In an announcement that caught comic book fans by surprise, The Walt Disney Company has purchased Marvel Entertainment for the tidy sum of $4 billion dollars in cash and stock. Details are short at this time, but the press release from Disney said that the move has been approved by both companies’ boards and must now get clearance from the government as well as Marvel shareholders.
If everything goes through, Disney will then have access to the Marvel stable of over 5,000 characters, which includes popular superheros like Iron Man, Spider-Man, the X-Men, Captain America, the Fantastic Four, and Thor.
What does this mean for Marvel as a company and the industry as a whole? One can hope that it’s a good thing. Marvel now has a stable base of money, much the same way that DC does (because of their relationship with Warner Brothers); however Marvel must now answer to a different set of business people that it never has before, and who knows if or how they may interfere with the publishing arm.
Does this mean we will see Disney animation raiding the publishing arm for ideas on new cartoons? I find it doubtful for now, with many of the more popular characters rights being tied up with different companies (X-Men with Fox, Spider-Man with Sony). Plus, you throw Marvel Studios (the film arm of the company) into the mix, and you have to be concerned how things will go. Marvel Studios was just getting on its feet and has a bright future with Iron Man 2 coming out next year, followed by films based on Thor, Captain America, and the Avengers. We will just have to wait and see how this deal affects those films. One hopes that Disney sees the good job Marvel Studios has done so far and stays out of its way, much as they do with Pixar.
There are some good marketing opportunities for Disney. One of the most obvious would be to present the various popular Disney characters in various Marvel costumes. Versions of the Avengers, X-Men, FF, etc. (as well as individual characters like Spider-Man and Daredevil — though probably not Punisher) made up of Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto, and whoever else the company pulls out of the vault. It’s a move that could generate millions in action figure and children’s comic book sales, not to mention advertising tied to related Disney Channel cartoons.
Comment by Doc Atomic — August 31, 2009 @ 12:19 pm
I don’t think i could get behind the X-keteers or peter parker hooking up with miley cirus.
Comment by korollocke — August 31, 2009 @ 5:14 pm
X-keteers = gold!
Comment by Cory — August 31, 2009 @ 8:23 pm
Comment by scrotumbagmonkeyflicker — September 1, 2009 @ 10:23 am
I feel… saddened by this…
Comment by Sierra Houk — September 1, 2009 @ 12:07 pm
ok, so has dc changed since Time Warner (aka Warner brothers) took it over? I mean, its how things work. EA and SquareSoft own most gaming companies and they have stayed relatively good. just cause a bigger house owns marvel, don’t mean that all marvel is now subject to having mickey mouse drawn in.
Comment by tarsonus — September 2, 2009 @ 8:47 am
I think I’ll just have to log my memories of my favourite comics in the “never to be seen again” catagory. While I have nothing against making money I can easily see disney doing to the source material what Hasbro have done to Transformers and G.I.Joe.
Changing them so they are almost unrecogniseable by the fans to pull in a larger audience. And make it more understandable for the IQ impaired. A larger audience means more $$$$. Buisness is buisness they say. Yet another reason why I want to get into CGI and make each comic exactly as they were portrayed in the comics.
I wonder if they’ll even let the living legend Stan Lee continue to do cameos in the marvel movies. I hope so. :)
Comment by ttandc — September 3, 2009 @ 1:53 am