Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four is a superhero team created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for Marvel Comics. They are often thought to be patterned after the four elements: Human Torch (fire), Thing (earth), Invisible Woman (air), and Mr. Fantastic (lameness).

The Fantastic Four (or at least the Thing) are apparently swingers. Gay, atlantean-loving swingers, at that.

Just The Facts

  1. Breaktakingly original at the time of its creation, unless of course you were at all familiar with schlock sci-fi stories of the previous 50 years.
  2. Not the same as the Fab Four, which of course consist of John, Paul, George, and Ghost Rider.
  3. There have been four Fantastic Four animated series, and three feature films, all of which have sucked.

Origins

Reed Richards is a brilliant scientist - we can tell this because he smokes a pipe and has grey streaks in his hair - who, along with his best friend Ben Grimm, his girlfriend Sue Storm, and her kid brother Johnny, launches a rocket into outer space in an attempt to defeat communism or something.

Naturally, they are bombarded with cosmic rays which gives them superpowers. They then spend most of the rest of their lives being blown up, shot at, stabbed, enslaved by aliens or simply having their emotions toyed with. Fun for the whole family.

In any case, it's way better than what real life would have in store for them (see Marvel Comics vs. Science: 5 of the Most Absurd Superhero Origins).

Dr. Doom

The most famous nemisis of the superpowered quartet, Dr. Doom is the ruler of Latveria, a tiny made-up nation composed entirely of Eastern European stereotypes.

Born Victor von Doom, Dr. Doom attended university with both Reed Richards and Ben Grimm. To this day, he blames Richards for causing the accident that devastated his aristocratic good looks.

Dr. Doom and Reed Richards are said to be scientific geniuses of roughly the same caliber. However, the bar has got to be set pretty low. This is demonstrated by the fact that, despite both sides having easy access to various time machines, not once has Richards or Doom ever considered travelling back in time to either....

a) Kill Reed Richards when he's five years old or...

b) Prevent the stupid accident from ever happening in the first place.

In recent years, Dr. Doom has given up his trademark titanium powered armor in favor of a suit of armor made out of human skin, thus proving that there is no idea so damn stupid comic book writers won't try it.

Team Members and Powers

Mr. Fantastic: He can stretch. That turns out to be more useful than you would think.

Human Torch: He can be on fire. Also, he can fly for no particularly good reason.

Thing: He's, like, made of rock. Also strong. Also ugly.

Invisible Woman: She can turn invisible. After the writers decided that this was too boring, she also gained the ability to project invisible force fields. Because those two things are definitely connected.

Movies: A Perfect Storm of Awful

Every single filmic treatment of the iconic superteam has been almost transcendentally awful. The Tim Story directed movies (Fantastic Four and 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer) are truly terrible in their own right, featuring a lip gloss model in the role of Susan Storm, a whiner in the role of Doctor Doom, and Michael Chiklis as the Thing, which is probably fine. Not much else in these movies is, however, especially the part in Fantastic Four where the eponymous heroes try to murder a bunch of innocent bystanders (see 6 Great Action Heroes (Who Should Be Convicted of Murder)).

The Fantastic Four was a low budget film completed in 1994 and never released. It's easy to see why (see 5 Comic Book Movies Way Worse Than Batman & Robin).