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Friday, May 26, 2017

Marvel is Finally Playing Nice, and We All Win

There's a silent war going on in comics, a war that saw Marvel giving properties that aren't being made into Marvel Studios films the cold shoulder. They've canceled the Fantastic Four comics (whose film rights belong to 20th Century Fox) and pulled down the X-Men down the mud in favor of the Inhumans (whose rights belong to Marvel itself), and have even gone so far as to stop people from making toys and other merchandise featuring them. As Tom Brevoort was quoted to say,
"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?"


But these days, Marvel has been playing nice with the kids in the playground, the first and biggest sign of which was the arrival of Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe thanks to a deal between Marvel and Sony, something that was just a pipe dream until very recently. With Spider-Man: Homecoming firmly placed within the MCU and coming soon to theaters in June, there's no denying that Marvel and Sony have extended the olive branch, and not a moment too soon.

And that's not the only sign. The Fantastic Four are rumored to be making a comeback in comics soon, and Hasbro has been putting out new Marvel Legends toys of the Fantastic Four bit by salivating bit, the first of which was the Invisible Woman, with Human Torch on the way. And the X-Men? The new NBC show Gifted is a Marvel and Fox co-production featuring mutants, and X-Men action figures have been making a comeback in toy aisles.


But for me, the biggest sign that all this is really happening is the teaser Netmarble just released for their game Marvel Future Fight, a game I've been playing and enjoying for quite some time. It's been a running joke in the community that everyone clamoring for X-Men characters in a game filled Marvel-owned characters are just shouting to the wind, but now they've just teased new characters arriving in the Future Fight roster...and their names are Cyclops and Storm!


And all of a sudden, a Marvel future looks just a bit brighter.

As much as Marvel's childish antics irk me, all signs point to a Marvel that's found a way to co-exist with its fellow studios and finally give comic book fans what they've been asking for all this time: a shared universe that isn't just full of Avengers and Inhumans, but also mutants, scientists, and kids with spider powers. Whatever started this war, the end is already in sight.  And we all win.


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