Following the Fox/Disney merger, the MCU gained access to an array of heroes — most notably, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four — possessing varying degrees of prior cinematic success. While Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine took the world by storm in Logan, X-Men: Apocalypse presented a cliche villain and a set of heroes seemingly just going through the motions akin to a hero’s existence.
With the X-Men and the Fantastic Four now in Marvel’s hands — and Kevin Feige set to helm their introduction into the grand cinematic universe — the silver screen has a chance to right some previous wrongs. And, when thinking about Fox’s failed attempts, none are more glaring than their two misguided Fantastic Four films.
In 2005, Fantastic Four premiered with Chris Evans, Jessica Alba, Ioan Gruffudd, and Michael Chiklis as the title heroes. The movie failed to strike a proper balance between humor and sobriety. Missing the witty vibe it was aiming for, the film offered up a bland narrative and two-dimensional characters to boot; the film currently boasts a 27% critics’ score and 45% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
In 2015, Fox took another swing at the Fantastic Four, and the film failed again. Performing worse than its predecessor, the film boasts a whopping 9% critics’ score and an 18% audience score, as it failed to translate the comic book’s signature tone and strong character dynamics to the screen.
While both films were misguided, one superhero, in particular, received the shortest end of the stick. Both times, she was stripped of the full extent of her powers or faced an abysmal, and quite sexist, minimization of purpose.
The MCU needs to depict Sue Storm (Invisible Woman) with the dignity she deserves
For those of you who love the MCU, yet do not follow the comic books, you likely do not know just how powerful Invisible Woman is. While the movies are busy dressing the superhero in scantily cut clothes and focusing on her need to strip down when she turns invisible, she’s more than a pretty girl who tires out when using too much energy.
Invisible Woman — in both cinematic interpretations — was stripped of her dignity, as a hero able to, single-handedly, fend off the Avengers!
One fan of the comic book series, when speaking about Invisible Woman, noted online:
…she has to be the most underrated character in the Marvel Universe. Her force fields have absorbed amongst other things a nuclear explosion, blows from Mjolnir, cosmic power blasts from Silver Surfer and regularly contained a fully raging savage Hulk…
When the Avengers came to take her children away she kicked their arses on her own. A team of Avengers including Thor, Hulk and Iron Man. And none of them could penetrate her force fields…
It’s important for the MCU to nail every Fantastic Four member; however, when they all finally hit the silver screen (presumably in Phase 5), Invisible Woman needs a complete revamp, and previous films should not be used as guides. They should be considered illustrations of what not to do.
Sue Storm has been reduced to the pretty girl in love with Mr. Fantastic, who also happens to have some powers, one too many times. It’s time Sue Storm is celebrated for the full extent of her bad*ssery. It’s time she exists as her own hero, with importance untethered to the others’ existence, and abilities grander than they could ever imagine.
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