Monday, December 18, 2017

Real Name: Reed Richards
First Appearance: Fantastic Four #1 (November, 1961)
Fight Club Ranking: #9

Featured Fights:
- vs EGO THE LIVING PLANET: Fantastic Four #235 (Oct 1981)
- vs AHAB & INVISIBLE WOMAN: X-Men Annual #14 (1990)
- vs JUSTICE PEACE: Fantastic Four #354 (Jul 1991)
- vs PAIBOK: Fantastic Four #358 (Nov 1991)
- vs DOPPELGANGER: Fantastic Four #366 (Jul 1992)
- vs SUB-MARINER: Fantastic Four #412 (May 1996)
- vs MOLE MAN: Fantastic Four #2 (Dec 1996)
- vs SUPER-SKRULL: Fantastic Four #6 (Apr 1997)
- vs ANNIHILUS & DEFILE: Fantastic Four #13 (Nov 1997)
- vs ICONOCLAST: Fantastic Four #2 (Feb 1998)
- vs SUPER-APES: Fantastic Four #3 (Mar 1998)
- vs FRIGHTFUL FOUR: Marvel Adventures #12 (Mar 1998)
- vs WOLVERINE: Wolverine #22 (Jan 2005)
- vs SINISTER TWELVE: Marvel Knights: Spider-man #11 (Apr 2005)
- vs SECRET AVENGERS: Civil War #3 (Sep 2006)
- vs GOMDULLA: Spider-man Family #3 (Aug 2007)

If you've been watching the sands of Marvel Comics over the past few years, you may've noticed something changing of late. Back in September I started wondering if an increase in X-Men and Fantastic Four related publishing might be the signal of a new deal between Disney and Marvel licensors: 20th Century Fox. As it turns out - I may've been right.

Variety has reported that wayward Marvel properties could finally be brought back into the fold as Disney acquires FOX's intellectual properties in a mere $52.4 billion dollar deal.

Granted, this is much bigger than my half-baked questions about Silver Surfer finding a spot in next year's Avengers: Infinity War movie. It muddies the creative waters with the practical impositions that come with such a major proprietary deal. You don't simply drop a sack full of billions of dollars on Fox's counter and walk out with a multi-media empire. This deal will take time.

The obvious excitement is the possibility that Marvel Comics might end their two-year drought of publishing Fantastic Four: the comic that launched the Marvel Age. Or that the Fantastic Four might finally get a decent cinematic representation, one that's faithful to the beloved characters, and overlaps with the rest of Marvel's movie empire. Good old fashioned fear & loathing of mutants would be a welcome change from the bogus Inhuman hate seen in the television branch, as well.

All of that's great -- but there is the small matter of Disney's blossoming corporate stranglehold that threatens to dominate an already lagging 21st century culture.

The deal includes many of FOX's other popular properties (I think of Alien), and really will see Disney gobbling up more of Western culture's biggest pop franchises. Which, after the acquisition of Marvel and Lucasfilm a few years back, means they've got a very deep bench. Which is only slightly nauseating if you dwell on the dearth of exciting new ideas in our world.

As already discussed, I'd love to see Silver Surfer crashing unannounced into the Marvel movie universe. I think everyone clings to the vain hope Disney could somehow deliver a Fantastic Four that wasn't mangled beyond reason - or pleasure. I do spare a thought for the world at large, though.

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