‘What’s going on with the X-Men and the Fantastic Four comics’ is the question ringing in the ears of astute comic book fans. Since Marvel owns the films rights to many of their own characters, they continue to publish comics for most of their marquee characters. Unfortunately, Marvel does not own the film rights to the Fantastic Four and X-Men. With the House of Ideas getting ready to prime a massive new Avengers team announced far in advance of the roster taking shape in current continuity, fans are wondering about the current slate of publishing announcements regarding the X-Men and Fantastic Four characters. Nearly a year ago today, Marvel Executive Editor and Senior Vice President of Publishing Tom Brevoort chimed in on the with the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises coming to an end with this quote from his Formspring blog:
We are publishing FANTASTIC FOUR. Next month, we will be publishing FANTASTIC FOUR. A year from now, assuming that it’s still selling well, we will be publishing FANTASTIC FOUR. Given enough time, anything can happen—we went a couple of years, for example, without a THOR series, as well as a year and a half with FF, AVENGERS, CAP and IRON MAN not being a part of the Marvel Universe. So anything can happen. But it probably won’t.
Marvel could very well be close to the announcement of a brand new comic published with the Fantastic Four or X-Men, but at the moment, we only know that these two titles are in limbo. Author Brian Michael Bendis is leaving the X-Men titles, which means much of the line will cease publication following the monumental issue #600 (as far as we know.) The Fantastic Four main title has concluded as well, even though key characters (from that slate of properties) are involved in Marvel’s Secret Wars. A fan asked Tom Brevoort about the state of the X-Men currently, this is what he had to say almost a year after the previous statement:
If you had two things, and on one you earned 100% of the revenues from the efforts that you put into making it, and the other you earned a much smaller percentage for the same amount of time and effort, you’d be more likely to concentrate more heavily on the first, wouldn’t you?
As noted by Business Insider, Marvel did kill Wolverine — even if they are still publishing the Old Man Logan title — the main Wolverine character is not alive (for now in 616 continuity.) Amazon also shared a listing from a poster with Marvel characters updated for this calendar year of publishing.
Marvel has also replaced the Secret Wars characters from the following two shirts removing the X-Men and Fantastic Four characters from classic covers. We took this image listing from Amazon, which features the Human Torch notably absent in the red flame streak burning in the background of the cover.
This shirt has Iron Fist and Luke Cage front and center (among others) instead of including the marquee heroes first involved in the event all those years ago. The Secret Wars branding is off of the t-shirt, but the art is repurposed from the original cover.
The Fantastic Four and X-Men are noticeably absent. I would like to rephrase the question asked a year ago involving this piece stating: what would Ben Grimm do?