A huge rumor that has gone around for the past few years has been regarding Marvel Studios and Fox and whether or not Marvel canceled the Fantastic Four comic over film rights. Many people believe it to be true, although Marvel denies it. However, an inside source says otherwise. And while I usually take inside sources with a grain of salt, this one seems pretty reliable.
Jonathan Hickman, who written Fantastic Four comics including some of the best Marvel stories ever, recently came out and addressed the rumor stating that it's true. He confirms that the reason for Marvel canceling the Fantastic Four comic series is all because of the film rights of the characters. In an interview with Newsarama, he had this to say:
"I think it's pretty common knowledge at this point that Marvel isn't publishing Fantastic Four because of their disagreement with Fox. While it bums me out, I completely understand because, well, it isn't like they're not acting out of cause. Fox needs to do a better job there.
"That kind of thinking runs contrary to everything I believe in as a professional storyteller. It comes form a place of manipulation where an attempt is made to make the reader desire something through denial. It's hacky. It's suboptimal. It's the central tenet of all shitty dating advice. If you want someone to care about a book, write a story they care about."
This is pretty heavy stuff coming from Hickman, and while Marvel publishing still claim the reason is due to sales, I'm not sure. I think Hickman might have been right at first, but to be honest, the desire for a Fantastic Four series isn't really huge right now either. Amongst comic book fans and friends none of us are going, "man, when is FF coming back." And a lot of that has to do with Fox. The bad movies have left a bad taste in my mouth. I'm kind of sick of them. I've enjoyed seeing them separated. Doctor Doom as Iron Man has been awesome. Johnny Storm helping out the Inhumans has been exciting. Thing was a part of the Guardians of the Galaxy. We had Mr. Fantastic's evil Ultimate universe counterpart being a "fantastic" villain for many a person. The only real person we're missing is Sue Storm.
I get when people say Marvel is screwing over Fantastic Four, but it's a twofold thing. If no one has any really good reason to bring them back, why do it? Wait until there is an epic story to tell to bring them back with. Hypothetically, if Marvel did decide to bring them back, but the issue seemed forced or lackluster, it would just cause them to shelve them once again. I'm not saying wait until Marvel has the rights back to make the comic again, but putting things on the shelf sometimes can be for the better.
It will be interesting to see them come back together, because of how much time they've spent apart. They will have all changed in many ways. Until then, Infamous Iron Man, is freakin amazing and stars Doom, Thing, and Richards to some extent. If you are really fixing for some Fantastic Four, check it out.