The Fantastic Four is finally coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with their Phase Six solo movie in 2025 – if they don’t make some sort of cameo appearance first (which could probably happen once Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania…). It’s not just the 2019 Disney-Fox merger deal that has kept the F4 out of the MCU for so long: Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige and the MCU’s creative team have had to piece together the intricate puzzle of reuniting the family/team in the franchise lore, and explain why we’re only meeting them now. Plus, Marvel Studios needs to figure out how to mass-sell the MCU version of the Fantastic Four – and picking the right villain is key.
We’ve already had some ComicBook writers make the case for why the MCU Fantastic four movie needs Doctor Doom as a villain to firmly establish the team’s lore, origins, and all interpersonal relationships at play. Now, however, it’s time to discuss why Galactus is actually the better way to introduce MCU fans to the Fantastic Four and what it’s all about.
The case for Galactus as the first villain of the Fantastic Four MCU movie
The long summary of this argument is that Galactus isn’t so much a villain as a cosmic force of nature – one that presents a unique kind of scientific/philosophical problem that perfectly mirrors what The Fantastic Four uniquely brings about. the table as a Marvel sci-fi franchise.
There’s a reason Galactus got a lot of attention as one Fantastic four antagonist in Marvel Comcis, rather than being an enemy of, say, Thor (which he’s been more recently) or a character only brought out as a world-ending threat to major Marvel crossover events. The kind of “conflict” Galactus presented – a creature that lives to consume worlds and decides Earth should be its next meal – is a perfect sci-fi/drama problem for a family of scientists and explorers. The dilemma of saving the world and someone’s family versus killing Galactus (or not) is a parable that feels perfect for establishing the Fantastic Four as the MCUs Star Trek Unpleasant Guardians of the Universe‘s Star Wars. Doom would make the film a typical superhero-villain story; Earth’s brightest scientist trying to stop planetary destruction at the hands of a cosmic force – through science rather than superhero battles – is the high-concept sci-fi genre mix the MCU needs in the mix.
Why Galactus is better for introducing F4 to the MCU
Yes, there’s more history and interest to Doom, but the former Fantastic four movie would arguably need to be a proof of concept movie before fully diving into the Marvel Universe. There are so many fun (and better) ways to incorporate Galactus’ appearance fantastic four, especially at the start of Phase 6, linking it back to past things done in the MCU – as well as future things.
The history of Galactus dates back to the formation of the well-known Marvel Universe; Celestials, Ego the Living Planet, Eternity, The Watchers, and The Living Tribunal are all colleagues Galactus has deep ties to. Way back before the MCU’s Multiverse Saga ever got underway, our ComicBook Nation show broke down how Galactus’ status as a being older than creation, having shifted between universes before, makes him the perfect reason to explain why the F4 only appeared now, in The Multiverse Saga. Galactus suddenly appearing in the MCU (from the depths of space or an alternate universe) could also give Marvel Studios the opportunity to link fun callbacks – like that aerospace engineer from WandaVision, who could eventually turn out to be Reed Richards.
When it comes to the MCU origins of the Fantastic Four, Galactus and its Power Cosmic energy are the easiest source to explain how The Fantastic Four and/or Doom get (or got) their powers. In fact, it could be that connection – the source of their powers suddenly resurfacing, first taking the “Future Foundation” on a scientific discovery mission, but ending with the “F4” eventually stepping out as transdimensional superheroes of the MCU . The threat of Galactus also perfectly frames F4’s family drama for a story about Reed learning to see his family as heroic equals.
Finally, the audience has two bad memories of Fantastic four movies with Doom as their hokey villain – so maybe taking a different approach with the next strongest villain on the roster (Galactus) isn’t a bad move at all… Introducing the bigger lore and characters associated with Galactus (like Silver Surfer and other ” Heralds of Galactus,” the cosmic entities of the multiverse and its origins, or The Power Cosmic) would arguably be far more valuable to the Phase 6 storyline than the lore Doom would bring.
Fantastic four opens in theaters on February 14, 2025.
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