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A D23 Comment: In Defense of Marvel

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Here's something you don't hear from me often: a defense of Marvel Comics. This weekend, the Walt Disney company held their second biennial D23 expo, an enormous convention and promotional event about all things Disney. And since D23 only happens every other year, this is the first time Marvel Comics has been a part of the Disney empire for the party. There were two Marvel-centric events: a panel about the upcoming Avengers film, and a discussion with Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada, where he talked about the history of Marvel Comics and the current direction of the publisher. Since then, I've heard some rather harsh criticism of the presentation from some of my fellow geeks. People -- Marvel fans who went to the expo specifically for the Quesada panel -- have said that he didn't divulge enough information about Marvel's future plans, their new plans for publishing Disney Comics, upcoming movie projects, and so forth. And I read a recap of the panel and thought about the comments. And I've got to say this: to my fellow geeks...

That panel wasn't for you.

D23 isn't the San Diego Comicon. It's not Wizard World or Hero's World or even Dragon*Con. D23 is an event specifically for fans of Disney.

And yes, Marvel is now part of that family, but it's a big family. A damn big family, and there isn't necessarily that much overlap between fans of Winnie-the-Pooh and Deadpool. Quesada wasn't there to do a comic convention Q&A, he was there to explain to Disney fans how Marvel Comics fits in with its new home. And for the most part, I can't complain about anything he said or how he said it. (Disclaimer: I wasn't there, but assuming the very detailed Newsarama recap I read was accurate, he did everything just fine.) Yes, Marvel is a comic book publisher, and I'm sure that when he next appears at a Wizard World or one of those other cons I mentioned it'll be business as usual. But when he's there to be a part of Disney, it's a different story, and it has to be.

And there's nothing wrong with that.

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