Rumors of Disney shutting down Marvel Comics caused an online commotion from fans. The House of Mouse acquired Marvel Entertainment in 2009, including its publication arm, which gives it the authority to dismantle Marvel Comics if they want to, making this rumor that much more believable for some loyal but fearful comic readers.
Formerly known as Timely Comics when it first launched in 1939, Marvel Comics has launched some of the most iconic superhero characters created by Steve Ditko, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and many others, such as the Avengers, X-Men and Fantastic Four. These heroes continue to live on the big screen via the MCU and the Fox Marvel Universe. And while its movie counterpart continues to thrive, a recent rumor suggests that Marvel Comics may be in trouble, with its parent company looking to shut it down.
The speculation stemmed from a Marvel Comics announcement for their upcoming panel at South by Southwest where Marvel Editor in Chief C.B. Cebulski and Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada will appear in an hour-long panel titled "Marvel: From Comics To Screen." According to the official presser, the duo "will lead an interactive discussion about the history and landscape of Marvel Comics" and "will look at how some of Marvel’s most iconic characters and storylines have contributed to the games, movies, and television series that are so renowned among popular culture." Bleeding Cool wrote an article about the event, and speculated that it's a ploy to highlight that Marvel Comics is integrated with Marvel Studios as the duo supposedly "fight for the survival of comics." This narrative resulted in assumptions that Disney may be looking to shut down Marvel Comics, which obviously caused hysteria among fans.
But there's really no reason to be concerned. Quesada has already come out and directly addressed the rumor via his official Twitter account, calling it the "dumbest comics conspiracy of the week." Comic Book has also debunked this scenario, citing information from their sources. That said, some are still treating this baseless gossip as real news, and that's quite frustrating upon learning how this whole thing started. One wonders if Marvel Comics will address this officially in the near future or just let it die naturally, considering that there's no merit to it whatsoever. Perhaps Quesada and Cebulski can look back at this when they step on stage for their panel at SXSW for some laughs.
Obviously, Disney is not shutting down Marvel Comics, but that doesn't mean that the comic book industry's state is something that people can ignore. It's true that while its big screen counterparts continue to rake in billions of dollars at the box office, prints are struggling to sell. It's important to remember that popular franchises like the MCU and DCEU were made possible by the existence of comic books. And while there are still hundreds of print characters that haven't made it to other forms of entertainment like movies, TV and video games yet, supporting the industry that started it all will ensure that these stories people enjoy will be sustainable for the next few decades.