Holy fucking shit: Disney has purchased Marvel comics for $4 billion.

From the NY Times:

Disney sees a deep opportunity to immediately patch the Marvel characters into its other businesses, however. Marvel characters will be added to Disney’s theme parks, while consumer products will be a huge component, particularly internationally where Marvel has made fewer inroads.

Marvel has aggressively exploited its most popular characters through motion pictures and consumer products, and has a thicket of deals with various studios that will stay in place. Twentieth Century Fox will continue with the “X-Men” franchise, for instance, while Sony Pictures Entertainment will keep “Spider-Man.”

And Paramount Pictures will continue to release Marvel’s “Iron Man” films — at least until that deal expires. So essentially Disney is in business with a trio of rival studios.

Will this help save the mainstream comics industry? Time Warner's deep pockets certainly haven't hurt DC (OK, well maybe just a little bit creatively). How will a kid-focused company like Disney cope with the fact that 99.9% are middle-aged men with pony tails? Could this mean we see digital comics distribution sooner rather than later? Will we finally see a showdown between Goofy and Wolverine?

I have so many questions!