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Top Five Potential Benefits of Disney’s Marvel

Who needs logic and details when you can have wild speculation? Let’s hit it!

5. The next Kingdom Hearts game could feature “Marvel world.”

Kingdom Hearts

For those of you not up on your vidjagames, Kingdom Hearts is an RPG (that’s role-playing game) series that takes young, androgynous protagonist Sora, teams him up with guys like Goofy and Donald Duck, and has him journey through various worlds and dimensions comprising the Disney multiverse, teaming up with characters like Tarzan, Jack Skellington, Aladdin, Winnie the Pooh, and scads of others. Utilizing fanboy logic, one presumes that a future installment of the PlayStation franchise could feature Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk, depending how the video games are licensed. I only made it through about half the first game, myself, but it was fun. If I could have the Mighty Thor hit Jafar upside the head with Mjolnir, or take Dr. Strange on a trip through Fantasia, or see Namor the Sub-Mariner punch Ursula in the ovaries,  however, it would be more fun.

4. CrossGen Comics could return.

Ruse cover

Five years ago, Disney paid a scant million dollars (compared to the four billion and a song it cost to acquire Marvel) for CrossGen’s assets, just so’s they could publish some Abazadad novels. Technically, though, they’ve got the rights to all of it– so if, say, they wanted to produce a Ruse or Negation movie, they could, and Marvel could start putting the comics out to tie into the film. That, or Marvel could ask nicely and start folding CrossGen stuff into Marvel, much like DC’s been doing with the Milestone and Red Circle characters.

People like CrossGen, right?

3. Better book distribution.

Let’s think about this– Disney owns their own publishers which use different  distribution channels than Marvel, according to Rich Johnston. Disney’s also a marketing powerhouse. At this point, they could distribute their comics through different channels, and maybe widen the market, driving Marvel up even further to the top of the sales game. What would this mean for Diamond? Some retailers are worried, but I wouldn’t mind to see Diamond’s industry strangehold loosened. Is it likely to happen? Probably not– I doubt Disney cares one whit about the distribution of the comic book single, or even collections and graphic novels; they’re in it for the licensing revenue. But it could happen.

2. The Pixar guys could produce an animated Marvel movie.

pixar

Now, Pixar itself sticks to original material, but like any world famous rock band, they’ve got side projects, and thanks to Disney, they can bankroll them. We’ve already heard rumors of Marvel execs and Pixar execs giggling like school girls on a conference call over the possibilities. Therefore, the people that brought you The Incredibles (which I wasn’t a big fan of, myself) or WALL-E (which is one of the finest films of the past decade) could give us– well, whatever doesn’t have its rights tied up in other studios. Runaways? Dr. Strange? Rocket Raccoon? Devil Dinosaur!? Maybe it won’t happen. Maybe we won’t get that Red Ronin cameo in Toy Story 3. But you never know.

Maybe we’ll see the animated adventures of some waterfowl trapped in a world he never made…

1. Howard the Duck loses the pants.

Howard with pants

Remember how Disney sued over Howard looking too much like Donald and made him put on trousers? Well, theoretically, Howard could now be Donald’s cousin, and they could both run around with their duck junk hanging out. I imagine Disney will still keep Howard’s wardrobe intact to deter character confusion, but you never know. I say we start a campaign now: let our ducks run bottomless and free!

Now place your bets, folks. I’m putting five dollars down on “none of the above.” Honestly, I don’t think we’ll notice much of a difference, aside from an extra animated series here or there on ToonDisney, and maybe some movie rights shuffling around in the next decade.

How about you? Any other possibilities popping into your head? Let ‘em be heard!

55 Comments

Personally if Disney were to ever produce an animated Marvel film I’d rather a classic 2-D hand drawn “Fantasia”-like version of Thor.

I’m also thinking that Disney theme parks might open a “friendly neighborhood comic store” in their parks that offers Marvel/Disney comics, as well as high end comic-themed collectibles. Disney stores do offer products from other vendors, including sports teams and foreign companies, so opening a comic store on Disney property that sells a variety of books and memorabilia isn’t outside the realm of possibility.

Good article. I honestly couldn’t give a crap about the retailers being worried. The problem with the current model is that the retailers (aka Comic shops) are the only places to get the individual issues and it’s not until later (typically after the hype dies down) that the book stores carry the stories.

So while I feel sad for the shops, thier essential monopoly is killing the industry (well one of the causes). And while I hope Disney’s distributors does give the shops fair price and so one, I do not feel bad if they no longer become the only game in town. I mean for the health of the industry something has to change.

Prior I was thinking of say distributing to say Best Buys or some place similar and it’ll be interesting to see where Disney goes with this. One thing they could do is try and use Crossgen as a way to test the market for new types of distribution either electronic (which I loath) or alternate points of purchase.

It’s the Pixar possibilities that I’m really excited for. I’ve been saying for years I’d like to see some comic book movies made in that style, by talented people. I can’t wait for something to come of it…seems like it has to, eventually.

M.O.D.U.C.K. is awesome, by the way. Props to whoever made that.

The main benefit might simply be publicity. In addition to the Disney Channel, Disney owns ABC, ABC Family, and Disney XD. Throw a comic commercial up on any one of those channels, and you’re all but guaranteed a million more eyes on your product. The Marvel Adventures line could see a huge boost from ads on the Disney Channel and Disney XD, where the Marvel cartoons are aired. And, hell, there could even be a Marvel-theme week on Dancing with the Stars. Tune in to see Daredevil and Elektra do the tango…!

Toy Story could see an influx of new action figures.

The direct-to-DVD animated Marvel movies could see an upsurge in quality, thanks to Disney’s writers and animators.

Marvel’s braintrust could start working on Disney/Pixar films.

Any number of Disney artists could try their hand at comics.

John Lasseter could direct a Marvel Studios flick.

And, of course, Warren Ellis: Mouseketeer.

M.O.D.U.C.K. is awesome, by the way. Props to whoever made that.

That was Ryan Dunleavy.

Here’s another one, from Chris Samnee.

Ooh, more Crossgen. Cool.

no doubt animated marvel films are one thing on Disney’s mind though they proalby are also seeing how soon they can legaly end universals marvel contract for rides. as for Howard Disney will given how they disliked the duck sad to say Howards days are numbered Mikey is looking for some orange sauce for howard

Bill, I’d like to hear what you didn’t like about “The Incredibles”. I don’t think I’ve ever come across anyone, comics fan or not, who didn’t like it. But I knew you were out there somewhere.

[…] Als ich das bei den Splashpages las, dachte ich eine ganze Weile lang, daß das doch ein Aprilscherz sein muß. Aber es scheint wohl zu stimmen (wenn das Kartellamt den beiden nicht noch einen Strich durch die Rechnung macht). Damit hat Marvel nun genau wie DC (mit TimeWarner) einen dicken fetten Medienkonzern im Rücken. Man darf gespannt sein, ob und welche Auswirkungen das auf das House of Ideas haben wird. […]

I saw someone getting overexcited about Kim Possible joining SHIELD or the Gargoyles being implemented into the MU and dealing with the Darkhold or something, but past totally crazy things like that, I think at least 3-4 of these are the biggest pipe dreams popping around the net right now.

If they never publish another Howard the Duck comic, that’s fine with me. Steve Gerber passed away, sadly, and I’m not interested in another writer using the character.

Matt Halteman —

I am another who didn’t care for The Incredibles. But I didn’t hate it, either. But I think why I didn’t care for it is that I didn’t see it until after it had been out for 2 years, I saw it on a 19″ television screen, and it just couldn’t possibly, after all that time, live up to all the praise I had heard about it for those 2 years. Too-high expectations often lead to disappointment.

My problem with The Incredibles probably lies with me being a jaded comic book fan; it showed me nothing I hadn’t already seen before, really, and so no joy entered my cold, black heart.

I saw someone getting overexcited about Kim Possible joining SHIELD

I would buy the hell out of that.

For one that I think will probably happen, I’m looking forward to some quality reprints of Carl Barks’s Uncle Scrooge. The Carl Barks Library is over twenty years old and costs an arm and a leg if you want one.

My best guess is that animation drives the post-acquisition Marvel in the short-term.

WSJ is reporting that properties like the Spidey and the X-Men are tied up in perpetuity to the companies that did their live action films. Maybe there is a loophole on the animation side. $4 billion is a ton of money and Disney won’t be recouping on that in comic book sales this century.

My first choice would be the “Fantastic Four”. The live-action flicks were dreadful. You know there are computer animators that would love to play with Kirby Dots. The property would work better animated anyway.

pixar won’t make runaways, it has gay characters.

I’m looking forward to Bendis’s “House of Mouse” series.

“No more ducks.”

Hi fanboy d,
Disney is very ‘gay friendly’ and has no problem with homosexual charecters. i don’t know why pixar wouldn’t touch anything with homosexuality in it
DFTBA

FunkyGreenJerusalem

September 1, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Why would Disney now want Howard to look more like their childrens character?

If Disney really cares either way, I’d say this is the end of Howard.

“My problem with The Incredibles probably lies with me being a jaded comic book fan; it showed me nothing I hadn’t already seen before, really, and so no joy entered my cold, black heart.”

I second that.

And yes: all the “it´s the first time we can see super heroes living a real life as a family and so” reeeeeeeeally pissed me off.

It’s probably already been said, but doesn’t this shine some new light on Marvelman/Miracleman? Plenty of money & will now to get all the good material republished, start putting out some new issues and get a movie in the works.

Thing I’d like to see come out of the Disney/Marvel buyout; new reprint volumes of Carl Barks’ Donald Duck books, or Don Rosa’s Life and Adventures of Scrooge McDuck. Wouldn’t that be sweet?

Or finally, a Gargoyles comic book that would get some decent publicity!

Anybody who didn’t love the The Incredibles has no soul.

So, what you’re saying is, the Ruse Omnibus is finally coming out? :P

Was CrossGen good? I was on a sabbatical from comics when all that happened. Are they worth searching out?

Some of them, John.

The biggest hurdle was that they all had to sort of kind of kind of sort of tie in together, even though they were all from vastly different genres.

And really, that didn’t hurt them all that much at all. It felt a little forced at times, but the tradeoff was that you got some coherence and it’s not like Negation, the one title that really used it wasn’t worth the trouble, because it was.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

September 1, 2009 at 8:36 pm

Was CrossGen good? I was on a sabbatical from comics when all that happened. Are they worth searching out?

They were more notable for a lot of the production side of comics – the way the books were put together, releasing them in different formats (pushing trades hard), experimenting with a cheap download option for back issues – at lot of things that have come in to Marvel and DC these days.

The biggest hurdle was that they all had to sort of kind of kind of sort of tie in together, even though they were all from vastly different genres.

Just like comic superheros today (minus the genre bit)!

I unfortunately got into Crossgen about 6 months before they shut down, but I really liked a lot of their stuff. I got into it through their “Forge” collections, which were TPBs that collected 1 or 2 issues of 5 or 6 different titles. I thought that was a neat idea, and it resulted in me getting into some comics I definitely wouldn’t have looked at otherwise. I would have really like to see Bedard finish Negation War, but even if we see some reprints or new material, I’d have to think that particular story isn’t going to get finished.

The Incredibles was everything awesome about superheroes without all the continuity, cynicism and other garbage that’s been dragging superhero comics for the past several decades.

A Runaways movie by Pixar could be phenomenal.

Also, I wouldn´t rule out the possibility of some live-action series based on Marvel characters debuting on ABC, sooner or later.

Unfortunately, they´ll probably suck as much as Smallville or Birds of Prey.

Kirayoshi: Boom! has already announced trades like Life and Time of Scrooge.

re: Incredibles…what it showed me that I hadn’t seen before was how truly cool a stretchy hero could be. Elasti-Girl’s assault on the fortress and how she uses her powers was just great. It was nothing like what you’d see Plastic Man or Reed do, though they could.

re: Pixar. I’d doubt Pixar would do a Marvel film. BUT John Lassiter is in charge of Disney Animation in total, so I can easily see Marvel Studio’s Animated films becoming more Pixar like (just as Bolt got revamped after the Pixar buy up).

Years ago, Marvel was publishing Disney comics for newsstand distribution.
A little while later, Disney puts out the ’67 Spider-Man cartoon and Marvel has a “slight disagreement” about it.

Taking a few hours to think about this, it really comes as no surprise that “The Mouse” bought “The House” (heh). It’s what Disney does. Disney gets pissed off and just buys out the source of contention.

Take Pixar for example. A few years ago, Pixar had a falling-out with Disney and severed all ties with them. All of a sudden, Disney buys Pixar.
Marvel tries to sue Disney over the Spider-Man release and suddenly is bought out by Disney.

Now…on a similar topic…
I’ve been wondering if DC will be buying out Archie.
After all, DC was (or maybe still is) publishing Archie collections and now has the rights to the Red Circle characters (again).

Anyone else wanna take a shot at this?

The Crazed Spruce

September 2, 2009 at 6:24 am

I’ve been wondering if DC will by buying out Archie.Ooooooh, maybe now we’ll get that Josie and the Pussycats/Swing with Scooter crossover that everyone’s been clamoring for….

The best thing I can see coming from this whole deal is Pixar doing a Marvel movie, followed closely by the outside chance of a series on ABC being based on a Marvel comic. Beyond that, I’m taking a “wait-and-see” approach to the whole thing.

Taking a few hours to think about this, it really comes as no surprise that “The Mouse” bought “The House” (heh). It’s what Disney does. Disney gets pissed off and just buys out the source of contention.

Ooh – I need to find something to sue Disney over so they can buy me!

Snark noted.
Completely unnecessary…but, noted.

*sigh*
The above was not meant for DanCJ…

Ooooooh, maybe now we’ll get that Josie and the Pussycats/Swing with Scooter crossover that everyone’s been clamoring for….

I’d buy it.

Imo, the biggest thing to come out of the Disney buy-out of Marvel will be the sprawling enterprise of fan-generated hentai pictures and lurid fan fiction featuring characters from both universes going at it like bunnies in heat (and occasionally they will actually be bunnies).

If you all want absurdity…go to this link http://blog.washingtonpost.com/comic-riffs/…and click on the related links…just a tip of the iceberg…

I just hope the Villain in Spider-man 4 is not Cruella DeVille

Adamantium Wholesaler

September 2, 2009 at 10:31 am

Add me to the anti-Incredibles bandwagon. Pixar is usually pretty original with their themes, but, a millionth movie about a family coming back together, showing how important family is? Really? Don’t worry, America, the goth girl will become more feminine and go out with the jock guy, and we’ll show how unfair it is for special people not to be able to lord their advantages over those dull normals (Dash having to hold back).

The movie was well-done on a technical level, but, outside of the action sequences, it contained virtually nothing of what I like about superheroes. (Imagination, complexity, original/innovative themes and ideas.) It was mainly about how society and everyday life beat us down and force us to limit ourselves, and wouldn’t it be awesome if we could just ignore that and do whatever we wanted?

That said, I look forward to a Pixar Miracleman trilogy.

sign me up for opening day of a pixar Rocket Raccoon movie. That just sounds so awesome it has to happen. It’s got anthromorphic animal with a sense of humor, jet packs, guns, aliens etc. I now know exactly why Disney bought Marvel, they saw this 1Billion dollar movie waiting for them.

As I said in another thread, Micronauts would be *perfect* for Pixar, if they could hash out any rights issues with the toy company. Most of the characters are not fleshy humans, and if the heroes came to our world they’d be toy size. That might be a mark against the property, as being a bit of a repeat of something they’ve already done, but it could provide an opportunity for a fun cameo or crossover if the Micronauts don’t spend much time in our world.

Hell, the villain in one of the Toy Story films reminded me a lot of the Baron Karza toy/character.

” and so no joy entered my cold, black heart.”

Aw, come on. Did you see the 60’s style cartoon short “The Adventures of Mr. Incredible”? It’s got the early Marvel cartoon look down perfectly, with the still frames and only the mouths animated.

Oh, right, I also forgot that the Incredibles had what I felt to be contradictory themes– the “everybody is special/but we should all fit in together” kind of thing didn’t jibe with me. But my memory’s hazy these days, so…

FunkyGreenJerusalem

September 2, 2009 at 4:36 pm

Take Pixar for example. A few years ago, Pixar had a falling-out with Disney and severed all ties with them. All of a sudden, Disney buys Pixar.

The source of contention was actually on Disney’s side – CEO Michael Eisner tried to play hardball with Pixar over how much they paid them – he tried to keep their price at the same as the last contract, despite every Pixar film being bigger than the last.
So Pixar left, and kept having hits.
Losing one of their biggest commodities was such a blow to Disney that it played a big part in them getting a new CEO.
Once they had a new CEO, they then entered negotiations to buy Pixar, at way more than it would have cost them if they hadn’t had the falling out.
(Pixar had shown they didn’t need Disney to have mass hits – it was all them).

The biggest hurdle was that they all had to sort of kind of kind of sort of tie in together, even though they were all from vastly different genres.

See, that’s what I loved about Crossgen, and what got me hooked after I was drawn in. I love the shared universe stuff in comics, and Crossgen had it from the beginning. I was bummed when they folded and the connection amongst the titles was never resolved.

I got into it through their “Forge” collections, which were TPBs that collected 1 or 2 issues of 5 or 6 different titles. I thought that was a neat idea, and it resulted in me getting into some comics I definitely wouldn’t have looked at otherwise. I would have really like to see Bedard finish Negation War, but even if we see some reprints or new material, I’d have to think that particular story isn’t going to get finished.

Me too, on all counts.

I loved the Incredibles when I first saw it, and still enjoy it as a fun super hero action movie, but a friend pointed something out to me that kinda deflated my enjoyment of it a bit: the fact that when the family is fighting back against the hired goons, the 8 year old kid basically kills a bunch of them and no one seems to care.

Sure, he was defending himself, but still, an 8 year old kid killing people seems kinda harsh. It was the one time when some GI Joe style “the flying vehicle explodes but there in the background the pilot is parachuting to safety” scenes would have been appreciated. Or at least a throwaway line of dialogue acknowledging it was done in self defense and that gleefully killing henchman isn’t normally okay.

Whoops, screwed that html up something fierce. Apologies.

Still waiting for news of an animated Pet Avengers. I want a plush Lockheed so bad!

All the predictions of how Marvel movies would suffer seem quaint today. Not to single anyone out, but the idea of a Marvel TV show on ABC seemed absurd to some, and yet it is a flagship series for this fall. Funny how times change.

Ron: Yeah, seems kind of hilarious looking back on this article/these comments, as I now see huge electronic billboards when I drive to work every day that count down the days to “Agents of SHIELD”.

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