Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Fantastic Four's Canon Report Card

Final Results
Image courtesy Marvel Comics. All rights reserved.

Many comic book fans cite the 1994 film as one of the worst comic book movies ever made, but we feel that isn't a fair judgment. Admittedly, the low budget placed severe limitations on the cast and crew, and at times the special effects can make you wince, laugh or both wince and laugh at the same time. Still, the film's script reflected the spirit of the comics, and the performances are enthusiastic (if not nuanced) across the cast. The Jeweler even quotes Shakespeare's "The Tempest," adding a touch of class to the movie.

It's important to note that the scope of the comic books has always been on a cosmic level. The Fantastic Four have had adventures across time and space, encountering strange alien races and foiling the plans of galactic overlords. Neither film captures that scope, though perhaps the 1994 movie has more of an excuse. It's hard to make a movie on a large scale with such a low budget. Since both movies served as origin stories for the Fantastic Four, we're willing to ignore the relatively small scope of the stories.

As you can see from the preceding report cards, we used a rigorous judging process to determine which film was more faithful to the source material. Both movies were analyzed thoroughly using a tightly-controlled procedure, possibly involving beakers and test tubes. We have confidence in the results of the experiment.

After tallying up the scores on the report cards, the 1994 film takes the trophy. When it comes to production values, special effects and other technical details, the 2005 movie wins hands down. Then again, the 2005 movie had a budget more than 65 times the size of the 1994 film's budget. While the 1994 movie is primitive in comparison, it's charming and faithful to the source material. Sure, it's a corny film and at times it sounds like Doctor Doom is speaking with a sock stuffed in his mouth, but there's no denying that the movie was made with a sense of fun and passion for the comics. Perhaps one day the movie will get an actual release. Until then, fans will have to continue seeking clandestine means of watching the original movie about the Fantastic Four.

For more information on the Fantastic Four, check out the links on the next page.