Fantastic Four #645 - The Final Issue

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Fantastic Four #645 - The Final Issue

Post by Michael » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:04 pm

Given the House of Ideas' track record for saying things which turned out not to be true (I can't count how many times they've said "Doom is really dead this time."), I've held off mentioning this until now. But it seems at least in the short run to be true.

Marvel Comics is ending The Fantastic Four comic at issue #645 which comes out on April 29th.

http://marvel.com/news/comics/24400/the ... c_four_645

http://www.denofgeek.us/books-comics/fa ... first-look

While I have not been a regular reader of my all time favorite comic book for quite some time, I have to admit I am saddened by this. Back in the 60s and 70s, this book was the Marvel book. It launched the Marvel Universe and in one sense was its soul. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby kept breaking the rules and dazzling readers with the introduction of new ideas and new characters, and also with a more realistic portrayal of comic book characters than had been seen before.

Then Jack left, and a few years later, Stan left.

The Fantastic Four sputtered along for a while until John Byrne took over. He took what Stan and Jack had done and did it to the tenth power, creating one of the most amazing runs I've ever read in a comic.

After that, it was hit or miss, depending on who was writing it. Starting in the early 90s, I began collecting every back issue I could get my hands on, and subscribed.

But something happened around 2000. It was as if Marvel gave up on my favorite comic, the one which built Marvel from the ground up. The writing became absurd at times, and the art down right awful.

I didn't want to give up on it, but when they pulled another "no, these characters are really dead" gag, this time referring to Reed Richards and Doctor Doom, and of course they came back a year or so later, that was it for me.

I picked up an issue here and there, and at one point in the mid 2000s, I picked up a run of several issues. It looked like they might be getting it in gear again. But the more issues I read, the more I realized that while the artwork was really quite good, the writing was terrible--- no depth, just a quick buildup to a huge physical battle, then everything wrapped up nice and neat by the last page. That wasn't the comic I had fallen in love with.

So, after two movies which I couldn't stand, and now a third rebooted one on the way (supposedly based on the Ultimate Fantastic Four run they did from 2004 to 2009) --- the trailer doesn't do a whole lot for me--- Marvel has decided to pull the plug after more than 50 years.

I picked up the three issues leading up to the final one, and I've got a copy of #645 reserved for me when it comes out.

Part of me is sad that something I really loved has come to an end. But the book hasn't been that great for a long stretch of years, making another part of me glad they won't be publishing a substandard version of my favorite comic.
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Re: Fantastic Four #645 - The Final Issue

Post by JM1776 » Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:25 am

Michael wrote:The Fantastic Four sputtered along for a while until John Byrne took over. He took what Stan and Jack had done and did it to the tenth power, creating one of the most amazing runs I've ever read in a comic.
Yep. In my opinion, Byrne's FF is second only to Walt Simonson's run on Thor.

It'll be back soon enough. It's what comics companies do.
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Re: Fantastic Four #645 - The Final Issue

Post by Michael » Fri Apr 24, 2015 6:27 pm

JM1776 wrote:It'll be back soon enough. It's what comics companies do.
I just hope when they do, they try to actually make it worthy to bear the words "The World's Greatest Comic Magazine!"

However, I am beginning to wonder if what I think is good is what would actually sell comics to the target demographic Marvel has their corporate eyes set on.
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Re: Fantastic Four #645 - The Final Issue

Post by amehatrekkie » Fri May 01, 2015 11:31 am

wow...you have my condolences.
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Re: Fantastic Four #645 - The Final Issue

Post by jayphailey » Thu May 07, 2015 1:41 pm

In the 1990s when Marvel was just about to go out of business, they sold movie rights to all their properties in a desperate bid for cash to keep going.

This is why there was such a controversy over Spider-Man and the Avengers. This is why there are two distinctly different Quicksilvers

People don't remember but the first Toby McGuire Spider-Man film saved them.


The FF movies had promise. But they really didn't pay off.


When things started to go well, Spider-Man and the X-Men films began to take off, Marvel got a lot of money from that, and set up Marvel Studios and started buying the right to their characters back.

The problem is that both Sony and 20th Century Fox are big companies with a lot of money - so they had no interest in selling the right to their particular characters BACK to Marvel.


With the X-Men doing well, 20th Century Fox knows that good super hero movies can sell a lot of tickets (And they seem to be learning that bad ones DON'T)

But Marvel Studios really seems to have internalized that lesson - that good product sells tickets.

-*-

So Marvel asked nicely for the rights to FF back and were denied, cold.

If you look at it, the sales numbers of comics books are a teensy patch on the sales of movie tickets.

It gets to the point where a comic book series is a minor marketing tie-in to a successful movie.

So from a cold hearted financial view, the FF winds up being a minor promotion for the next FF movie.

Why would Marvel put energy into advertising what is, essentially, a competing movie fanchise?

The more successful the X-Men and FF movies are, the farther away Marvel is from being able to buy the characters back.


-*-

This is why we're unlikely to see a new Hulk movie any time soon. not only were the first two less than successful, but Marvel has to cut Universal in for a cut.

This is why Sony will let Spidey guest star in Future MCU projects - because the Andrew Garfield reboot didn't succeed all that well anyway.

if the new movie tanks - and I hope it doesn't, personally.

But if the new movie tanks - Hollywood may decide that the FF are box office poison, and 20th Centuy Fox MIGHT sell the properties back to Marvel.

If that happens, expect a comic reboot and new FF series.

But you're right. The Comics have forgotten the lesson the movies have learned. Good stories make good product.
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Re: Fantastic Four #645 - The Final Issue

Post by Michael » Sat May 09, 2015 2:42 pm

jayphailey wrote:But if the new movie tanks - Hollywood may decide that the FF are box office poison, and 20th Centuy Fox MIGHT sell the properties back to Marvel.

If that happens, expect a comic reboot and new FF series.
I suspect the new movie will make big bucks. It's far enough removed from the comic to make it seem new, but still using the names and places to suggest it might be about something with some substance.

But you're right. The Comics have forgotten the lesson the movies have learned. Good stories make good product.
It's really distressing to me that the comics lost sight of that. They seemed to become so focused on making a slick looking comic that story was not even on their radar.
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Re: Fantastic Four #645 - The Final Issue

Post by amehatrekkie » Sat May 09, 2015 5:11 pm

great art work is awesome but meaningless without a good plot. a series with both is too rare these days.

and i'm sad to say that one of my favorite series of all time is finished too. Fables by Bill Willingham :'(

i'm heartbroken :'(
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Re: Fantastic Four #645 - The Final Issue

Post by jayphailey » Sun May 10, 2015 12:00 am

Michael wrote: It's really distressing to me that the comics lost sight of that. They seemed to become so focused on making a slick looking comic that story was not even on their radar.
I noped out in the mid 1990s when Liefield and these other guys wet away from human stories and towards over the top puerile crap.

I have only dipped toes in later.

My favorite animated FF was actually when they guest starred in "Avengers: Earth Mightiest Heroes"

That was for the Marvel Universe what Justice League or Young Justice was for DC.

There have been a couple of attempts at animated FF in the last decade - and they sucked.
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Re: Fantastic Four #645 - The Final Issue

Post by Michael » Sun Aug 02, 2015 6:22 pm

It turns out things are worse than I thought. Marvel has apparently decided to scrap fifty-five years of continuity.



They did this back in 1996-1997 with their Heroes Reborn thing. It was a mess.

I can understand them wanting to be free of all that old continuity to make it easier for new readers to jump in, but a combined universe of continuity for all their titles is what made Marvel different in its first two decades. There are ways to tell stories without requiring readers to study fifty years of history.

Why is it when a series has lost sales or viewership, the first reaction by the studio/publisher is to reboot?

:( :( :(
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Re: Fantastic Four #645 - The Final Issue

Post by jayphailey » Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:00 pm

Well, I think with the Recent FF movie pranging like it did, that it means that the FF as a movie franchise will be heading back to into the Marvel fold.

Once that deal is sealed, look forward to a new FF #1 that will take an idiotic crap all over the FF that all the old fans have grown up with.
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Re: Fantastic Four #645 - The Final Issue

Post by JM1776 » Thu Sep 24, 2015 1:52 am

jayphailey wrote:Well, I think with the Recent FF movie pranging like it did, that it means that the FF as a movie franchise will be heading back to into the Marvel fold.

Once that deal is sealed, look forward to a new FF #1 that will take an idiotic crap all over the FF that all the old fans have grown up with.
Just like Abrams' Star Trek.
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Re: Fantastic Four #645 - The Final Issue

Post by jayphailey » Thu Sep 24, 2015 10:10 am

JM1776 wrote:
jayphailey wrote:Well, I think with the Recent FF movie pranging like it did, that it means that the FF as a movie franchise will be heading back to into the Marvel fold.

Once that deal is sealed, look forward to a new FF #1 that will take an idiotic crap all over the FF that all the old fans have grown up with.
Just like Abrams' Star Trek.
Yup.
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Re: Fantastic Four #645 - The Final Issue

Post by Michael » Thu Sep 24, 2015 10:06 pm

jayphailey wrote:Well, I think with the Recent FF movie pranging like it did, that it means that the FF as a movie franchise will be heading back to into the Marvel fold.
I went to see the new FF and was surprised it wasn't as bad as I was expecting. But then I was expecting a total train wreck on the order of Manos - The Hands of Fate. It's not a great movie. But it's not Manos contrary to all the media comments I heard.

But it wasn't X-Men - Days of Future Past nor Guardians of the Galaxy which is what I think Fox wanted.

I agree. It is likely headed over to Marvel at this point.

Once that deal is sealed, look forward to a new FF #1 that will take an idiotic crap all over the FF that all the old fans have grown up with.
I've liked some of the Marvel films. I think they have more of a handle on what a comic book film ought to be than Fox does. Or maybe I'm just being optimistic.
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Re: Fantastic Four #645 - The Final Issue

Post by jayphailey » Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:11 am

I quite agree. A Marvel Films FF will not suck.

But the problem is that we fans are getting old and they have to try and reach a newer audience, which often entails things we older fans consider dumb.
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Re: Fantastic Four #645 - The Final Issue

Post by Michael » Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:27 am

jayphailey wrote:But the problem is that we fans are getting old and they have to try and reach a newer audience, which often entails things we older fans consider dumb.
Very true.
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