Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Force Is (Sort Of) Back

This morning I read about Walt Disney $4 billion buyout of George Lucas's Lucasfilm and to say I’m surprised is an understatement. With this purchase, Disney has control of the Star Wars franchise and they didn’t waste time in announcing a new Star Wars film. Star Wars Episode 7 will open sometime in 2015 with Episode 8 and 9 tentatively stated for 2017 and 2019 respectively.

Now most fans seems happy with the acquisition as it means there’s finally more Star Wars films. I belong to the group that’s slightly worried. However the reason why I’m worried has less to do with Mickey Mouse and more to do with the last big acquisition Disney had; Marvel.

A lot of people looking at Marvel now will say things are going good for the company. The Avengers was a smash hit and there are more big movies in the pipeline. However most people forgot that movies are just one part of Marvel’s business and it's not the main part of the company. Their main business is comics and that is one area that had suffered since the acquisition by Disney.

Although I’m not privy to the inner workings of Marvel, as a long-time comics fan and collector I can say Marvel comics business has suffered since they were bought over by Disney. A few years ago, Marvel was the head of the pack in the industry. Now they play second-fiddle to DC.

Now this might not be the fault of Disney, but timing wise there’s no doubt Marvel began to lose their (then big) lead after the takeover. And it’s not just a sales problem; creatively and artistically, DC is now better than Marvel. Not only that, DC takes more risk than Marvel in their comics. Marvel now only release titles that involves the Avengers, the X-Men, and Spiderman. So much so, the running joke is that the other comics companies have a pool on how many titles Wolverine will show up per month.

I admit I’m not really a fan of Star Wars so maybe that’s why I’m less than pleased with the purchase by Disney, for fans of Star Wars this could be great news. Still, I hope for these fans that history does not repeat itself.

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