If you thought Michael Jackson's almost-purchase of Marvel Comics was bizarre, then wait until you hear who Marvel's newest owner is going to be: none other than Mickey Mouse himself.
Announced this morning via a press release, the Walt Disney Company will purchase Marvel Entertainment in a $4 billion stock and cash transaction.
The deal is pending approval from shareholders at Marvel, but the boards of directors at both Marvel and Disney have already approved of the purchase.
"This transaction combines Marvel's strong global brand and world-renowned library of characters including Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, Fantastic Four and Thor with Disney's creative skills, unparalleled global portfolio of entertainment properties, and a business structure that maximizes the value of creative properties across multiple platforms and territories," said Robert A. Iger, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company.
"Ike Perlmutter and his team have done an impressive job of nurturing these properties and have created significant value," he added. "We are pleased to bring this talent and these great assets to Disney."
"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."
There are almost no words to describe how big of a deal Disney's acquisition of Marvel is. Are we going to see an entirely Marvel-themed amusement park a la Disney World? Will Marvel characters appear in video games like "Kingdom Hearts," which already feature Disney characters and popular "Final Fantasy" heroes? What does Disney's involvement with Marvel mean for their film franchises—both live-action and animated? How will the acquisition effect the comic books that Marvel produces?
And that's just the tip of the iceberg—more and more questions will emerge as news of this partnership sinks in. For now, it's enough of a struggle for us to simply lift our jaws from the floor and continue on with our day.
What do you think of Disney's surprising acquisition of Marvel Entertainment? Does this herald good things for some of our favorite superheroes or is the partnership a bad sign for the comic book publisher? Let us know what you think of this major news in the comments section!