Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Ultimate Team-Up

If the news broke last night, I failed to catch it; only this morning, when checking through my Plurk account did I see my friend's post: Disney had bought Marvel for $4-B. CNN Money confirmed the announcement a little while later. What can I say? I'm dumbfounded, dubious, and delighted -- all at once, and that's no mean feat.

Business-wise, it makes a lot of sense. Marvel owns some extremely valuable properties, and Disney some very impressive production facilities and distribution channels. Whatever you might think the outcome of this acquisition is, you can't deny that it's an impressive merger.

If I'm dumbfounded, it's because I couldn't even think such a union was possible. Marvel has seen its share of lows, but despite this, cannot possibly be called a pushover. And, hey, that's still $4-B, not exactly chump change.

If I'm dubious, it's because the tone of their properties couldn't generally be farther apart. Marvel rules the market in action-oriented angst-driven cosmic-spanning superhero entertainment, with occasional forays into adult blood-and-guts fare. Disney, on the other hand, is all about esteem affirmation, girl power, and why-can't-we-all-get-along aw-shucks moments. Honestly, can you imagine Wolverine mixing it up with...Goofy?

And yet the more I think about it, the more I begin to wonder: why not? Why the heck not? Already the Internet is buzzing with all these crossover ideas: Donald Duck and Howard the Duck; Storm / Ororo as Disney Princess; Darkwing Duck and the Avengers. That's just the tip of the iceberg. There's so much more coming out of the woodwork.

Not to say that Disney can't do superheroes, either. It's done so in the past, and done it quite well. Gargoyles is as moody as X-Men, and The Incredibles was the movie that Fantastic Four should have been.

While there's no guarantee that the Disneyverse will ever cross over with Marvelverse, the acquisition does make it possible. And the possibilities are beguiling. So, while some doubts linger, I say: go for it, guys!

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