So… thoughts on the Disney acquisition of Fox. AKA: What does this mean for Marvel Studios now that all these characters are now available for the MCU. We are all somewhat familiar with what this means. Marvel gets the X-Men Back. They get the Fantastic Four back. There are some deeper implications and plusses here to consider. In order that they occur to me, here goes.
Carol Danvers has a rather intimate relationship with the X-Men to some degree. Logan knew her and served with her once. To the degree that a version of her lived in his psyche when he was hallucinating wildly and having conversations with himself. There’s also the huge story with Rogue, who stole Carol’s powers after a protracted touch for the better part of a decade in the comics. During that time, she was also shacking up with Cyclops’ dad Corsair as a spice pirate called Binary for a good long while.
Speaking of the Starjammers, consider also that with the X-Men / Mutant books in play, the Shi’Ar empire is also on the table. Those famed foes of anything to do with the Phoenix, and their Chuck-Lovin’ Empress have rather a bearing on the X-Titles. Is a Starjammers film in the cards later on? If only to see Scott’s stepmother, Hepzibah on-screen, I’m down with this.
When it comes to space powers and empires, Marvel Studios just hit the jackpot. Marvel Studios has had the Kree for a bit now, which is great for Agents of SHIELD, The Inhumans and the upcoming Captain Marvel movie. But does the Captain Marvel movie go into a rewrite now that the Kree’s longtime enemies The Skrulls are back in house? Are the bigger storylines to do with the Skrulls back on the menu? Stories like Secret Invasion? Do the Avengers now have the possibility of doing The Kree / Skrull War scenario that they were just getting back from when they mistakenly kicked the crap out of Jessica Jones?
When it comes to earthbound supervillains, they really just hit the jackpot as well. The two king cards they just got in this deck would be Magneto and Victor Von Doom. Yeah, we know how Erik vacillates back and forth between heroics and villainy. And that Doom is a goodie after his experiences being God for a bit. But for the intents and purposes of the MCU, you just got two threats that the Avengers have had loom large in the past. Now the events of X-Men 200: The Trial of Magneto are accessible. (See the 1980’s crossover, AVENGERS Vs. X-MEN)
Not that they’re REALLY a mutant team, but Alpha Flight were introduced in the X-Men comics and are all tied up with Wolverine’s origins. We’ve got mutants there like the Jeffries brothers, the twins, Northstar and Aurora. Which gets really interesting if they want to ramp up their LGBTQ representation. Though there is one more from Beta Flight that becomes quite interesting. Purple Girl was one of several illegitimate daughters sired by Killgrave over the years. Is it at all possible that since the Alpha Flight characters are now in-house, that Kara Killgrave might show up later on? Who do you get to play Tennant’s daughter in the MCU? This also plays into plot from the books, since the original agency that made Logan for Alpha Flight also made X-23.
Regarding Runaways over on Hulu, which Fox had a 30% stake in, which now reverts to Marvel Studios. Does Molly finally get to be formally called a mutant? It would seem her mutancy was glossed over by removing her parents from the equation in this show. Surely we all haven’t been good enough this year for Santa to promise us a scene where Molly from Runaways gets to punch Hugh Jackman through a city block. Do we get to see her crushing on magazine articles about Logan? Before she actually MET the fellow, she was gonna marry him.
So we’ve got Runaways, The New Mutants, Legion, Cloak & Dagger and The New Warriors in production in varying degrees. I have to think a lot of these younger groups didn’t get looked into by Marvel Studios cos of the Mutant Problem. This no longer being an issue, how long before we get The Young Avengers? How long before Tony Stark is replaced by Riri Williams? (I’m betting soon considering the state of Downey’s contract.)
The pressure is now REALLY on with Studios that currently own rights to their other characters. And while Marvel Studios can produce Spidey films with Sony getting the money… Marvel still comes out ahead with Spidey occurring in the MCU. Sony seems to have ideas, but they’ve already shown that they’re a bit hit or miss when it comes to the webslinger. Universal, with their rights to The Hulk will likely fall directly into Disney’s Crosshairs. It would be in their interests to either sell, or at least come to a Spider-Man-Like arrangement. It would be in Disney’s interests to back up a few semi’s full of money to Paramount to regain the rights to the Spaceknights if they mean to continue with this business of the Cosmic MCU. For strategic future space Marvel stuff and X-Men properties. With the Fantastic Four coming into the MCU, you can bet some focus will be devoted to sorting out legal issues regarding Universal, Legendary Pictures and Disney regarding Namor, the Sub-Mariner. And speaking of the Four…
Over the last decade, we’ve seen a steady de-valuation of The Fantastic Four at Marvel Comics. So much so that Reed, Sue and their kids have mostly been phased out of the comics entirely. Of the Four, we really only have Johnny and Ben bopping about. And Ben’s in outer space with the guardians, last I heard. Ultimate Reed’s still tooling about as a villain to some degree, or at least he was a year ago. But otherwise, the Four as we knew them are pretty much gone. Terminated by the ongoing policy of, “We don’t get the rights back, we’ll kick any reason to go see the films you’re excreting out from under you.” (You pretty much saw a back-burnering of mutant books to some degree in this regard as well.) Many already considered that the Four were Dinosaurs of the Silver Age. An outmoded set of characters that no longer resonate in a more scientifically aware world. What do you do with them to make a film about the Four that can rise above what Fox has done before?
Well, you straight up do the Ultimate Fantastic Four series and have Warren Ellis do it like he wrote it. Set your countdown clocks and betting pools now, folks. Let’s see how long it takes for Disney to drop a money bomb on the fellow to get him to make the Four great again. Next question?
With the Fantastic Four comes the Skrulls, sure. But, the rest of you are asking, “What about the Surfer and Galactus?” I’d really like to see that happen as well. You’d have to do something like that AFTER the Four were re-introduced, if you meant to re-insert them at all. So when the Surfer falls to earth and Galactus threatens to eat us all, Reed can pull out the nullifier and make him go. Or… do you even do that story at all? Do you forego the Surfer’s exile on earth and just have him be a part of the cosmic stories? If they don’t actually kill him off, does he get to meet Thanos later? Do we have the beginnings of an Infinity Watch storyline here? The last hurdles to that are pretty much gone. But if you mean to introduce both the Four AND the Surfer/Galactus in that order… this opens the door to:
Annihilus. Remember? He’s a Fantastic Four character. Right through that door into The Negative Zone in Reed’s workroom. With a firmly set up Cosmic MCU, Including people like Captain Marvel, the Shi’Ar, Skrulls, and the Kree, and possibly the Technarch and the Nova Corps, we now have the possibility of doing Annihilus and the Annihilation Wave storyline. These are some extremely dreamy freakin dreams and hopes here. So how about I get back to earth with a couple more Mutant questions.
Do we get to see the introduction of Ororo Munroe to King T’Challa of Wakanda? Do we see them get hitched? If not, that’s cool. I mean as much as I wanna see some representation continue on the big screen for the non-white-male characters in the MCU, the marriage of Storm and the Black Panther always seemed a bit contrived to me. IE: Let’s marry these two high profile characters. They’re both from Africa. That ought to net us some bucks! Nevermind they really had no previous history. But if they go that route… that brings into question how they’re going to handle the issue of Storm’s casting. It’s certainly not going to be the Whedon-Dialogue-Murdering Pay-Me-More-Cos-Here’s-My-Oscar Halle Berry. I suppose it could be Alexandra Shipp from Apocalypse since Ms. Berry may not want to revisit this. So the question for me becomes...
Will the X-men movies be rebooted entirely? I think it unlikely, but who can say? No-one anticipated once Disney took posession of Lucasfilm that they’d tank the MCU and all it entailed altogether. But they did it. This would be a bit more complicated. Fox is delivering a ready made mutant-verse into disney’s hands that has been getting established over the last 18 years. It’s not as easy as Star Wars was. All Disney really invalidated with Star Wars were some of Lucasfilm’s products, Novels and a crapload of fan-films. Getting rid of the Fox mutant-verse entirely negates several blockbuster films that really did well, along with at least two to three TV series, and movies in development. So likely I’m thinking the current x-movies will be folded into the current MCU slowly but carefully. Some recasting will happen, surely. Jackman MAY want to do one more Logan film if they ask him to be in an Avengers flick. But given that it’s going to be on the order of 20 years since he first took the role, I doubt it. So Logan’s a recast very likely. This is going to be awkward, for certain. And if a Logan Recast is in the offing… Is it at all possible we’ll get the original Claremont/Miller series we all deserved in the first place?
Speaking of awkward... what about the Quicksilver conundrum? Wherein two different versions of him will now exist if the universes are merged? He’ll be dead and yet still alive! JUST LIKE LEONARD COHEN! (Shoutout to my fans of The Young Ones, y’all!)
And finally… the Question of Netflix. A lot of money, resources and quality went into the production of the more street level MCU on Netflix. Turning not as well-known Marvel characters into household names like Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage. Characters that until Bendis came along were still on the trash heap of the 1970’s and 80’s. Now that they’re a whole thing, I’d have to imagine there’s a concern with their being trapped on Netflix instead of being brought in-house. Are we going to see these revived characters ghetto’d to under-promotion like the Mutants and the Four until they’re brought under Marvel Studios’ umbrella? What with Bendis gone to DC, their biggest champion over at the house of ideas is in question unless Brubaker means to keep it going strong. But is the parent company’s interest in KEEPING them going strong? These characters’ shows are some of the most refreshingly made for actual adults superhero stories. It’d be a shame to see them abandoned by Marvel like the Four and X-Men. Both of those franchises had some decided klunkers worth dis-avowing. But in the case of the Netflix shows? I think it’d be a bad mistake to simply drop em cos they’re not under the aegis of the house of mouse.
What other ideas might you love to see here? Now that the New Mutants and Asgardians may exist in the same universe, would any of you love to see Claremont and Adams’ ASGARDIAN WARS as much as I would? How many of you would love to see Ellen Page in Tom Hiddleston’s face?
Loki: “Are you threatening me, youngling?”
Kitty: “You betcha.”
OH BABY, JUST STICK IT IN MY VEINS!