The new Fantastic Four sucked. 20th Century Fox tried rebooting the franchise with a different origin story, but it didn’t work, they might as well give the rights back to Marvel now. People are debating whose fault this was, but I think it’s just that the story has been done so many times. But wait, there’s one last hope: to set the film in Mongolia. Stay with me.
Did you ever wonder why Pixar’s The Incredibles looks like a rip-off of Fantastic Four? Or Avatar: The Last Airbender? That’s because The Fantastic Four is really based on the four elements principle. The Thing is earth, Human Torch is fire, Invisible Woman is air, and Mister Fantastic is water. The concept of the four elements being the root of all life is an old one. And, let’s be honest, it’s been done so many times that now the audience is getting bored with it.
What if there were not four, but eight elements? Yes, this is where Mongolia comes in. We Mongols have a celebration in the lunar new year called Tsagaan Sar, or White Moon. Picture the Fantastic Four getting googly eyed in front of iconic Tsagaan Sar dishes, roasted sheep back and stacked traditional cookies. The celebration is greatly influenced by the Chinese New Year, but we have a uniquely Mongolian ritual called mur gargakh (guessing this doesn’t happen in China, feel free to correct me in the comments) on the morning of Tsagaan Sar. Each year, depending on your age and gender, you’re assigned to appease one element out of eight. So, if you’re twenty-eight next year and you’re a male, you’d get metal. Aside from fire, earth, water, and air, there’s wood, the cosmos, mountains, and metal.
Mur gargakh literally means to make your mark. It involves walking out of your home in a certain direction, and performing rituals to honor the elements, like lighting a match or bending a piece of metal, and reading a mantra twenty-one times. If you fail to do it, you’ll get poisoned by the element. Yes, fantastic.
How Mongolia Can Save the Fantastic Four
Let’s say four mopey teenagers traveled to Mongolia (a fresh origin story) and during White Moon, they screwed up all the mur gargakh rituals. They get cursed by the elements. But each of the four don’t just get one elemental super power—they get two!
So, Mr. Fantastic, who has a watery elasticity super power, also becomes able to grow wood out of his body. Why? So that his name becomes Mr. Fantastic Wood. Ladies are gonna love him even more, and we have a great drama between Sue and Reed. But the best thing is that he can regenerate limbs like Groot from the Guardians of the Galaxy. C’mon! You never thought about Reed having his limbs chopped off during all his stretchy, rubbery movements? Wood element changes that.
The Thing. He gets the worst rap. Why not offset it with some cosmos? In addition to earth, he also gets cosmic manipulation power, which makes him The Space Thing. It sounds cooler! He’s just like himself, a rocky dude, but he’s in space. He hibernates in space like the tardigrade, and when it’s clobbering time, he falls down into the Earth’s orbit in a precised strike and obliterates everything.
The Human Torch? That dude’s too cocky. For all the time he made fun of Ben, it’s time to make Johnny get payback by adding in the mountain element! He’s Human Mountain Torch! So, he’s like one of the titans in Hercules! And he has to keep “Flame on!” all the time, because if he stops doing that, he’s just a morbidly obese guy with saggy old skin.
The Invisible Woman? Pffft. We need to toughen her up a little. The metal element gets added on for her. Introducing, the one and only, THE INVISIBLE METAL WOMAN. She can pierce you, or slam you with huge-ass metals that you can’t see. She can manipulate metals like Magneto, but make them invisible too. She’s the deadliest of the four, and suddenly, her gestures become way more menacing.
Natso Baatarkhuu lives in Mongolia and writes in English. His works have appeared in Cracked.com and The UB Post, and he started this website. He dreams of publishing novels and selling screenplays someday.