofy, but in his earliest appearances his thigh-high boots were skin-tight and striped purple-and-black, resembling nothing so much as harlequin motley tights. Yowza.
  • Foe Yay: Doctor Doom's obsession with Reed is one of the biggest examples in Marvel.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Or Harsher, depending on your point of view, but back then, the team actually had a movie about them that people actually liked.
  • 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 Alicia began, it was constantly riddled with Wangst over the fact that Alicia preferred The Thing over Ben.
    • Doctor Doom at times manages to be this. He is a horrible person whose entire motive for trying to defeat the Fantastic Four stems from his Never My Fault attitude, and for every humanizing moment he's committed so other horrible atrocity. But he also lost his mother at young age and Mephisto tormented him with nightmares of her fate in hell.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Doctor Doom has been Marvel's go-to Big Bad since the 1960s, and with good cause. An Evil Sorcerer, Mad Scientist, and tyrannical despot, Doom is respected and feared throughout Marvel's supervillain community, with both a Norse God and the Devil seeing him as someone to step lightly around. While many villains want to Take Over the World, Doom is one of the few who can actually pull it off, and at times he's reached well beyond even that goal, grasping for godhood with both hands. Capable of punching well out of his weight class, Victor Von Doom is the most dangerous man in the Marvel Universe and always bears watching.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Moral Event Horizon:
  • My Real Daddy:
    • The comic will always be defined by the immortal hundred-issue starting run of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Second place goes to John Byrne, who wrote and drew the definitive modern FF.
    • Out of all the people who worked on Marvel's First Family after Byrne, the two most fondly remembered runs, which had the most lasting impact and helped redefine the characters for new audiences, are respectively Mark Waid's and Jonathan Hickman's.
    • While Valeria Richards had existed for a while, it was Mark Millar who gave her the superintelligence she's known for, and Jonathan Hickman who established her pragmatism and Token Evil Teammate tendencies.
  • 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.
    • A lot Reed's early characterization was quite sexist. Add that with the panel of Richard slapping Sue. It Makes Sense in Context note , but it, along with the aforementioned Namor having a crush on Sue, is often jokingly used as proof that Namor would make a better husband.
    • 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.
    • Reed's siding with Iron Man's pro-reg faction during Civil War. Especially since unlike Iron Man, he's faced zero repercussions for it thus far.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The Puppet Master is a creepy enough villain to start with by his powers alone, but he's even more nightmarish when he was drawn by Jack Kirby. Kirby draws him looking like a sentient ventriloquist dummy, bearing a smile that makes The Joker look tame.
  • Older Than They Think: Willie Lumpkin, the Fantastic Four's mailman, actually predates the heroes, a younger version of him having been the protagonist of a short-lived newspaper strip co-created and written by Stan Lee.
  • One True Threesome: It's not uncommon for fans to ship Ben, Reed and Sue all together. Likewise, seemingly starting in the new 10s, adding Johnny onto the Spidey/MJ ship as a third partner has started to become common, in part due to his rampant Ho Yay with the former and the fact that he canonically gets along with the latter.
  • "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 Fantastic Four looks almost safe in comparison.
    • There is also the fact that this team was Marvel's answer to DC's Justice League. At the 60s and 70s, they were indeed very popular and they did influence the greater Marvel Universe with their Cosmic background, science heroes, and being one of the few teams at the time where their supporting characters interacted with other heroes. However, with the rise in popularity with the X-Men in the 80s and the Avengers in the turn of the millennium, they have taken a backseat to both teams. They are still well regarded, especially since there's a noticeable backlash when Marvel started to downplay them for awhile and they are usually lumped together with X-Men and Avengers as their big three super hero teams, but newer fans find it harder to see how they helped create the Marvel Universe.
  • 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.
    • In Millar's run, Johnny reacts to seeing a future Sue die by... hiring a pair of strippers. Okay, not exactly the healthiest reaction to the situation to begin with, but they're also dressed up as Scarlet Witch and Storm, the latter of whom Johnny has worked with.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Yay, we finally get a grown-up Franklin in the nineties... yeah, they basically turned him into Cable. Many fans who wished to see Franklin grow up were infuriated by what the lack of creativity in creating Psi-Lord.
    • In the same vein, Hyperstorm the, time-traveling son of Rachel Summers and Franklin Richards, was only used for one arc and never used again because they killed him off. He was only given a backstory for shock value and had no interaction with his parents while in the past. He was just some random Multiversal Conqueror.
  • 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").
  • Values Dissonance: The early issues suffer from this even more than most other big comics of the '60s, with Reed especially coming off as a sexist asshole.
    Brad Jones: When Reed Richards was Don Draper.
  • Vanilla Protagonist:
    • The "first family" of the Marvel Universe are often considered to be far less interesting than the greater World Building they are tied to (the Negative Zone, the Skrulls, the Inhumans, Wakanda, and their Rogues Gallery: Doom, Mole Man, Namor, Galactus and others). It's certainly true that Reed Richards and Doctor Doom have the greatest rivalry in all of comics but between the two it can be hard to deny that Doom has the cooler visual design, one-liners, and charm.
    • Reed and Sue especially get hit with this. Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm were the Breakout Characters of the four having both unique personalities and awesome designs (the Human Torch is all fire while the Thing is all Rock) whereas Reed's original personality was a Standard '50s Father complete with dated sexism, with Sue treated as the Wet Blanket Wife and pre-women's lib stay-at-home Team Mom rather than a career woman, and despite being a rare woman with superpowers in her time never quite became as popular as Jean Grey. Their visual designs — Reed being a stretchy-guy and Susan turning Invisible — is not exactly eye-catching. Later writers have tried to balance the pair and made Susan more powerful and important but rarely a consistent set of personal features and the Grandfather Clause nature of the Four means that the dynamic never strays too far from how the characters were originally conceived. This also accounts in part for the Adaptation Decay since usually Johnny and Ben translate as they are (helps that their personalities are considered timeless even today), but Reed and Sue are often altered or given Adaptational Angst Upgrade.
  • 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.

    The Animated Series 

YMMV for The Animated Series

  • Awesome Music: The first season opening theme. Bouncy, cheerful and relentlessly catchy.
  • Cant Un Hear It: Chances are good if you grew up with the series that Beau Weaver, Lori Alan, Quinton Flynn, and Chuck McCann are the voices you hear when you read the FF's adventures.
  • Continuity Lock-Out: There are some cases where the writers seemed to assume most of the kids watching the show were familiar with the comics, and thus didn't bother explaining things in detail. A big example is the Ghost Rider's guest spot. He shows up out of nowhere with zero foreshadowing, gets no real explanation about who he is, where he comes from or how his powers work, and then just takes down Galactus and leaves. It could count as a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment, even Ben lampshades it, saying "I've gotta stop drinking Aunt Petunia's pink lemonade" after GR leaves.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In "Incursion of the Skrulls", the Thing is seen playing a video game where the Skrulls invade New York. The first things the Skrulls are shown doing in-game is blowing up the World Trade Center, a wince-inducing moment considering the eventual fate of the towers.
  • Growing the Beard: Season two.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The ending of the episode "Incursion of the Skrulls" has Mr. Fantastic give the Skrull video game thing to a boy who looks like a younger version of Toad as he appears in X-Men: Evolution.
    • Ben Grimm occasionally addresses Reed as "Big Brain", a name he would use in the Marvel Comics 2 continuity.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Doctor Victor Von Doom is the ruler of Latveria and a master of both science and the mystic arts. After losing his parents under a tyrannical regime and being disfigured in a horrific lab accident, Doom declared he would bring peace to the world under his iron fist. He feuded with the Fantastic Four on numerous occasions and was the one who destroyed their headquarters at the Baxter Building. Doom has twice stolen the powers of the Silver Surfer and tricked the Hulk into nearly killing the Thing. When the UN ordered him to be tried for war crimes, Doom trapped Washington D.C. under a force field and forced the Hulk to destroy the entire capital. Doom was the most successful villain during the Secret Wars and transformed the territories he conquered into utopias free from conflict or strive. Managing to even steal the powers of the almighty Beyonder, Doctor Doom has proven he has one of the most cunning and audacious minds in the Marvel Animated Universe.
  • Nightmare Fuel: "Super Skrull" shows the titular enemy first draining the Torch's flames away, then burning him. And the result looks rather much like realistic massive 4th-degree burns, with Johnny lying smoking on the ground, his skin and tissues an even, featureless, molten-solidified, carbonized, black and dry texture. This impression is further reinforced by how distressed Susan sounds seeing it. It turns out that it wasn't really all that bad after all, naturally enough, but the first few seconds are still horrible.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Johnny's Human Torch rap in "Mole Man" and Ben/The Thing's "Clobberin' Time" rap in "Super Skrull" are both ridiculously cheesy, but at the same time fit their characters very well. Though these almost certainly also fall under deliberate Stylistic Suck.
  • Tear Jerker: The Thing's Disney Death after being beaten senseless by The Hulk in "Nightmare In Green". The Hulk feels guilty for making Alicia cry.
    • In "And a Blind Man Shall Lead Them," the four lose their powers in a nuclear explosion and Ben is overjoyed to be normal again. However, he is forced to reclaim his powers to save the team and Daredevil from Doctor Doom - ruining his plans for a normal life with Alicia. Poor guy even crushes the ring he was going to propose with. What really sells is it is the absolute rage in Ben's voice when he confronts Doom. He's not just trying to stop Doom this time; he's trying to kill him, and has to be forcibly restrained by the rest of the team.
    • Sue and Johnny are reunited with their fugitive father, however it is cut-short when he is killed in a Skrull plot. The team head off to the Skrull homeworld for revenge, and discover the one responsible, Morrat, not only set up a trap for them by having them lose their powers, but wanted to usurp the Skrull Emperor, with his fiancee (and the Emperor's daughter) at his side. It eventually ends with them getting their powers back, and Morrat's treachery exposed. The Emperor's orders Morrat's execution, and his daughter almost takes the bullet for him, but Sue's force field protects her, deflecting the beam to Morrat. The Emperor's daughter grieves over Morrat's dead body, The Emperor decides to end any hostilities with the team for saving his daughter's life, and confirms Morrat killed Sue and Johnny's father. The four realize although they get their revenge, it doesn't make them feel any better.


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