Yes, your heard that right. Disney is now the proud owner of Marvel Comics.
The Walt Disney Company announced yesterday that Marvel shareholders would receive $30 per share in cash plus 0.745 Disney shares for each Marvel share owned in a transaction totaling approximately $4 billion.
What does this mean for you, dear Comics Reader? Well, not a whole lot up front actually. Disney seems intent on honouring all existing agreements, and allowing Marvel to retain its corporate identity; similar in fashion to the Time-Warner/DC Comics dynamic. So we should see Marvel retain a large degree of editorial control.
But that doesn’t mean they don’t have plans. After all, why else would Disney buy Marvel if not for the characters? Disney President Robert A. Iger, had this to say:
“This transaction combines Marvel’s strong global brand and world-renowned library of characters including Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, Fantastic Four and Thor with Disney’s creative skills, unparalleled global portfolio of entertainment properties, and a business structure that maximizes the value of creative properties across multiple platforms and territories”
Marvel Chief Executive Ike Perlmutter read between the lines as well:
“Disney is the perfect home for Marvel’s fantastic library of characters given its proven ability to expand content creation and licensing businesses.”
Can anyone say “crossover”? We may not see Donald Duck meet Deadpool anytime soon, but it sounds like both companies are eager for the chance to play with each other’s toys.
Entertainment media outlets have been spitballing the possibilities, from Lost and Pirates of the Carribean comics to animated superhero features. More ridiculous propositions include a Kingdom Hearts comic and a Spider-Man/Mickey team-up. Either way, we should see distribution channels open up for the comics giant, and hopefully for the industry at large.