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So, What Is Going On With Marvel and Spider-Man?

Over the past few days, a flurry of rumors from studio execs have alternately thrilled and confused Marvel’s legions of fans. It’s hard to know how much stock to put in these rumors, but something seems to be happening, and that something is Marvel trying to consolidate its assets.

Right now, Marvel’s characters are spread across three different film studios: Fox has the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, Sony has Spider-Man and Marvel/Disney has pretty much everything else, including the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy. This creates lots of complications, like the fact that Marvel can’t actually use the word “mutant” is any of its movies because that’s an X-Men thing, as well as the simple fact that Marvel wants to be the one making Spider-Man money. After The Amazing Spider-Man 2‘s comparatively disappointing box office numbers, Sony might be slightly more interested in a team-up. Word is, the studios are talking about a possible crossover way down the road—which might mean Spider-Man joining the Avengers in, like, Avengers 17: Along Came a Spider, but who knows?

And whatever properties Marvel can’t get its hands on—like the Fantastic Four and X-Men—it intends to crush. Rumor has it, Marvel is canceling The Fantastic Four comic series and putting a ban on creating new X-characters, just to spite Fox’s film efforts. Very mature. Who will save the superheroes? …

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