Tuesday, October 14, 2014

NOT SO FANTASTIC:  Apparently at least partially due to the ongoing cold war between Marvel/Disney and Fox over the divided film rights for the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, Marvel is bringing to a close the adventures of Reed Richards and family, at least in comic book form.  The two prior FF movies were admittedly a mess (with the exception of Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis), but the upcoming reboot has promise (Josh Trank's Chronicle was a very interesting and different take on the superhero thing) and for years, the Four were the leaders of the Marvel Universe.


  1. Given the direction in which comics have moved in the Bronze Age and since, it's kind of amazing that the Fantastic Four lasted this long.

  2. Joseph Finn3:37 PM

    Can I admit I kind of liked Julian McMahon as Doom? The movies were terrible, but he was OK. I do find my indifference to this interesting; I'm a Marvel guy from way back, but FF to me was always kind of the dull older brother side of Marvel New York. I grew to appreciate it more than like it (and it's not, as some have said, because of a teenage dislike for marriage stories; ask me my feelings on DC destroying the Clark/Lois and Marvel the Peter/MJ marriages for no good reason).

  3. My first comic book was Fantastic Four #282, and it has remained my favorite series. The Mark Waid run is essential reading, and the Hickman epic was such a cool sweeping arc, reaching deep into Byrne's run for source material and expanding on it seamlessly.

    This is not the first time they've ended the book. I feel like it's just going to be back in a year, but I'll probably end up grabbing up the trades to complete my post-Waid run anyway.

  4. Adam C.9:40 AM

    I guess I don't understand the business strategy here.

    1. Cancel beloved but underperforming comic book series
    2. Wait several months for release of Fox movie (with intriguingly talented cast and director), which, success or failure, will be seen by more people than have picked up a FF book in, I don't know, the last 5, 10 years combined
    3. ????
    4. Fox raises white flag (but don't they still hold rights for 5 more years after the movie?); Marvel/Disney declare victory, and profit!

  5. It's unclear how the rights structure works, but reports suggest that unless Fox is in active production/release on a Fantastic Four film, a clock starts running for the rights to those characters to revert to Marvel. It's not entirely clear how short of long that clock is. I suspect Disney wants the rights back less for the Four themselves than for the villains and supporting cast--Galactus, Skrulls, and Silver Surfer are all part of the Fantastic Four IP, and especially as the MCU goes more cosmic post-Guardians of the Galaxy, that's stuff they want to have.

  6. Adam C.1:35 PM

    Fox has already announced a release date for FF2 in 2017. they need to do something more to be "active" I guess, but I would imagine assigning a scriptwriter or doing some casting would count.