True Believers answers the question, “Did Stan Lee really say Marvel Studios was getting the X-Men back?”

Hello comic lovers, I want to welcome you to the section of Comic Watch where we take our time to debunk the rumors you see on the internet nowadays. Since we are based in fact, we’ve decided to call this section….TRUE BELIEVERS!

Now sometimes proving a rumor true or false is quite difficult. We can’t exactly call up Stan Lee, Kevin Feige, or Jason Momoa, so in that situation, we try to discredit the article for being nothing but editorial rumors. To start off this segment, we’re taking on one of the biggest rumors out there….”Stan Lee announces Marvel is working on getting X-Men rights back.”

There is so much wrong with this article. First off, a lot of people seem to think Stan Lee owns Marvel Comics, he does not. Stan has been around since the very beginning, but not as an owner, but as a creator, publisher, editor, etc. He is credited with creating the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Hulk, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Daredevil, Thor, Inhumans, and the X-Men. Many of our favorite heroes that he created, he did so as a collaboration with Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. He has actually left Marvel to enjoy the wonderful world of retirement, but has been given the honorary title of Marvel’s “Chairman Emeritus”, which basically means he’s the retired face of Marvel. This being said, the key word is “retired”, so this basically means he has no executive decisions when it comes to Marvel’s future endeavors.

Some back history on this rumor, in the 90’s, Marvel was going through some severe financial difficulties, and chose to sell the rights to some of their biggest heroes, to save their day. Spider-Man was sold to Sony Studios and X-Men and Fantastic Four were sold to 20th Century Fox Studios. Here is where are the confusion begins when it comes to Marvel movies. Marvel Studios cannot use any of the X-Men or Fantastic Four in their movies, but they also can’t even use the word “mutant”. That’s why Wanda and Pietro get their powers due to experimentation, instead of their original origins in the comics, as mutants (also helps explains why their origins in comics were changed too). Also this is why the Prince of Cameos, Hugh Jackman, never makes an appearance in any Avengers movies (let’s face it Stan Lee IS the King of Cameos), even though in the comics, he’s an Avenger too.

How did this rumor get started? Simple! Other comic book news sources took a statements that Stan made at Wizard World Nashville. His exact words were “Sooner or later, they’re going to get the rights back to all our characters.” He went on to say “They’re working on it, and they’re still making X-Men movies and stuff. You’ll get more Marvel superheroes than you’ll have time to look at in the next few years.” Now we got to stop with the excitement, step back, and look at this with a common sense, legal point of view.

First, let’s break down his first sentence. “Sooner or later”, well yes, sooner or later it will happen. But how? Most likely due to the expiration of the original contract. This wasn’t the first time Marvel sold rights off to other studios. Back in the 60’s, there was a Sub-Mariner (Namor) cartoon done by another studio. The ownership of Namor is still a muddled legal mess, last rumored to be back with Marvel Studios but again he’s a mutant and I don’t think they want to tough that legal nightmare currently. So basically, when the original contract expires, ownership to the X-Men and FF, will revert back to Marvel Studios.

Next, let’s look at “They’re working on it”. Well why wouldn’t they? The X-Men and FF franchise has been estimated to be worth roughly $4,000,000,000, that’s 4 billion dollars! If you were Fox Studios, and owned something worth that much, would you simply sell it? Of course not! Not only would your stock holders be furious with you, but you lose all potential financial income from one of the most lucrative franchise around today! It makes no sense at a business prospective for Fox to sell the rights.

Now of course, they could do like what Sony did, and share the profits with Marvel Studios, but still maintain the rights. Again, they’d have to SHARE the profits. Why would you do that, especially when the franchise is doing great on it’s own? A whole related sensationalized internet rumor that started to spread, stated Kevin Feige (President of Marvel Studios) was hopeful for an Avengers vs. X-Men like movie, but it was all taken out of context from an interview that Feige had done. In truth, Feige has stated there was no discussion in the works to bring the X-Men and FF to the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe).

Keep in mind, that the entire MCU has been meticulously planned for several years now. Each movie that has been released, has been done in a comic book manner. Meaning it is working up to a major event, this being Infinity Wars. Like in the books, writers tie in characters in their solo books to a large event. Events normally tend to be 6 or so issues, but with the solo books and side stories, can encompass 20-30+ issues! Now we’re not going to get that many movies, but there’s a reason we have 3 Iron Man movies, 3 Captain America, 3 soon to be 4 Thor, 2 Avenger, 2 Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, Spider-Man homecoming, and many more to come. It is following in the classic book pattern.

Now how do you think throwing in the X-Men and FF this late into the game, would disrupt things? It’s quite literally too late to do so without making a major mess of things! Can you imagine all the scripts what would need to be rewritten, actors hired, contracts drafted, locations found, crews hired, etc…? It would be an absolute nightmare and make a mess of the whole MCU and come off as forced. Not to mention, a lot of actors’ have time limitations on their contracts. Chris Evans isn’t always going to look that age, RDJ will eventually want to work on other projects, and how long do you think Chris Hemsworth can keep up his godlike body? Ok, so we can get more life out of Ruffalo since half the time he’s a CGI’ed green monster, but still these actors have other ventures and personal lives. If you want to get a good idea at how hard Chris Hemsworth works out for Thor, check out the pictures of his body transformations for his role in “The Heart of the Sea”. They go through severe physical up and downs for these roles.

What about Stan’s comment about there being plenty of superheroes in our future? Well have you not seen confirmation that over 60 heroes and villains will be in the movie? 60+! That’s just with the MCU. Fox has their own hero movies and shows in the works too. Don’t forget the release of The Gifted TV show and the upcoming New Mutants movie! We got plenty of comic book entertainment in our very near future! Plus the craze will die down eventually and we will revert back to being the dorks, nerds, and geeks of society. But until then, we are riding the high of this long overdue craze! When it comes back into popularity again, we will have a whole new list of actors, heroes, and stories to revel about. Maybe then the two studios will be one.

Another important thing to remember when you read these rumors, not only are they rumors, but majority of the time they are click bait! Basically they throw up a sensationalized title that’s going to cause people to rush to their website/page, but people don’t always read the article. A lot of the time, they post a bunch of rumors and before you’re done reading you start sharing the news all over your social media without reading the whole article. You should, cause down at the bottom, they discredit themselves and pretty much state that it is all a rumor but we could only “hope” for such a miracle to happen.

So remember my faithful readers, don’t always believe what you read, ESPECIALLY when it comes from a click bait source. We at Comic Watch are here to work hard to bring you real news, real facts, and debunk the nonsense that haunts all social media! If we can’t prove or disprove a rumor, at least we will dissect the click bait rumors, and bring a sense of logic and common sense to the nonsense the internet has to offer!

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