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Friday, 31 October 2014

Comment: Marvel's Attempt At Killing/Sabotaging The X-Men, Not X-Cellent


Comic book superheroes attract 2 different sets of fans: the first being general movie-goers, who don't seem to care if they are made by Marvel or another studio, nor care much about the back story. And secondly, comic book and superhero fans, who care for those franchises and characters & for the comics and movie versions of those comics. In addition to what goes on in the comic book world at DC Comics, Marvel and other publishers. 

Back in the days before Marvel comics were big and hugely successful as a entertainment conglomerate, they were on the verge of going bankrupt.

To prevent this from happening, they struck deals with Fox Studios and Sony Entertainment to make Spider-man, X-men feature- length movies. 

In order to maintain those rights and to keep the money rolling in, Sony and Fox need to and could only use the characters they were licensed to use. They could not use Marvel's other characters, because it is beyond their control to do so. This could explain why X-Men fans never saw Gambit and Jubilee in the main X-Men team on-screen (yet). 

But when the Marvel entertainment-verse expanded to movies, we got the Avengers, Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man and Captain America. X-Men with Fantastic Four was and has ever since been Fox's properties since the late 1990s. 

Of course, if the ball was in Marvel's court, they would ideally want to seize full control of the rights, and this could only happen if Marvel's superhero properties flop badly and fail to generate box office success. 

This cynicism, is further heightened with anonymous -yet shady practices of creators being told not to create any new X-Men characters for its comics. 

Like many X-Men fans, I do feel as though Marvel are short-changing us by using the X-Men as a cash cow and trying to keep the brand alive through its comics line, but this time, making them not as relevant as before. 

Because the comics are not as widely read as they have been for a long time, nor have the sales been great, I reckon therefore Marvel are using it as an excuse to promote the X-Men less through other business ventures. Just because they don't have the movie rights to X-Men. 

And the announcement of the Inhumans movie, was in my opinion an attempt by Marvel to say we have a new version of the X-Men, and that we don't care for this series as much as we used to. 

What Marvel are doing at the moment, is considered disrespectful to so many X-Men fans on many levels. 

Besides, that company must be pretty stupid, if they believe X-Men fans are oblivious to what has been going on this year and in the past couple of years. Many of them are angry over the way the X-Men has been mistreated and tossed aside, in favour of The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy. Not to mention the rubbish story-lines existing in the X-Men comics recently. 

Marvel took a gamble on Guardians of the Galaxy; after that it became a box office success and now they are taking full advantage of its success, and through Inhumans, it is expected to do the same thing. But I can't really see lightning strike twice. I'm on the fence as to how well the movie will turn out, but I am also unsure about this group's 'replacement' for the X-Men. 

As for the movies, I'm not saying the X-Men movies are terrible: I really enjoyed X-Men: The Last Stand and Days of Future Past. 

If X-Men was made by Marvel studios, yes we would get some light-hearted scenarios, but the casting and characters would be almost faithful to and reflective of the comics and the timeline for which the comic canon is based on the movie. If however, X-Men continues to be in Fox's hands, the storytelling would remain deeper, darker and the underlining themes that were evident in the animated cartoon of 1992 (which was also made by Fox) would still be there. And this especially, is what separates the X-Men from many other comic book franchises. The themes, subject matters about the mistreatment of mutants by mankind and inequality, is reminiscent to that of racism, human rights and stuff like that. 

It is what drew and attracted fans to the series, as well as the varied characters. 

Having said that, Marvel can still make an X-Men movie as dark and serious in tone as Fox does, but less dark and as I said earlier, it would have more familiar X-Men mutants. The team would be more diverse and with 3 or 4 new faces thrown in. 

It is difficult for fans to put their finger on whether Marvel's (mis)treatment of the X-Men (franchise) in the past couple of years through the comics reverberates towards their failure to acknowledge the success of those movies. Conspiracy theory is far-fetched, yes. 

This is more of a comics issue, as opposed to a movie one; the Hollywood movie industry operates completely differently and separately to the comic books industry.

Examples included: 1) When Marvel decided in 2005 to throw in a story-line where the Scarlet Witch (of the Avengers) altered reality and taking away the mutants powers that resulted in the death of many mutants. 2) When in the Avengers x X-Men crossover, 5 of the X-Men members were turned into villains & the Avengers destroyed the X-Men. 

X-Men characters have turned heel before, such as Cyclops and when he murdered Professor Xavier. But this idea of making Storm, Wolverine etc as bad guys, angered X-Men fans and rightly so. It was a ridiculous idea pitting these two groups against each other and blatantly so, in order to rub salt into the fans wounds. X-Men fans in particular. 

In all, this all sounds rather fishy. Perhaps the X-Men aren't in the same league any more. What with The Avengers & Guardians of the Galaxy earning the plaudits from its fans and comic book movie fans and the X-Men's successors, the Inhumans coming up on the scene via a up and coming live- action movie. 

The irony of this whole situation is, that the X-Men are a band of mutant superheroes who just want to be treated with the utmost respect - yet Marvel, the very company who created those characters and this universe, in the last few years have shown and paid little respect to those characters and to its fanbase. 

For Marvel, the X-Men is the b*stard stepchild of their superhero line-up. 

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