Though it was predicted that the world would end in 2012, no one… not even Nostradamus predicted 2009 would end the Marvel Universe. Yes… the awesomeness known as Marvel will now be owned by the magical world of Disney. The interwebz are a blaze with fury as die hard Marvel fans fear Tony Stark will start dancing with Mickey Mouse in Fantasia 2012 and Captain America’s theme song will be “Hoedown Throw-down”. All that we love is now lost…
Wait… isn’t that a bit dramatic?
I will admit… I literally yelled “what?!” when I heard the news in my car. It is shocking because Disney and Marvel are like oil and water. They don’t mix! I love Disney… we all grew up on the classic animation films and fell in love with the characters, but whenever you hear “Disney” you think kids and family. When you hear “Marvel” you think of bad ass mutants, suits of armor that fly and have awesome weapons, or that really big green guy that you don’t make angry. Kids may like Marvel too, but the kids who grew up on Marvel and are adults now can still love it and its not lame. Think about it…If a 30 year old guy came up to you wearing a t-shirt with Bambi on it, you would be a little embarrassed for him or think he’s a hipster. But, if a 30 year old guy came up to you wearing a Stark Industries shirt, it would seem pretty normal. So riddle me this… how do you make Marvel & Disney fit into the same mind set? How do you over come the divide and make the pieces fit?
The one thing you have to give Disney is that they are really really good at giving you the full experience with the characters/brands they put out and I think this can only enhance the Marvel Universe, so long as they stay true to Marvel’s origins. As we’ve seen with Disney franchises, they hit you from every angle to encourage interaction with their different characters. Let’s also not forget that they have what seems like unlimited resources and they own practically every form of media! Studio lots, theme parks in three countries, ABC-TV, Disney Channel, Radio Disney… the list goes on and on (they even have a restaurant division dedicated to their brand). Marvel will now have the funding and resources to bring their comic book characters to life with Disney assisting in the overall Marvel brand experience. However, the question still remains, can Disney maintain the swagger of the Marvel brand & its characters or will it evolve Marvel into some old bullshit like Spiderman 3?
There are still a variety of things sketchy about this merger but I don’t think its Armageddon just yet. All we can do is hope for the best. I’ll put my hopes out into the universe: I hope that Disney allows the creative team at Marvel to be true to itself and not micromanage their creativity. I hope The Avengers still happens and when it does, I hope that I still want to see it. I’m hoping they put together a Marvel-Land with awesome rides & experiences (imagine… you get to voice over scenes from Iron Man). I wouldn’t mind seeing a Marvel/Pixar movie like most people on the web have voiced. And finally, I hope that Marvel can put out a film under Disney that’s as powerful as The Dark Knight (I know it’s DC but, really… that movie brought us all to our knees and I think all comic franchises should want to create something that amazing… I digress).
So with that, Disney & Marvel, please stay true to the fans and please don’t let us down.