In a huge deal that promises to shake up the superhero franchise business – and the theme park and merchandizing businesses – Disney and Marvel Comics announced today that the former was acquiring the latter, to the tune of $4 billion.
That means that once the dust (and the sequel rights?) settles, the likes of Spider-Man, Iron Man, the X-Men, Captain America and the Fantastic Four will be pitching their tents -- and their tentpoles -- in the Magic Kingdom. It’s a mighty stable of brand names, a gaggle of caped crusaders and costumed avengers (including the Avengers) that boasts mega-cross-generational appeal and that shows no sign of flagging in popularity. The Mouse House now has its very own squad of neurotic, wisecracking crime-busters to bust up the box office with.
“By the hammer of Thor!” as 30 Rock’s Liz Lemon likes to exclaim.