Okay this is an exercise in looking at a bunch of dots and wondering if there’s a picture. BleedingCool certainly seems to think there’s one, but I don’t really buy their version because it fails the logic test for me. At least based on the dots we can currently see.
Okay, follow me here:
- The cover artwork for the Marvel 75th Anniversary project is for some reason lacking any member of the Fantastic Four despite them being the first modern Marvel superheroes.
- The Fantastic Four titles (Ultimate and Regular) are not selling well currently
- Marvel is currently running a storyline in which The Watcher (a character who originated in the pages of Fantastic Four) is killed
- Marvel does not currently hold the rights to make Fantastic Four movies, those rights are with Fox (and aren’t going anywhere)
- Artists working on sketchcard projects have been given guidelines telling them that all characters related to Fantastic Four are currently off limits. That includes the FF, Galactus, The Silver Surfer, Doctor Doom and The Watcher
- Last I heard Galactus (another Fantastic Four creation) was floating comatose in the Negative Zone
Those bullet points are facts. Though their actual significance may be in question. Now here come the rumor elements.
- Marvel are considering cancelling their Fantastic Four titles
- Senior management don’t like the fact they’re effectively promoting other studio’s movies instead of their own.
- Fantastic Four posters that were hanging in Marvel’s offices have been taken down
These are, and again I stress this… rumors… Marvel’s public response on social networking has been essentially dismissive but without giving firm denials. So inevitably that fuels the speculation.
If you put all these points together you can construct some interesting theories. The one Bleeding Cool is running with is that this is all a plan to snub FOX. But there really doesn’t seem to be any payoff to that so I’m not convinced. It’s not like that will get them the rights back again.
I could see them doing some sort of major storyline that takes the Fantastic Four out of commission for a while. They’ve done it before with other characters after all. And I don’t think they’ll prop up low selling titles indefinitely.
Are characters they don’t have the movie rights to finding themselves de-prioritized? It’s possible, but again no actual proof of that. Is it part of the build up to some large event? Marvel has a history of doing things like that so certainly possible.
Is it just random chance? That one is a stretch.