Well, there goes another piece of my childhood.
Why would "the Mouse" invest so much during a shaky economy anyway? The answer: young boys. While Disney captured the hearts, minds and wallets of every pre-teen girl a couple years ago with their Disney Princess line, they have yet to really find a niche to attract the young men in the audience.
So the answer that makes good business sense is to buy a company that's gaining ground with said demographic and recently began producing it's own films. But that's not all: Disney also gains access to the over-5,000 characters in the Marvel Comics cannon. Disney says this will allow it to bring many lesser-known characters to the forefront (even the lame-ass ones).
On the other hand, there are a few glimmers of hope for comics fans in this unholy merger. For instance, any existing contracts the company has with amusement parks or movie studios will still be honored. Another advantage is unexpected, but very cool: a partnership with Pixar. Pixar's CEO John Lasseter reportedly entered some closed-door talks with Marvel artists and writers and got "very excited very quickly." Given the animation studio's record for creating solid, story-driven films,, this could be a plus.
Hopefully more plusses than minuses will be gained in this merger. As long as Disney plays it cool and let's Marvel do what it does best, all will be fine. but so help me, the first time the Hulk sports mouse ears or Iron Man sings "Bippity Boppity Boo," a long line of comic book geeks with torches and pitchforks will descend upon Cinderella's castle...not pretty.