Fox’s upcoming Fantastic Four reboot smells like a bigger pile of turds with each new announcement, but what I didn’t expect was for Marvel to pull all support of the film by canceling the comic and offering no upcoming merchandise based on the characters in the near future.

From Badass Digest:

Meanwhile, after denying it up and down, Marvel is canceling the Fantastic Four comic seemingly forever. Or for what passes for forever in superhero comics (like maybe three years). The company has denied that they were going to cancel the title to spite Fox’s new movie, but all the scuttlebutt I’ve heard from industry friends is that yes, Marvel is canceling Fantastic Four to spite the new movie. And that this comes down from Ike Perlmutter, the mysteriously crazy head honcho of Marvel. The Ike stories I’ve been told would make you turn white, and canceling Fantastic Four sounds about like the most reasonable of all these Crazy Ike stories.

This Ike Perlmutter guys sounds freaking awesome. I like him.

This whole thing was apparently first reported by Bleeding Cool, but no one believed them.

It was a story that Bleeding Cool first only offered as a possibility, but as more and more evidence came in, it became more and more likely.

That, as a result of Disney’s highest single shareholder and Marvel CEO Isaac Perlmutter’s anger with Fox Studios over negotiations regarding the film-and-related rights to The Fantastic Four, that Marvel would cancel the Fantastic Four comic rather than provide any promotion, however small it might be, towards the Fox Studios film. Merchandise and licenses were scrapped and evenFantastic Fourposters in the offices were pulled down lest Perlmutter see one and have his ire raised. It may not have been logical, but it was a decision born of personal emotion. It was steadied by sense.X-Men wasn’t cancelled, for example as the Xbooks sell so well. But Fantastic Four? It may have been the first book of the Marvel Universe, but its sales have continued to drag, even after multiple relaunches with high profile creators. There would be less of a hit to the bottom line if this comic was dropped.

Our story was pooh-poohed by all and sundrysave for CBR who independently confirmed that it was intended for the Fantastic Fourto be cancelled. Then the letter about sketch card artists being forbidden to useFantastic Four characters was made public, Mondo talked about being forbidden to use Fantastic Four characters and today, we we were already planning to run another story about Diamond Select Toys confirming that they are unable to make any Fantastic Four toys.

Bleeding Cool also goes on to report how artists who submit designs for Marvel Upper Deck trading cards have been prohibited from submitting anything with Fantastic Four characters or supporting cast like Doctor Doom or Silver Surfer.

I’ve never really been a huge FF fan to begin with, but I find this all insanely fascinating. It’s a huge power play on Marvel’s part, but whether it pays off or not will remain to be seen. Now I just can’t wait to see if any of this comes up at Marvel’s panel during NYCC this weekend.

(art via Felipe Massafera)