A few days ago, I asked a question on how Stan Lee was able to tell the stories to a trio of Watchers about being a FedEx agent when the events of GoTG Vol 2 took place in 2014 and Civil War in 2016.

But what if Stan Lee was referring to his cameo in 2005's Fantastic Four where he played a mailman delivering mails to Reed Richards

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Given that the Watchers made their first appearance in Fantastic Four #13 (1963), it makes sense for Fox to have the rights for Watchers along with other cosmic Marvel villains like Galactus, Silver Surfer etc.

So, does Stan Lee's scene on GoTG Vol 2 indicate that Fantastic Four rights are returning back to Marvel? Or was he just referring to his scene in Civil War?

  • 1
    "What if?". That's asking for opinions it seems and FedEx is nothing to do with the US Postal Service.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented May 6, 2017 at 16:24
  • The title is a bit clickbaity. Even if it were referencing Fantastic Four, just referencing the event wouldn't mean Marvel would have the rights to it. Deadpool can reference Samuel L. Jackson in an eyepatch, but that doesn't mean Fox owns Nick Fury.
    – Stevoisiak
    Commented May 26, 2017 at 3:30

3 Answers 3


Well, the Fantastic Four rights aren't reverting to Marvel, so I'd say the answer is no. As recently as last November Marvel President Kevin Feige called the idea of getting the F4 rights back "an impossibility at this juncture". As far as I know, nothing has changed on that front in the past 6 months.

As far as Lee's cameo, it's possible that he was a Fed-EX agent more than once in his "career" -- if a disguise works well enough, why not keep using it? Even if he was talking about Civil War, Marvel's Easter Eggs rarely follow their canon timeline as much as they should, and often get sloppily ret-conned away later -- the "totally not Adam Warlock's cocoon" from Guardians vol. 1, or Stephen Strange discussing a case about "totally not Rhodes" accident are two other examples. If pressed, Marvel will probably do the same with Lee's comment.

UPDATE: Marvel has done the same with Lee's comment:

And Stan Lee in the movie says, ‘That time I was the Fed Ex guy,’ which is what he is in Civil War. I screwed up; I wasn’t thinking, But I’m going to say that probably Stan Lee used the guise of a Fed Ex guy more than one time.

As far as The Watcher's go, while they did appear in a Fantastic Four series for the first time, that doesn't mean much. F4 is Marvel's oldest comic series. Lots of things appeared there for the first time, but migrated out to become their own thing. When Marvel signed their deal giving Fox rights to the F4 team, they got to pick and choose what did and didn't go with it. Obviously Fox is going to get as much as they can, so they got classic F4 villains like Doom and Silver Surfer, but they didn't get everyone who's ever been in an F4 story. (Namor, for example, is very closely tied up with Reed and Sue's life, but AFAIK Marvel still holds his rights). Uatu has appeared in all kinds of series, including Guardians of the Galaxy, the "Civil War" storyline, and the "Infinity Gauntlet" storyline. It's unlikely that Marvel would have signed over his rights to Fox as part of the F4 deal.

  • Fox doesn't have Namor via the X-Men license?
    – OrangeDog
    Commented May 3, 2018 at 11:27
  • Fox doesn't have them; it seems like the rights as "fuzzy". Universal bought them a long time ago but never made a movie, so they should have reverted to Marvel by now, and in 2017 one of Marvel's execs claimed that they had. But the latest word (from just a few months ago) is less clear.
    – KutuluMike
    Commented May 7, 2018 at 13:12

Fantastic 4 will very much be like Spiderman in that the studio has x amount of years to make a movie or the rights revert back to Marvel. That being said, Sony still hold the rights to Spiderman and Fox hold the rights to X-Men. Marvel can ask to use the characters and it's highly unlikely that anyone will actually say no, in fact it would be in their best interests to say yes based on how much the superhero genre is worth right now and they would take a percentage of the earnings. I cannot say for absolute certainty that they do not hold the rights however.

  • I fail to see how this answer tries to adress the actual queation in any way.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented May 21, 2017 at 10:15

Back in 2017, no. The issue is now a moot point since Marvel Studios now has the rights to the Fantastic Four. In Mar. 2019, Marvel Studios parent company Disney had acquired 21st Century Fox. In July 2019, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced that a Fantastic Four film set in the MCU, is in development.

In May 2022, Reed Richards (Mister Fantastic) appeared in the MCU film, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, portrayed by John Krasinski.

Reed Richards (Mister Fantastic) in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Reed Richards (Mister Fantastic) in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

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