Mike Gold: Fantastic Four Is Fantastic For…?

You may have seen the trailer for the new Fantastic Four movie, due from Fox this coming August. Seeing as how you’re reading this on ComicMix, you probably have.

You may be familiar with all the rumors about how Marvel is pissed off at 20th Century Fox because the movie violates, well, everything fantastic about the Fantastic Four.

At the very least, it seems to ignore much of the origin and the history of the subject material. Anyway, many people believe that’s the reason Marvel cancelled their Fantastic Four monthly, the flagship and cornerstone of the Marvel Universe. This may be true, as there’s a lot of bad blood sloshing around this deal. Not to mention a lot of bad movies as well.

Here’s the curious part.

Human Torch & Silk 4You may have been to your friendly neighborhood comics shop today and picked up a copy of the new Marvel Previews… their promotional comic that tells us what they’re going to publish in a couple months. If you’ve seen the trailer and you’re familiar with the conflict and you’ve seen Previews, you just might be confused by the cover for Silk #4, pictured to the left.

Your confusion would be well-founded. Right there on the cover is Johnny Storm, of the Fantastic Four, sharing a meal with Silk. If you’re not confused, take a look at Johnny’s costume.

You’ll note that the “4” on his chest is pretty much the one in the new movie. It’s the same as the one in the final issues of the Fantastic Four monthly, except for the logo on Mr. Fantastic’s polo shirt. But with the monthly cancelled, if Marvel wanted to distance itself from the movie this would be a great time to revert to any of the previous logos – or create a new one.

Hell, if I were really pissed, I’d spell out the word across Johnny’s chest!

The logo for Fox’s new movie is depicted at the top of this column, unless I broke the Internet once again. That movie “4” is just about the same “4” we see on the cover of Silk #4, to be released this coming May 14th.

If you’re not confused, let me explain why I am. If Marvel hates the new FF movie (or the FF movie deal) to the point of cancelling their flagship title… why does the return of the Human Torch to Marvel’s cover stock promote the Fantastic Four movie?

I’ve always taken this story with a grain of salt. Given my somewhat skeptical nature, that grain of salt usually is big enough to make the Morton Salt girl wince. But people have looked into this, and I’ve asked a couple friends who labor in the Mouse House of Ideas. I had grown to accept this story and have even tagged Marvel’s response as petty. Not horrible, just petty.

And now they’ve changed the Fantastic Four uniform to comply – imitate, actually – that worn in the upcoming movie. The one they ostensibly hate.

Curiouser and curiouser, as Alice famously said.

Then again, the answer might be as simple as this: why let a multi-million dollar feud get in the way of making some money?