Marvel-ous… My Disney-sense is tingling!

Disney Buys Marvel Comics By now I am sure that every geek most people have already heard the news. However, if you have not, it is quite unexpected. The Walt Disney Company is purchasing Marvel Entertainment.

Yes, that is right folks. Everybody’s favourite mouse will soon become the new granddaddy of some of the biggest and most well known Superheroes of all time (check out the illustration to the right, courtesy of Pseudonym via Kotaku)!

The deal will reportedly cost Disney $4 billion (R32 billion) and will be a cash and stock transaction that values each share of Marvel at $50. Disney said it will pay $30 in cash plus about three-quarters (0.745) of a Disney share for each share of Marvel. Seems like a bargain to me, considering that Disney paid $7 billion for Pixar Animation Studios.

However, I do think that the biggest concern at the moment, is whether or not the ‘PG’ loving Disney will adversely effect any of Marvel’s unique brands. Well, according to Joey Pangilinan, the acquisition has been likened to when Disney acquired Pixar, that “although they will own Marvel, the publisher is still very much its own entity” (Examiner.com, 2009)

That is certainly good news for fans of both camps. Personally, I think that the addition of Marvel into Disney’s fold can only mean good things for the future of both companies.

Robert Iger, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company, had the following to say regarding the acquisition:

“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… Ike Perlmutter and his team have done an impressive job of nurturing these properties and have created significant value. We are pleased to bring this talent and these great assets to Disney”.

Also in the official press release is Marvels Chief Executive Officer Ike Perlmutter’s take on the ‘merger’:

“Disney is the perfect home for Marvel’s fantastic library of characters given its proven ability to expand content creation and licensing businesses. This is an unparalleled opportunity for Marvel to build upon its vibrant brand and character properties by accessing Disney’s tremendous global organization and infrastructure around the world”.

Mashup - Mickey Mouse & Wolverine (Cross Media Example) Can you imagine the kind of awesomely ‘legitimate’ mash-ups that could emerge from this union? Although I do not think that Disney would approve of say, for example, an adamantium infused Donald Duck with a supersonic quack, the coalition will undoubtedly open proverbial doors in terms of cross media relationships (for example, think of a Mickey Mouse figurine dressed in a Wolverine costume, given out at MacDonald’s, to promote a new Wolverine movie). Look out Warner Brothers (who own DC Comics), there is a new contender in town.

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

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