Why I Support Fox Keeping the X-Men Film Rights

I’ve been saying this a lot in isolated cases on Twitter and Tumblr, I think it’s time I write a dedicated Tumblr post.

I currently support Fox keeping the X-Men film rights, and keeping themselves far away from Marvel and its Cinematic Universe. I’ll be covering three topics.

1) Disney/Marvel doesn’t appreciate or respect the X-Men franchise
2) Disney/Marvel would NEVER use Polaris with her family in the MCU, and doesn’t respect her anyway
3) The MCU is going to crash and burn anyway around 2020

1) Disney/Marvel doesn’t appreciate or respect the X-Men franchise

Everyone that reads comics already knows all about the forced retcon of Scarlet Witch (Wanda) and Quicksilver (Pietro) out of being Magneto’s kids. There’s more going on than that.

Every crossover event is specifically designed to give the Avengers franchise a boost and tear out or ruin something about the X-Men franchise. Avengers vs X-Men was set up to kill off Professor Xavier, turn key X-Men figures like Cyclops into terrorist villain types, and give the Avengers franchise more authority in pulling stunts like Havok’s “don’t call us mutants“ speech in the Avengers books. Axis permitted the Avengers franchise to turn Genosha into an Avengers location, use Professor Xavier’s mind to fuel hate, and to make Magneto look bad.

Marvel won’t make X-Men cartoons or video games anymore. The last one was an under-the-radar anime, and the last one before that was Wolverine and the X-Men, which they canceled very shortly after Disney took over despite having all of season 2 and even part of season 3 planned.

Marvel is even trying to hide the X-Men franchise where they think they can get away with it. San Diego Comic Con, they provided no dedicated panel for the X-Men; it was only shown when paired with Avengers. This is compared to how they had a panel dedicated to Spider-Verse when at the time, the X-Men had four more books coming out than all of Spider-Verse. Further, when Days of Future Past came out, Marvel 1) didn’t try to get people to read X-Men comics to turn them into Marvel fans, and 2) kept Quicksilver off the covers for All-New X-Factor while it was in theaters.

2) Disney/Marvel would NEVER use Polaris with her family in the MCU, and doesn’t respect her anyway

During Children’s Crusade, the Avengers books had a House of M portrait redrawn to remove Lorna.

During Avengers vs X-Men, Lorna only appeared as a nameless cameo, one that her entire family ignored – even to the point where Magneto ignored her being mind-controlled into submission by Emma Frost, even though he’d just gone into space to rescue her.

During Axis, Lorna was segregated only to All-New X-Factor and kept from being anywhere near the main events… while the variant for Axis #1 was specifically designed to make Enchantress look more like Polaris, by recoloring her blonde hair as green and Wanda’s brown hair as red.

During No More Humans, Wanda and Pietro got to be with their father Magneto, but once again, Lorna was nowhere to be seen.

When Peter David provided us with Lorna and Wanda spending time as sisters for the first time in 10 years, Marvel not only didn’t promote it, but withheld the cover until less than a week before release – when it would be too late for most casual fans to find out and preorder a copy.

All of the above is in addition to general lack of respect for Lorna. She was excluded completely from the X-Men amalgam covers meant to celebrate the franchise’s history, yet Havok got to be on it, even though Lorna was created BEFORE Havok (back in 1968) and was the first female X-Men member to join after Jean Grey. X-Factor #243 by Peter David gave us Lorna’s origin story, something she’d lacked for over 40 years, and it got no promotion. Imagine if Storm went for 4 decades without an origin story, then she finally got one and Marvel did nothing to promote it.

If Marvel were to somehow strike a deal with Fox or get the X-Men film rights back, I can guarantee you based on their activity when they don’t have those film rights that they would completely exclude Polaris.

Marvel acknowledges and respects characters like Havok, Rogue, Wolverine, Storm, Cyclops. They do not acknowledge and respect Polaris. If they did, she would get to do more and be more involved than she currently is, and they sure as hell wouldn’t have excluded her from her family or refused to promote stuff where she does spend time with them.

They would never use Polaris. They would only use those other characters they consider “more important” and “more deserving” of use and respect than her. They’ve allowed a lot of great depictions for her lately, but great depictions are not the same thing as taking part in major events, promotion, or getting to be included with her family.

By contrast, Fox owning the film rights means they have to make do with what they have. They have to look within the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises and ONLY those franchises for options. That improves Lorna’s odds of getting used with her family.

Nevermind the fact that Disney is obsessed with the idea that Marvel is “for boys only” with their films, as people have noted the serious lack of both female superheroine representation and merchandise when it comes to the MCU. That means we’re unlikely to ever see Lorna and Wanda together as sisters in the current MCU no matter what happens.

3) The MCU is going to crash and burn around 2020

We’re already seeing it in motion, and I predicted this well before the signs appeared.

Marvel has a huge cinematic universe. DC has a huge cinematic universe coming up. Disney’s going to do it with Star Wars. Sony had that plan for the Spider-Man films. Universal is considering one for its monsters. The hot new trend for films is massive cinematic universes where films interact and build off each other.

All these cinematic universes already mean an absurd amount of demand for consumer dollars, and with prices and the economy as they are as well as how much supporting media is out there, there’s just no way people will be able to hold on like they have. The Marvel Cinematic Universe got lucky because they were the first to try something on the scale they did; they’re not so special anymore once everyone else is doing it.

And we’re now getting to the real meat of why the MCU is going to crash and burn: way, way, WAAAAY too much saturation. We’re going to have three films per year. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is on the air, as well as Agent Carter. There’s Daredevil, with four others planned. The Avengers film about the Infinity Gems is going to be a two-parter.

This is overkill. I don’t care how optimistic you are and how much you love the MCU, the average person is not nearly as devoted. There’s a reason the Superman, Batman, X-Men, Spider-Man, etc films started off strong and eventually wound up putting out box office and critical bombs.

I’m a big video game fan. I’m VERY aware of what happens when you oversaturate a market. Activision completely killed the music game genre for half a decade by pumping out too many Guitar Hero games. Rock Band and Guitar Hero games are coming out this year, and we still don’t know how successful they’ll be.

By contrast, Fox isn’t doing anything nearly as over-ambitious. They have a Fantastic Four film. They have X-Men: Apocalypse and a Gambit film in the works. While Marvel’s busy overloading the market, Fox is pacing itself, and they’ve presented the X-Men franchise JUST different enough that it’s not entirely a “superhero” genre film series anymore. Days of Future Past is proof of that.

And aside from all the above, there is increasingly more and more judgment and flak aimed at the MCU. Some of this is purely because it’s so successful right now, success often causes people to be more critical than they normally are. But the thing is, a critical eye leads people to see flaws. Flaws lead to loss of interest, which leads to a smaller audience and a loss of sales. Not listening to criticism is even more damning, and Disney has shown no signs of a willingness to listen to anyone about anything until it’s too late.

In conclusion

I’m not saying Fox is the best most awesome company ever. I’m not saying Marvel couldn’t do the family better if it really tried.

I’m saying I trust Fox far, far more than Disney/Marvel.

Disney/Marvel has demonstrated repeatedly that it does not respect the X-Men, the Magnus family, or Polaris herself. In the comics, Disney/Marvel are willing to undermine and sacrifice the entire X-Men franchise and things like 30 years of family relationships just because it wants a little more money.

Disney/Marvel have visibly demonstrated by their actions that they can take or leave the franchise, and they don’t deserve it anyway. If they cared about it in any way, they wouldn’t be destroying it in the comics. They would be making a solid case for why they’re better for the franchise, so that fans would be inclined to boycott the X-Men films until Fox makes a deal with Marvel.

Which is where I sit on the issue. Disney and Marvel haven’t done anything to woo me to them. They’ve only pushed me away. I’ll be happy to support Marvel getting the film rights back or Fox striking a favorable deal for them as soon as Disney/Marvel give me a reason to trust they’re better for the franchise, the Magnus family and Polaris than Fox.

Until then, I’m going to support Fox. They may do stupid and awful things like turn Pietro into Peter, but at the end of the day, they’re the only chance we’ll see the Magnus family. Disney and Marvel have already shown us there isn’t a snowball’s chance in Hell they’ll ever give us that under their current leadership.

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