As many of you know, I am a comic book geek.
Though I haven’t been able to buy actual comic books in quite some time, I read all of the comic book trade magazines, keep up-to-date with collected editions and trade paperbacks, and check Wiki almost every day for storyline updates.
Today, I’m here to do the obvious. I’m here to sound off on the Disney-Marvel Buyout.
At first thought, I believed that this was a sign of the apocalypse. I thought that, soon after it was announced, the sky would go black and fire and brimstone would start raining from the sky. Quickly, I came to terms with my life and any regrets and braced myself for death. Surprisingly, the world did not end.
…at least, our world didn’t end.
Immediately upon learning the news, friends (most of them just as loyal as readers) were inundating my cell phone with texts, sending me messages on Facebook, wondering what my reaction – the reaction of the average adult comic book geek – exactly was to the earth-shattering news that Marvel had sold out to Disney.
When first I heard, sitting in my cube at work, I muttered a quick line of curses which was certainly NSFW, and immediately began to think about how horrible this might all be.
Could this purchase indeed mark the end of all that decades worth of True Believers, raised on stories told while sitting on Uncle Stan’s knee, hold dear? Will this new ownership turn the darker, grittier Marvel universe into something more akin to the All-American nature of their amusement parks? Will they limit the blood, the violence, the death, the incredibly strange and amazingly tragic twists which lend themselves so well to the creation of new Marvel characters? Will the intrusion of the Big D shake the Marvel Universe to its core?
Like the cover of the Good Book says, Don’t Panic.
Sure, the fanboy in me panicked, immediately picturing the “cleaning up” of the Marvel image and all of the changes that it would represent.
Daredevil not sleeping around, Spider-Man not talking smack on people, Wolverine having some kind of strange twist where suddenly his adamantium claws are replaced by safe, soft foam rubber… What of the body count? What of the honest brutality of being a superhero that seems to come more readily to Marvel books than it ever did to DC (except with Batman)? I thought, instantly, that this would pussify Marvel and turn what was once an incredible string of stories unafraid of killing characters or drastically altering the landscape with things like Civil War and Dark Reign into nothing better than Archie comics.
Then, I realized that this would be impossible. Why? For the same reason the Big Nasty D is bringing them into their stock portfolio in the first place. Money. Money, money, money.
So many projects are in the works. Pens have been put to paper, films have been green-lighted, things are in production or being edited or even in-the-can. Why would you pass up all of that licensing money to which Marvel was already entitled? I mean, you have one of the Big Two comic book companies with known and beloved properties that has a fully-owned subsidiary producing films on its own and distributing through a major picture house. You might as well be printing your own money at that point.
“Oh,” some of you might say, “But, you know that’s not to stop them from messing up any future projects. They’re going to commit travesties on the screen by cleaning up the movies and making them more family friendly.”
Nay, I say to you, NAY!
One thing that is almost universal fact is the rabid angriness of the fanboy (and fangirl) mob. Fanboys can make or break a comic book movie box office. If one fanboy finds out that something is amiss, they’re going to cry foul. Disney has got to know, just from the knee-jerk reaction of fandom at large (as mentioned above through my personal experience), that if they allow the over-arching “morals” or bullshit “vision” of the corporation to tear down that which people find sacred, they’re going to have boycotts and fan riots on their hands. One ill-timed review from aintitcoolnews and their whole purchase just made itself worthless.
Thankfully, the Avengers movie is safe (at latest report). Marvel Studios is still going about making Iron Man 2, Thor, and The First Avenger: Captain America as planned. The forthcoming Avengers movie is still on track to be done in the Mighty Marvel Manner. Whatever comes after that may very well be done as a Douchy Disney Debacle.
Seriously, though, I don’t think this is going to affect much of the Marvel Universe. As stated, Disney is not stupid. They’re not going to change the way the House of Ideas does things for the sake of a better image. There would be too many negatives in the fan community and they don’t want to make waves. Screwing with the comics will screw with Disney’s bottom line. Like I said, boycotts and fan riots. Disney does not want.
Probably the only tangible effect of this is going to be a presence of Marvel characters at Disney theme parks. Couldn’t be that bad of a thing, really, and that would probably be the only place that things would be “toned down”.
If you listen to the reports, Disney really did what they did to try to monopolize the youth entertainment market. They’ve already got the girls on lock with such horrible detritus as the Jonas Brothers and High School Musical, not to mention the Princesses. Now, they want to get the boys interested in what they’re doing. If they can throw a bunch of Marvel cartoons on the Disney Channel, maybe get a couple of new ones under their thrall, then they’ll have that shit on lock for sure.
I’m not trying to justify, trust me. I’m as mad as the next guy that Marvel sold. But, it’s not the End of Days. It’s just a change of hands. Even if nothing good comes of this, I don’t think anything incredibly horrible will, either. Take a wait-and-see approach to this, my fellow nerds. Wait until they start fucking things up to hit the panic button. Until then, realize that things will probably be ok and that the little Franklin Richards of the world will sleep comfortably in their beds dreaming of Clobberin’ Time and cutting someone up, bub.