Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Zaki's Retro Review: The Fantastic Four (1994)

L-R: Carl Ciarfalio, Rebecca Staab, Alex Hyde-White, Jay Underwood
As the leading edge of what came to be called the Marvel Age of Comics, the Fantastic Four have a place of special significance in comic book history. With their unheralded arrival on the scene in 1962, entire paradigms of what superhero comics were capable of and which audiences they could reach were turned on their ear. It's not at all an exaggeration to say that if not for co-creators Stan Lee & Jack Kirby stepping onto the precipice and taking a leap of faith on what the medium could allow for, we wouldn't be living in the age of perpetual superhero cinema that we're currently enjoying (or not enjoying, depending on how you feel about the whole thing).

Given that, it's a bit perplexing how the team has gotten kicked around when it comes to finding a place in the sun for their movie moment. Part of that is understandable given that special effects technology has only relatively recently reached a place where the adventures of Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm, and Ben Grimm could be visualized to a degree that does justice to their four-color escapades. Nonetheless, while Marvel Comics stablemate Spider-Man took a rather circuitous route to the big screen (as I chronicled at some length here), that journey almost pales in comparison to what happened to the FF on the way to a film franchise they could call their own.

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