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Your Mileage May Vary: More on the Marvel/Disney Deal

by  in Comic News Comment

The Disney-buying-Marvel announcement was the biggest news this week, and it’s been discussed pretty much everywhere. Which means that naturally, it’s being featured in this column too.

Blogger Nicki Marvel examines what she percieves as the pros and cons of the deal:


# Pro #1 – Disney will probably let Marvel be the brains behind their movies and animation industry, a la Pixar/Disney, since they know that the experts are the better movie makers. The success of “Iron Man” certainly proved that Marvel could handle its own characters well, and although “The Incredible Hulk” did not perform to ridiculous numbers, it did alright.

# Con to #1 – On the other hand… there is the possibility that one wrong move on Marvel’s part, if a movie fails rather than surprisingly succeeds like “Iron Man,” that Disney will step in and sell the soul of the comic in order to make the money back. Just look at FOX to see something like that in motion, and can we say “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and leave it at that? Sure they might be given freedom … at first, but Disney is a smart studio and it will take control if things aren’t working out. Thus sending millions of fanboys crying to bed.

Ragnell considers the implications of the deal for female fans:

Of course, the question all over my Twitterfeed is “will this make things better for female fans?” There’s some people dreaming of a bright future where X-women marketed side by side with Cinderella and superhero comics aimed for teenaged girls are sold as well as illustrated fairytale classics, but I find myself pessimistic.

Yeah, Disney’s good with girls, but a) the word is they acquired Marvel to attract male customers and b) they’re the producers of the ultra-feminine Disney Princess line, the long-standing keepers of traditional gender roles. I wouldn’t hold out hope that Disney will make Marvel somehow more girl-friendly, when what they want is a boy’s club under their banner and they aren’t exactly into kickass women themselves.

While Elizabeth of Magnet Junkie has a different perspective:

Back in 2000, comic artist and writer Joe Quesada was named Marvel’s new Editor-in-Chief. I remember catching a glimpse of him in an office during my Marvel tour earlier that year. I pointed at him and hissed at a fellow comic lover to look, there’s Quesada! Yup, he overheard. I was so embarrassed. Regardless, I thought it was pretty cool that an artist had taken the reigns at Marvel. He’d previously co-owned a comic book company, Event Comics, so he must know how this was done. And he’d get the comics industry in a way no suit ever would, right?

Wrong – ever since, Quesada has made some pretty bad decisions. He got rid of some of the most respected senior artists and writers working for the company. These guys are legends for a reason! His worst choice was to have Spider-Man unmask himself to the world as Peter Parker. It may have grabbed headlines, but it was a bad idea. He also made it so that Peter and Mary Jane have never been married, tossing away twenty years of continuity. Comic sales at the company over his tenure have plummeted. The only Marvel comic I’ve read over the last five years has been Pride and Prejudice – and that was mainly for the novelty and to support my local comic book store. Given the current state of Marvel Comics, I really can’t believe that Disney could do much to make it any worse. I guess we’ll have to see.

So what do you think?