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Monday, August 31, 2009

Comics: Disney to Buy Out Marvel Comics

Monday, August 31, 2009 Posted by Unknown , , No comments
I never would have thought that I would see a main stream company be so interested in comic books, but with the rise in popularity of comic book films and the growing acceptance of comic books as legitimate forms of literature, it seems that now would be the best time for a big company to buy them out.

Walt Disney is stepping up to the plate.

This is huge news considering that Marvel is steadily on the rise as a new powerhouse in mainstream media. They have been head to head--or arguably, doing better than--their competition, DC Comics. Marvels independently financed film--Iron Man--was a box office hit, and it looks like Iron Man 2 is going to do even better. Needless to say, Marvel Entertainment as a whole has been doing extremely well for themselves. The fact that Disney--a company that owns amusement parks, ABC and ABC Family, Pixar, etc.--is going to buy them out will only help Marvel reach the potential that very few thought they could reach during the 90's.

Or so it would seem.

I'm skeptical of this deal just because having a huge corporation holding the strings of Marvel could actually do more harm then good. In the interview, CEO Robert Iger says that this acquisition will allow Marvel to reach a wider audience, but at what cost?

My big questions are:
-What about the Marvel MAXline? If Disney wants to maintain their image as a kid friendly company, will they allow writers like Garth Ennis to write the stories they want to or will Disney force them to write stories with less blood, less profanity, less adult focused stories, and essentially, eliminating the elements that make the MAX line what it is?

-Will this create fewer jobs for future writers and artists or simply deter them from even applying? In the long run, will writers like future Grant Morrisons or Frank Millers be allowed to present their radical ideas to Marvel/Disney without being instantly turned away. Disney now has their reputation on the line and if a parent buys a comic for their children, won't Disney want to maintain their reputation as wholesome and family-friendly? This would naturally prevent writers from being allowed to write darker events in the main canon and artists from pushing the limits of their potential and the books they are working on.

-In short, will Walt Disney forever change the landscape of Marvel Comics? It's difficult to predict what will happen in the future. Perhaps Walt Disney will let Marvel Entertainment make decisions on their own and let them do what they have been doing. After all, they have been doing it well for the past few years. Or will Disney step in and change the way the company is run, alter the products to reach a wider audience but isolate the primary audience that comics used to target?

To sum up all my thoughts in one sentence, I will use a quote by Tim Gunn:
"This worries me"