A Visual Guide to Explain The Evolution of Marvel Character Rights

Do you have a friend or family member that doesn’t understand which characters belong in a certain superhero movie? Well these helpful tools are for them.

Visual Guide to Marvel Character Rights (The Geek Twins)

The first visual guide takes place before the pending Disney-Fox deal. It colorfully explains what Marvel Studios (MCU) owns. It also shows what properties 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, and Universal Pictures own. Many people wonder why there is so many differences in Marvel films. Like why is films like Logan and Deadpool not part of the Marvel Studios continuity. This graph will explain why certain characters appear on certain films. Also what characters are shared.

Here is the chart again.

Visual Guide to Marvel Character Rights (The Geek Twins)

So quick review before we continue.

Marvel Studios: Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America, Black Panther, Iron Man, Inhumans, Blade, and more.

Sony Pictures: Spider-Man (shared), Carnage, Venom, and Spider-Man Miles Morales (possibly shared was mentioned in Spider-Man: Homecoming).

Universal Pictures: She-Hulk, Namor (shared), Hulk (shared), The Leader, Abomination, and General Ross (shared).

20th Century Fox: Wolverine, Deadpool, Fantastic Four, Galactus, Kang the Conqueror, Silver Surfer, and New Mutants.

Marvel Studios also shares character rights like Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver with 20th Century Fox. Kingpin, J. Jonah Jameson, Aunt May, and Mary Jane are also shared with Sony Pictures.

So your friend or family member may ask during a MCU movie:

Could Deadpool show up in this?

No, not until post Disney-Fox deal. Deadpool’s rights are at 20th Century Fox along with the Fantastic Four and X-Men.

Sony Pictures owns rights to the Spider-Man and his Spider-Verse although most of their characters are now crossing into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sony foolishly passed up on deal where they could of owned most of the Marvel universe, but the company decided to just go after Spider-Man. She-Hulk is solely owned by Universal Pictures. Here is the updated visual guide after the Disney-Fox deal is completed.

Visual Guide to Marvel Character Rights Version 5 (The Geek Twins)

The updated guide shows that Marvel Studios will be getting most of their characters back once the deal passes through. Which is a wonderful thing for all comic fans that ever dreamed of seeing the X-Men interact with The Avengers.

There is also a video that was done by Collider Crash Course. This of course was made before the Disney-Fox deal but it does a great job explaining why these characters were split up, and who owns who.

Collider Crash Course

BONUS: What if your friend is confused between Marvel and DC?

Well let’s face it not everyone embraces the superhero fandom. Not everyone knows to wait until the end of a film to see a post-credit. Some even think you are just waiting around to watch the credits and look at a black screen. DC and Marvel can be confusing to learn for newcomers. A lot of similarities are obviously there between the two comic book giants.

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman (Washington Post)
Wonder Woman is a part of DC Comics. Along with Batman, The Flash, Aquaman, and Superman. These characters will never appear in Marvel films.

Captain America

Captain America (Washington Post)
Captain America is owned by Disney (Marvel Studios). Along with most of the other characters.


Wolverine (Washington Post)
Wolverine is owned by 20th Century Fox but after the Disney-Fox deal is complete he will become a part of Marvel Studios.

Hopefully this article is helpful in explaining the confusing Marvel character rights (and helping some with what is DC and what is Marvel). Ahead of Avengers: Infinity War this is a good reference for all those who will be seeing it. Some may think Fox characters will show up because of the deal. Sadly, that is not the case but someday they will.

Be sure to follow @BoardwalkTimes on Twitter as we continue to celebrate all things Marvel. This is just the start of many exciting things during Marvel Week.

Zach Perilstein is the Editor-in-Chief at the Boardwalk Times.