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Every MCU Phase 5 Movie & TV Show The Fantastic Four Can Appear In

Marvel’s Fantastic Four is set to introduce the eponymous family of superheroes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in early 2025, but their actual first appearance may come far sooner than their solo film. Mister Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, the Human Torch, and the Thing are all certain to be major characters in Phase 6 and the culmination of the Multiverse Saga, but the MCU must seize the opportunity to introduce Marvel’s First Family far sooner, perhaps in one of several upcoming Phase 5 films and series. Doing so could perfectly set up The Fantastic Four’s highly-anticipated solo film and solidify their place in the larger Multiverse Saga.

The full MCU Phase 5 slate was revealed to fans last year during San Diego Comic-Con, kicking off in February 2023 with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and ending the following year in 2024. While The Fantastic Four was confirmed for at least three Phase 6 films, including their own project, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, and Avengers: Secret Wars, the team was completely absent from any Phase 5 titles. Nevertheless, Mister Fantastic’s alternate reality appearance in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness suggests that Marvel won’t wait long to introduce its version of The Fantastic Four to Earth-616, and may even do so ahead of their solo project.

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Ant-Man will first encounter Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, marking the villain’s first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and setting up his battle with the Avengers in The Kang Dynasty. However, as the starting point for Phase 5, Quantumania may have more teases for the future of the Multiverse Saga than introducing Kang the Conqueror. In fact, one recent revelation about the upcoming sequel plays into a theory that The Fantastic Four may make their Earth-616 debut alongside Kang. Even more exciting, the MCU may have already cast the actor who will portray Reed Richards, a.k.a. Mister Fantastic, moving forward.

Rumors regarding the Fantastic Four’s MCU origin tying directly to the Quantum Realm, thereby explaining their absence during the events of the Infinity Saga, point directly to the team’s introduction in Quantumania. These rumors only increased after it was revealed that The Good Place star William Jackson Harper, a fan-favorite choice to play Reed Richards, would appear in Quantumania as an undisclosed character. While there has been no indication from Marvel that Harper will indeed be portraying Richards in the film or that any of the other Fantastic Four members will appear therein, it is difficult to deny the convenient timing of his casting just before The Fantastic Four’s debut.

Many fan-favorite MCU characters will be revealed as Skrull imposters in the upcoming Secret Invasion Disney+ show, defining a brand-new paradigm for the franchise moving forward. It stands to reason that Earth will never be the same following the events of Secret Invasion, now that it has been revealed that anyone can be an alien imposter. Such a widescale change in the balance of power indicates that new heroes and villains can rise to the forefront of the MCU. The series is aiming to be the biggest Marvel Disney+ project yet, and there are few better ways to cement this notion than by introducing The Fantastic Four.

The presence of Skrulls gives Secret Invasion the opportunity to introduce Super Skrull, one of The Fantastic Four’s most important enemies from Marvel Comics. If this is indeed the case, it would make perfect sense for the super-team to show up in opposition to this emerging villain, even if it is only for a brief cameo teasing their battle in an upcoming project. The Fantastic Four is just too closely tied to the Skrull race to entirely sit out the events of Secret Invasion, which could very well set up the primary villain of Fantastic Four if Marvel plays its cards right.

RELATED: John Krasinski’s Mister Fantastic Introduction Avoids A Phase 4 Problem

Loki season 2 is one of the most anticipated series of 2023, marking one of only two MCU Disney+ shows to receive multiple seasons. After introducing the Kang variant known as He Who Remains in Loki season 1’s finale, Loki is expected to factor heavily into the events of the Multiverse Saga moving forward. Especially given the Time Variance Authority’s connection to upcoming films, including Deadpool 3, the adventures of the god of mischief will have a major role to play in setting up The Kang Dynasty, including potentially setting up the very team that may finally defeat Kang at the end of Phase 6.

The Fantastic Four are known for their time travel antics in Marvel Comics, making them a perfect target for the TVA. The team could very well be apprehended in Loki, especially if Kang the Conqueror is Loki Season 2’s villain. Their incarceration at the hands of Kang and the TVA agents would not only explain The Fantastic Four’s absence from the Infinity Saga but also their return as the Multiverse begins to unravel as a result of the events explored in Loki. Such an appearance would also allow the team to battle Kang early in their MCU tenure, setting them up for a long rivalry with the villain.

Captain America: New World Order will likely, as its name implies, introduce a new hierarchy of power to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Sam Wilson continues to pave his way as the new Captain America. Captain America 4 is important to the MCU not only as an exploration of the new Captain America but also in building the next lineup of Avengers. The film is expected to explore Sam’s place as the new leader of the Avengers, potentially acquainting the MCU mainstay with several new heroes along the way, but maybe hiding the surprise introduction of The Fantastic Four.

While many theories have suggested the more cosmic titles of Phase 5 as The Fantastic Four’s first appearance, New World Order can perfectly introduce the team in a grounded way, setting up the team’s place among humanity before following them on their decidedly ungrounded heroic endeavors. Such an appearance could also explain the Fantastic Four’s MCU origin story, which will evidently not be included in their upcoming solo film. Having Marvel’s First Family appear in New World Order, or any other Phase 5 title, would give audiences a compelling taste of what is to come, leaving them all the more excited for Fantastic Fourin 2025.

MORE: Every Upcoming Marvel Movie Release Date In 2023 And Beyond

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