While 99 percent of us could care less about boring corporate acquisitions, this week’s whopper definitely caught your attention and forced the 9-year-old comic fans of the world to actually speak to their parents for once when asking what the hell an acquisition was.
Let’s recap: Hollywood woke up bright and early this past Monday morning only to learn that The Walt Disney Co. had acquired Marvel Entertainment in a deal worth upwards of $4 billion in cash and stocks. Yes, Spider-Man and all his elastic-loving, mentally imbalanced cronies are actually worth $4 billion smackers. Makes you want to invent your own superhero, right? Cubicle Man, anyone?
Naturally, fanboys (and girls) across the world immediately did a double triple take upon reading the news before stockpiling comics and watching Spider-Man 2 on repeat while dreaming up plans to build a bunker in their backyard to house all their pre-Disney-fied Marvel merch. Marvel, of course, attempted to calm apprehensions by saying that it will still be business as usual – but for Disney, I’m thinking business as usual means taking away a superhero’s badass elements and turning him (or her) into a marketing machine that knows no boundaries. A Wolverine thong? Sure! Incredible Hulk protein shake? Why not!
Look, I get it: For a long time now Disney has made a heckuva lot of money on female-related entertainment. Now they want to tap into that high-in-demand male audience. But what Disney better realize is that these fans take their superheroes very seriously. You give Snow White a different haircut, and some people may complain. You take away Wolverine’s knife claws, or Thor’s giant hammer, or Iron Man’s weapons, and, well, you’re gonna have World War III on your hands.
As long as Disney allows Marvel to churn out PG-13 (or in some cases, hard PG-13) movies, then we should be okay. Will Disney then turn these superhero movies into thousands upon thousands of different merchandise opportunities? You’re damn skippy!
Then again, I already own a pair of Spider-Man underwear…so I shouldn’t be the one to talk.