I really like the Fantastic Four despite the fact that I've read next to none of their adventures (but I have started reading John Byrne's run on the book) and think they have an interesting dynamic. This piece was inspired by reading a discussion on who would make suitable replacements within the team which then got me thinking -- what if there were an all-female Fantastic Four for a while? Who would replace the male members?
Obviously Sue Storm was a given. She's the heart and soul of the Fantastic Four. I love her to death, think she's badass and I especially felt for her during Civil War which ultimately proved her independence from her husband. Next I decided to throw in She-Hulk because of her existing friendship to Sue as well as her muscle which could replace the Thing's but she also has the advantage of being a lawyer. With She-Hulk providing some comedic relief as well, I thought that the Human Torch's replacement could be someone with elemental powers who didn't necessarily have to be the funny one. That's why I picked Firestar. Lastly, I wanted someone to really be able to match Reed's intellect -- unfortunately, Marvel is REEEEEAAAALLLLY limited in its selection of highly intelligent female characters. Kitty Pryde's powers are too similar to Invisible Woman's, Emma Frost would be unrecognizable in an FF costume, M wouldn't get along with her teammates and Sage would also distance herself from the team. Plus, they're all X-Men related characters. Instead, I decided to go with Ms. Marvel. A personal favourite of mine, she's the all-around fighter with a little bit of each of their abilities plus she's an excellently trained spy which means she has the necessary skills and intelligence to be on the team. After picking the line-up, I tweaked all their costumes to fit the FF scheme and then put them all together. Kind of cute.
The obvious missing component was the family factor. After all, the Fantastic Four is usually known as Marvel's First Family. HOWEVER, as someone who watches shows like "Sex and the City" and "Golden Girls" you come to see that sometimes friends can be family. You especially notice that with Birds of Prey. Oracle, Lady Blackhawk, Huntress and Black Canary aren't just friends -- they're like a family. Unfortunately, Marvel still hasn't caught onto this phenomenon amongst women and they haven't quite made a compelling all-female ongoing series yet like DC has.