Deadpool may be the biggest blockbuster hit to come out of the X-Men movie universe, but now that he's been returned to Marvel Studios he's showing some love to one of Fox's biggest failures: the Fantastic Four.
Hot off the heels of fighting Marvel’s version of Batman in his standalone comic, Deadpool is now taking it upon himself to welcome The Fantastic Four back into the fray of everything Marvel. It's been a rough few years for the team, too. In the comics, the Fantastic Four have been MIA since 2015’s Secret Wars, after seemingly sacrificing themselves in a battle with Dr. Doom to restore Earth. Thankfully the Fantastic Four have returned, revealing they were actually just busy recreating the Marvel Multiverse. But the movies... are a different story.
Explaining their absence may be complicated by comic standards, but Fox's movie reboot killed the franchise completely. The Fantastic Four movie rights had left Marvel back in the 1980s, up until the announcement that Disney was buying back Fox's Marvel properties. With the acquisition officially taking place on March 20, 2019, it's time for Deadpool to officially welcome the Fantastic Four home in the latest issue of Spider-Man/Deadpool #49.
In the latest run of Spider-Man/Deadpool, Wade Wilson has lost his ability to break the fourth wall; but that doesn’t keep him from cracking some meta-humor. Thanks to Marvel's preview of Issue #49, fans can see him erase the line between the worlds of Marvel Comics and Marvel Studios.
In the latest issue of the team-up series, Spider-Man and Deadpool were imprisoned in a mysterious dimension with a group of heroes, similarly captured by a villain named The Manipulator. After Deadpool escaped with the help of Gwenpool hiding out in "gutter space" (don't ask), she sent him back dressed to the nines (and armed to the teeth) to help free the heroes he left behind. The Fantastic Four jump into the fight against the Manipulator after being freed, thanking him in the process.
Deadpool can't pass up the chance to return to his 'meta' ways, stating how they are "finally on the same team. All together under the same banner." The joke is a clear reference to not only the Fantastic Four being reunited after the events of Secret Wars, but Disney recently closing the deal on acquiring Fox’s assets. A joke so meta that Deadpool then references it himself, frustrated at his current inability to break the fourth wall and see if the reader appreciated one of his better fiction-breaking jokes in recent months.
Don’t worry Deadpool. Whether you know it or not, fans are guaranteed to get the reference--and they're just as excited that a Deadpool/Avengers/Fantastic Four team-up in the MCU is finally a possibility. And with Disney’s apparent willingness to keep making Deadpool movies, we can only hope to see this interaction in live action in the near future.
Spider-Man/Deadpool #49 will be available from your local comic book store on April 10th, or direct from Marvel Comics.