So, back in September 2009 Disney purchased Marvel.
All the Marvel fanboys and girls started crying foul, saying that the end of Marvel had arrived.
I told my friends: “Nothing will change till 2010, or 2011. The real risk will be between 2012 and 2013.”
Not because I believed in the Mayan profecy of doom, but because I understand business culture and business cycles.
Nowadays, no corporate conglomorate will acquire another franchise with popular ramifications (like a comic publisher) and immediately disect it and gutt it.
They wait 1 year or 2 before doing some drastic changes, and 3 or 4 before totally mutating it into something else. Something that may survive or not. Something that may get recognized or not by nowadays fans.
Ergo, witness phase 1 of my prediction come to pass.
In the case of Disney with Marvel, they analyzed and concluded that Marvel had a lot of viable products on the burner. The movie deals (creating synergy and reciprocity with the comics), some interesting archs, like World War Hulk, Asgaard war, the skrulls going at it again, etc…
So they would let Marvel produce its reveneus, and when that was done for, they would pounce on it.
The time for pouncing has come.
And then there is the corporate grandstanding of showing the newly acquired property who is boss. What says “You better kiss my ass, even if I am wrong” better than a good round of Lay-offs?
Add to the mixture the opening of a bunch of intership positions, (some paid, some unpaid, I bet, or close to minimum wage), and you got a nice Disney business taking off.
Now, the place where you have to pay attention is at the editorial direction.
If in the next year or two you start seeing REALLY weird things happening, then you should now that Marvel only has 1 or 2years to live.
And I mean REALLY WEIRD THINGS, not like SPIDERMAN: ONE MORE DAY weird thing, but more like the opening of an exclusive children’s division of comics with lots of money redirected towards advertisement for the new collection of MiniMates comics. Something like that.
Then they will start diverting more funds towards marketing and placing those said Minimates on Afterschool cartons, and soon afterwards they get rid of the MAX line, because it conflicts with their image.
The less likely turn of events (but more desirable from a comic fan perspective) is that someone with cohones sits at the Director’s chair in the Marvel throne, and comes up with brilliant ideas, money making ideas that revamp and relaunch the Marvel universe, (not something lameass like 52, but actually brilliant), and then goes and fights for it, and takes on Disney head on, and makes enemies, and becomes misunderstood, and even though his idea succeds, he gets kicked to the curve enventually, and retires from the Marvel leadership in bitter discontent.
That’s why it rarely happens in real life, kids, and that’s why it doesn’t make a good comic or movie.
The most common course will be for Disney mutate the Marvel Comics Group into something unrecognizable in 2 to 3 years.