Sorry Web heads, most of Liefeld’s tweets are wrong but is his Fox shut out claim somewhat right?


While I am the first to admit that there’s nothing in the world that I would like more than to see Spider-Man on the big screen, the truth of the matter is we won’t see him with the Avengers any time soon. Despite what Rob Liefeld believes, his assumptions are strictly his and are without any information backing them up.

In his tweets, he predicts (admittedly uninformed mind you) that with zero X-Men tie-in toys and plenty of MCU and Spider-Man toys that Sony and Marvel will split the production and financing costs on the next Spider-Man. This move ultimately leads up to the POSSIBILITY of Spider-Man’s inclusion in Avengers 3.

What Liefeld doesn’t realize is that the reason why you see plenty of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 tie-in toys is because in 2011 Disney bought the merchandising rights for The Amazing Spider-Man so Sony can keep the movie rights. In a conference call in 2011, Disney CEO Bob Iger reveals:

To that end, we recently completed a transaction with Sony Pictures to simplify our relationship. And then in the deal, we purchased Sony Pictures’ participation in Spiderman merchandising, while at the same time, Sony Pictures purchased from us our participation in Spiderman films. This transaction will allow us to control and fully benefit from all Spiderman merchandising activity, while Sony will produce and distribute Spider-Man films. We won’t be specific about the economics of this 2-way transaction, but we expect it will drive attractive returns for Disney.

Yes, Marvel Studios and Sony have a better relationship than Marvel and Fox. Yes, OsCorp tower almost made into The Avengers. But this doesn’t mean that you’ll see Spidey suit up with the Avengers soon. It wouldn’t do them good to mess up their merchandise deal for a declining franchise that Sony will be forced to give up (or renegotiate) down the road. Marvel can be patient when it comes to Spider-Man.

It’s currently unclear what the merchandising deal is for Fox’s Marvel properties, but my Spidey-sense is telling me that Disney doesn’t own it or have a high percentage in its sales. But does this mean that Liefeld is completely wrong about his claims (and Cinema Blend‘s claims) about Marvel undercutting X-Men and Fantastic Four to screw over Fox? No, not at all. People love conspiracy theories AND love the fact that Marvel is playing their own “Game of Thrones” in order for the rights for X-Men and Fantastic Four to revert back to Marvel.


But what if the Fox shut out strategy is to only get Fantastic Four rights back home? Think about this for a second, if Liefeld’s claims are completely true then why are some Marvel’s big writers still working on X-Men titles. So by that theory, should we have Marvel’s heavy hitters on Iron Man titles or Captain America? They recently had the All-New X-Men crossing over with the Guardians of the Galaxy in the “Trial of Jean Grey” storyline. If Marvel really is sabotaging the X-Men comics to spite Fox then they are doing a terrible job, since the X-books are among the top sellers while Captain America and Iron Man are not.

Much of this maligned decision to snub the Fantastic Four from it’s sketch cards, its comic cancellations, and Fantastic Four artwork being taken down in Marvel offices is because Marvel realizes that the Fantastic Four is most vulnerable franchise. In addition, they want the rights to not only the Fantastic Four but they also want the rights back to Galactus, Silver Surfer and the Skrulls back.


Last year, Marvel tried to get Galactus and Silver Surfer when Fox was negotiating a deadline extension with Daredevil. Fox felt that Marvel’s demands were too high and ultimately let the Daredevil rights go back to Marvel. Now, with the negative backlash over Trank’s casting decisions, Marvel smells blood in the water and is doing everything in its power to make sure that Fox’s Fantastic Four reboot tanks in theaters. Then in turn, Fox might decide that Fantastic Four is too expensive to maintain and ultimately let it go back to Marvel. In turn, that means you’ll be able to see Galactus, Silver Surfer and the Skrulls in a future Guardians of the Galaxy film.

So Liefeld’s “Fox shut out” claims are technically correct, he’s just wrong about it being X-Men related… And pretty much wrong about everything else that he tweeted about.

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