Elements in Fiction

Legends of Windemere

Ultimate Fantastic Four Ultimate Fantastic Four

It actually took me years to realize that the Fantastic Four were based on the four elements.  In my defense, I was into Spider-Man and the X-Men, so I barely paid attention to the FF unless they made a cameo.  This got me thinking long ago about elements being used as a power base.  I do it a lot with some characters (Nyx/fire) more obvious than others (Timoran/earth).  There are various elemental systems too like the Godai (5 elements of Japan) and the Wu Xing (5 elements of China).  I’m going to pay more attention to the 4 element system that I tend to use.  Feel free to tell more about the others or mention different groups in the comments.

One issue with using elements is that it’s been done a lot.  Fantastic Four, Captain Planet, Avatar: The Last Airbender, mythological beings, etc.  It’s a tradition/cliche/trope in…

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