Marvel, Disney & Howard The Mouse

From The Guardian:

The Walt Disney empire is to buy the superheroes stable Marvel Entertainment for $4bn (£2.5bn) in a star-studded Hollywood deal that unites family names such as Mickey Mouse with lucrative characters including Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk and the X-Men.

I didn’t see that coming.  Of course, if I did, then I would have invested heavily into Marvel stock last week, seeing as its value shot up by 26% today.  Hindsight, as ever, is a pain in the arse.

A lot of comics fans seem quite horrified at the prospect of the House of Ideas being converted into a toolshed for the House of Mouse.  Wired features a rather amusing list of 10 Movies We’re Dreading Now That Disney Owns Marvel which includes the following gem:

Beauty & The Hulk – in this updated version of the animated Disney classic, Selena Gomez plays Dr. Bryce Banner, a talented physicist who learns a life lesson about self-image when her Gamma ray experiment creates unintended results.

Personally, I don’t think Disney ownership will have an adverse affect on Marvel any more than it’s had an adverse affect on, say, Pixar or Miramax.  But I do think it’s rather ironic.  One of my favourite Marvel characters has always been the deliciously subversive Howard The Duck.  When Howard’s creator, Steve Gerber, passed away last year I posted a brief obit to this blog.  I wouldn’t normally do this sort of thing, but in light of today’s announcement I  feel compelled to regurgitate some old content:

At one stage, The Walt Disney Company famously threatened to take Marvel Comics to court, claiming that HTD infringed on their Donald Duck copyright. In 2001 Gerber returned to the character, producing a more explicit version of the strip for Marvel’s adult-orientated ‘Max’ imprint. In this story – and for reasons too ludicrous to explain – Howard finds himself transformed into an cynical, ugly, cigar-chomping rodent.

Needless to say, he wears white gloves…