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James Johnson
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Posted: 23 April 2019 at 3:01pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

With the premier of Avengers : EndGame just about 48 hours away, I have a question for the Forum.

Let's pretend it's January 1985 and Marvel's top 3 selling team books are (I believe in order):

Uncanny X-Men
The Fantastic Four
The Avengers

So, a time-traveler appears and tells you that a Marvel team franchise is setting all-time numbers at the box-office.

In your mind, which book would you think the traveller would be referring to?

For me, I would have guessed the X-Men. During this period, they were Marvel's hottest property and they promoted our merry band of mutants and did it constantly.

I truly believe during that time, if a Marvel movie was to hit the big screen and be a hit, it would be them.

Your turn folks, but please keep in mind, this is 1985, so be objective.

James

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David Allen Perrin
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Posted: 23 April 2019 at 3:41pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Without a doubt Id guess X-Men.

Given the premise youve laid out it would be difficult not to.
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 23 April 2019 at 3:45pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Well, Marvel 1985 had only a handful of teams - the ones you mentioned, the Defenders, the Champions, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and the Inhumans (likely I missed one or two...)

I would have to guess the Fantatic Four. I wouldn't think the Avengers wouldn't work without introducing its members first, and those other teams just wouldn't pull audiences. X-Men was kind of a cult classic at the time as I recall.
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James Johnson
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Posted: 23 April 2019 at 3:50pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I would have to guess the Fantatic Four. I wouldn't think the Avengers wouldn't work without introducing its members first, and those other teams just wouldn't pull audiences. X-Men was kind of a cult classic at the time as I recall.

=================================================
Eric,

By 1985, X-Men was well beyond the cult classic stage.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 23 April 2019 at 7:12pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

At that point, Marvel had 3 characters with a high profile with civilians: Spider-Man first (by a country mile), the Incredible Hulk second and Captain America I would say third. The FF had had some animated adventures, so I guess, were known to a degree as well. Though the X-Men was a big selling title, the team was not known at all outside the limited circle of the world of comics.

The equivalent at DC would be New Teen Titans selling buckets vs Superman and Batman being the well known properties. You'd guess Batman and Superman as the potential movie properties, in spite of Teen Titans selling lots of issues each month.

For me, then, it would have been a toss up between the FF and the Avengers. And I honestly would have guessed Avengers because of Cap. 

But let's not forget that it was the X-Men that was the first really big box office hit out of the Marvel properties. Blade was respectable but X-Men was genuinely big. That success for Fox (with Feige on board) -- and the gaudy box office numbers put up by Sony's Spider-Man -- were key events in creating the momentum that resulted in Marvel Studios.


Edited by Peter Martin on 23 April 2019 at 7:14pm
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 24 April 2019 at 9:21am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

James J. - I don't have the numbers, but I thought that the X-Men didn't take off until Mr. Byrne left (no implication intended); I guess they weren't in danger of cancellation, but I don't believe they were quite the household name that the FF was at the time. YMMV, of course.

Peter M. - Are you overlooking "Howard the Duck" for big box office hits?

Because you REALLY should, my friend! :)
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John Byrne
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Posted: 24 April 2019 at 10:13am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

X-MEN was in danger of cancellation the whole time I was working on the book. When I left, in 1980, sales were slowly but steadily climbing, tho not spectacularly. That continued until Paul Smith came on board, then they took off.
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Marc Baptiste
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Posted: 24 April 2019 at 11:06am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

By 1985, Uncanny X-Men was RED HOT - I would have to go with X-Men as the answer to your question, James.

Marc


Edited by Marc Baptiste on 24 April 2019 at 11:06am
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Wallace Sellars
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Posted: 24 April 2019 at 4:26pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

In order of likelihood...

THE X-MEN
THE FANTASTIC FOUR
THE AVENGERS

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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 24 April 2019 at 5:34pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply


I wasn't much of a fan of the X-Men back then (still not today), so I probably would have guessed:

THE AVENGERS - Simply because they could have conceivably featured almost any Marvel superhero (non-mutant) on the roster!

(Though my personal pick would have been the F.F., just 'cause I loved them--and the JB run--so dearly!)




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David Schmidt
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Posted: 25 April 2019 at 3:35am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I would have said X-Men... then Spider-Man.

I would never thought an Avenger movie was possible at that time...


That's strange because in january 1985 in France the last "Uncanny X-Men" issue published was 148...

Because you had two episodes very three months, the Austin/Byrne/Claremont era lasted from 1979 to 1984 (with Phoenix death happening in august 1983).

I didn't know "Uncanny X-Men" was on the verge of cancellation during all your run Mr Byrne but I can tell you every french comicbook reader of that time still praises your run.

For a reason I'll never understand "Uncanny X-Men" was published in a book called "Special Strange" along with Marvel Two-In-One and Marvel Team Up and Special Strange #32 was an all-Byrne issue with Spider-Man/Red Sonja and The Thing/Giant-Man...





Edited by David Schmidt on 25 April 2019 at 3:36am
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 25 April 2019 at 7:09am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I would have said X-Men... then Spider-Man
------------------------------------------------------------ ---
Someone tells you a Marvel team franchise is setting box-office records, and you guess Spider-Man?
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