Marvel Comics is one of the oldest publications that exists in the comic world. It has given the world great comic book characters like The X-Men, Iron Man, Spider-Man to name a few. The wide variety has resulted in crossovers of epic proportions like Infinity Gauntlet and Heroes Reborn. When Marvel comic characters started to enter the movie world, fans had expectations of seeing crossovers to happen as well. That expectation was met only after two decades.
The first successful Marvel comic characters to enter the movie world were The X-Men characters. Introduced in 2000, with Bryan Singer as director, movie audiences were introduced to the whole new world that they had never seen before. 20th Century Fox, the studio behind the movies made a pretty penny with more than a dozen movies under the X-Men franchise. By the time Marvel Cinematic Universe entered the picture, the once flourishing franchise was at its lowest. X-Men: The Last Stand was critically and commercially panned, setting the studio back financially for a few years.
Marvel Cinematic Universe entered the movie world in 2008, with Iron Man as its first feature. The media franchise paved a new way for how movies were to be made. But the studio found itself in a messy situation when it came to its comic characters. The rights to Spider-man were owned by Sony and The X-Men by Fox. Although they are still Marvel characters, this divide has caused a huge problem for the comic book industry. X-Men writer Chris Claremont discussed the huge point of contention to during New York Comic Con:
“That has nothing to do with comic sales, that has everything to do with the fact that the film rights are controlled by a rival corporation. I guarantee you that if 10 years ago, when Marvel was approached by Disney, if the X-Men film rights were owned by Marvel Studios and not Fox the X-Men would probably still be the paramount book in the canon. The reason for the emphasis on the other titles is because Marvel / Disney control the ancillary film rights whereas all the film rights for the FF- the Fantastic Four — and the X-Men are controlled by Fox who has no interest in the comic books. So I think the corporate publishing attitude is: ‘why would we go out of our way to promote a title that will benefit a rival corporation’s films when we could take that same energy and enthusiasm and focus and do it for our own properties?’ Hence the rise of the Inhumans as the new equivalent of the mutants. I could wish for something else but it ain’t my 5 billion dollars.”
Although Hollywood has a bigger market than the comic world, it is sad to hear that a rift between two studios about money has resulted in the art suffering. X-men is one of the most beloved comic books/characters in Marvel. The rise of Inhumans is of course, still a pleasure to see and much deserved, but what is most bothersome of this rift is the dissipation of the X-Men franchise. The movies have long been criticized by fans for not following the source material, and Marvel’s refusal to produce more stories has only seemed to start the end of the X-Men.
Hopefully, Fox will accept Marvel’s offer for a crossover, as that will surely bring a balance in the pendulum of the comic word. Spider-man has already seen a renewed success with the joint effort, and whose to say that the same would not be met for the X-Men.