Well this is an interesting one. Recently we ran a piece looking at the absence of comic book characters associated with Fox Studios on the Marvel 75th Anniversary Magazine cover, in favour of the likes of the Inhumans and Captain Marvel.
Well, now I'm being told from a Marvel source that Marvel are intending to put the Fantastic Four comic books on hold, both Marvel Universe and Ultimate. The characters will still appear, but in other folks' books such as Inhuman and Avengers. And that artwork featuring the Fantastic Four is even being taken down in the company offices.
Twentieth Century Fox pretty much has an eternal claim on Fantastic Four and X-Men movies, if they keep making them, after the deal was done during Marvel's bankruptcy days, with very little benefit to Marvel.
The belief inside the higher echelons of Marvel is that promoting these properties in comics only benefits Fox's movies at the expense of those from Marvel Studios. Which is why the Inhumans are being pushed as mutant replacements in the Marvel Universe. And Marvel have been pushing Avengers, Guardians Of The Galaxy and other comics over the X-Men. And while X-Men comics remain solid sellers, they are no longer the focus of internal promotion unless, as with the upcoming AXIS event, the Avengers get equal billing.
If this story is true, we should be able to watch for an absence of Fantastic Four from upcoming solicitations. Will we get an Ultimate FF for September? The August solicitations seem rather final…
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.
The Fantastic Four is Marvel's longest running comic book and is the foundation of the Marvel Universe. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1961, even if its sales have varied, it's considered the cornerstone of the comic books. What will happen if it goes away…?
Marvel gave an "no comment" when approached.