Axis - Death to the X-Men?


Earlier this week the news broke that fan favourite Wolverine is heading to the big saloon in the sky, he gets to Snikt his last Snikt. Yes folks it looks like Wolverine is going to die. Wolverine has become more well known than many other iconic characters of the X-men in no small part due to the flawless performances of actor Hugh Jackman. Many people would even argue that at this point Wolverine is as recognisable as Batman/Superman or Spider-Man, even people that have never seen a comic book know who he is. Wolverine has been around in print for more than 40 years but the character has lived for much longer than that. He has evolved from Thug to Headmaster and everything in-between. Personally I never took to Wolverine like many other people did and I don’t like the way that every ‘X’ movie is told with his as the leading protagonist (Apart from First class, that movie was pretty good) I did however enjoy the Chris Claremont story ‘Wolverine’ its actually one of my favourite ‘classic’ Mutant stories. As you can imagine I was as shocked as anyone when we heard that he was finally getting killed off in a seemingly ‘permanent’ way (yeah, just like Barry Allan?)

Uncanny_Avengers_Vol_1_14SPOILERS! As I would assume most of you know at this point, back in Uncanny Avengers 14 we witnessed the rather final death of Rogue (now there is a character that I really did like) Granted there is some debate about how the titles fits into the larger Marvel cannon but none the less we have another dead X-man (woman)

Before that, we witnessed the demise of Professor Xavier way back in the AvX event. And just the other day we were teased with the ‘Axis’ event. That’s and Avengers ‘A’ and an X-Men ‘X’ the internet was a buzz with theories. Axis is probably going to be massive. AvX was huge and people wanted more of it when it was over. I try to stay out of speculation usually but then something occurred to me, a series of comic book events that are so far out of the realms of reality that I felt I had to comment on them….

Comics do not make as much money as Movies. this is something we know to be true. One site (Comichron) calculated that all the comics sold in 2012 (a good year for comics) totalled $474.61 million USD. Take out the cost of Writers, Artists, colourist, publishing, marketing, shipping, mark-up for stores and everything else that I don’t know about and there is not that much revenue actually made from sales when you compare how much money is made from a movie featuring those characters. if these numbers are accurate then Iron Man 3 made more money than the whole comic book industry in its year of release

Marvel/Disney do not own the rights to ‘X-men’ or ‘Mutants’ in the cinematic realms. We are pretty certain that this little fact is why we are seeing the slow rise of the ‘inhumans’ in the comics books. It’s also why the word ‘Mutant’ is slowly becoming the ‘M’ word, a word that is so insulting that no one will actually utter it (trust me, its going that way in the books to mirror the lack of use in the movies) but people want to see Movies about characters that have become iconic right? how do we take a new character and make him an ‘Icon’? well… we do that by printing comics about that character for about 40 years. We do that by letting that character slowly become ingrained into comics book culture. I think that when it comes to this whole ‘Inhuman’ thing, Marvel/Disney are playing the long game.

Now, this about business, not character/fan loyalty from a business point of view if Marvel make the X-Men super popular in comics then logically people will want to see movies about these characters, movies that are not made by Disney. I don’t know how the deal works with Fox/Warner/Sony (whoever) but I would think that increased movie sales result in an increased  ‘cut’ for Marvel/Disney but still far less than the cut from a Disney made Marvel movie.  Essentially the comics are driving people to rival movie studios.  As much as the comic industry in filled with organisations and individuals who are all buddies the Movie industry is  less like that.

My prediction of this topic is this - It is in the best interests for Marvel/Disney to shift the focus of fan attention away from series that they do not own Cinematic control over. I think that in the long term it would be in the best interests of Marvel to actually disband the X-Men as a team until such time that they regain Cinematic control. Maybe even kill off characters entirely (as much as is possible in comics) who they stand little chance of ‘getting back’ control of.  If they can spend the next decade or so building new IP’s and ideas that they can keep control over then in the long term they make far more money. Disney is not short of money at the moment and with all the money those Avengers are making them they can afford to drop a mutant or so on the way to long term profitability for the whole of Marvel, without feeding the rival studios.

Now, this little conspiracy I have put together is probably WAY off. Like… WAAAAAAY off. But if things to play out like I have outlined I wanted to make sure you read it here first. And… Its something to talk about in the pub isn’t it.  :)



One Response to “Axis - Death to the X-Men?”

  1. Frazier says:

    All the deaths in Uncanny Avengers aren’t going to last. Kangs army is already working on fixing things. I wonder what Axis could be. Focusing on removing the X-titles is an interesting theory. Hope it’s not true. X-Men are the main reason I’m such an avid Marvel fan.

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