Why You Should Worry About the "Fantastic Four" Reboot (and Other Heroes)

The Fantastic Four are not Batman. Does that seem like an obvious statement to you? Yeah, I thought so too but apparently Hollywood doesn't think so. See, ever since "darker" Superhero movies became the thing (The Dark Knight, Winter Soldier, Man of Steel), Hollywood has decided that every Superhero should have a gritty, dark reboot.


Not every comic book film that comes out nowadays has to be dark. There are many films coming out in the next fives years that are destined for failure if they continue to follow this model. Why? Because not every superhero is meant to be a gritty badass. Not every superhero needs to be grounded in reality. It works for Batman because that's how it is in the comics. Otherwise you just run the risk of stripping the character of everything that made them who they are. Am I saying that these characters should always be lighthearted? Of course not, I just believe that there needs to be a balance, otherwise when does dark tone just become the norm? So I figured I'd take a minute to go over a few upcoming comic book films that should be lighter in tone, to counteract the many other "Dark Superheroes" out there.

Fantastic Four - While this one is clearly too late (especially given that it inspired this article) the Fantastic Four is one of the most lighthearted comic series in Marvel history. It deals with applying science to solve problems as well as building family bonds. It's lighthearted and fun, usually involving some jokes from Johnny Storm, some clobberin by The Thing, and Sue saving the day (seriously, she saves their ass more times than I can count). It is not dark. It is not super serious. It's about family. But hey, what do I know, you should probably just take out all of the family stuff anyway. What's that, Johnny and Sue aren't even brother and sister? Yeah, never mind on this one. They seemed to have missed the point and just thought "Ohhh science!"

Spider-man - Yes, I know, one of the greatest Spider-man stories of all time involved Spidey getting his dark on (literally) but that's not what the character is about. Sure, there are instances are dark moments throughout his torrid history, but otherwise Spider-man is a quipster that is constantly putting others before himself. He's selfless and just struggling to keep his secret identity a... secret. Like the comics, I feel there can be a blue period (thanks Picasso) but ultimately the whole of Spider-man should be light. With his rumored inclusion in Marvel's Infinity War films, I'm not sure how much we'll get of lighthearted Spidey, but hopefully the next solo film satiates that need.

Aqua Man - This is a character that may already be too far gone to even care about what gets done with him. Snyder is at the head of the DC side of things, so it'd be hard to imagine this film not taking a darker side, especially with the casting of Game of Thrones' Jason Momoa. Hell just look at Man of Steel and see what was done to the Superman character. Get ready for lots of brandished chest hair. But with the Justice League already being pretty damn dark, it'd be nice to have a lighter side and who better than the King of Atlantis? The realistic approach when it comes to sea dweller's may be a little pointless so why not make this one more fun and for the kids? Instead they seem to be taking the "Hawaiian water God" approach which I'm sure will be anything but light.

Captain Marvel - Carol Danvers is not a dark character. She's a character that deals with social issues and helps keep gender equality alive. There's no need to strap her up in leather and give her a sordid past. She's a woman who worked her way up the ranks to achieve greatness. It's a story that needs to be told for the sake of our children. The Kelly Sue DeConnick series that currently running is a great jumping on point and one that I really hope that the screenwriters follow. She's a wisecracking, ass kicking, space diplomat; let's represent that.

I should say that Marvel doesn't have much to worry about other than WB/Fox clouding the marketplace. They have a good grasp on balance so I don't think they'll have the issue of "oh my God, all these characters are so heavy!" Just look at Guardians of the Galaxy and the soon-to-be-released Ant Man. Much more lighthearted than Age of Ultron (judging by the trailer. See, Marvel knows balance. The other studios? They're just fledglings joining new territory.

Don't get me wrong, I won't be upset if any of the aforementioned films comes out with a darker tone and blow me away. Not at all. I welcome good cinema regardless of the tone it takes. But when every single superhero film that comes out feels like going through a funeral, we'll be sitting back and just wishing we had something lighter to balance it out.

Studios, take note.
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About zombievictim

I'd like my writing to further represent me as a person by providing different insights into the things currently on my mind. Whether it's writing about a movie, TV show, album, book, wrestling event, experience, or life lesson. I don't plan on making this a personal blog where I treat it like a diary. This is just supposed to represent… Me.
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