Yup, you read the title right. Marvel may cancel their longest running title, the title that launched the Marvel Age, to screw Fox.
Here’s the deal: Fox owns the movie rights to both Fantastic Four and X-Men. When Fox bought the rights, Marvel was in major bankruptcy drama and Fox got a total steal. Essentially, Marvel makes very little money off the success of the Fox movies and cannot get the movie rights back unless Fox stops making the movies, which they never will. Meanwhile, Marvel Studios are making craploads of money off their Marvel Cinematic Universe which includes the Avengers flicks and the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
What this means is- often the Marvel will promote the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy comics over other properties, especially other properties owned by other studios. And by promote, I mean shove these licenses down fans’ throats. This is why we Marvel has pimped the Avengers, Thanos, Ultron and the Guardians of the Galaxy at the last few Free Comic Book Day events. This is why the Fantastic Four and the X-Men aren’t on the Marvel 75th Anniversary Magazine cover. And this is why the Inhumans somehow have a comic being published and are being ushered in as mutant replacements.
Bleeding Cool‘s Rich Johnson reports that a Marvel source has informed him that Marvel plans to cancel all Fantastic Four titles in both the Ultimate U and the 616 to screw with Fox. The team would instead only guest star in other titles. Bleeding Cool also reports that Marvel is taking down the Fantastic Four artwork that hangs in the Marvel offices. The first cancelled title is rumored to be Ultimate FF, a title that was launched only last month. Here is the August solicitation that may be the last issue:
ULTIMATE FF #6
(W) Joshua Hale Fialkov (A/CA) Andre Araujo
• The ULTIMATE UNIVERSE’S worst nightmare approaches
• Jump into the future of the Ultimate Universe as the DOOMSDAY CLOCK counts down.
• The END of the FUTURE FOUNDATION.
Do I believe it? Absolutely. Marvel is bringing in Scrooge McDuck levels of cash with their Marvel Cinematic Universe flicks- waaaaaay more than they are making off comics. Of course, they will never cancel the X-titles because that franchise sells itself, but they won’t go out of their way to promote the X-Men like they do the Avengers. Marvel can easily cancel Fantastic Four, a comic that is not a top seller, and fill the rack with another title to promote some other Marvel Cinematic Universe property. Marvel is very patient in promoting titles they think can make money in the theaters, look at the Guardians. Heck, Marvel can just make a new family comic starring similar astronauts hit by radiation. That’s how they are turning “the miracles” into the new mutants.