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Disney buys Marvel Comics

Monday, August 31st, 2009 | Posted by John ONeill

Holy cow, Disney just agreed to buy Marvel Comics for $4 billion.

Not bad for a company facing bankruptcy just a few years ago.

Clearly the properties they’re most interested in were the movie franchises. Still, I wonder how it will affect comics over the next few years… Will we see more cross-overs? Will Thor face Donald Duck? Will Spider-man appear in the next Toy Story (as one of the executives in the article jokes)?

Certainly the biggest immediate impact will be in merchandizing – not just toys and such, but cross promotion. Likely we’ll see Peter Parker in line for the next Pixar movie, and people in Disney movies will be seen picking up Marvel comics – just as the hip characters in the Fox TV show The O.C were always seen reading D.C. titles

I don’t know how it will affect the comics I still read and care about (like the Brian Michael Bendis Ultimate Spider-man), but I fear it won’t be good.

3 Comments »

  1. The whole Disney/Marvel thing will bring both good and bad sides, I’m sure. First off, Disney may start keeping any eye on the stuff Marvel publishes and this could mean the death of any MAX books, as well as any other Marvel books with “Mature Reader Content.” I hope they keep their word to let “Marvel keep being Marvel.” But you know they will want to have the final word on anything Marvel does. That last PUNISHER movie? Waaaay to ultraviolent for anything having to do with Disney…we probably won’t see any more “cutting edge” Marvel movies or books. I really hope they adopt a “hands-off” approach to the Marvel publishing line!

    Another interesting thought is that this FINALLY puts Marvel on equal ground
    as DC. Since 1968, DC has been owned by Warner Bros. (Ever notice that DC
    always had better cartoons than Marvel? That’s way.) With Warner Bros.
    massive media empire behind it, DC has been free to explore more avenues of
    publishing–Vertigo, Paradox Press, etc. There are some insiders who say
    this may free up Marvel to do more non-superhero comics. Of course, we all
    hope that Disney doesn’t try to “Disney-fy” Marvel…that would be the kiss
    of death. This could also mean that terrific “mature” books like CRIMINAL and POWERS may have to find a new home eventually…not to mention any books bearing the MAX logo.

    Kurt Busiek said the most level-headed thing: That there will be both negative AND positive things to come out of this.

    I just really hope they don’t try to make Marvel a “kid’s company” again…Marvel Comics haven’t been for kids in about 30 years. It would be a terrible, terrible mistake. Granted, some characters (like the core characters) do make good kid-friendly versions.

    I think, in general, this will mean better and more frequent media crossovers for Marvel…but not necessarily better comic books.

    Marvel finally has a real juggernaut behind it. Let’s just hope it doesn’t trample them into the dust…

    Comment by John R. Fultz - August 31, 2009 9:39 pm

  2. I don’t think the content of the comics books will be affected at all because of the purchase. After all, the comic books themselves aren’t where the money is for Disney

    This is a good article on the lowdown for what this all means for the comics: http://popwatch.ew.com/2009/08/31/disney-buys-marvel/

    Comment by Ryan Harvey - August 31, 2009 11:49 pm

  3. Oh here’s another good article… the Pixar/Marvel possibilities are extremely interesting:

    10 Marvel Properties Pixar Should Adapt

    Comment by Ryan Harvey - September 1, 2009 1:07 am


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