Rich Johnston over at Bleeding Cool will stop at nothing to pull in cheap hits through a sensational headline. That's why we like him so much - he's just like us! But with the latest baseless rumor to come out of Bleeding Cool's mill, Johnston may have finally crossed the line. According to Uncle Rich, Marvel is planning to cancel the Fantastic Four comic book series (both Ultimate and regular varieties) in order to spite Fox for buying the movie rights to Fantastic Four and X-Men from them back when the publisher was going out of business thanks to the leadership of the current leadership of DC Comics.
Johnston started out with a thing that actually happened - the Fantastic Four and X-Men being left off the Marvel 75th Anniversary Magazine cover - and has added this:
Well, now I’m being told from a Marvel source that Marvel are intending to put the Fantastic Four comic books on hold, both Marvel Universe and Ultimate. The characters will still appear, but in other folks’ books such as Inhuman and Avengers. And that artwork featuring the Fantastic Four is even being taken down in the company offices.
Johnston goes on to suggest that Marvel executives believe that promoting the X-Men and the Fantastic Four in comics only serves the purpose of promoting the movies, which is why the company promotes comics starring characters it has the movie rights for instead, such as the Inhumans over the X-Men. This theory would almost make sense, except for two major problems:
1. Marvel currently publishes something like 25 ongoing X-Men titles with some of their top talent on the creative teams and has Wolverine appear in every single book they put out and on every single super-team.
2. If this were true, it's a completely idiotic theory because about 100,000 people total regularly read comics, and those people will see every superhero movie that comes out even if Marvel threatens to put a gypsy curse on them if they do. It's far more likely that movies would drive comic book sales, if Marvel bothered to let moviegoers know that comics still exist.
Still, this is the comic book industry, known for being run by moronic fanboys that base 40% of their business decisions on spite for their competitors, 50% on carny hucksterism, 10% on utter contempt for their readership, and an additional 30% on poor understanding of math, so, now that we think about it, Johnston's rumor might not be so off base after all. Still, we wanted to insult him thoroughly in this article so that he'll feel obliged to comment on it to defend his honor.
Here's the Ultimate Fantastic Four solicit for August, which Johnston uses to back up his claims despite the fact that the entire Ultimate Universe is getting rebooted:
ULTIMATE FF #6
(W) Joshua Hale Fialkov (A/CA) Andre Araujo
• The ULTIMATE UNIVERSE’S worst nightmare approaches
• Jump into the future of the Ultimate Universe as the DOOMSDAY CLOCK counts down.
• The END of the FUTURE FOUNDATION.
So what do you think, readers? Has Uncle Rich lost his mind, or is Marvel really so stupid that they're going to downplay some of their most popular characters under the completely ludicrous impression that doing so will somehow harm a rival's movie business? Sadly, thanks to the idiocy of comic book company upper management, this may totally be a thing that's about to happen.