By now, you've all heard the new: the Walt Disney Company announced plans to buy Marvel Entertainment. The $4 billion deal would give Disney ownership of Marvel's stable of characters, as well as Marvel Studios, Marvel Animation and the various other entities falling under the Marvel banner.
While few details of the Marvel/Disney deal have gone public thus far, Marvel stock prices jumped more than 25 percent at the start of trading today—so the deal has yielded at least one immediate result.
However, with so many concerns surrounding the news, here are some of the biggest questions about the Disney/Marvel deal we hope to see answered in the near future.
1. How will the deal affect Marvel Comics?
Marvel has always been known for publishing edgy material, so how will adult-oriented titles be affected by Disney's ownership? From old favorites like The Punisher to new and popular characters like Kick-Ass, Marvel has quite a few fan-favorite series firmly set in the mature-reader realm.
Will Disney's kid-friendly focus tolerate the violence and racy content that's a staple of so many Marvel products? Disney has already stated that one of its main reasons for buying Marvel was to improve its standing among males aged 8-18, so it will be interesting to see if the new "Mouse of Ideas" will tolerate one of its established characters strangling a villain with his own intestines (a la Frank Castle).
2. What will happen to Marvel Studios?
One of the most celebrated aspects of Marvel's upcoming slate of movies is that each and every film in the Marvel Studios lineup counted a host of comic book writers on its creative team. Many have trumpeted Marvel's in-house, "if you want it done right, do it yourself" sensibility as the main reason for the success of films like "Iron Man"—while Warner Brothers' ownership of DC is often cited as the main reason its properties have a tough time getting off the ground and onto the big screen (with the exception of Batman, of course).
Will Disney take a hands-off approach with Marvel Studios as they have (to some degree) with Pixar, or can we expect to see Disney making the calls when it comes to creative teams for Marvel's in-house movies?
3. How much will the Disney and Marvel worlds merge?
Along with the obvious concerns about Scrooge McDuck/Tony Stark crossovers in comics, there are more serious questions to be asked about how much Disney we'll see in the Marvel Universe, and vice versa. For example, will Mickey Mouse and Wolverine begin sharing space on merchandise? Will characters from each universe begin appearing in each other's video games and/or cartoons? At this point, anything is possible.
Heck, for all we know, Gizmo Duck could make an appearance in a post-credits "Iron Man 2" scene.
What are some of the questions you're dying to know the answer to with today's Marvel/Disney news? Let us know what you think in the comment section or on Twitter!