Marvel/Disney is waging a licensing war with Fox over the Fantastic Four and X-Men properties. Marvel sold the film rights for the characters and their supporting casts to Fox back in the 1990′s when they were struggling with bankruptcy. Since then Marvel has moved on to bigger and better things including joining the ranks of Disney and becoming a film blockbuster builder themselves.
Now they want their toys back and Fox is not parting with them and are unwilling to share like Sony has with the Spider-Man franchise.
Marvel’s answer is a self-imposed embargo that blocks any and all licensors from using the characters associated with Fox’s film rights. Sounds like a brilliant strategy! Marvel will defeat Fox through attrition by preventing as much external awareness of the properties as possible.
In-house, they have also cancelled the Fantastic Four comic book and killed-off Wolverine, the most popular X-Man. They have even gone so far as replacing the characters on graphics from famous covers and removing them from Marvel Universe posters and 75th Anniversary trading cards. They are systematically erasing anything to do with the properties as if they never existed.
This decree, reportedly issued by Ike Perlmutter, is so obsessive it is becoming perverse in its resemblance to Holocaust denial, a conspiracy theory considered an act of antisemitism that is illegal in several countries. Like Marvel erasing mutants, Holocaust deniers will go to great extremes to convince people that the Holocaust never happened. Their goal, like Marvel’s, is to revise history to suit their agenda.
It is ironic that the mutants which compose the X-Men have long been a symbol of marginalized people and have often been equated with the Jews in the Holocaust. The mutants have been the champions of those that are different in the Marvel Universe. They have fought the good fight to be accepted and in their success have attracted fans world-wide who could empathize with their struggles and achievements.
Yet now, to satisfy the agenda of a corporation, these mutants, along with the Fantastic Four, a team that is the keystone of the Marvel Universe, are being eradicated, replaced by a new, more acceptable breed of heroes called Inhumans and an assortment of other “B” list characters.
Marvel/Disney is becoming our worst nightmare, an oligarchy that is willing to erase a mythology that has had a tremendous impact on our popular culture and specific marginalized communities that have embraced its message of inclusion and tolerance. They are manipulating history for no other reason than to effect their bottom line but at our culture’s expense.
Marvel’s property embargo is a brilliant tactic but a disgrace to a humanity that has accepted these mutants and heroes as our own. It is just another gross example of how willing corporations like Marvel/Disney are to manipulate us for their own gain. Congratulations Marvel! You are officially Disneyfied.