What would Ben Grimm do?
After a few months of truly bizarre speculation across the internet, and denial from the publisher, Marvel confirmed this morning at their Axel-In-Charge panel at New York Comic-Con that they are indeed canceling their main Fantastic Four title. The publisher seems like they are planning something new for their roster of Fantastic Four characters, but this is mere speculation at this point. The comic is ending in 2015. CBR ran a quote from the panel that featured current author of the title James Robinson speaking on the surprise cancellation of the comic.
“That’s the thing — everyone’s upset now because the book is going away,” Robinson said. “Are they buying the book? I don’t know if they are. A lot of it is just people like to get online and moan and complain. I guarantee you if you kill of any character, the most obscure character, you’ll get one angry person that claims it was their favorite character. Jack Frost, golden age character, they’ve done something to him. Where’s the razor blades, I’m slashing my wrists. People do that on the internet, so you have to take that with a grain of salt.”
The author deserves some massive props for talking about his run on the title so honestly. Hopefully this coming change for the Fantastic Four will be what is necessary to get the book boosted into the top 50 of the Diamond Sales charts. Marvel’s first family deserves it after all.
It’s smart to give it a rest for a while. Let it breathe until August 2015 and relaunch with a big creative team.
Lets be clear, people are upset the book is going away, NOT upset that Robinsons is going away. If it was about sales then they could get a new writer. I loved Hickmans Fantastic Four and couldn’t get enough. I couldn’t care less about Robinsons and dropped it. So yes… I will get on line and moan and complain about the book being canceled. Not because I read it at this time, but because it’s the Fantastic Four and should always be available from Marvel. Get a new writer and don’t let the publisher play games because they are upset with the movie.
This kind of announcement is where Perlmutter needs to come out from his hidden bunker since he doesn’t like to be seen by anyone and explain to the crowd his reasoning behind this whole thing and see how much they actually care about him being pissed off at Fox because they took a good deal when Marvel was at a desperate time in its existence.
I very much agree with both Chris and Spike. The book A) needs a rest and B) needs to not be written by James Robinson, who hasn’t displayed any talent since 2002.
Point of order: while not many people bought it, Robinson’s Shade 12-parter circa ’11 as just as good as anything he wrote in the 90s or 00s.
This same team with these same four characters, with only a few temporary variations, has been around for more than fifty years. It’s a stale dynamic, and would benefit from some permanent changes to its roster.
While the cancellation due to corporate politics bit could be true, I personally suspect it’s just a temporary cancellation that leads into a high profile relaunch.
Johnny, they just had the high profile relaunch. There’s no way to say they’re still looking for one.
@Nick Jones: Perma-nent…chan…ges?
I’m sorry, I’ve been reading DC and Marvel for decades and I have no idea what that series of letters you just typed means.
If you’re going to ruin the Fantastic Four with “permanent changes” then it does need to be put to rest so that Axel Alonso, Tom Brevoort and all the other Powers That Be at Marvel don’t turn it into something unrecognizable like they have the Avengers comic (Comics I guess if you count the different adjectives).
They should bring them back with switched genders so I can sit back and watch a million fedoras explode…
The cynic in me says that if The Fantastic Four were available for future films under the Marvel Studios rather than languishing within FOX Studios we’d see more FF presence in their monthly output of comics.
What would Ben Grimm do?
Enjoy his retirement — he’d be in his 80s by now if the comic had kept to the (approximate) real time kept, however unconsciously/reluctantly, by Lee and Kirby during its first decade.
Marvel have totally lost the plot, what changes are they going to make when
they relaunch the FF is anyone’s guess, the house of no ideas lack a unified direction, it’s just a bunch of clowns playing havoc with titles that they have no affinity or sense of history for, I’m fed up of these cabbages, they can do what they want, I’m reading other publishers.
Curious to see so much negativity about James Robinson here. To me, his run on Fantastic Four has been fun, charming and filled with a good degree of drama. The best thing he has written in the last years (aside maybe from The Shade mini-series).
And much better than the snooze-fest that was Matt Fraction’s run.
Finally, we’ll discover that Franklin’s been stretching space/time all along… http://zak-site.com/Great-American-Novel/ff_end.html
Christ almighty. It’s like if Gene Ray was an FF fan.
Considering that two members are WWII veterans, it’s time they retired … and moved into a nursing home.
Does anyone doubt that this is just another gimmick, like the “death of Wolverine”? The FF will no doubt be revived in time for the movie next year.
Thirty years ago, you could take cancellations seriously; it meant the title had lousy sales. Today, sales don’t matter; the millions of dollars from licensing and merchandising more than offset the crappy sales on most titles. And make no mistake, Marvel and DC are in the licensing and merchanding business. The comics are just a bonus for diehard fan-addicts who don’t want to let go.
….or for people who like comic books about those characters.
Of course, It’s a “gimmick”. BFD. The company will give the book/characters a rest and come back when they think they have a more commercially viable take on the book.
Is it due in part to Ike not wanting to support an FF movie? Maybe. But sales of 50,000 comics a month (or whatever FF sells these days) aren’t going to impact the success of the film. Fox may have to spend an extra couple of million to keep the fanboys happy. Or not. Maybe they’ll go see it to spite Marvel and turn it in to a massive hit.
And Ike doesn’t need to “come out of hiding”. He doesn’t owe, you, me or anyone who’s read the FF for years anything. He’s the largest shareholder in Disney, the owners of the intellectual property we’re all discussing. He’s made no social contract with any of us and for all I know has never read an issue of the book. He’s a businessman, making a business decision that you don’t like. If you disagree with the decision, choose not to support his product. End of story.
I keep hearing that it’s a new golden age of comics. Maybe you can take some of that money you were going to spend on FF or other Marvel books and buy LUMBERJANES or THE WICKED & THE DIVINE instead.
Finally, there’s no reason characters need to be continually published. Marvel’s biggest superhero franchise of the last 40 years lay fallow for over five years. If you believe that there must always be an FF book from Marvel then by extension the company should also still be publishing MILLIE THE MODEL and SKULL THE SLAYER. The reality of business is that every comics publisher has to continually evaluate their franchises and make hard decisions about what’s working and what isn’t. Publishing is a business and no one is in it to lose money no matter what their emotional ties to the product might be.
Jordan eventually left the Bulls. Favre eventually left the packers. Life moves on. But Lebron is back in Cleveland. And anyone who thinks Marvel won’t be publishing an FF book in the near future just hasn’t been paying attention.
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