According to this article from the New York Times, Disney has purchased Marvel Entertainment, home of Spider-Man, the X-Men, and Iron Man. As a life long fan (read: loser) of Marvel characters, I can hardly contain my erection. This means that, over time, all Marvel movie franchises will settle down at Disney, which also owns Miramax, DreamWorks, and Pixar, places with ludicrious amounts of creativity and passion for the films they create. Disney also owns the ABC network, and it is very possible they could use that to their advantage the way Warner Brothers (owners of rival comics giant DC Comics) has with Smallville, to create expensive TV shows based on the Marvel heroes, broadening their visibility to future fans.
Beyond the movies and television, this deal should also help Marvel’s publishing tremendously. Titles that struggle to find audiences, such as Christopher Priest’s great-but-ill-fated version of The Black Panther, would have a longer leash before getting canceled. The added financial flexibility would allow Marvel to ratchet up its MAX Comics line, their adult-themed (where they can swear and have complicated plots; it’s not Fritz the Cat) line, similar to DC’s Vertigo. The possibility of the next Y: The Last Man coming from my favorite funny book publisher has me grinning from ear to ear.
I’m so pumped for this. The characters I’ve loved since I started reading are moving up in the world of entertainment. Imagine Miramax getting Quentin Tarantino to direct his version of the Punisher, or Speilberg taking on Captain America for DreamWorks, or a Pixar-produced Spider-Man cartoon. Think about the creative freedom all this money will provide for these adult comics writers, allowing them to add to Marvel’s already amazing 5,000-character lineup. The possibilities just keep growing. I’m going to go smile for a while.