Disney buys Marvel–sorry, not a big deal

A few points, many of which I’ve seen elsewhere.

1. At the beginning of the decade Marvel was bankrupt. Now they’re worth billions. It will never be worth this much again, so good for them. Many of their best properties are licensed elsewhere. Although Iron Man proved that their second-tier characters could be successful film properties, that kind of success might be difficult to duplicate with any kind of regularity. Marvel’s got plenty of movie-ready properties to go, but it’s not a sure bet either that Superhero movies will continue to see the success they have. Sure, they’re a genre like any other, which means they’ll  resurface every generation or so, but as technical productions they’re much more high-risk high-reward than Westerns.

2. Disney has a fine team of litigators and will ensure that Spider-Man never makes it to the public domain. Sad, because that’s probably where he’d have to go in order to do anything interesting.

3. The immediate fan reaction has centered on potential crossovers. It’s weird how the fantasies of a shared universe can support corporate consolidation.

4. Another popular response is belly-aching over the potential ruin of Marvel’s characters. Where have you been? Decades ago Stan Lee advised that Marvel would no longer change characters; instead, it would create the illusion of change. There’s really no difference between Marvel and Disney, as companies, except that the latter is better run.

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