If you follow the politics in the superhero world, you may have heard that things are no bueno between Marvel and Fox these days. See back when superheroes weren’t the box-office gold they are today, Marvel licensed out its characters/titles/properties—whatever you want to call ’em—to various studios. Then Fox kicked off the age of superhero blockbusters with X-Men in 2000, and the gold rush was on. Marvel, which is owned by Disney, has been working to get movie rights to all its superheroes back, and is almost there—except for two major franchises: Fantastic Four and X-Men. These are still owned by Fox, and Fox isn’t remotely interested in giving/selling them back to Marvel/Disney. So Marvel’s been trying to wage war on Fox with its comic books. Marvel canceled the Fantastic Four comic, put its X-Men mutant-verse in safe mode, and is trying to downplay the significance of both of those teams (going so far as to erase them from classic merch) while raising the profile of the Inhumans. Yes, the Inhumans. This has been chronicled in many places, and we’re giving you the short version of this TechTimes article.
If this all seems a bit consumer-unfriendly, it is. While Marvel and Fox butt heads, the little people—comics fans—are paying the price. If Fantastic Four was your favorite comic book, hey, sorry. If you can’t wait to see what happens next to your favorite X-Men, don’t get your hopes up. Marvel is actively trying to make these two pillars of its comics empire unpopular, while servicing the endless flow of Avengers movies.
Artist James Zark likes recasting X-Men as his favorite punk (or proto-punk, or postpunk) musicians, and he’s calling Marvel out on this mess with typical punk attitude in a new piece called “Jean & Sue Get the Pink Slip”:
That’s Jean Grey as played by Debbie Harry (of Blondie), wearing an X-Men/Mickey Mouse hat and a t-shirt that would make Charles Xavier blush. Sue Storm is portrayed by Madonna, who has a Fantastic Four logo tattoo and a big Fox earring. The image is available as a print at James Zark’s Inprint store—though perhaps not for long. Zark’s description:
In honor of Marvel Entertainment rebooting their line of comic books sans two of their finest heroines, here’s my tribute to Jean Grey aka The Phoenix and Sue Storm aka The Invisible Woman giving the old boss a farewell salute.
Here are the images that set the stage for this epic F.U. to Marvel—Zark’s much more benign “Never Mind the Mutants: Here’s the X-Pistols” series, found at his official site:
Tip: Bleeding Cool.