Chris Claremont Blames The MCU For The Decline Of ‘X-Men’

x-men-the-animated-series

Hollywood, like all things, is a business. Sure, people want to make movies, but people also want those movies to make them millions, dare I say it, billions of dollars. Take a studio like Marvel; in 2008 they launched their “Marvel Cinematic Universe” with Iron Man and nailed it. Since then, it has been rather tough for any rival studio to replicate their success, critically at least. A personal favourite of mine, Chris Claremont, was the main writer of the X-Men in the 1990s. In fact, his X-Men #1 from 1991 is (still) the highest selling American comic book ever. The X-Men brand in the 90s also meant a significant amount with toys, TV shows, clothing lines, etc.

The X-Men were everywhere.

Flashforward to 2016, and we have none of that. The last X-Men themed toy line was based on the 2009 TV show Wolverine & The X-Men. Since that year, we have had 5 more movies in the franchise, and no merchandise based on either of them. If you look at the comic book world, the franchise is not fairing so well either. In case you missed it, Marvel are trying to axe off all the X-Men so that the Inhumans can be the new ‘Mutants.’

Wonder why?

In a new interview with the previously introduced Chris Claremont, the writer sat down and discussed his frustration with how the X-Men are being treated, and why they are being brushed to the side:

That has nothing to do with comic sales, that has everything to do with the fact that the film rights are controlled by a rival corporation.

I guarantee you that if 10 years ago, when Marvel was approached by Disney, if the X-Men film rights were owned by Marvel Studios and not Fox the X-Men would probably still be the paramount book in the canon. The reason for the emphasis on the other titles is because Marvel / Disney control the ancillary film rights whereas all the film rights for the FF- the Fantastic Four – and the X-Men are controlled by Fox who has no interest in the comic books.

So I think the corporate publishing attitude is: “why would we go out of our way to promote a title that will benefit a rival corporation’s films when we could take that same energy and enthusiasm and focus and do it for our own properties?”

Hence the rise of the Inhumans as the new equivalent of the mutants. I could wish for something else but it ain’t my 5 billion dollars.

It is hard to fault him or his opinion, as he is simply so correct. When the writer continued, he brought in an argument many fans have believed for years:

It’s not a matter of promotion, it’s purely a matter of ownership. If at some point Fox decides that the X-Men properties are no longer lucrative I’m sure that they will cut a deal with Disney. But I also expect that the deal they would want to cut would be extra-ordinarily expensive and Disney or Marvel might just as easily say “screw it” we love the X-Men but we are not going to hurt ourselves to get it because we have our other properties that we own that are doing far better. If you want to give it back or take a reasonable deal that’s one thing, if you’re just going to go crazy screw you.

As someone who grew up in the 1990s with Fox’s brilliant X-Men cartoon, it sucks to see the characters cast out so often (and not in a narrative manner). Hopefully, Marvel’s relaunch of the X-Men franchise up again with solo-series’ for Iceman, Jean Grey, Weapon X (Wolverine) as well as Deadpool 2 star, Cable, means the property will get some much needed respect again.

What do you guys think of Claremont’s comments? Are you in agreement, or do you disagree? Would you like to see the X-Men join the pantheon of heroes in the MCU or are you happy with them inhabiting their own little planet over at Fox?

Source: Collider

Roby D'Ottavi

Roby D'Ottavi

Just a young writer hoping to become an old writer. From the land Down Under; no, I don't know Jai Courtney.

  • Ruben C Barron

    It’s funny to blast Marvel for cutting out all the X-Men and then lightly mentioning at the end how they’re launching 5 new books next year.

    • SAMURAI36

      Look at the long picture, & look at the nature of the books they are releasing. Marvel is basically taking the X-men back to the 90’s.

  • Steve Steve

    At no point does he blame the MCU for the decline in the X-Men books. He blames the distribution of the film rights.

    Be better Roby

    • Roby D’Ottavi

      He clearly discusses Disney and if they had the rights, they would take centre stage. While not explicitly saying it, he is indeed blaming the MCU.

      • Steve Steve

        By that logic he could also be blaming Fox for owning the rights and not dealing with Marvel Studios/Disney, or Arad and Perlmutter for selling some film rights before selling to Disney, or Perlmutter for playing hardball, or any number of things.

        Or, and more likely, he isn’t blaming anyone! All he does here is explain the situation with the Marvel comics as they relate to film rights.

        I appreciate the response man, but that’s a lame headline and ridiculous justification.

  • Larry

    If the X-Men films were good -or actually kept up to the same quality that Marvel Studios puts into their films -then perhaps I would give Claremont’s opinion some credence -but the X-Men films are BORING! It’s the same old stuff they did a decade ago. Fox needs to hire folks who really LOVE the material and not folks who do the work BECAUSE Fox needs to maintain the rights.

    So no the X-Men comic aren’t going away (look at all the new books being advertised recently) -but the film franchise is terrible! I cannot care less for Singer’s X-Men universe and have stopped altogether seeing X-Men films until there are new people involved.

    • Claremont’s opinion, as voiced in this article, doesn’t relate to the quality of the X-Men films at all. You should reread the article. And yes, X-Men books are still published, but they’re much lower profile (especially in crossover events) than they used to be.

    • SAMURAI36

      They’ve whittled the X-books down to a half dozen books, & the new books are basically a return to the 90’s. They’ve intermingled the X-men with the Inhumans & other properties, in an attempt to merge the franchises, even “pass the torch” as it were. .
      It’s more than clear that the X-men have taken a back seat to Marvel’s other franchises. And you’d have to be blind, or otherwise uninformed, to not see that the Inhumans are being prepped to be the mew X-men.
      This is all part of the behind the scenes “Civil War” at Marvel.

      • Matias Gagliardone

        It’s sad because I really loved the X-Men and you’re right

  • Nerd Life!

    Hasbro is still releasing XMen themed toys, what are you talking about? http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/product.aspx?product=HAS25039&mode=retail

    • SAMURAI36

      Hasbro produces Marvel and Star Wars toys, because of their exclusive contract with Disney, that was in place prior to Marvel’s licensing embargo with Fox.

      http://variety.com/2013/biz/news/hasbro-extends-disney-pact-for-marvel-star-wars-toys-and-games-1200566115/

      Seriously, you guys really gotta study up on this stuff, if you are going to be holding opinions about it.

      • Nerd Life!

        …are you talking to me?

        • SAMURAI36

          You made the statement about Hasbro still selling X-Men toys, yes?

          • Nerd Life!

            …uh huh…I made no opinion. Again, I ask what the issue is. They said there hasn’t been X Men figures since 2009. I said there has been. What beyond that is there to discuss or study up on, exactly?

          • SAMURAI36

            I didn’t say you made an opinion, I said you made a statement. And you did make a statement.

            However, in the link you showed, the X-Men toys are marketed under “Marvel Legends”, not as X-Men. There is a slight difference.

          • Nerd Life!

            I know what I did. Thank you, I’m aware.

            So, you are arguing semantics for the sake of it. Got it. They’re X-Men toys. They said that there have been no X-Men toys. But that is false. As I’ve proven. There WAS a gap where there were none, but that has passed. In fact, licensors were given strict instructions to not do any X-Men or Fantasting Four figures up until fairly recent.

            And furthermore, these are a sub-series of the overall Marvel Legends brand, but they are still labeled as the “X-Men Legends” line. They do many themed waves. The newest is Dr. Strange. If you’re going to try and “educate” someone, make sure that it’s not a guy that runs an Action Figure channel, and is somewhat of a connoisseur on the subject.

            So, again…I ask: what exactly is it that I need to study up on “if I’m going to have an opinion”? Because, as it stands right now, I feel like you’re trying to gaslight me, and…it’s not working.

          • SAMURAI36

            blockquote>So, you are arguing semantics for the sake of it. Got it. They’re X-Men toys. They said that there have been no X-Men toys. But that is false. As I’ve proven.

            No, I’m arguing business. There’s a difference. And they did NOT say there were no X-Men toys. They specifically said:

            The last X-Men themed toy line was based on the 2009 TV show Wolverine & The X-Men. Since that year, we have had 5 more movies in the franchise, and no merchandise based on either of them.

            And for once, what the author here said was accurate. There have been no X-Men THEMED toys since 2009. And no toys have been made, based on any of the X-Movies whatsoever.

            There WAS a gap where there were none, but that has passed. In fact, licensors were given strict instructions to not do any X-Men or Fantasting Four figures up until fairly recent.

            When exactly is “up until fairly recent”? What time period are you referring to? Do you have any documentation that supports that? Links?

            And furthermore, these are a sub-series of the overall Marvel Legends brand, but they are still labeled as the “X-Men Legends” line. They do many themed waves. The newest is Dr. Strange.

            What does Dr Strange have to do with X-Men? And if there’s an “X-Men Legends line”, where is it, exactly? Because that’s not what you linked earlier, and I googled “X-Men Legends”, and nothing came up. So where did you get that from, exactly?

            If you’re going to try and “educate” someone, make sure that it’s not a guy that runs an Action Figure channel, and is somewhat of a connoisseur on the subject.

            What channel are you talking about? And if I were you, I wouldn’t mention that, when your info is not accurate. Doing so makes your channel, as well as your site, look suspect.

            So, again…I ask: what exactly is it that I need to study up on “if I’m going to have an opinion”? Because, as it stands right now, I feel like you’re trying to gaslight me, and…it’s not working.

            If by “gaslight”, you mean correct your assumptions, then yes, I am. Otherwise, I have no idea what “gaslight” means.

            Nothing you’ve said here, refutes my initial response to you. to reiterate: Hasbro’s agreement with Marvel/Disney was grandfathered in, where they can produce X-Men toys, but only under the general Marvel Legends product line. To this date, you have not seen a single independent X-Men (or FF) line, especially not any based on any movie, TV show, cartoon, etc.

          • Nerd Life!

            You’re an idiot. Truly. I had a whole response typed out, but for some reason, this site won’t allow me to post it. You’re not worth the hassle.

          • SAMURAI36

            Thanx for proving my point. You thought your position was untenable, and it’s not. And when you run out of intellectual gas, then the insults start.

            You could’ve checked your ego at the door, and just admitted to being wrong, but instead you doubled down, and made yourself sound like even more of a dumbass.

            Good luck with that.

          • Nerd Life!
          • SAMURAI36

            LMAO, so your only retort is to hit me with more insults? That’s cute.

            As for your info, nothing you’ve said refutes the fact that there are no X-MEN themed toy LINES. Not subseries, but entire LINES. And especially none that’s based on any of their X-Men multimedia.

            I could care less who you are friends with, so you really could’ve saved the name drop. I asked you what your “toy channel” was, and you give me the name of your boyfriend. Is he gonna come beat me up? I could mention that I’m friends with a couple of people at DC… Does that make me a vicarious expert on all things DC?

            I asked you a half dozen different Q’s, and you didn’t answer a single one. You called this “X-Men Legends”, and there is no such thing. So either you’re just misinformed, or you’re LYING. Take your pick, but either way, you’re as wrong as a thong on a phat broad.

          • Nerd Life!

            …lol…Look at you. You’re pathetic. You clearly don’t get it. I can see why you are the way you are. Clearly compensating. And I can see why no one likes you.

          • SAMURAI36

            Aww, no one likes me. A grown (wo)man named “Nerd Life” is trying to make me feel, by telling me nobody loves me.

            Also, those figures are part of the MARVEL LEGENDS LINE. There is no X-MEN LEGENDS line. And let me know which movie, TV show, etc these figures are a part of.

          • Nerd Life!

            And I said as much.

            That is clearly what you aren’t wrapping your dumbass head around.

            “There have been no X-Men themed toylines since 2009”.

            What are these, then? Are these not X-Men themed? And do you not see these labeled as “X-Men” in the Legends series? Hence–“X-Men Legends”.

          • SAMURAI36

            And so that’s it, playtime has ended. It’s been real, and it’s been fun…. But it hasn’t been real fun. So now it’s blockity block time. Toodles, d!ckhead. Your 15 minutes of fame have now come to an end.

          • Nerd Life!

            …someone found out that I was right. That’s adorable.

          • Nerd Life!

            Also, let’s look at a completely separate forum that was originated by Marvel Legends people. What does that say?

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fa4f8ab7be0c86e34aa1316ecccb0bebefdb5e04c0776355150fd82cfffe89fc.png

          • Nerd Life!
  • Grant McCollister

    It sounds like he’s blaming Fox

    • SAMURAI36

      No, he’s blaming Marvel for selling the rights, & for putting all their eggs in the MCU basket.

      • Grant McCollister

        Really??
        “I guarantee you that if 10 years ago, when Marvel was approached by Disney, if the X-Men film rights were owned by Marvel Studios and not Fox the X-Men would probably still be the paramount book in the canon.”
        That doesn’t sound like he’s blaming the MCU. Plus, he goes on to say that if Fox ever dies want to sell, it would probably be for some astronomically high price, and it wouldn’t even be worth it to Marvel

        • SAMURAI36

          You quoted one part of the article.

          The X-Men are in the position they are in (along with FF), becasue Marvel’s money-grubbing CEO Ike Perlmutter (the guy that ran Marvel in the ground, made them go bankrupt in the 90’s, and had to sell off the media rights to these characters in the first place) doesn’t want to play nice.

          This has been well documented on numerous comics-related sites (aside from this one, of course).

          • Steve Steve

            Sammy is completely wrong about the Marvel bankruptcy. Marvel was bankrupt by RON PERLMAN while Ike Perlmutter was running Toy Biz. Toy Biz had exclusive rights to make Marvel action figures, so every action figure you had in the 90s was made by Perlmutter’s company.

            Here’s the real history:
            When Marvel went into bankruptcy, Perlmutter’s only goal was to maintain his exclusive rights deal. As the bankruptcy hearings went along, Wallstreet corporate raider Carl Ichan bought up a majority of the “junk bonds” that Ron Perlman had used to pilfer money out of Marvel.

            The Banks to whom Marvel owed hundreds of millions of dollars did not trust Ichan due to his history of profiting at the expense of lenders. Perlmutter and Avi Arad put a plan together that was based largely on selling film rights and using the profits to repay the banks over time. Perlmutter wasn’t even part of Marvel until after he had saved the company.

            There is an excellent book about it called “Comic Wars”

          • Grant McCollister

            I know, it’s fine with me if you blame him, he’s not the guy who runs the MCU, that’s Kevin Feige, as I’m sure you know

          • SAMURAI36

            Yeah, that’s not really how this stuff works. Marvel likes to generate a positive spin for themselves, and they are really good at it, insomuch as their fans eat it up as gospel.

            That said, if you think Perlmutter has no involvement or influence over the films whatsoever, then I don’t know what to tell you.

            Perlmutter is Bog Iger’s (Disney’s CEO) right hand man. This stuff is a good ol’ boy’s club.

            People need to start seeing the big picture, and not just the part that they feel immediately effects them. Corporations don’t work that way,and there’s alot that happens behind the scenes that the GA doesn’t know about, and the big wigs sure as h&ll aren’t gonna tell the GA about.

            If you’re just a fan of the movies, then you are relatively safe from Perlmutter’s influence (but not entirely). But if you are a fan of practically everything else Marvel related (comics, merchandising, TV, etc), then ALL of that falls directly under Perlmutter’s survey.

            Also, take notice that Perlmutter is the CEO of Marvel, while Feige is only the “President” of Marvel Studios. The 2 roles are not equivalents, with the CEO taking precedence.

            http://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/04/062504.asp

          • Grant McCollister

            Well, where do you get your information, if you don’t believe Marvel?

          • SAMURAI36

            Did you read any of my response?

  • Carl

    He’s not really correct. Yes the MCU has driven Marvel to promote those characters in the comics but it’s not like the X-Men comics haven’t been a mess for many years, even before the MCU was so big. You can also blame FOX for making some really bad X-Men movies that killed some enthusiasm for the IP.

  • Axxell

    Maybe if Fox was willing to come up with a film crossover deal like Sony did, maybe then we’d still see X-Men books like we still see Spiderman books at Marvel…and everybody wins…

    Oh wait! They don’t wanna do anything that might help Disney either…

  • rosie1843

    I think Mr. Claremont should take a long look at both the MCU and “X-Men”. I feel that both are in trouble.