What else is there to talk about in the industry besides Disney’s recent acquisition of 20th Century Fox’s TV and Movie divisions, paving the way for the Marvel characters licensed there to return home to Marvel Entertainment?
Of course, there are still wrinkles to be worked out, but I’m sure Disney has, what, a few extra billion laying around, and money talks, particularly in the entertainment industry. I expect things to all be under Disney’s wing before too long.
So what does this mean for Marvel and comics, moving forward?
HONESTLY, THIS SCARES ME
As I’ve pointed out previously, I don’t live very far from the House of Mouse. Disney product is literally everywhere.
I’ve also talked about the fact that Disney is not one to let their copyright get infringed. A child care center that had Disney characters painted on its walls experienced the legal might of the Disney team of lawyers, forcing them to paint over said images.
Don’t think this is an unusual circumstance. It happens a lot. But it could happen even more.
Now, I’m sure the Fantastic Four, Wolverine and all weren’t the primary part of Disney’s interest in 20th Century Fox’s properties. But they matter to us, the comics fans.
I see a lot of people cheering now that the FF and other Marvel properties are very likely going to be under the Marvel banner. I think we’re ignoring some important concerns, though.
Disney has Star Wars, the Muppets, and a host of other franchises, including Marvel, not to mention Pixar and ABC. It’s turned into a massive entertainment company, one that could, if they so decided, throw billions at the comics industry.
With the deep pockets they have, it’s not beyond reasoning to wonder if, someday, Marvel would approach Disney and say, “Hey, we’re tired of having to compete with other companies. Could you blow just one of your billions and buy out, say, DC, Image, Dark Horse and the rest? That way we’d be THE comics company, sure to give you as much profit as possible.”
I know there are such things as laws against monopolies, but at the rate Disney is going, they could swoop in and grab literally any franchise or company that they wish was not competing against them. If there are laws they break, their legal team could tie things up in court for years while they integrate said organizations.
It’s time to be worried, I think.
‘BUT I LIKE DISNEY’
Yes, the House of Mouse produces a lot of, shall we say, benign entertainment that’s not very likely to offend many. And they also sell lots of goodies associated with it, like action figures, soundtracks, and t-shirts, to mention a few.
And I like a lot of it, don’t get me wrong! For a time, their animated films were terrific! (Now, not so much.) I used to collect their action figures, but I ran out of room and had to give it up.
But is liking Disney enough to let them continue to gobble up entertainment companies like 20th Century Fox? I don’t think so!
Now, I’ve actually started to see some folks express the same concerns I have. But those a few in nature. The response I usually get when I state my concerns is, “But I LIKE Disney! My son/daughter likes them! They wouldn’t do anything wrong!”
May I hastily point out that Marvel has tried several times to knock out the competition… unsuccessfully so far. Doubling up the comics like having two Thor books, two Iron Man comics, two Captain Americas… you get the point. If Disney were now to throw a billion at Warner Bros., well, who knows what they’d do with DC.
And there was a time recently when the rumor mill was saying Marvel was going to get the rights to Superman. It wasn’t that far-fetched then, and I don’t think it’s beyond the realm of possibility even now.
I GOT MY EYE ON YOU, DISNEY
Yes, we could get great genre films and comics out of all this. And I applaud that possibility.
However, I think it’s wise to monitor what the House of Mouse is doing, particularly when it comes to comics. I don’t think many would care, honestly, if Disney were to move on the other comics companies, so we need to watch, I believe.
If I start to hear rumors that Disney has their eye on Image or Dynamite or another company, I’m going to sound the alarm as loud as I can!
See, I believe competition in the comics industry is a GOOD thing. Marvel versus DC makes both companies better, I think. To have just one huge, monolithic comics company would lead to poor content and books.
There is one thing I don’t understand about Marvel and Star Wars, though. How in this world did IDW Publishing get the rights to an all-ages Star Wars comic? Shouldn’t it be a no-brainer that the House of Ideas publish really anything from that franchise because it’s also owned by Disney? I’d love to know how that happened.
Maybe I’m freaking out for no good reason, though! What do you think about this recent Disney purchase? Good move, bad one? Is this good for the comics industry? Whatever your opinions, be sure to share them in the space below!