Ever since Marvel Studios became a powerhouse in the entertainment industry, their licensing division has taken to promoting material featuring characters the company can use in their own films and television shows.
While characters like the X-Men and the Fantastic Four maintain passionate fans, there are not a lot of products that feature their likenesses due to their film rights belonging to 20th Century Fox. There are a few exceptions, such as Spider-Man (who is with Sony) and Deadpool, an X-Men character who is extremely popular among young children and adults.
But generally, there aren’t a lot of licensed items that one can purchase with the Human Torch, the Thing, Cyclops, or Storm, due to those characters being under the Fox banner.
Bleeding Cool has reported on a rumored falling out between Fox and Marvel which they say lead to the Fantastic Four comic’s cancellation—Marvel nor Fox have confirmed these rumors. But there may yet be some truth to the reports as the site has recently published what they say is a list of restricted characters provided by Upper Deck to sketch artists who contribute character artwork for their card packs.
The list contains some guidelines regarding do’s and don’t’s which contains some
The site attached the list of characters that sketch card artists cannot use when submitting work; a list which includes every member of the Fantastic Four as well as a few of their villains and supporting cast members, like Galactus, Silver Surfer, and the Watchers.
Sketch cards are small pieces of original artwork inserted into card packs at random. Upper Deck pays $3 per sketch card to the artists, a modest sum considering their value on the aftermarket.
Other characters from the CrossGen line, Stephen King comics, and even ROM are also mentioned on the rejected list.
The site’s report also states that X-Men characters Gambit, Rogue, Nightcrawler, and Apocalypse were recently added to the list.
It does not state how they obtained the list from Upper Deck, only that this is what the company provides to artists who intend to submit sketch cards.
So you probably shouldn’t expect to find a sweet Doctor Doom sketch in your next pack of trading cards.