by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer
NOW ON TWITTER @IR_Supernerd
It’s official – the Fantastic Four are no more.
At least for the time being anyway. It’s been speculated for some time now that Marvel Comics was going to cancel the comic for some time now. Things looked bleak during their Secret Wars mini-series, and the fact that they were the only major franchise without a rebooted title in the “All-New, All-Different” universe led fans to believe that the First Family of the MCU would no longer have a published book.
In an interview with Comic Book Resources, editor Tom Brevoort confirmed that “at a certain point, we set out [in Secret Wars] to do the last Fantastic Four story, at least for the time being,” although he admitted that, “we didn’t necessarily start with that as the original goal.”
Many thought that Marvel was going to cancel the title back in 2015, in the hopes that Fox’s reboot of the film franchise would tank (which it did) and it would be easier for Marvel to regain the property for its movie arm, Marvel Studios. But Brevoort says it’s more about fan AND creator indifference towards the characters:
Fantastic Four has been one of those books that, for a number of years, has been effectively taken for granted. It’s been considered stodgy, or old school, or some people see it as a thing that’s there and people are comfortable because it’s there, but they’re not particularly passionate about it. So we’re not going to have that book for a while.
While there have been some decent runs in the recent past (Mark Waid’s and Johnathan Hickman’s work comes to mind) the title has just been kind of a placeholder, not really burning up the charts but not really slumping down them either.
But it’s not over forever. Brevoort points to another major franchise that people thought would never be canceled and came back stronger than ever:
We didn’t have a Thor book for a while. For a couple of years, there was absolutely no Thor book, and when Thor came back, it was a huge book. It continues to be a huge book to this day. I think that absence was part of what made people cherish its return, and then it was just having great talent to execute that return. If the same sort of thing happens with Fantastic Four that would not be the worst thing in the world.
While characters will still appear in the rebooted MCU (Thing in Guardians Of The Galaxy and the Human Torch in Uncanny Avengers and Uncanny Inhumans for example) this will be the first time in over fifty years that Marvel Comics hasn’t had a Fantastic Four book on the shelf or at least in development.
It truly is the end of an era.