There was no indication that I saw over the course of the 3 days of Fan Expo that a major announcement like Disney buying Marvel for $4 billion was coming, so kudos to any of the Marvel fellows that I met who had some really great poker faces going on.
Personally, I was pretty surprised to see the deal announced this morning (thanks to Scotty G for sending it my way!). I’ve been under the impression that Marvel preferred working under its own autonomy for its films and comics, but when you’ve got $4 billion on the table I can see why one might think twice about being their own boss.
Surfing around the ‘net, it seems like a lot of Marvel fans are fearing the worst. That Disney will be incredibly hands-on with the product; that they’ll be looking to dilute characters like Wolverine; that underperforming comics won’t be given the time to grow an audience. For those fans, Marvel’s Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada, who was in Toronto the last three days, twittered the following message:
Everybody take a deep breath, all your favourite comics remain unchanged… If you’re familiar with the Disney/Pixar relationship then you’ll understand why this is a new dawn for Marvel and the comics industry.”
While lots of fans are being alarmists, I think I’m going the excited route. With both Marvel and Pixar under the same umbrella, think of all the amazing possibilities that could happen. How about a Fantastic Four Pixar flick with Galactus (unless Fox will hold that one up?). One place Marvel has been trailing DC in over the last few years is their DVD features – the animation and stories aren’t what they should be when compared to DC Animation releases like Superman: Doomsday, Batman: Gotham Knights, and Justice League: New Frontier. While the recent Hulk Vs: DVD release was fairly strong, that one is an anomaly. I’m hoping this deal with Disney will get Marvel’s properties on the right track. I’m also hoping with Disney on board, we’ll be able to see more comic book penetration at book stores and even variety stores. Disney knows how to get their brands into the hands of kids, which should help perpetuate characters like the X-Men, Spider-Man, and Iron Man for years to come.
Having read through various accounts of the conference call that was held this morning between Marvel and Disney bigwigs, it certainly seems clear that Disney appreciates the fact that the folks at Marvel know their business and that this deal should be good for everyone.
Especially those dreaming of a Spider-Man/Mickey Mouse team-up.