Yes, it’s true.

UPDATE: CBR has a breakdown of the conference call.

UPDATE: The Hollywood Reporter has a story with comments from Diseny head Bob Iger: Basically, Marvel’s current movie deals — including five more pictures with Paramount — will stay in place. Pixar’s John Lasseter met with Marvel top brass recently – the deal began to fall into place about two months ago — and it’s predicted that “Sparks will fly.” In a good way.

UPDATE: The New York Times suggests the obvious: We’ll soon be seeing Marvel’s characters at Disney Theme parks, and the story also underscores the holes Disney has to plug in:

The acquisition comes as Disney, with its vast theme park operations and television advertising business, has been struggling because of a lack of hit DVDs, soft advertising sales at ABC and drooping consumer spending at theme parks. Disney’s profit in the third quarter, which ended June 27, dropped 26 percent.

Over all, Disney’s net income fell to $954 million, or 51 cents a share, from $1.28 billion, or 66 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue fell 7 percent, to $8.6 billion. Earnings per share for the current quarter included a one-cent restructuring charge related to an accounting gain.

UPDATE: Kingdom Comics’ Christian Beranek has issued a “No Comment” Statement.

Joe Quesada twitters this morning:

G’ morning, Marvel U! Welcome to this moment in history. Everyone relax, this is incredible news and all is well in the Marvel U.

I haven’t seen this much excitement in the Marvel halls since… well, ever!

Everybody take a deep breath, all your favorite comics remain unchanged and Tom Brevoort remains grouchy

If you’re familiar with the Disney/Pixar relationship, then you’ll understand why this is a new dawn for Marvel and the comics industry.

It feels like Christmas morning.

Update: Marvel Stock prices jumped 25% to $48 after the opening bell.

Building on its strategy of delivering quality branded content to people around the world, The Walt Disney Company /quotes/comstock/13*!dis/quotes/nls/dis (DIS 26.24, -0.60, -2.24%) has agreed to acquire Marvel Entertainment, Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!mvl/quotes/nls/mvl (MVL 48.73, +10.08, +26.08%) in a stock and cash transaction, the companies announced today.

Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney on August 28, 2009, Marvel shareholders would receive a total of $30 per share in cash plus approximately 0.745 Disney shares for each Marvel share they own. At closing, the amount of cash and stock will be adjusted if necessary so that the total value of the Disney stock issued as merger consideration based on its trading value at that time is not less than 40% of the total merger consideration.

Based on the closing price of Disney stock on Friday, August 28, the transaction value is $50 per Marvel share or approximately $4 billion.

An investor’s conference call is located here.:

Marvel freelancers are being told to call either C.B. Cebulski or David Bogart to answer questions .

We’ll keep updating this post with news and links.

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  1. I wonder what this will mean for their relationship with Diamond Book Distributors. Hyperion is owned by Disney and they are distributed through Harper.

  2. I just worry for all the talent that works for Marvel, or ever will work for them, now. I’ve known artists who have worked for Disney (and told me stories that they did this) only to find loopholes in their contracts, that have allowed the company to own pretty much everything they’ve ever done and everything they will do for years to come. I don’t know how true these stories are, but I’ve heard them often enough to be concerned.
    Wow. This could just mean all sorts of things. Will this change their relationship with Diamond? Will we see Pixar’s Miracle Man? This is so major. I feel like our beloved medium is just being absorbed franchise wars and copyright renewal. It’s WB Vs. Disney and the fate of our future is in their hands?

  3. During the bloody “Marvelcution” of the Revlon 90s, many of us wished Marvel would be bought by a media company for the distribution possibilities… but these are different times. For every employee and freelancer who looks at this with optimism, there are nine others with worries over their stake, their friends, their families. Beyond the talking points, the curious should look to see how Disney managed Pixar.

  4. “Does this make Joe Q., Bendis and Brubaker Cast members now?”

    LOL! My thought exactly! Cute uniforms and nametags, too?

    Wow. Huge, huge news…despite the claims that “things will carry on as usual”. Yeah, right.

    I would think one of the biggest impacts will be the Marvel portion of Universal’s “Islands of Adventure” theme parks. I’m sure that will be yanked as soon as possible, considering Universal is one of the biggest thorns in Disney’s side when it comes to theme park competition.

    Also, things can’t be looking good for the Boom Studios/Disney connection.

    Written by VICTOR GISCHLER
    Penciled by GORAN PARLOV
    Cover by DAVE JOHNSON
    Mickey thought he was only passing through the Louisiana Bayou…until he crossed paths with a suspicious family of rednecks and decided to make their business his business. The Geautreauxs are throwing themselves a barbeque with all the fixings – and Mickey is the main course.
    32 PGS./Explicit Content …$3.99

  6. Okay. Deep breaths…

    1) Marvel is currently distributed via Diamond Book Distributors. Disney’s main press is Hyperion, which seems to be distributed via Little Brown (Hachette) and HarperCollins. If Marvel moves, how does this affect DBD?

    2) How does this affect the Icon imprint? While Hyperion is adept at working with creator-owned material, what of Disney Studios?

    3) Disney owns Crossgen. Might we see a revival of this alter-genre imprint? Integration into the Marvel Universe?

    4) Marvel has published Disney titles in the past (they were, briefly, the newsstand agent for Gladstone). Will Kingdom Comics be merged with Marvel? Will all future licenses be kept in house, like DC does with Warner Bros. Entertainment, or will Marvel compete with other publishers? Will current licenses be revoked at the end of the contracted terms?

    5) Will Marvel Studios succeed like Miramax, or stumble along like Hollywood Pictures?

    6) The guys behind the scenes at Marvel… Perlmutter, for example… what do they get from this, besides lots of Disney stock?

    7) What is Disney’s track record regarding greenlighting projects? Do most of their announced films make it to the big screen?

    8) Disney has quite a few licenses which could be exploited by Marvel… Peter Pan, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Mary Poppins, 101 Dalmatians, The Rescuers, Narnia… Marvel could also produce ancillary graphic novels which tie-in with Disney features and television shows.

    9) Pixar does not license or adapt stories, but Disney Animation, run by John Lasseter, does.

    10) Disney characters rarely crossover with other Disney universes, or other companies’ characters. “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” was a rare example. Very unlikely that we will see a “Fantastic Four/Incredibles” title.

    Mmmm…. what an exciting time to be a comics fan!

    11) Steve Jobs is on the Disney board (he sold them Pixar). Apple is adept at selling digitized media. Might we see a more accessible DCU from Marvel?

    12) Two words: “Disney 3-D”.

  7. @Mark Engblom… I’d rather see Marvel Team-Up featuring Dazzler and Hannah Montana. (Why Marvel hasn’t jumped on that bubble-gum bandwagon is beyond me.)

    And does this mean we’ll get some iPhone/iPod touch action – other than Spider-Woman and motion comics – from Marvel now? (After all, Steve Jobs of Apple is reportedly one of Disney’s largest shareholders.)

  8. I would expect business as usual at Marvel Comics for the immediate future. Marvel ain’t particularly broken these days, so Disney has little reason to try to “fix” it. In the longer term, I’d expect… more business as usual, as corporate conservatism prevents the management at Marvel from upsetting the apple cart with wild and crazy creative ideas. The biggest changes likely to happen are as current outside deals expire (e.g. with Boom for comics, Paramount/Columbia/Fox for movies) and that stuff (probably) gets moved in-house.

  9. Beyond the open questions many have posed, I’ve also been thinking about how this move effectively ends Marvel’s long-time history as the scrappy, independent underdog. From it’s earliest days, Marvel has always seemed to be the “ying” to DC’s more corporate-controlled “yang”. Remember when Joe Q using to jab DC with the “AOL Comics” label? Well, now that Joe and Co. have been absorbed into the Mouse collective, the nearly five-decade dynamic of Marvel Comics has been changed in the space of only a few hours.

    Marvel’s new status as a cog in a larger corporate machine is, in my opinion, the most fascinating aspect of this story…and the aspect I’ll be most interested in seeing unfold over the months and years to come.

  10. I swear, I think I called this a while back here on The Beat. I think it was when Stan Lee made his deal with Disney.

    This is amazing news.

  11. Disney might as well finish the job and buy BOOM! since a) the Pixar titles are a de facto proof-of-concept for Disney licensed comics in the current marketplace, and b) everything (the team and pipeline) is already in place.

  12. I dunno…according to Ain’t It Cool News:

    “UPDATE #2: John Lasseter met with Marvel last week about a possible team-up between Marvel and Pixar and got “pretty excited, pretty fast.” They say there’s definitely an opportunity there.”

    Who knows what’s real and what’s not at this point, but one thing’s for sure: There will be plenty to talk about for the next several months (can you hear the air leaking from the “Blackest Night” balloon?)

  13. Unfortunately, you’ll probably see many cheesey things … it happened when Disney acquired ABC — suddenly, every other sitcom had a subplot (or main plot) where the characters went on vacation to Walt Disney World.

    You’ll probably see a big Hulk vs Abomination slugfest at Walt Disney World in the next movie.

  14. Okay first off…while Joe Q is very very frank about his job coming with an expiration date…WHY would Disney fire the guy who brought them to the dance? Come on now, people. I’m not saying that in two eyars that Joe q could be gone..or he could be a VP at Disney. You are basing this all on your own personal ace grinding not any reality. I mean, unless Joe Q is wildly unpopular in Hollywood.

    ALSO, the ABC deal was under Michael Eisner who had a very different way of running things from Bob Iger who comes from…ABC. SO not the same thing at all.

  15. Outside of someone joking about Joe Q. now being considered a Disney cast member, I don’t see anyone within this particular thread musing (or hoping) for him to be fired.

  16. “Outside of someone joking about Joe Q. now being considered a Disney cast member, I don’t see anyone within this particular thread musing (or hoping) for him to be fired.”

    Not me. That’s for sure. I love what Q has done with Marvel. I didn’t really care for the company over all (sure there were a few titles I liked, on and off) until he took over as EnC. If Disney is smart, he only has to worry about moving up the ladder.

  17. This is just…SICK!!!! O.O

    Whoever owns Marvel stock just became a LOT richer! No wonder the Marvel halls are ‘excited, according to joeQ.

    But I don’t know whether to be apprehensive (that this was just a stockmarket move that will later damage the properties) or excited (for Marvel finally has some serious financial backing and things will be better in the future).

  18. This means no more Howard the Duck, ever. Doesn’t it? Oh well, it’s not like Gerber was ever coming back to write it again.

  19. Suggested soundtrack:

    A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow
    Let’s Get Together
    Something There
    Part of Your World
    Enjoy It
    One Jump Ahead
    When I See an Elephant Fly
    You’ve Got a Friend in Me
    Although I Dropped $100,000 (I Found a Million Dollars in Your Smile)
    Seize the Day
    A Step in the Right Direction

    Trust in Me
    Mine, Mine, Mine
    The Age of Not Believing
    A Spoonful of Sugar
    The Mob Song
    Poor Unfortunate Souls
    Stop, Look, and Listen/I’m No Fool

  20. Well, considering that the movie studio was New World Pictures, I’d say that the two situations aren’t comparable. Perelman was a financier, not a consumer businesses expert, and his timing was bad, to boot. The Marvel-Disney deal is mostly about licensing of properties, and even if there are questions about whether Disney is paying too much, there’s no doubt that Disney knows how to license properties.


  21. The Beat typo-ed:

    “You are basing this all on your own personal ace grinding not any reality.”

    I think Ace has been typing ‘ace’ so much that ‘ace’ is easier to type than ‘axe’. ;)

  22. Torsten, I didn’t realize that they had already had the Disney slugfest.

    Well, in the futue, we’ll see a more extensive battle … the villians will hide, and the heroes will search the magic kingdom. In the meantime, they’ll be in awe of all the amazing rides, and wholesome family fun that’s shielding their enemy.

  23. —————
    Torsten Adair Says:
    08/31/09 at 11:43 am

    10) Disney characters rarely crossover with other Disney universes, or other companies’ characters. “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” was a rare example. Very unlikely that we will see a “Fantastic Four/Incredibles” title.

    There is also the House of Mouse series. All Disney characters from shows and movies show up in that show with Micky being the lead of course. It’s pretty good actually. It’s based around a night club that all the characters go to with some of them actual workers there. It’s way of them showing older cartoons and even newer ones as well and having the characters interact in funny ways. Think new episodes stopped around 2007 or 08 though.

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