Marvel Comics is slowly killing off the entire X-Men Universe. The once proud franchise is now floundering over a movie deal with FOX that helped pull Marvel Comics from the brink of extinction. Now that Disney owns Marvel, decisions are made solely with the best interest of Disney in mind.
Marvel Senior VP of Publishing answered a question on his Tumblr almost one year ago, which was an indicator of what was to come.
“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?”
It’s an obvious sentiment from a business standpoint; but how could Marvel remove characters who fought through so much adversity and bigotry?
Marvel has already started to put the X-men on the back burner. A simple look at Marvel’s product page will show few X-Men related products. The Marvel Movie page is another site which doesn’t feature the X-Men prominently.
The most intricate move involved the alteration of two characters who began as X-Men but later joined the Avengers and even appeared in both the Avengers: Age of Ultron as well as X-Men: Days of Future Past.
In December of 2014, Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver had their origins revealed, which altered their lineage. The fact that Magneto is not their father is huge change in the Marvel Comics Universe. Marvel is changing the universe to be more in line with the Marvel Cinematic Universe where there are no mutants.
Marvel also killed Wolverine off. Wolverine is a flagship character, that is why he was on 20 teams at one time. To take Wolverine and put him on the shelf is a huge blow to the X-Men Universe.
One theory is that Marvel hopes to dam up the stream of new material by not creating any new mutants, which will hopefully bring the price tag down to buy back the film rights from FOX, but that is based on if the X-Men films begin to falter.
Brian Bendis, who has helmed the two main X-Men installments —All New X-Men and Uncanny X-Men— has left the franchise. Rick Remender, one of the main writers of the series also announced his departure last month.
Uncanny X-Men #600 will be out in October after a massive delay. “It was bumped until after ‘Secret Wars’ for editorial and commercial reasons,” Bendis wrote on his Tumblr.
X-Men fans held their breath as we entered the Secret Wars saga. It appears that the X-Men will survive for another day, but the once proud franchise that boasted 12-15 titles a month has been chopped in half. The X-Men line is down to six titles, three team-centric and three solo —All New X-Men #1, Extraordinary X-Men #1, Uncanny X-Men #1 and Deadpool #1, All-New Wolverine #1, Old Man Logan #1.
The future of the X-Men remains to be seen, but there are clear indicators that Marvel has mutants in their crosshairs. If you don’t think this is a possibility, go and try and find a new Fantastic Four book in your local comic book store.