Much has been made of the ‘Axis’ revelations that Wanda and Pietro are not related to Magneto after all (a development that is itself a retconned plot point.)  Some say that it’s the end of the Marvel Universe as we know it, that the comics we love (and we know you do too) are now merely afterthoughts to support the more lucrative land of movies and merchandising.  Rumors are even ricocheting about that Marvel is cancelling Fantastic Four specifically to spite the makers of the FF movie, and will be doing the same with X-Men, in order to not provide free advertising for Fox films.  It seems like a paranoid assumption on the surface, but then we consider that the current Fantastic Four title will be ending, and there has been a heightened focus on Inhumans taking the place of mutants as the go-to oppressed minority in Marvel Comics, leading us to today’s hypothetical query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) doesn’t like to promote rumors, since no matter what happens, someone will claim it was true all along, but for today’s purposes will assume the rumors are true, asking: Would a Marvel Universe without the X-Men and Fantastic Four be a Marvel Universe you want to experience?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Simple answer, no. FF for their importance and historical value, X-Men simply because to me, they have always been the most interesting group of people in Marvel universe. The day when X-Men are written out of Marvel universe is the day Im done with the whole company, simple as that.

  2. Doctor Dinosaur on

    That’s just cutting down on the diversity of stories being told.

    Best case scenario; it opens up some niches for new original properties.. I however very much doubt that’ll happen, instead we’ll get even more Avengers books varying in reality very little from each other.

  3. Hmmm…. Not sure. It seems like a long time since the Fantastic Four felt relevant. I like Reed as a part of Avengers teams, and same for Sue and Ben when they play similar roles. I like the Future Foundation stuff and FF with Scott Lang much better in recent years and am sad to see them having gone away. So I think the FF could be refitted into something that only has a passing resemblance to the film versions without losing much.

    As for the X-men, they were the primary reason I became a comics fan in the 80’s and 90’s. But like the FF, they haven’t felt relevant for years and years. So I don’t know if I’d even notice if they were gone at present. They always seemed to inhabit a different corner of the Marvel U than the rest of the superhero teams anyway. My only problem is I care so little for all the Inhuman stuff that is being pushed on Marvel readers.

  4. Depends. As long as the characters still exist, then does it really matter what team name they have? Sure, I used to love X-Men, but it wasn’t the team name that drew me in. And if characters like Beast can be an X-Man and an Avenger, why couldn’t the members of Fantastic Four or X-Men join another team or create a new team altogether?

    I can still enjoy the characters without the specific team names, but I’m not sure I’d enjoy a Marvel U that eliminates so many characters unless they are pulling another alternate timeline like “Heroes Reborn” or “Ultimate Marvel” and crafting a SEPARATE line where those characters don’t exist.

    • Pretty much my thoughts exactly. We do have a Marvel Universe with no Fantastic Four and X-Men already. The Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel doesn’t need to change their comic universe to fit the movies.

      We live in the wonderful Age of Information. If a new reader feels intimidated by a character’s history, they can go to the Internet, where there’s online resources about characters, and even reach out to fellow fans to help.

  5. Marvel has been in need of a new 52 style culling for a while, their universe is bloated with characters. Anything they cut was going to be precious to someone, so blaming it on the studios at least gives them an excuse.

    Maybe they’ll just close the book on the 616 universe, and make the Ultimate line their main focus. The mutants and the FF are already toasted there.

  6. The X-Men universe IMO has always worked better in its own version of the Marvel Universe. It never made sense that humanity would hate a character depending on their origin. How would Joe Everyman differentiate between mutation and a radioactive spider bite for the basis of their xenophobia.
    The Fantastic Four are the founding fathers of Marvel but need to play to their strengths. They are the explorers/Pathfinders of the marvel Universe and should be used to show the diversity of the Marvel cosmos. For example, Guardians of the Galaxy tying in with Fantastic Four makes more sense than hooking up with the X-Men.

    • There are plenty of people who throw various phobias around without knowing if someone is or isn’t something, so the mutant hate/fear actually makes sense to me that some people would react that way. Of course, I grew up as a lesbian in a small religious farming town, I’m actually used to seeing people accuse others of being gay, satanic, drug addict, etc. with no proof or even a shred of logic whatsoever. It is those sort of people that I always imagined the people with irrational mutant hate inside the Marvel U to be like.

      I do, however, think they could use it a bit more sparingly in the stories.

  7. Well, there are realistically only about 10 Mutants who are interesting enough to actually hold a story on their own. All the rest are filler characters that tend to get dragged along too long, and/or sidelined for one reason or another. We all have our favorites, but lets be honest, how many Mutants are really prevalent in today’s stories, enough to make them last-able in the long run. With the “Original” X-men Now in the modern times, and stuck, they have an easy out to wipe the slate clean (Killing off even some of the original will be enough of a sowing, leading to rippling along the Mutant timelines, until only the chosen ones survive), and focus on those better characters without the fluff.

    As for the FF… I don;t think there has been enough of a relevant story with ANY of them, that would justify keeping them afloat. They did their part to save the Marvel universe when they were created, but like any old soldier, it’s time for them to fade away.

    I think I would eventually be fine with a Marvel Universe without the FF or X-Men, so long as the method used to remove them was compelling and of interest. I have seen it enough with DC to know that even if it happens, the 616 world will continue to spin, and will eventually entertain again.

  8. I was all about the X-Books before I took an extended break from the Marvel Universe. I tried to get back into them, but find they are such a mess of not-quite-retconned history and personal drama, world shattering events and MUTANT/HUMAN RIGHTS! that I just can’t be bothered putting in the effort to mentally sort it all out. However, I have found that many of the non-mutant books just keep going from strength to strength.

  9. Actually, I miss the Avengers more than I would miss the FF.

    And the X-Men are not going away. At all. But if they were, I would be fine with that. Getting rid of Wolverine for real is an ancient aspiration of mine – and one that is not going to happen, either.

  10. To be honest, I haven’t ever been a great fan of the Fantastic Four. Spider-Man and the 70-80s version of the X-Men were more my thing until they pulled the Clone Saga and soured me on Spider-Man and produced so many X-Titles that you’d have to be rich as Charles Xavier to be able to afford to buy all the titles – kind of like what Marvel is doing with the Avengers in recent years.
    It would not surprise me if Marvel axed the X-men and FF temporarily to focus on the Avengers. How much money have they earned from the comics over the decades. Maybe a few million. How much money did they make with the Avengers movies. A few hundred billion! Hello!!!
    Add the fact that Fox refuses to relinquish the rights to Spider-Man, the X-Men and the FF, and what have you got, several hundred billion reasons and one to let the properties go into decline. Fox would be stuck with only being able to retread old storylines if no more new stories were being printed – and that may very well be the Ultimate reason if the rumors prove to be true.
    Though, there is a better solution. Let Spider-Man and Mary Jane be married again, have Peter age out of the role of hero since he’d really be pushing fifty by now, and let little May Parker inherit the role and powers of Spider-Man – Fox doesn’t own the rights to Spider-Girl, after all. Let the School disband, since Xavier is dead for the umpteenth time, Wolverine is dead temporarily, and have the current crop of X-Men go their own way, aging out of the role of being heroes. The younger mutants could serve as recruits and backup (and cannon fodder) for The Avenger teams. Or start a new series focusing on the younger mutants and call it something else. The DNAngsters?
    When Fox eventually relinquishes the rights to what would amount to dead properties, then Disney/Marvel could bring them back in a new, relevant form.
    It could all be avoided, however, if Disney/Marvel would spend some small fraction of the billions they earned from the Avengers movies to buy the rights back. Just offer Fox double of the few millions they managed to earn off the franchises and I’d bet they leap at it. Or, hell, just buy 20th Century Fox itself and fold it into Disney. They can afford it.

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