I am not joking. From the New York Times about a minute ago:
Walt Disney Company said Monday it has agreed to buy Marvel Entertainment, the storied comic book company that owns the rights to such popular characters as Spider-Man and and the Fantastic Four, in a cash and stock deal it valued at $4 billion. The deal comes more than 10 years after Marvel was at the center of a bruising and highly public takeover battle between two feisty financiers.
Shareholders at Marvel will need to approve the transaction, which boards of directors at both companies have already approved.
“We believe that adding Marvel to Disney’s unique portfolio of brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and value creation,” Robert Iger, Disney’s chief executive, said in a statement announcing the deal.
“Disney is the perfect home for Marvel’s fantastic library of characters given its proven ability to expand content creation and licensing businesses,” said Ike Perlmutter, Marvel’s chief executive officer. “This is an unparalleled opportunity for Marvel to build upon its vibrant brand and character properties by accessing Disney’s tremendous global organization and infrastructure around the world.”
Holy fuck. I don’t have any snark, any wiseass comments about this. Can this possibly be a good thing for Marvel fans? Surely Disney is business-savvy to let Marvel work as is, right? But doesn’t this — at the very least — mean that all the corporate company bullshit that keeps DC/Warner Bros. tied-up from achieving anything with their characters is going to happen at Marvel? I don’t know, guys. I just don’t know.