There’s a lot of comic book news going on just now, and the sad thing is, none of it is really about the comics being published.
As a long time fan of comics, to say that the industry is in a state of turmoil is perhaps an understatement. Figures show that comics, in general, are in decline, with fewer issues being distributed and sold over the last few years, with the two major companies, Marvel and DC, being bought over by Disney and AT&T respectively.
DC Comics, in particular, have cut back on the number of titles being produced, and ex co-publisher Dan DiDio actually said, before leaving the company for whatever reasons, that some of the recent reprinted titles of old classic comics were outselling new publications from the company.
Marvel, on the other hand, seems to have adopted a “flooding” strategy, with multiple “events” happening at the same time, and a profusion of mini-series, variant editions and relaunched titles. On top of this, Marvel recently allowed smaller comic book company IDW to produce a range of titles, designed for younger readers, based on some of their major properties such as Spider-Man. So the idea of a company licensing out characters to other publishers has been road-tested already.
So what can we try to interpret from these market trends, and what could it mean for the industry as a whole?
Well in the world of publication, it is not unusual for a smaller company to be swallowed up by a bigger one, it happens a lot in the world of newspapers, so it leads this writer to offer up the possibility that Disney-owned Marvel may at some point attempt to buy their distinct competition.
If that sounds insane, stop and think about it from a business point of view.
Comic book characters are big business, but not in their original form. The money being made, the real money, comes from the branding of the characters in merchandise, film, and TV.
Marvel has already proved they can make billion-dollar movies from such characters, however, DC and Warner has struggled, with only Joker being a stand out in that field.
Can you imagine a DC film universe that has the backing of the teams behind the Marvel one? It could be the kind of business deal that would have the heads at Disney spinning, and the first step would be to acquire the rights from AT&T who, let’s face it, seem to have little respect for the comic publishing arm of the company they have bought.
Summation: Marvel want DC, and they have the money and the clout to do it.
Conclusion: Marvel buy DC, continue the publication of their best-selling titles, and in ten years’ time we get The Avengers vs Justice League movie that you know you would pay to watch.
Remember, this is just an imaginary story. But aren’t they all?
We are fast becoming the number one independent website for streaming coverage. Please support Ready Steady Cut today. Secure its future — we need you!
Louie Fecou reviews films, tv shows and comics for Ready Steady Cut, HC Movie Reviews and We Have A Hulk. He currently runs his own business in between watching films.