Monday, August 31, 2009

Disney owns Marvel

Oh, go google it if you want a hard link, it's been reported fucking everywhere already. This is what happens when news breaks while I'm at work...

Anyway, title says it all. The Disney Corporation owns Marvel; as in Marvel Comics, Marvel Films, etc. Which overall means that instead of Marvel producing it's own films starring 3rd and 4th tier properties while it waits for Spider-Man, The X-Men and The Fantastic Four's prior contracts with other studios to expire; Disney will be doing that instead.

No need to worry - yet - about editorial issues in the books; comic book publishers make so little money in and of themselves as to not even EXIST for the companies that own them. DC Comics just KILLED Bruce Wayne, made Dick Grayson the new Batman, yanked Damian Wayne (Batman's son, Ra's Al Ghul's grandson, loooong story) out of continuity-limbo to be the new Robin, and has Bruce set up to "return" as one of the "zombie" Black Lanterns. Think Warners cares how that might reflect on their all-important "Batman" movie franchise? Hell no! They know that at this point only dedicated longtime fans are reading DC Comics right now, and they're all gonna see the movies anyway. As far as the media companies who own comic publishers are concerned, all that "wing" of the company does is hold onto licensed properties until they need to make movies out of them.

Don't expect to see Marvel rides/characters at Disney World just yet - those rights are probably still under contract to Universal Studios. But you can bet there's a legal team who's job it is to wriggle out of that ASAP. I look forward to the day I can have my picture taken with Moon Knight in front of The Jungle Cruise.

The big, super-awesome-mega-happy-good film geek angle on this is, of course, that about 98% of the Marvel Universe is now either under the direct control or at least in grasping-distance of John Lassetter and the boys from Pixar (who along with Steve Jobs are effectively running Disney right now.) Show of hands of anyone who thinks there's ANY Marvel property that would not be done either best or better-than-before by Team Pixar? Didn't think so.


FigmentJedi said...

I believe as far as parks goes, Universal still has the theme park rights in Florida, but Marvel additions are pretty much fair-game at Disneyland in California and the other ones around the world.

Anonymous said...

If only Marvel stilled owned Transformers, and since now Disney owns Marvel it would has been nice to see a Pixar do an actually good Transformers movie done in the style of Transformers Animated.

Anyways, I just want to see Goofy battle Mephisto. :D

seraphmaclay said...

Well, Pixar's already proven they can do the superhero with life issues pretty well. I'm just more afraid of Bruckheimer Productions taking over some of them...especially since he likes to work with Nicolas Cage, and we all saw how that turned out. That and he's teamed up with Michael Bay for something...I get worried more I think of that.

In all honesty though, I think this has more to do with the numberous animated series than anything else. Disney now owns the rights to all of the Marvel animated series but Wolverine and the X-Men (which I heard was struggling from the start) and Iron Man: Armored Adventures (which, while interesting, is on a channel that is next to impossible to get), so, it's possible that they see the squandered potential and aim to correct it.

That, or Steve Jobs realized if he ever wants Apple to have a real game system, one of the companies has to go down, and with Sony's tech divisions going down (yes, the PS3 should do better this year, but still), taking away some of their other major revenue streams (i.e. Paramount/Universal, which split the Marvel Studios films with Fox) is the way to get rid of them for good.

Then again, it could all be Robert Iger seeing how well The Dark Knight did and realizing that he'd never wrest that particular series from DC, so he went with the next best thing, Spider Man. Anyways, enough theories.


p.s. Goofy does battle Mephisto in Kingdom he was going by Chernabog, but he was the same character...and now I can't get Deadpool yelling at Cloud to grow a pair out of my head, curse you Disney!!!

Bob said...

Having now had some time to think on it, I'm struck by another thought:

Does this mean that Marvel's second-to-none "old comics archiving" wing will have access to the Disney Comics backlog; possibly giving us good AFFORDABLE archival releases of the classic Carl Barks material? THAT would be amazing...

On a more personal note: Diz/Marv, if your listening: I would buy MULTIPLE copies PLUS TRADE of any instance that'd have Darkwing Duck visiting The 616 ;)

FigmentJedi said...

I know that Boom! Comics is still handling newer Mickey/Donald releases (including translations of Italy's Wizards of Mickey and that James Bond parody with Donald) in addition to those Pixar and Muppet series, though I don't know about the older material. Would be great if Marvel did take care of that though.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with your assertion that Pixar will make any of Marvel's properties better than has already been done, for how can one top the masterpiece that is Howard the Duck?

tyra menendez said...

marvel never "owned" transformers. transformers is owned by hasbro, marvel just had license rights for comic publishing, as they did with star wars and kool-aid man. so even if marvel still had the license deals with transformers (as opposed to devil's due that currently has it and g.i. joe), you'ld never see transformers stuff at disney land/world, unless disney did their own deal with hasbro.
regardless, i don't see this as a good thing; it means another formerly independent company getting sucked into another giant conglomorate. no, it probably won't hurt the comics any, but think of what time warner has done with some of the dc characters, in the past and then think of some of the utter shit disney shovels out in straight-to-video form on a regular basis, then apply that to marvel characters. mark my words, we will see marvel characters meeting disney characters for no good reason.
oh, it also means any marvel property that might make it on tv, will now only be on abc (or one of the other disney-owned channels).

Bob said...

Technically, most of Marvel's TV stuff is on Disney networks anyway: The VAST bulk of the pre-2000s Marvel animated archive is more-or-less exclusive to Disney XD (the "Disney for Boys" channel) now.

XD is what this is mostly "all about," incidentally: Disney has been making the bulk of it's merchandising coin for the past decade off the "Princess" product-line; and they'd like to have as big a share with boys as that gives them with girls. In lieu of waiting another 75+ years to develop a stable of male-targeted characters, they've just BOUGHT one instead.

That's why they aren't too all-concerned about not being allowed to make Spider-Man movies right away: There's WAY more money to be made packing the Disney Store outlets (plus all the park gift-shops) with all those Spider-Man toys, shirts, whatever. Y'ever seen a young boy in a Disney Store BORED OUT OF HIS MIND while Mom/Sis/Grandma shop for Pooh mugs? That kid is Disney's new favorite person.

Incidentally, this probably also gives Marvel some kind of access to the Power Rangers license, which if so is going to be HUGE money in comic-publishing about five to ten from now when the original fanbase is old enough to be ironically-nostalgiac about it.

Nick said...

FINALLY, someone else besides me who thinks this is a good thing! I thought I was the only one whose faith in Disney had been restored.

Oh, and check out this little thing Pixar did...

Joe Z. said...

Yeah, now I'm really waiting for a Marvel-style Kingdom Hearts.

RocMegamanX said...

The one thing that might be a bit troublesome is what they're gonna do to Deadpool and the Punisher, knowing Disney's "family-friendly" image.

tyra menendez said...

me and theme park are not a good mix. aside from all the screaming children, i don't like crowds. i would probably a panic attack.
aside from that, never got the whole nostalgia for disney related stuff, in the first place. i could care sweet fuck all about mikey and donald.
so, no, i haven't seen a boy in a disney store.

i just know that it will have affects other than disney stores selling marvel stuff.