Disney Takeover of Marvel Entertainment: Official

Sad news for a lot of comic book fans here. On New Year’s Eve, The Disney Corporation (boo, hiss, etc.) officially took over Marvel Entertainment, the company responsible for Spider-Man, X-Men, Iron Man and a bevy of other superhero franchises.

Disney had to stump up nearly $4.25 billion, but will now have access to Marvel’s printing and toy lines, as well as access to all characters for their own nefarious ends. It’s been a rocky few years for Marvel – declared bankrupt in 1997 after the bottom fell out of the comic book market, in the following years the company was plagued by ownership wrangles, with various prominent board members suing and counter-suing. Probably coming as a massive relief to shareholders (and a bit of a blow to everyone else), the takeover is sure to shake up the output of Marvel’s movie franchises into the coming decade.

But it isn’t all bad news – for the foreseeable future, at any rate. Movies currently in production are safe, so unless we really do get a visit from planet-eating megavillain Galactus, Thor, X-Men: First Class, Spider-Man 4 and the much-anticipated The Avengers should be released within the next couple of years. What happens after that is anyone’s guess – net rumblings seem to indicate Disney is more interested in using Marvel characters as attractions in its theme parks rather than attractions on the silver screen. But with the comic book movies still raking in the box office lucre, it’s likely that’ll change when the rights revert back from the studios to Disney. Hulk Smash Mickey Mouse? Fingers crossed…

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