FourEverI was, as noted, very happy that Jack Kirby, co-creator of the Marvel Universe (at worst) won his legal action with Marvel Comics. But it points out how much money must be involved, a rumored $30 million to the Kirby heirs.

It appears that Marvel Comics is cancelling the Fantastic Four comic book, one of its flagship titles, and it’s likely it’s because of too little money, not from the comic book, but from the movies.

Before the superhero-movie renaissance, a struggling Marvel sold the FF’s film rights (along with those of the X-Men) to 20th Century Fox at terms very favorable to Fox. Fast-forward to now: Fox is rebooting the Fantastic Four film franchise and Marvel gets hardly any money out of the movie, unlike the insane cash it makes on flicks made by its own studio (Avengers, Captain America, and the other titles in that universe) and the Spider-Man franchise (owned by Sony, who cut a good bargain with Marvel a while back)…

So, it would seem, if Marvel cancels the comic book, the movies won’t do as well. If Fox stops making movies, the rights to the movie portrayals revert to Marvel. THEN Marvel can (and probably will) bring back the FF, because, as someone who read the four-color items for three decades, almost nothing is permanent in the comic books.

Now Marvel can’t very well dump the X-Men, their most successful comic book for decades. But they could, as noted X-Men scribe Chris Claremont wrote, forbid writers from creating new characters lest they become the property of Fox. This does not serve the comic book well, I believe.

My only horse in this race is that once upon a time, I edited magazines about the X-Men and the Fantastic Four (and Spider-Man), so I have a historical affection for the characters, though I haven’t read much of them in two decades.
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As this infographic suggests, the movies of both Marvel and DC are very important.
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John Green tells why he hates Batman. But if you’re in the Albany area, check out Batman’s 75th Anniversary Celebration at Albany Public Library branches this week.

5 Responses to “Antics of comic books and film”

  • I don’t get it. Aren’t the Fantastic Four an institution, protected by federal law or something?

  • Roger says:

    It’s all about the Benjamins.

  • SamuraiFrog says:

    Most of the stories paint this as spite on the part of Marvel’s CEO. I don’t see how canceling FF really hurts any potential movies… it’s not like FF has sold very well for quite some time. Marvel has canceled books this year that have higher circulation. If anything, it’s a movie that affects the sales of the comic and not the other way around. So all Marvel seems to be doing on the face of it is hurting themselves.

  • Roger says:

    I’m not that versed in current tie-ins, but historically, you’d have nifty movie/comic tie-ins. Sans the comic, not possible. More to the point, though, sans the comic book, it might lose the cool factor, with the fanboys complaining how realistic the movie is in re the comic..

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