In light of Tony Stark’s death and the upcoming arrival of the Fantastic Four in the MCU, the franchise must exercise caution when using Reed Richards as a stand-in for the late Stark. They can and should be distinct enough despite their shared traits, especially given the MCU’s version of Iron Man.
Since Endgame, the MCU has been transformed as new characters take lead, and long-awaited plotlines encompassing every nook and cranny of the Marvel universe finally come to light.
The MCU assumed it would never have the opportunity to use the Fantastic Four for nearly its entire first decade. While Reed Richard was a key character for Marvel comic book fans, he was largely replaced by Tony Stark in the film adaptation of the Marvel comics. Even though Tony Stark is a futuristic person and an over-confident genius in the comics, his MCU portrayal resembles that of Reed Richards if the character had been introduced in the beginning.
This time, the tables have turned. Iron Man’s death has put the original Avengers on the backburner. Now, The Fantastic Four are about to make their big-screen debut. Marvel’s kings and queens will get another chance to shine in a larger universe, following three films that failed to do justice to the Fantastic Four.
Spider-Man director Jon Watts has the opportunity to create what could be a true version of some of the most key figures ever depicted in comic books. For all that Reed Richards shares with Tony Stark, it’s possible that the MCU would consider using him as a substitute for Iron Man. For the sake of both Tony’s legacy and Reed’s future in the MCU, such a decision should be avoided at all costs.
Iron Man’s look in Robert Downey Jr.’s hands was inspired by a slew of comic book characters and eras. Much of the Ultimate version of Tony Stark was also used in the MCU, in addition to his basic characteristics from the 616 Universe, such as his playboy lifestyle, which overshadows his good heart. As with Earth 1610, Iron Man’s relationship with the Avengers team, the CIA, and the SHIELD is very much like that of Earth 1610’s. Hank Pym and Reed Richards, two other Marvel universe geniuses, have also been incorporated into the MCU’s Tony Stark.
Iron Man: Age of Ultron’s Tony Stark takes cues from comic book character Hank Pym’s haphazard approach to science. This eventually led to the creation of Ultron. During the second Avengers film, Stark and Banner created AI villains in an attempt to make Earth safer. On the other hand, Reed Richards is a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Iron Man, who has an insatiable desire to push the boundaries of technology in order to make the world a better place.
This is not only the conclusion of a decade-long story, but also the beginning of a new chapter for the MCU. When it came time to say goodbye to the Avengers’ core members, they were given definitive endings or a new direction for their characters. Due to the fact that Thanos is no longer an issue and the current Avengers lineup is still a mystery, now is the perfect time for Marvel to introduce a new character who will lead the franchise into the next decade. Some examples of how the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) recognizes the need for new story arcs include Sam Wilson becoming Captain America, Yelena being introduced as Black Widow, and Clint Barton mentoring Kate Bishop.
Despite the fact that fans may still miss Tony and Natasha, the Marvel Cinematic Universe should not be discouraged from passing the torch. A character’s past can serve as inspiration for future work, but it’s important to avoid rehashing the same plot points or themes that have already been explored. Not only are Kate and Yelena examples of this, but so are the X-Men, Eternals, and the Fantastic Four, as well.
The Fantastic Four, despite being one of Marvel Comics’ most important titles and having occurred longer than the Avengers, has never been able to generate a cinematic effect comparable to that of the Avengers. They were made at a time when comic book adaptations weren’t as big as they are today, so they couldn’t match the scale of a Fantastic Four story.
To make matters worse, well-known antagonists like Doom and Galactus were either overlooked or misrepresented. Fant4stic, the 2015 reboot of the Fantastic Four, was a failure at the box office. This proved that technical limitations were not the only obstacle to producing a great Fantastic Four film.
They could eventually have a much more coherent series of films in the MCU. Despite the fact that the plot of John Watt’s film is still a mystery, fans can count on seeing Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Ben again in the near future. Because of their status as an iconic team, the Fantastic Four should not be considered a substitute for The Avengers. The Avengers are still a well-established team with a rotating cast of heroes, even without its founding members. It is possible for the Fantastic Four to face a variety of threats, including cosmic ones, while also working with other MCU groups.
The MCU should focus on Reed’s characteristics that do not intersect with Tony’s if it wants to give him enough of a distinct identity. In the new films, Mr. Fantastic’s reluctance to trust others outside of his own team, his strategic skills, and his detachment from the “ordinary world” can all be shown. Reed Richards can give even Tony Stark’s personality traits a fresh perspective by putting him in circumstances that Iron Man has never been in before.
Observing Reed’s interactions with established MCU characters, such as the Avengers, will provide the first inkling of Reed’s personality role in future episodes of the series. Many Marvel stories have yet to be adapted, so Reed and the Fantastic Four have plenty of room to grow. To honor Tony’s legacy, the MCU can play with both the differences and similarities between Mr. Fantastic and Iron Man.