I’ve heard some wild things in the past, but nothing as crazy as this sounds.  Rumor has it that Marvel is turning its back on their “First Family” the Fantastic Four!  Back in 1961, ‘Fantastic Four’ #1 became the very first official Marvel Comic book.  The team– Mister Fantastic, Invisible Woman, The Human Torch and the Thing– has been a lynchpin in the Marvel Universe ever since.  And since their comic relaunch in 1975, the X-Men have been one of Marvel’s top franchises.  So why would the publisher suddenly turn its back on these two venerable groups?

Movies, apparently.

Before Marvel launched its own movie studio, they licensed out the rights to their characters to various studios.  The rights to these characters have, largely all reverted back to Marvel (since a lot of the movies bombed).  But Fox has held on to the rights to both the X-Men and Fantastic Four.  ‘Days of Future Past‘ just scored majorly at the box office, so the rights to the mutant franchise isn’t leaving any time soon.  Last year, Marvel was hoping that Fox would let the rights to Fantastic Four lapse allowing them to revert to the Marvel fold.  However, Fox hastily cobbled together the currently-in-production FF reboot to retain the rights.

Now, Marvel has debuted the cover to its 75th Anniversary Magazine and shockingly absent are any members of the embroiled teams.  Instead Marvel has showcased The Avengers, The Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man, all characters they do have the movie rights to.  (And, Spider-Man, whose movie rights are licensed to Sony.)  Also depicted are Captain Marvel and Nova, characters that it has been hinted will either appear in a ‘Guardians’ sequel or in the case of Captain Marvel, her own movie.

Also shown are Iron Fist, coming soon to his own Netflix series and Black Bolt, the Inhuman, once again rumored to be getting a movie.  It should also be noted that the Inhumans have been repositioned in the comics as a mutant replacement.

Here’s the REAL kicker… it seems that Marvel is actually cancelling the ‘Fantastic Four’ comic book!  The characters will still exist in the comic universe, but won’t have their own home book.  (They had two!)  AND that Marvel is actually removing artwork featuring the team from their home office!

The X-Men are slightly different in that those books sell extremely well, so Marvel won’t be cancelling those, but they are pushing The Avengers over them in its crossovers and such.

It’s not clear why Spider-Man is exempt from these cuts, other than the fact that he is the company’s flagship hero.

When asked about these changes, Marvel replied with a terse “no comment.”

So nothing is confirmed at this point, but this cover is mighty telling.  What do you think?  Is Marvel cutting off its nose to spite its face?

Source: Bleeding Cool