For a split second today I contemplated not posting. After all, coming up with witty things to say each day isnt' easy. However, something happened today that moved me to post because I know everyone will eventually ask my opinion, so here is my official stance on the Walt Disney Co acquiring Marvel Comics.
I think it's absolutely fantastic.
Trolling the message boards after the announcement today I was reminded there's a reason most comic book geeks are considered basement-dwelling virgins. It's because they resist change in a way that makes them seem as if though they have no true grasp on reality. The truth is if you think Disney's acquisition is going to result in the Avengers lining up for a first name roll call, you're quite frankly a moron.
Maybe it's a result of my marketing background but what I see is quite honestly one of the best opportunities for Marvel in a long time. The sad truth is with each passing year comic book readership dwindles as the average readership age continues skewing older and older with kids turning more and more to electronic devices. The average comic's price point doesn't help either with $3.99 being the norm and not the special edition exception. Close inspection suggests this is no longer a hobby aimed at bringing in new younger readers. And I'm one of those who argues comics can be made for all ages, but the truth is that to survive a business needs constant new consumers. Disney can help make that happen.
This is a company that has managed to infiltrate the farthest regions opening up countless distribution opportunities. There now exist possibilites for Marvel's characters to be available in areas where money just didn't allow before and I'm not just talking about countries. Let's face it Disney is more often accepted in places than the X-Men are, talk about being feared and hated, right? Oh yeah and a few years from now when other studios are no longer interested in licensing super-heroes, Disney will be able to keep our favorite heroes on the screen, whether silver or small. Creatively Marvel's also in a better position to foster it's lower selling titles that are more creative experiment than blockbuster seller.
Don't think I've forgotten about the House of Mouse. They stand to gain as much as the House of Ideas if not more in this venture. Thanks to smart mareketing on Marvel's end B.M. (Before Mickey), the share holders now collect the profit off the ventures and expenses of others. Fox and Sony push the movies, Disney gets a cut. Mattel stocks the shelves, Disney stocks their coffers. Not to mention the sheer beauty of making money off souveniers selling at their theme park competition.
All in all I see both companies reaping benefits of this union. Lest people forget that DC Comics is part of Warner Bros. and from cartoons to toys to movies it's a 30+ year strong marriage that's given both parties much to love in their joint account.
So I say welcome to the Marvel Universe Mickey, Donald, Minnie and the rest. Just one piece of advise, watch out for Norman Osborne ok? I'm pretty sure not even Disney magic could make that man pleasant.