Welcome to the five hundred and eighteenth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the first five hundred (I actually haven't been able to update it in a while). This week, is Marvel planning to split the X-Men into their own separate continuity? Was John Byrne's final X-Men cover never published? Did the creators of Garfield and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles really do a crossover together?
NOTE: The column is on three pages, a page for each legend. There's a little "next" button on the top of the page and the bottom of the page to take you to the next page (and you can navigate between each page by just clicking on the little 1, 2 and 3 on the top and the bottom, as well).
COMIC LEGEND: After Secret Wars, the X-Men characters will have their own separate continuity.
Reading through Facebook is often an interesting exercise for me. I pretty much accept friend requests from whoever wants to friend me (Here's my Facebook profile, if you're so inclined - although please, don't suggest friends for me), so I get friended by a lot of comic fans. Which is totally cool. I'm not saying that like it's a bad thing. I only mention it because due to that, my feed is often filled with a lot of comic-related posts by a wide variety of voices. Recently, I have noticed that I kept seeing a bunch of posts about the future of the X-Men line of comics and they were just so far off base that I figured I'd make an exception to my general rule of avoiding legends that are this fresh.
So anyhow, as you likely have heard by now, Marvel is in the midst of a bit of an issue with Fox over the fact that Fox owns the movie rights to a lot of Marvel's characters, primarily the X-Men characters and the Fantastic Four. Because they don't own the movie rights to those characters, Marvel has been less willing to do other licensing avenues with them as of late, under the theory of "We should just promote the characters whose rights we FULLY own over ones we DON'T fully own."
This has led to many fan theories about how Marvel will be using their new Secret Wars crossover to change things up to make the X-Men less important to the Marvel Universe. Specifically, one popular theory is that the X-Men characters would be split off into their own separate continuity apart from the rest of the Marvel Universe.
Two weeks ago, in our very own CBR column, Axel-in-Charge, Marvel's Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso was asked about the future of the X-Men. He said:
The X-Men office is taking the opportunity of "Secret Wars" to build an entire new world for the characters -- to create a shared universe within the X-books that's set off by a huge event/incident/surprise. At that point, they're going to introduce a new team that feels unlike anything you've seen before. It'll be... "extraordinary."
This, naturally, enough, sent people into a frenzy. And led to articles about how Alonso just confirmed that the X-Men will be in their own continuity. It'd be one thing if these article popped up just then, but I was still seeing new ones TWO DAYS AGO. That is why I figured it is still worth addressing.
So first off, Alonso clarified his comment the next week...
CBR: Speaking of speculation, one of your answers to a fan question last week in this very column, about the future of the X-Men books after "Secret Wars," got a lot of people talking, with some folks concluding it literally meant that the X-Men will now be existing in their own separate universe. Can you respond to that reaction?
Alonso: I tried to address that in one of my rare tweets responding to fans. [Laughs] No, we're not segregating the X-Men into their own universe. The X-Men are an integral part of the Marvel Universe. They play a big role in "Secret Wars," and those mutants that survive the event will be crucial building blocks for the Marvel Universe moving forward.
I'll bet I just said something that's going to fuel the conspiracy theorists, but whatever...
CBR: It seemed that it spread pretty quickly, and for some people, it became definitive that "new world" meant something very specific.
Alonso: I wasn't trying to tease anything or create ambiguity or lead anyone astray. Not on that topic, at least! [Laughs]
But perhaps more importantly, even BEFORE Alonso made his INITIAL statement, we had the release of Uncanny Inhumans #0, which is promoting a series that doesn't even BEGIN until after Secret Wars, and visible very plainly in the "upcoming stories" part of the book, is Cyclops...
So yes, the X-Men are not getting their own separate continuity after Secret Wars.
By the by, I figure I'll take this time to also address the confusion over something Tom Brevoort said to a fan on Formspring.
Here is the question and Tom's answer...
So I will ask a different question. Why isn't there any X-Men cartoons? Why wasn't there any licensing for DOFP. WHY isn't there Goldball toys or any new X-Men toys? Oh and of course No real X-News at the Cup o Joe panel. Thanks foe your time-comicbookman1
You’re talking about issues involving licensing and animation, and those are questions you’d need to ask to our people that oversee those areas.
I will say two things, though, both of which are pretty self-evident, I think.
1) There are only so many hours in the day, and so many initiatives you can have going at once,. So you need to pick and choose where you want to spend your time and your efforts.
2) If you had two things, and on one you earned 100% of the revenues from the efforts that you put into making it, and the other you earned a much smaller percentage for the same amount of time and effort, you’d be more likely to concentrate more heavily on the first, wouldn’t you?
This has somehow been brought up to refer to Marvel's COMIC BOOK wing even though it is explicitly NOT a comic book question. It's about licensing and animation. NOT comic books. And yet it keeps getting cited as having to do with Marvel's comic book line. So people should stop doing that.
Rich Johnston has been covering a lot of this stuff over at Bleeding Cool, so a tip of the cap to Rich for his various stories on the topic!__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Check out my latest Movie Legends Revealed at Spinoff Online: Did Sir Alec Guinness dislike working on Star Wars so much that he came up with the idea for Obi-Wan Kenobi to be killed off?__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
On the next page, did Marvel not publish John Byrne's final X-Men cover?