Mickey + Spidey = $

Unless you've been completely cut off from the internet today (in which case, I'm glad Theater Hopper was your first stop after being plugged back in to The Grid), then you might have missed the news that Disney has acquired Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion.

There aren't a lot of details at the moment, but the news pretty much set the internet on fire this afternoon. Since I'm a bit of a movie nut AND a bit of a comic book nut, I feel a responsibility to comment.

A lot of people are responding to the news Chicken Little-style. They swear up and down that the sky is falling and that the House of Mouse is going to ruin their favorite super heroes by flattening their appeal, making them more mainstream and toothless.

As much as I have enjoyed portraying Disney as the Evil Empire in the past (and it is likely I will continue to do so in the future), I'm optimistic about this deal with Marvel.

People forget that roughly 15 years ago, Marvel declared bankruptcy. Getting in bed with Disney means the likelihood of that happening again are slim to none. Anything that protects Marvel's solvency at this point is a-okay in my book.

Some people claim that Disney can be careless with the properties they acquire - citing Mirimax and The Muppets as examples. I don't know if I see a lot of evidence supporting that. If anything, Marvel being associated with Disney gives them far more opportunities to cross-pollinate their characters into other media outlets than they would have been able to do otherwise.

Never mind the distribution advantage they now have with their movies. What other studio besides Disney can put a movie on 3,000 screens opening weekend every single time? Not many.

I guess I'm trying to be more pragmatic in my response to the acquisition rather than gloom and doom. If Spider-Man could survive The Clone Saga, he'll survive this.

What are your thoughts about the Disney / Marvel merger? Are you a fan of the comics, movies or both. How do you think this will affect Marvel's output in the coming years? What was your first reaction to the news?

Leave your comments below!