Marvel/Disney Reactions

As the hot buzz going around for the last couple of days, we all know that Marvel has been purchased by Disney for $4 Billion. With that everyone is wondering what is going to be happening with Marvel as we know it today. I sent out the call via twitter and a few emails for peoples input on what their thoughts on the outcome will be.

Personally I don’t think we will see much difference with how Marvel Comics is run. Yes there will be a chance for cross overs from the Disney universe into the Marvel one and vice versa but that won’t be able to happen until Disney’s contract with Boom! is up and if it is not renewed by them. That being said I can’t really see Disney characters coming up in the Marvel Universe. On the flip side I could see there being references coming up in Disney shows where, for example, you could have an episode of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse having one of the characters pretending to be Spiderman.

Overall I think the deal wasn’t about the comic sales but more to do with the Movie and TV properties. And that being said we’ll have the chance for Disney to bring animated movies from Marvel to a new level, be it with Pixar or any of their other resources which will be a win/win situation of all of us.


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Jason Tudor Writer and Illustrator of JasonTudor.com and Brothers in Virtual Arms:

I look at these from a businessman’s point of view and a Fanboy’s point of view. First, business:

— Figure Disney acquired Marvel after seeing the explosiveness of what Marvel properties could do at the box office. Marvel realized that Cg had finally come far enough to move the images it created from the pages to the screen. The Spider-man trilogy grossed better than $1 billion US. The X-Men trilogy somewhere just south of that. It didn’t want to miss out on the Ironman train, even if that means sharing that profit with Paramount.

— The publishing side leaves me flummoxed for two reasons. First, print is dying. A comic book’s natural form is not on an iPhone or a Kindle (which is black and white). And print is dying. Disney’s target demographic is somewhere between 4-14. And while some are still forced to read, a majority of time is spent in front of a computer. Plus, the personnel needed to create comic books create a human resources bill that has to be paid. Plus the management of egos and schedules and freelancers. The questions become: how long do Marvel “comic books” go on? Where will they be sold (Disney stores) and if not comic books, then … what? Is the panacea for Marvel comics ultimate to be translated onto the big screen? There are 5,000 characters to work with, according to Marvel. So, there’s plenty of old stuff to go on.

— What makes money are the entrenched characters. So, Disney bought Spider-Man, Silver Surfer, the X-Men, the Hulk, Ironman and the others who really have a firm footing in public consciousness. Don’t expect Bloodstone, Iron Fist and Cable to be canvassing the Disney properties any time in the future. Doesn’t make sense and doesn’t make money. Friendly mascots go to breakfast with children at the hotels and get $15 photos taken in the booths.

From a Fanboy’s perspective…

— Will Marvel stay the same company, producing comic books, some with edge, and others more mainstream? Or, will it turn into more vanilla Disney pabulum? Marvel will change. But how? There are those who already hated Marvel for being “mainstream.” That ire will only get worse being acquired by Disney. Speaking of Disney…

— How much MORE difficult will it be to get a gig drawing or writing comics for Marvel? I can’t see Disney handling the freelancer thing very well, especially since it exercises such tight control over its brand to begin with. Plenty of folks will get squeezed and become, well, nameless. The Disney brand always rises above the creator’s name.

— The Marvel Universe will change. Slowly. Subtly. But it will change in the same way that ESPN changed. So, the question becomes, who becomes the next great stand-alone comic book label. It’s probably Dark Horse. Maybe someone else.

— The discussion was raised that Warner Brothers bought DC. Disney buying marvel is similar. It’s not. Warner Brothers is a content distributor. It creates content that will make money. It does not settle on one brand. It uses a myriad brands to make movies and all of those properties carry the Warner label. DC is free to continue to create bold products because ultimately the best ideas will get turned into billion-dollar film and television properties. Disney, on the other hand, has to protect Mickey, Donald, National Treasure and a whole slew of image-conscious products under its brand. That Marvel represents some opportunity for Disney to be more aggressive and break away from this 60 year-old mantra of “family entertainment” is ludicrous, to be sure. And I’ve said in other forums, anyone know where the Muppets went? Disney owns them. Brand is everything to Disney and control that brand ensures a steady stream of families trailing into theme parks, filing into theatres and buying branded merchandise. That’s how Disney is different, like it or not.

— Finally, how will ComicCon and the like change? Disney/Marvel ignites a huge firestorm of smaller sub-business and the players want their cuts, too. Not that ComicCon hasn’t already turned into a pop culture show. But now, a Disney partnership means something more. What that “more” is has yet to be seen.

Amber Love The Superhero Stylist on YouTube:

In a $4 billion deal, Disney acquires Marvel Entertainment, Inc.

This week a stock market announcement roused the comic book world when The Walt Disney Company agreed to buy Marvel Entertainment, Inc. giving Disney ownership of more than 5,000 Marvel characters. When the statement hit the internet and news media Monday morning on August 31, 2009, fans and creators voiced their shock. Then the questions and speculations swarmed the blog-o-sphere.
Fans were spiralling into a panic mode wondering what that means for the characters and franchises they have loved, especially for the mature content. How will wholesome Disney handle something like the Max imprint’s Punisher? Keep in mind Disney also owns ABC networks (Desperate Housewives, V, Castle) so they are familiar with adult content.
What about the theme parks? How long until there’s a Web of Spider-man roller coaster? Well, since Universal theme parks currently holds the Marvel licensing, you might have to wait quite a while to see the Marvel themed amusement rides. As for comics, Boom! Studios are the current publisher of popular Disney/Pixar comics like Cars and Finding Nemo. It is natural to panic and speculate about what will happen to the comics, parks, and movies we love. However everyone needs to keep in mind that this acquisition is a process and it will take some time. Meanwhile, all licensing and distribution agreements are going to remain in tact.
On the positive side, fans are excited for the prospects of new animated features where Marvel franchises can benefit from Disney’s technology and financial backing. There are plenty of viewers that have fond recollections of the 1990s X-Men cartoon while others had more appreciation for the young and fresh approach to X-Men: Evolution. Marvel has been knocking out some stellar straight to DVD features in the past couple years too including Hulk Versus and Doctor Strange.

Brian Matus of the Kryptographik Podcast and Fangoria Online:

I wish I bought Marvel stock when they filed for bankruptcy protection in the ’90s.
Enjoy your Wolvermouse Adventures comics, Marvel fans.

Alan Baxter Writer and Author of The Word:

I don’t read any Marvel titles – I’m a DC reader. If Disney bought DC I’d be mortified and probably stop reading. As much out of principle as anything, but I can just imagine the effect on storylines that Disney ownership would have and it makes me shudder. Does it now own the comics too?

Michael Parkinson from the OOP webstrip:

As for the deal itself – I don’t have too many thoughts. Sure I was SHOCKED! Pretty huge news – I don’t think it’ll be anything detrimental – Disney has side companies that produce more adult material – I don’t see why they’d see Marvel as anything different.

Buz Hasson from The Living Corpse and Buzworld:

First thought is it’s like a bail out. now I’m not sure if marvel was going bankrupt which I doubt but Warner brothers owns dc so it’s kind of the same thing. Another idea is that it could be a marketing thing. Using Disney’s power in the youth market to push the iconic heroes even further into the theme parks, stores, etc. however marvel is doing well or i would imagine well enough with their own. Mostly I think it’s a money issue. The comics have rapidly lost sales and the money apparently is only coming in from movies and merchandising only…also it could be a sign that with the so called economic drought merging may just be another issue to survive as a company. I would be interested to know what involvement it will have on the comic book material which I hope none or better yet what marvel hopes to gain from the merger. With all the new animation from marvel these days there is no doubt the possibility of Disney being interested in the success recently from the hulk vs. DVDs, wolverine and the x-men series and others. However on the flip side it is kind of a downer to think marvel couldn’t hang on their own. There is something to be said about the independence of that….Disney has a rep for curtailing their material to play it safe with audiences but at the same time Disney has played the background well on some of their best stuff. Ultimately for security as a corporation it may be sound but I’m sure the fans our feeling like marvel has a new sugar daddy.

Ken Haeser of The Living Corpse:

I don’t think it’s as bad as the knee jerk reaction of most people thinking it’s the end of life as we know it for Marvel. Disney has shown in the past that it can have a very hands off approach to other mediums that they own- ABC, Touchstone, Miramax, not too mention the record labels and other stuff— so I think (and hope) that we’ll see the same kind of management with Marvel. Everyone thinks that they are going to “Disnify” Marvel stuff but I really don’t see that happening. On all the press releases they talk about Disney buying Marvel and they’re catalogue of 5000 characters so it looks to me like they are interested more on branding the characters in other mediums.
And like DC, now Marvel can have a little more leeway in the sales department and not have to worry about dropping a book if the sales start to slip.
On the very upside is no one can promote themselves like Disney, so we can only hope to see them bring that kind of promotion to Marvel and get it out there even more. I’ve always said that comics need promotion on TV and stuff to get out to the masses. Hopefully now something like that will happen and it can only be good for us little guys and our own comics.
And shit— if we get to see Pixar doing the next Fantastic Four movie or anything else like that, the shit is worth it!

Derek Coward of Comic Book Noise Podcast:

Until someone can prove how will benefit or harm me, I really don’t care beyond the entertainment value of watching apoplectic comic book fans trying to figure out whether they should love or hate The Mouse That Killed The Public Domain.

Chris Marshall of Collected Comics Library:

Derek and I are pretty much on the same page. As I blogged this morning, I don’t think much will effect any of us, nor will be see anything really happen until 2013-2014.

Mark Randall from Geektopia:

I’m not to sure what to think of it really. Ok so Disney has bought Marvel but that doesn’t mean that they will be run together as one company. If they were smart they should run them separate and then use each brand to promote the other. I can’t see any bizarre crossovers coming anytime soon but in the same sense to harden the Disney characters up could keep young readers minds open to the reading field and also lead them into the genre that we all know and love. My two cents.

Bob Bretall from the Comic Book Page Podcast:

I’m not particularly worried about it. Warner Bros. owns DC and pretty much leaves them to their own devices. I doubt Disney would pay $4B for Marvel then go in and overtly screw up their investment by implementing any kind of sweeping changes.

I suspect any change will be gradual over years, and is not likely to involve Spider-Man wearing “mouse ears”.

I’m guessing it will be 1-2 years before we see ANY changes, and the first ones will be minor, like once BOOM!’s license for Disney Comics expires, it won’t be renewed and Marvel will be publishing Disney comics.  We’ll (hopefully) see Marvel animated features being handled by the folks who do Disney/Pixar features.  This is a good thing and should mean we get higher quality Marvel animated features.

We might also see some “special event” crossovers of Marvel & Disney characters (like we have seen in the past, very rarely, between DC characters & Looney Tunes characters), but I would not anticipate any Disney characters being integrated into the Marvel Universe or vice versa.  I’d also not expect to be seeing any of this any time soon, it will be years.

If people think Disney is going to swoop in and suddenly implement all kinds of “family friendly” rules on Marvel, I don’t think that is a realistic fear.  Disney is very protective of the “family” nature of the Disney brand, but not on other brands they own.  Miramax is an example; those guys make all kinds of R-rated movies.

So, bottom line is that I think the positives (in the long run) will far outweigh the negatives.

Nick Tapalansky of Awakening:

For me it’ll always be about the comics, so as long as Disney serves to help bring Marvel characters to a wider audience through IP development, and therefore more readers to comics, I think it’ll be great. Personally, at least at the start, I think that’s all they’re interested in.

That said, if they start homogenizing or otherwise influencing character and story direction… Well, I think that speaks for itself. The only good side to THAT, if you can call it such, is that it’ll drive
readers to try out new books (or at least new to them) from other publishers.

Grant Bond Artist and Writer from Grantbond.com:

I have no doubt there’ll be a healthy amount of growing pains for Marvel. Financially speaking, it’ll be great for comics and related media in the long run.

I’d like to thank everyone who was involved in this and it’s great to see the reaction that everyone was having to the news.

2 Responses to “Marvel/Disney Reactions”

  1. It is just another sign of the times, in a drab and dismal economy that is a bowlful of suck and grime! This is probably a long-term tactic to fluff up what Marvel already has to begin with! Which is a bunch of corporate owned characters for the rich-pocket books of greedy suits, that push a weight on the the artists ans writers for the sake of sales.

    I wonder what is next down Marvel’s sleeve? Joe Quesada having a gay love affair with someone dressed-up as Mickey Mouse?

    Scottie Young having another affair with a drunken Goofy? I mean, when is the insanity going to fucking end?

    I wonder who is next to sell us out? I stopped buying Image titles when they decided to stamp Tyrese Gibson’s name on an Image title called Mayhem. I mean, he is duping people to by this comic that just has his name on it! He pays these creators, who look like he is going through his brunts, while he flashes his Wacko Jacko pieces and his drawers on flipping YouTube!

    To me, with this Disney/Marvel crap. it follows that same sort of lousy business pattern. “Stick a celebrity with a comic book! Then let’s have millions of mindless teenyboppers follow it!”

    God, what is next? Hannah Montana Vs The Hulk? Way to make me puke and vomit in my toilet even further! You know what? Go fuck Yourself Marvel!

    I am reading Antarctic anyway, much more original and they haven’t sold me out as a consumer!

    Thanks for the read on this stuff!

    😉

  2. There is really only 3 issues/discussions that to be said.

    Will Disney force marvel to keep their comics PG or G?

    It’s possible Disney will bow to joe public if a comic goes too far because the general public think comics are for kids. Disney has bowed down in the past, I remember they wouldn’t release the insane clown posse’s The Great Milenko, because joe public thought they were too offensive.

    Distribution.

    Obviously Disney has some kind of distribution company or employs one. If Disney forces marvel to use them, say goodbye to diamond, about 40% of diamond’s sales are marvel. If diamond goes so will a lot of companies.

    Movies.

    The main question is will marvel studios still exist in some capacity? If not will we see other characters turned in to awesome movies like Iron Man & Incredible Hulk?