Huge news has hit this morning that will not only affect comic fans, but superhero movie fans as well. It was announced this morning that Disney is buying Marvel Entertainment for roughly $4 Billion. This means that Disney will own all of the comic and movie rights that Marvel now has. I see this as having some VERY interesting ramifications. Check them out after the break.
Starting off with a more obscure effect of this merger, I would be shocked if we didn’t get an announcement that the 90’s Spiderman cartoon will begin coming to DVD. As with the X-Men animated series, the rights to the characters belonged to Marvel, but the cartoon rights belonged to Disney. It’s only been this year that the X-Men cartoon has begun its journey to DVD. With the rights now consolodated in one house (of Mouse), there’s nothing to stop the release of a sure-fire money maker.
Secondly, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Disney make a concerted effort to bring all the Marvel superheroes home either. Whether that means not renewing film rights agreements or some other arrangement, I don’t know. With the power behind Disney along Marvel now, there may be some headway made that Marvel wouldn’t have been able to make in the future on their own.
As far as the comic book part of Marvel’s business, I don’t think a lot will change. I’m hoping that the Pixar influence in Disney management will let Marvel work creatively on their own, but I think we’ll end up seeing some titles come to an end. The simple reality is that right now, the comics industry is down. I have a hard time believing that Marvel isn’t losing money on quite a few of their titles. Disney will most likely want to cut costs, and this move makes sense.
Had this move happened five or ten years ago, I’d be preparing myself for the death of Marvel as I knew it. I just hope that my faith in the current leadership regime at Disney isn’t misplaced.