Scenes from Marvel’s Shadow War with Fox over Fantastic Four.

I missed this for some reason, but: there’s been some allegations cropping up that Marvel has been sabotaging their own Fantastic Four comic book line because the movies keeping sucking so bad. Said allegations are coming from Fantastic Four writer Jonathan Hickman, so you’ll need to take that with a grain of salt, there. Still:

”I think it’s pretty common knowledge at this point that Marvel isn’t publishing Fantastic Four because of their disagreement with Fox,” Hickman explained. “While it bums me out, I completely understand because, well, it isn’t like they’re not acting out of cause. Fox needs to do a better job there.”

Hickman’s reasoning seems to imply that Marvel did indeed drop the FF because of the Fox films – not necessarily for financial reasons, but because the most recent reboot was both critically and financially unsuccessful, and failed to reflect well on Marvel’s comic books. Marvel still publishes an entire line of X-Men comic books, for example, despite Fox also controlling that franchise’s film rights.

…is a potent argument, not least because the movies have been really, really bad.

It’s funny. When I first saw that Fantastic Four Silver Surfer sequel, I was not utterly appalled by it.  I thought that it might have made… a decent enough TV season (God knows it presented as one). It was at least trying to show them as a family, you know? — And then I saw some actually good superhero movies, and realized that this series sucked.  And so apparently did the 2015 film, whose reputation imploded in time for me to avoid it.  So, hey, I’m not entirely upset with Marvel lowering the boom like this.

Moe Lane

PS: As to the 2015 flick: if you’re going to make Johnny black, make Sue black, too.

6 thoughts on “Scenes from Marvel’s Shadow War with Fox over Fantastic Four.”

  1. The only reason why Marvel haven’t pull Spider-Man and X-Men books, is that they account for about half the titles.
    Fox, like Warner Bros, took the wrong lesson from the Dark Knight Trilogy (DKT). The DKT was good because Batman was dark and gritty. Instead, Warner Bros thought that everyone wanted “dark and gritty” everywhere and DCEU blew up in their faces. If Justice League is a critical failure, then the DCEU is definitely dead.
    Fox wanted “dark and gritty” in the Fantastic Four and it blew up in their faces.

  2. Oh, there’s not any real question that Disney has been doing exactly what they’ve been accused of doing- removing as much of the X-Men and FF from the comics, and any Marvel property, as possible. But it’s not because of the quality of the movies.
    Examples? Look at video games. Prior to the Disney purchase, Marvel video games could generally use whatever characters they wanted. Look at Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, which used pretty much anyone. After the buyout that policy changed. Games after that point had zero bits from either the FF or X-Men (And Spidey for a while too). Future Fight only got X-Men in the game a month ago, after things thawed a bit. Avengers Academy has Night Nurse, but not Wolverine. And the games that existed prior to the buyout and had different licenses started getting pressured to follow the new policies instead. Playdom’s Avengers Alliance had characters from all teams. Disney steps in and the mutants being drying up. Then they were bought by Disney and the game replaced with MAA2, which, lo and behold, had no disputed characters. Gazillion’s Marvel Heroes? Happily creating characters from all across Marvel at launch. 2015? No mutants at all. 2016? One, after the fans were loudly complaining.2017? The Fantastic Four characters, who’d been in the game for years, are suddenly removed from the store and game, along with most related properties (Mole Man, for example) with only a few day’s notice. Traveller’s Tales- Lego Marvel? Yep. Storm, Wolvie, et all. Lego Marvel 2? Man-Ape’s in the game. Not a single mutant in the game yet. Marvel vs Capcom Infinite? Same deal.
    In addition, Marvel is doing its best in universe to remove as much as possible. FF? Cancelled after being in Marvel’s schedule since the FF’s launch. All the X-Men books did disappear from the schedule for a brief period. Reed? Sue? Off in a space between universes. Doom? Still in the universe, but he’s playing Iron Man right now. Mutants? Marvel’s been playing the “Inhumans are just like mutants, only better!” card for years now. X-Men writers have been told not to create any new characters for fear that Fox would get the rights to them. In-universe, the Xavier Academy was in interdimensional space because the Inhumans had released something into the air which sterilized and was killing mutants. Logan? Dead. (That’s a long story about why he’s still around.)
    “They’re just doing this because of the low quality of…” No. That’s just the latest fig leaf. Disney’s just throwing another tantrum of “give us our toys back.” You want stuff Marvel sold before you took over, Disney? Write people a check. And stop trying to sic the fans on them because it’s getting old.

      1. They owe nothing to Fox, true. But they owe something to the fans, and I’m sick of the friggin’ X-Men (the greatest superhero team of all time) now being treated like the junior varsity in the comics universe just because the studio to which Marvel sold the franchise rights keeps batting .500 or just above.

  3. I’ve occasionally heard it commented that the only good thing to come out of the Fantastic Four movies was Chris Evans’s casting as Steve Rogers.

    1. Not quite true. I liked Michael Chiklis.
      Neither of which was brought to us by the last cinematic abortion…

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