Quote of the Day: "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." -- Joe Quesada
The Internet is buzzing after The Walt Disney Company announced that it was acquiring Marvel Entertainment. Disney obviously is the mega-studio, home of Mickey Mouse, keeper of some of the biggest amusement parks on the planet, owner of the ABC Network and Pixar, the animation hitmakers. Marvel is the comicbook behemoth with the superstar superhero lineup that includes Spider-man, the Hulk, the X-Men, Captain America, Iron Man, and, according to the press release announcing the Disney deal, "over 5,000 characters." That's a heck of a lot of potential franchises.
Many folks are wringing their hands in fear that this will hinder Marvel's independence, hurt the comicbook line's edgier stories, and possibly ruin the company's string of recent blockbuster movie adaptations. They compare it negatively to the Warner Bros. studio which owns competitor DC Comics, home of iconic heroes Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and others.
First of all, the naysayers of doom need to relax. The Warner Bros. comparison isn't such a bad thing. Remember, the studio may have dragged its feet adapting DC's characters and it may be responsible for bringing some bad movies, like Batman and Robin and Catwoman, to the big screen, but it also produced hits like Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. And Marvel's track record isn't completely spotless. How quickly people forget Elektra.
There are two big reasons why I think the Disney deal might end up being a Godsend for fans of the Marvel Universe.
First, Disney owns Pixar. Pixar makes amazing films -- they know how to tell stories, they are the reigning animation kings. Some Marvel properties will work much better as cartoons, and who better to get a stab at making those feature length superhero toons than Pixar, who brought us The Incredibles, one of the greatest superhero films (live or animated) ever made. Fantastic Four, the Hulk, or even old franchises that people thought were dead and gone like Howard the Duck might have amazing potential in the hands and minds of the creators of Toy Story and Monsters Inc.
Second, Disney owns ABC. Despite Marvel's incredible recent motion picture success, it hasn't had much luck on television, except for a couple of syndicated cartoons aimed at kids. I guarantee that we will now see some shows getting greenlit that will be based on Marvel characters. Think of a Heroes type show with familiar characters on the network that will soon need to fill the slot of their big hit Lost when it ends its run after next season.
I'm assuming of course that the Disney honchos won't be stupid enough to stick their noses into all of Marvel's creative affairs, micromanaging everything they do and ruining what until now has been some great successes for the most part. Let's see what the future brings.