But to understand this a little better, let's look at what started this mess. Back in the mid-90s after the big comic book boom, Marvel was the verge of sinking as the company was actually about to go bankrupt. One of the measures they took to survive was by selling the rights of the characters to movie studios, which explains why for example, Sony Pictures got the rights to the Spider-Man universe, and Fox got Fantastic Four and X-Men.
Even though Marvel/Disney and Sony have somewhat smoothed their relationship to the point Spider-Man might end up in the Marvel Studios Universe, things with Fox have been rocky at best. The first shot fired was by Fox actually, over the use of the word "mutant" since they own the movie and live action series right. Enter "Mutant X".
It's hard to imagine now, but ten years ago Marvel did not have the backing power they have now, so they stayed away from anything that would involve another costly lawsuit. But Marvel now has an ally in The Mouse.
And to further complicate things, there was the issue of Quicksilver. Pietro Maximorf was cast in both Avengers: Age of Ultron AND X-Men: Days of Future Past. A brief side-note, I find it hilarious that Kick-Ass and Ass-Kick are both in the role of Quicksilver, but now I'm just getting ahead of myself. Again, Fox and Marvel went to court until they decided they both will share custody of Quicksilver. Of course, shots are still being fired as Marvel Studios claims both versions are completely different from each other and the Quiksilver will have a much bigger role in Avengers than just one stand out scene. This brings us now to Marvel, understandably to an extent, playing dirty.
Chris Claremont revealed in a podcast recently that there is a mandate in Marvel right now that no X-Men creative team is allowed to create new characters within the franchise.
After the announcement that the Fantastic 4 movie reboot will have little to nothing to do with the comic book, during the New York Comic Con, Marvel announced it is cancelling the series.
After the Kramer vs Kramer war waged over Quicksilver, Marvel now is trying to disassociate Quicksilver and sister Scarlet Witch from being offspring from Magneto. And the big question is, is Marvel shooting themselves in the foot by doing this?
Sure, Marvel is within their right to do so, but will these tactics benefit them in the long run? Yes, Marvel is not suffering from financial drawbacks even if they decided to cancel all X-titles in the future. Hell, it was just announced Star Wars #1 will be the first single issue in over 20 years to sell over a million copies. But where will all this leave the fans of Fantastic 4 and X-Men? It is a huge risk taken by Marvel, because who's to say these characters will still remain popular after the fact that they may be out of the shelves for as long as Fox holds the licensing rights?
But on the flip side, both Wolverine and Fantastic 4 maybe need the extended break to breath some freshness into them. Maybe being dead for at least a year would benefit Logan from a comic book standpoint that the character had grown stale.
It is a huge risk taken from Marvel, and unfortunately fans will pay the toll in this battle between Marvel/Disney and 20th Century Fox, but in my opinion, as long as fun movies keep coming out (I was actually pleasantly surprised by both X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past), and as long as we have the older trades and stories that made these franchises house hold names to begin with, there isn't much to worry about. Except that Fantastic 4 reboot. I'm afraid of that one.
Anyways, as always, thank you all for reading, leave thoughts and comments below, and have a great upcoming weekend, fellow geekettes and geeks!
-Alvaro Cortes Jr