Fantastic Four: The End of an Era

By Savannah Barrow | Contributor

The doors have closed on the Fantastic Four. Marvel has officially ended the comics for their founding family. The unhappy announcement came back in 2015 before the latest FF movie released.  Fantastic Four was the first comic written by comic book legend, Stan Lee. The series also launched Marvel Comics. After 55 years, Marvel ended the series with issue #645 aptly entitled The End.

The question is: Why has Marvel decided to rip our hearts out?

Maybe it’s the movie renditions of the comics Fox keeps putting out. They continue to crash and burn and are starting to give the Fantastic Four a bad rep. If Marvel had the film rights to the comic, perhaps the movies would have seen the same success as other Marvel movies. However, Marvel doesn’t have the movie rights for the Fantastic Four nor do they have them for X-Men (Fox), Deadpool (Fox), or Spider Man (Sony). Many of Marvel’s heroes have sky-rocketed in popularity such as Iron Man, Thor and Vision thanks to their Marvel-made movies.  (Barrow’s Bet: We’ll witness this transformation again when Black Panther and Captain Marvel movies come out.) Is ending the comic series they no longer have film rights to Marvel’s way of preserving their legacy? If so, could X-Men be next? They too, along with the Fantastic Four have disappeared from the new comic-book-one-sheet that features all the Marvel characters. In the 2007 version, Fantastic Four and Wolverine were front and center. Perhaps Fox will throw in the towel. The poor performance of their latest Fantastic Four film has hushed talk about making a second. 

Perhaps, though, it isn’t Fox at all. Perhaps, Fantastic Four has simply reached the end of its era. The comic series came out in 1961. Invisible Woman was Marvel’s first female super hero, and her power was invisibility; let that sink in. I think that says a lot about the era. For all the sentiment, there hasn’t been much hype surrounding the Fantastic Four these days. Walk into the Marvel section of any comic book store and you’ll see that it’s all Captain America, X-Men, Iron Man and Hulk, but you see very little of the Fantastic Four. The sales for the series have decreased greatly and the prices are a steal; Marvel isn’t making the profits on them that they used to. 

Fans may never get the answers they are searching for. It’s a bitter-sweet time, the original Marvel superheroes that we know and love will no longer hold a spot on the new release shelf at the comic book store. Fans may hold their grudges on Fox and remain hopeful that the characters will make guest appearances in other Marvel series. In the end, Fantastic Four fans are forced to accept every comic has its era and every era has its end.