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3 big questions about the Disney/Fox dealand what it could mean for superhero comics

Charmaine Blake



As soon as the news broke that Disney might buy Fox‘s entertainment assets, superhero fans began wondering about what that could mean for the Marvel franchise. Would Fox’s X-Men join Disney’s MCU? Would it precipitate a total reboot of Fox’s Marvel characters, or would we see crossovers between, say, Ryan ReynoldsDeadpool and Tom Holland‘s Spider-Man?

With a deal expected to go through as early as next week, here are the three biggest questions on every Marvel fan’s lips. The first two are fun speculation, but the last is a great deal more troubling.

1) Will the X-Men and Fantastic Four join the Avengers universe?

This seems like an obvious “yes.” Marvel Studios wants creative control of as many Marvel properties as possible, which is why it negotiated so hard for Sony’s Spider-Man: Homecoming to be a crossover. Fans have been clamoring for years for the X-Men to join the MCU, and there’s no reason for Disney to keep the franchises separate.

The only hiccup is how Disney would integrate the MCU and the world of the X-Men. Disney previously introduced the Inhumans with an X-Men-like narrative in the TV franchise, but that didn’t pan out. Could they use the same concept for the X-Men, with mutants appearing spontaneously in the MCU? It might come off as a little repetitive. Otherwise, Disney would either have to reboot the whole Marvel franchise or maybe smash the two universes together like in the Marvel event comic Secret Wars. (Hey, it’s possible!)

We won’t be surprised if Marvel producer Kevin Feige already has a plan for how to do this. He worked on the first X-Men movie in 2000, so he’s had plenty of time dream up a smart way of merging the two franchises.

However they figure out the logistics, we can expect Disney to recast the main X-Men characters and hire a different creative team. This means the end of the X-Men franchise as we know it, which—given Bryan Singer‘s fall from gracemay not be a bad thing.

Meanwhile, the Fantastic Four would be much easier to add to the MCU. They don’t need any complicated worldbuilding like the X-Men, and the most recent Fantastic Four reboot was widely loathed. Most fans will be excited to see these characters back in Marvel’s capable hands.

2) What about R-rated superhero movies?

Deadpool is massively popular, but does he have a home at Disney? He isn’t exactly family-friendly, and many fans are concerned that Disney just won’t want to make any more R-rated Marvel movies like Logan and Deadpool. Not just fans, actually. Actors, too.


This is a complicated question, and ultimately impossible to predict. However, there is a ray of hope for fans of adult superhero movies. Disney is a massive company, and while “Disney movies” are always family-friendly, you can’t say the same for every Disney subsidiary. For instance, Disney owned the Weinstein Company from 1993 to 2000, during which time it released Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill.

Screengrab via 20th Century Fox/YouTube

With Marvel movies playing to a diverse audience of adults and kids, this could provide an impetus for Disney to make more adult-rated movies. Deadpool and Logan were critical and commercial successes, and if Disney restricts the entire Marvel franchise to PG-13 ratings, it may alienate some adult fans.

3) What does this mean for the comics industry?

In recent years, Marvel Comics put the Fantastic Four on the backburner and attempted to give the Inhumans a more X-Men-like role in the comics universe. The Disney/Fox deal may lead to a resurgence in Fantastic Four and X-Men comics, but that’s where the good news ends.

Amid all the superhero speculation, it’s easy to lose sight of what this situation actually is: an encroaching monopoly in the entertainment industry. Disney controls the future career of anyone working on those media properties at Fox. The studio will likely prioritize heavy-hitters like Marvel and Star Wars, which could mean phasing out some former Fox franchises that provide direct competition. You don’t want to compete with yourself, after all. To use Marvel as an example, just think about how long it took Disney to launch a female-led franchise. Between Captain Marvel and Fox’s plans for Dark Phoenix and Mystique, we would’ve seen two or three female-led franchises at the same time, plus others waiting in the wings. Will that still happen now? On a more serious note, the same could happen for smaller Fox projects whose subject-matter clashes with Disney’s ethos, or are too similar to existing Disney properties.

Then there’s the matter of online streaming services. Disney is launching its own service, and that means you could see a lot of those old Fox movies disappear from Netflix and Amazon. Instead of seeing most of your favorite movies on one or two streaming services, you’ll soon be encouraged to pay for another.

It’s important to remember that while Disney is responsible for some of your childhood faves, this corporation is not your friend. Just last month, Disney attracted backlash for blacklisting the L.A. Times, a decision made to punish the Times for publishing an article about Disney’s unsavory business practices in Anaheim.

Outside Marvel, the Disney/Fox deal could have a negative impact on the comics industry in general. Fox also owns the rights to a ton of other geek culture properties including Aliens, Predator, and The X-Files. Many of these have tie-in comics published at Dark Horse Comics, which previously suffered a blow when Disney bought Star Wars. After decades of Star Wars comics being published by Dark Horse, Disney moved the franchise in-house to Marvel. The same could happen with these Fox-owned titles, taking a lot of business away from Dark Horse—one of Marvel’s competitors. Once again, this is starting to sound a lot like a monopoly. Oh, and Fox owns a minority stake in the indie comics publisher Boom! Studios. That means Disney could get first-look rights to Boom! Studios adaptations too.

When you’re talking about something like internet service providers, it’s not hard to see why monopolies are bad. Disney’s Marvel assets add a fun twist to the Fox acquisition news, but ultimately, this kind of media empire will have worrying repercussions.

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Super Heroes

IMAX is having a 20-film Marvel movie marathon



Are you not entertained??

Image: Marvel

Marvel’s having a 10th birthday bash, and you’re invited.

IMAX, Marvel Studios, and Walt Disney Studios have announced that, in a celebration of the franchise’s 10th anniversary, all 20 Marvel Cinematic Universe movies are coming to IMAX theaters this Labor Day weekend.

Yup, all of them – including, for the first time ever in that jumbo-sized format, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, and Captain America: The First Avenger.

And the Marvel crew couldn’t be more excited, as explained in this promotional video explaining just why it’s so important for you to not just watch these movies, but to watch them in IMAX.

“A lot of superheroes coming together. Sounds like IMAX was the appropriate call,” says Chris Evans.

Hey, who are we to argue with Captain America?

The “Marvel Studios 10th Anniversary Film Festival,” as it’s called, will run from Thursday, Aug. 30 through Thursday, Sep. 6 in select IMAX theaters across the U.S. and Canada.

For the first five days (Aug. 30 – Sep. 3), all 20 films will be shown in the order they were released. The following two days (Sep. 4-5) will be “theme days” centered around origin stories and team-ups. Finally, the event will wrap up on Sep. 6 with encore showings of two of the films, as voted on by fans.

Tickets are on sale now at

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Super Heroes

DC disaster: can Supergirl save the universe for Warner Bros?



With the titanic tedium of Batman and Superman having left the studios vision in mortal danger, execs have recognised its time for the boys to step aside

“Its probably fair to say that Supergirl likely to be the next costumed titan to get their own movie is not the first DC superhero who springs to mind for the average comic-book fan. Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman occupy far taller plinths on the pantheon than Kara Zor-El, who, prior to the current TV series starring Melissa Benoist, was best known for the 1984 movie so terrible that the characters fellow Kryptonians were probably happy to be dead and buried so they didnt have to watch it.

Yet there is a problem with DCs holy trinity. DC has ruined its plans for a shared universe centred around the three superheroes, with the heavy metal cacophony of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice having jarred horribly with the prosaic lilt of Justice League. If the studio, Warner Bros, has any plans to to get the gang back together again, it will have to do a much better job of getting audiences interested in its characters before trying to unite them in a money-spinning, Marvel-style mega-team.

The good news is that the best instalment so far has been Patty Jenkins Wonder Woman, which was cheerfully unconcerned with the rest of the DC extended universe (DCEU), the movie taking place in a different era to the other films……………….

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Super Heroes

‘Iron Fist’ Netflix teaser has a first look at Danny’s comic book mask



It’s been said many times before that what looks cool in the comics doesn’t always translate on film. Here today with an object lesson in that idea is Netflix’s latest teaser for Iron Fist Season 2, which also confirms (again) that the Marvel series will return on Sept. 7.

Brace yourself. Here it is:

Just for the sake of comparison, the comic book version looks like this. So as you can see, the Netflix version isn’t too far off, style-wise. But it also reads very differently here.

Iron Fist returns on Sept. 7, and for all the time we spent razzing Danny Rand during Season 1, there’s reason to suspect that this second season will fare much better.

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