Yesterday, Disney announced that it was purchasing Marvel Comics for the sum of 4 billion dollars. As you might expect, news spread quickly throughout the traditional news outlets, as well as the Internet. At one point, a Google search simply stating Disney buys Marvel produced 1,600,000 million results with 1,270 related articles. So yeah, this is kind of a big deal. Possibly the world’s preeminent brand buying another one of the largest brands in the world. Two definite Teen Titans (sorry DC Comic Fans) are now the world’s most famous newlyweds.
The deal is an absolute no-brainer for both parties involved. Disney now possesses a library of more than 5,000 characters that includes Spider Man, Wolverine, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, etc. All with humongous, far-reaching, long-standing fan bases — in this decade alone — their film franchises that have grossed more than 3 billion dollars.
And Disney doesn’t have to worry about expending resources to “introduce” the characters to the public. Marvel has already done this quite masterfully during the past 40 years. On the other side, Marvel gains … well, $4,000,000,000. That’s certainly not an amount to sneeze at. Like Pixar, the Marvel team is now backed by the deep pockets of the Mouse. No more worries about negotiating movie deals with studios, worries about licensing or television syndication … those are all things of the past.
Not surprising to me, this deal doesn’t seem to be too popular with a lot of the hardcore comic book fans. While surfing Twitter, I noticed some people worried about the pending ramifications. Will The Punisher and Wolverine have to become more kid-friendly? Will signature catch phrases — “Hulk smash!” and “It’s clobberin’ time” — go the way of the dinosaurs? Will a radioactive spider bite Hannah Montana in a future episode?
I don’t believe we have anything to worry about. Peruse the movie titles below:
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood
Kill Bill Volume 1&2
A nice mix … a couple of box office hits (a few with massive cult followings), an Academy Award winner and an Academy Award nominee. Most importantly, for my purposes, Disney distributed these films. Do any of those fit into your idea of what a Disney film is? I’m going to assume no.
Disney might be a lot of things but stupid isn’t one of them. The purchase of Marvel is no different than when it purchased ABC, ESPN, or Pixar. These were all established brands that Disney wanted to add to their own. And it wisely left the people who created them, for the most part, in charge.
So, Marvel fans, don’t worry. You will not see a Sportscenter comic book, or Dr. McSpidey appearing in Grey’s Anatomy, although I’d love to see Thor filling in for weatherman Sam Champion on Good Morning America. “By the power of Asgard, it’s freezing on the Eastern seaboard!”