There are always plenty of rumors circulating in the comic books industry. Perhaps about some major revelation or plot twist, maybe killing off a major character, or maybe cancelling a book(s). There are a few rumors floating around about some of Marvel’s prestigious properties, ranging from the reasonable to the quite outlandish. I will summarize a few of them in ascending order of ridiculousness.
1. New Wolverine Series
It’s not a rumor that Marvel will be killing off one of its most popular characters later this year with the already extremely hyped “Death of Wolverine” mini-series. The problem being that Wolverine is involved in a few on-going titles, most notably his eponymous book, Savage Wolverine, and Wolverine & the X-Men. Savage Wolverine is not really laced with continuity so that one can continue with self-contained stories. However there is a problem surrounding Wolverine & the X-Men in that it is part of the on-going continuity of the X-Men, as it was included in the ten part event “Battle of the Atom”. According to Bleeding Cool contributor Rich Johnston, it will continue on in a similar style to the Batman & Robin book after Damian’s death that will continue by spotlighting different characters as the lead in place of Wolverine. Apparently the first post-Wolverine arc will feature Peter Parker taking over as headmaster of the Jean Grey School during which the book will be titled Spider-Man & the X-Men.
1a. New “Wolverine” Series
This is not a legitimate rumor, but it’s pretty funny. The Outhousers posted a great mock rumor that Marvel would continue to publish monthly titles featuring Wolverine because “a dead Wolverine will still sell more books than 90% of our other titles.” Plans are to merge all of the Wolverine books together and package it with two of his illegitimate children, who are not NOT Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman, who discover Wolverine’s dead corpse and pretend he is still alive to take advantage of the other players in the Marvel Universe.
Again, not real.
2. Cancelling Fantastic Four
Marvel does not own the movie rights to all of its comic book properties; Spider-Man belongs to Sony, and the X-Men + Fantastic Four belong to Fox. The Fantastic Four have a reboot currently in production, so the rumor circulating is that Marvel is going to put the First Family on hiatus to spite Fox and the fact that Marvel does not have the movie rights (which Fox purchased from Marvel back when Marvel was bankrupt).
There are some true statements concerning Marvel and the FF, the first being that the Ultimate FF book is being cancelled after issue #6. The Ultimate Universe as a whole has not been doing so well, outside of Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man. The other true statement is that the Fantastic Four were not included in Marvel’s upcoming 75th Anniversary Magazine cover. Reed Richards still appears frequently in New Avengers and Ben Grimm shows up in other books as well, but apparently the rumor, again from Bleeding Cool’s Rich Johnston, is that Marvel will cease publishing any monthly title of the Fantastic Four, because Marvel does not want to promote the comics which would in turn promote the movies.
I personally don’t think this reasoning jives because Marvel specifically undid all of the actions from “Dying Wish” and cancelled Superior Spider-Man for Amazing Spider-Man 2, which was released by Sony and not Marvel Studios. The current Fantastic Four is mediocre and the first two movies were largely forgettable, so it’s not as though this is a hot property to begin with.
2a. Cancelling Entire X-Men Run
Because guess who else was left off of the 75th Anniversary Magazine cover and guess who else has their movie rights owned by someone who isn’t Marvel. This rumor was largely started by a post on the boards at Comicbookresources.com, and some people have chimed in that they have information that the rumor is true, that Marvel will cancel ALL of the X-titles out of spite. Because they do not own the movie rights to the X-Men, Marvel would cancel any X-Men related title and instead begin to push the Inhumans, which they have started to do and which they do have the movie rights.
This would be exponentially more hazardous for Marvel than cancelling any Fantastic Four book, partly because there are always a dozen or so X-books in the monthly rotation, but mostly because it is one of their most popular comic book properties. Marvel kept publishing the X-Men back when the book was selling so poorly that the new issues released were exact reprints of previous issues (issues #67-#93 were reprints).
Marvel has even go so far as to make the comic stories MORE like the movies to which they do not own the rights to, especially during the original X-Men movie trilogy where the costumes and characters were changed to mimic the movie versions. The only momentum that this rumor has is that the X-Men were omitted from the Anniversary Magazine cover and they may be pretty serious about leaving Wolverine dead for a long time as shifting to the Inhumans would mean they wouldn’t have to worry about resurrecting him.
Current X-Men architect Brian Michael Bendis responded to the rumors, though he didn’t explicitly confirm or deny them, but only stated
“that no matter what Marvel does these readers think that Marvel hates the X-Men with a fiery passion and are looking to destroy it. And this goes back way before movies or cartoons, this goes waaaay [sic] back, so even though the best artists on the planet and franchise writers have been put in charge of this very important part of the Marvel universe some people still think that Marvel is out to blow its own foot off.”
The only thing Bendis confirmed in his response is that “something exciting is coming next Summer”.
3. Marvel Reboot
Marvel already tried to restart a lot of their titles back in 1996 with the awful “Heroes Reborn” and they had a thematic restart with Marvel NOW! (followed by All-New Marvel NOW!) in reaction to DC’s New 52, so it’s not as though Marvel is against soft resets. However the current rumor, ignited by the upcoming “AXIS” crossover is that Marvel is planning a complete reboot from scratch (exactly like DC’s New 52). Many readers thought that that “Avengers vs. X-Men” event would be Marvel’s version of “Flashpoint”, mostly because it happened shortly after “Flashpoint”, but it only led to the thematic reboot and the ad nauseam relaunches.
In the previous rumors, the thread at Comicbookresources.com says that Marvel will be rebooting next Summer after “AXIS” and presumably after the Avenger’s event “Time Runs Out”. Both DC and Marvel have been publishing for many, many years, and DC had previously benefited from a few continuity cleanups with their Crisis events and New 52 reboot, but Marvel has never had something like those. Some characters have had major retcons, such as Iron Man updating his origin from the Vietnam War, but Marvel has never had a company restart to cleanup all of the stories that have been told since the ’60s. Marvel could probably benefit from restarting and redefining characters for a modern audience (sadly no more Iron Man roller skates), as it seems they tested the waters with All-New X-Men, which brings back the original five mutants from X-Men. The big difference between the big two is that DC is bloated with comics about second and third-tier characters where Marvel is bloated with multiple titles for one team/hero, mostly numerous Avengers and X-Men books each month. A reboot would probably mean that most of those get carried over, with a few getting dropped, but also some more titles that highlight specific characters/teams specifically because of the reboot.
The biggest wrinkle with the supposed reboot, in relation to previous point 2a, is that the reboot would NOT include any X-Men, because Marvel would rid their universe of mutants and instead use the Inhumans. The only ones to carry over would be Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, who would be reclassified as Inhumans and not mutants. It’s hard to imagine that Marvel would completely drop one of their illustrious properties over spite, but then again they did switch to those horrendous self-covers, which I cannot stand.
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