Through the power of the internet, all secrets are brought at once to light: Disney has acquired Marvel in a $4 billion dollar deal. (License for Wolverine was $3 billion of those dollars; Silver Surfer went for 75 cents and a jelly doughnut.)
Disney, already an entertainment juggernaut (that’s one!), has been devouring other properties for years, including television networks ABC and ESPN. Grabbing a property like Marvel means that Disney can begin to do what it does best: brainstorm corporate crossovers until every writer’s assistant has had their first coronary!
It’s marginally too soon to say how Disney’s ownership will affect Marvel’s titles over time, though it’s safe to say that Disney’s hulking presence (that’s two!) will probably be serving as a sentinel (that’s three!) for a more family-friendly series of books. Whether this means the creations of new comics properties or subtle synergies like X-Men #220: Hannah Montana IS Dazzler! is yet to be determined.
On one hand, Disney’s insistence on making blandly acceptable fare might be a detriment to some titles tackling serious issues. On the other hand, Disney’s worldwide marketing stranglehold on the young female demographic means that girls might finally become a desirable audience for comics. (On the other other hand, given what Disney currently markets to girls, maybe this isn’t such a blessing.)
Things to look forward to under the new regime:
- New on ABC Family: Radical “Rogue” Miller, Mutant Sophomore!
- ESPN Presents: various sporting events with costumed characters caddying, delivering water and/or visiting swift and painful justice to all dishonorable athletes! Hulk said ball out of bounds, dammit!
- A Spider Man Musical! (Which basically proves that this cash-scrabbling buyout was inevitable, since you’re much too late for that, little one. Much too late.)
So, what say you? Has Disney’s buyout signaled the end of Marvel as we know it, or will Marvel rise from Disney’s clutches like a phoenix? (That’s four, and I’m done!)
Genevieve Valentine is an incurable movie and TV nerd whose fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, Federations, and more. Her first novel is forthcoming from Prime Books. Her appetite for bad movies is insatiable, a tragedy she tracks on her blog.