To many True Believers, it seems like Marvel Comics is phasing out the Fantastic Four and the X-Men from their publishing line up due to the fact that they don’t own the movie rights to these characters right now and therefore cannot include them in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There have been several instances that feed into this mindset including the cancellation of the long-running ‘Fantastic Four’ comic, the deaths of Deadpool and Wolverine, and the exclusion of both groups from the company’s latest promotional poster. But now a new title coming this fall as part of All-New All-Different Marvel may definitely spell out the end for Marvel’s mutants.

Earlier this week, the House of Ideas released a preview of the upcoming series ‘Extraordinary X-Men’ from Jeff Lemire and Humberto Ramos. This post-‘Secret Wars’ title is one of many X-Men books coming up in the near future, but the pages indicate that some mutants won’t make it to the end thanks to a new threat. Before we really start to analyze this situation, check out the first look at the premiere issue and it’s variant covers, followed by the official synopsis of the book:

A cataclysmic event that has altered the destinies of both Mutant and Inhuman. Many of the X-Men have gone missing – including their wayward leader Scott Summers. It will take the remaining X-Men to forge mutantkind into something stronger. Something extraordinary!

Storm, along with Colossus, Magik, Nightcrawler, Iceman, Jean Grey, and Old Man Logan will lead those who are hated and feared headlong into tomorrow. Welcome to the new Marvel Universe, X-Men – hope you survive the experience!

In case you missed it, these pages tell us that this series will deal with mutants being threatened by a pure form of the Terrigen Mists, the substance that activates an Inhuman’s dormant abilities. And not only are the mists lethal to mutants, but survivors could be sterilized, which would result in the eventual extinction of all mutantkind.

That’s a pretty heavy storyline, isn’t it? And some may view it as a shot at 20th Century Fox for retaining the movie rights to Marvel properties. However, that’s not how Marvel Comics Editor-In-Chief Axel Alonso views it. In his weekly interview with Comic Book Resources, he indicated that fans shouldn’t be concerned with the supposed “replacement” of the X-Men by the Inhumans (even if that’s basically what’s happening in the MCU movies or TV shows). Instead, they should read on to find out what happens in this particular story:

“We’re aware of the ‘meta’ connotations, but that’s not what inspired this development. People can keep speculating and click-baiting all they want; we have a cool story to tell.”

Whether Marvel is using the comics as leverage to apply pressure in Hollywood or not, there are certainly signs (specifically in ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’.) that point to the company using the Inhumans as sort of a placeholder for the mutants. Although when it comes to the comics, I don’t think that they’d cut off such a moneymaker. After all, they’re not restricted from using the characters in print. And with other titles such as ‘All-New Wolverine’, ‘All-New X-Men’, ‘Deadpool’, ‘Old Man Logan’, ‘Scarlet Witch’, and ‘Uncanny X-Men’ on the way, it doesn’t really look like they plan to do so in the near future. It’s almost like Marvel might be viewing the comic universe as a separate entity from the other forms of media they’re involved in. Curious…

Do you think that Marvel Comics is phasing out the X-Men in favor of the Inhumans because of Fox retaining the mutant movie rights? Is ‘Extraordinary X-Men’ the first step in making the inhabitants of Attilan more prominent in the comics to boost their multi-media appeal over the likes of Wolverine, Gambit, and the other mutants? Or do you think that rabble-rousing conspiracy theorists are blowing the situation out of proportion? Share your thoughts and theories in the comment section.