​What Would Happen If Disney Bought DC Comics?

April Fool's Day is over, and thank goodness. Every year there's some asshole claiming that there's a new U.S. government, or someone found a way to turn the electricity back on, or that the motorcycle barbarians have gone back to Australia. So annoying! Admittedly, I lie about being a mailman all the time, but at least I do it year-round.


Mouse House of Ideas

Fomorian:

Dear Postman of the Apocalypse,
Okay, so in the recent Postal Apocalypse you mentioned a possibility of Disney buying DC alongside Warner Bros. if WB has huge financial problems. You also mentioned you have an idea about what would happen then. Because this is an obvious dare, I just have to indulge you and ask - what would happen? Cheers!

Thasnk you, Fomorian, and everyone else who asked in my barely-veiled attempt to get a major question for this week's Postal Apocalypse. If Disney bought DC, here's how it would go:

Comics-wise, you wouldn't see the end of DC, but it'd be close. Marvel would begin publishing them under a new DC imprint, because there would be no gain into adding them to the Marvel comics universe. But unless Disney allowed Marvel to double its workforce — which would never happen — the new DC would by necessity be a smaller Marvel imprint. DC would get cut down from 52 issues to somewhere between a dozen and 20 or their biggest comics, meaning Superman, Wonder Woman, a few Batman comics, the Justice Leagues, and that's it. The popular DC characters would keep getting published, and everything else would fall by the wayside.

Movie-wise, not much would change. Disney would continue pumping out Batman and Superman movies, although they'd probably more in the "fun action-adventure" style of the Marvel movies than WB's current Chris Nolan-esque "grim n' gritty" template. I'd argue that would probably serve DC's superheroes even better than it currently does Marvel's, but hey, maybe not. But the plus side is that since Disney doesn't have the weird mental block that Warner Bros. has, they could probably manage to get a Wonder Woman movie, a decent Green Lantern movie, and a Justice League movie assembled in short order. And hey, these movies might actually be based on recognizable comics, since Disney doesn't seem to think that the source material is incapable of providing good stories.

I really don't think there'd be as much Marvel/DC crossover as one might think — sure, there might be a few comics that occasionally blend the two, but I really think Disney/Marvel would keep them separate. There's no benefit into bringing Superman, Batman and the rest of DC heroes into the Marvel universe, because it would only dilute both sets of heroes. Better to keep them separate, so neither Superman nor Iron Man have to play second fiddle to anybody.


​What Would Happen If Disney Bought DC Comics?

Fire in the Hole

Mythbri:

Hey, Mr. Postman!

I don't know how you get this mail, but whatever mysterious vortex these letters travel through, I hope it finds you in relatively good post-Apocalyptic health.

Upon re-watchingAvatar: The Last Airbenderseries from the beginning, I'm struck by a thought. Iroh was Azulon's first son, who was Fire Lord before Ozai. Azulon was carrying on his plans for world domination, which was why Iroh was laying siege to Ba Sing Se. Of course we know that he gave up this campaign after losing his son, Lu Ten.

My question is, what would have happened had Lu Ten never been killed in the siege? Would Iroh have eventually conquered Ba Sing Seand become the Fire Lord? And if so, would he have ended the war, or would he have carried on? Would Ozai have tried to kill his older brother, or split the Fire Nation and start a huge civil war? Would Team Avatar even need to come together if there hadn't been Fire Lord Ozai?

I need to know because reasons.

Ooh, nerdy super-specific series questions! I approve.

Avatar : The Last Airbender seems pretty clear in presenting that Lu Ten's death was the reason that Iroh gave up his career as a warrior, and called his father's dictatorial policies into question. So I think we could safely assume that yes, had his son lived, Iroh would have inherited the Fire Nation throne and ruled the world, whether or not he managed to finally conquer Ba Seng Se. (Although my money's on Iroh conquering the city, since he had the troops and supplies necessary to wait Ba Seng Se out until they ran out of food and surrendered.) With his son's death as a clarion call, Iroh would likely have continued his father's rule, although he might not have been such an asshole, and been a bit more of a benevolent dictator, although who knows.

Lu Ten's death was the whole reason Ozai tried to usurp his brother's place, under the pretense that the Empire was in danger because Iroh had no living heir. Would Ozai have had the balls to ask to be the Emperor's successor without Lu Ten's death? Would he have poisoned his father without that catalyst? I'm of the opinion that Ozai was a treacherous little shit and would have tried to grab the throne at some point, likely resulting in a Fire Nation civil war, as you said. This might lessen the Fire Nation troops stationed around the world for a bit, but the other nations would still be ruled while Ozai and Iroh fought it out. I imagine Iroh would win this war, being an excellent general and not a treacherous little shit, and by the time Aang was unfrozen the world would be in much the same shape as he originally found it in. Undoubtedly the Avatar would still be needed to restore balance and harmony, although they would probably have had a much easier time dealing with Iroh than Ozai.


Mind Game

Spaceknight:

Dear Postman,
If someone dies of a stroke, do they return as a zombie, or is their brain already gone?

A person who died of a stroke would still come back as a zombie. A stroke happens when the brain suffers a loss of oxygen because of a blood vessel being blocked from some sort of fatty deposit. Because zombies don't need blood — you have have noticed they walk around without limbs, and/or with massive, gaping wounds — they don't have any blood flow, and thus clearly whatever message a zombie's brain is sending out doesn't need oxygen.

I suppose a hemorrhagic stroke — where a blood vessel bursts instead of getting blocked — could damage a small part of the brain that provides a zombie certain information, but a victim would still turn into a zombie. But he/she might not be able to move certain limbs, or walk, or hell, even try to eat the living. But chances are you'd put a screwdriver in its brain well before you noticed any oddness, so it doesn't particularly matter.


​What Would Happen If Disney Bought DC Comics?

Wane of Fire

Brad:

Postman,

I caught a little bit of Reign of Fire the other day, and while it's a terrible movie, I couldn't help but wonder if it would have worked better as a TV show. It seems like "How do we survive in a world where dragons are ruining all our stuff?" was the most interesting aspect of the whole thing, but sadly, this was also the part that got trimmed down the most in order to cram a complete story (origin, main plot, conclusion) into a 2 hour film. Maybe I'm alone here, but I'd totally watch a show that was basically Walking Dead except with dragons.

You and me both. Unfortunately, CG dragons are incredibly expensive, and probably too cost-prohibitive to make a regular antagonist on a weekly TV show. Also, in The Walking Dead, the zombies are a threat but the antagonists — those who drive the story forward — are other humans. You could argue that humans would be just as shitty to each other if dragons woke up, but I'm not so sure. Once giant, fire-breathing lizards show up threatening to eat the entire human race, I think most people would learn to cooperate.


​What Would Happen If Disney Bought DC Comics?

Hulk, Clash!

Nathan D.:

Much of the scifi fantasy talk of lately around my group involves the Avengers - mostly due to their current box office related trimuphs. We aways get into to discussion with "who your favorite Avenger is" (any Avenger counts, although most pick one from the movies).

I have always been a Hulk fan for a very long time for two reasons: because he is green (yes, stupid, but heh, I really like the color green) but mostly because he is a very intelligent biologist/scientist. Being a biologist myself, I relate and am always fascinated with the sciencey side of Bruce Banner. Iron Man is a second because he is another "scientist," but as much as I think I could be an engineer, biology is just way more fascinating.

The problem I have is relating to other Hulk aficionados. Most Hulk fans (or at least all I meet) just discuss how powerful he is, how much he can beat the crap out of things, and he is like...SMASH. I sometimes feel like I am talking to 5 year old in an adult conversation. No one seems to care about the science side or that Bruce Banner is very intelligent brilliant scientist. Any discussion I bring with this degrades to smashing things.

How can I relate to these fans? We share the same "favorite character" but we might as well like two totally different ones.

I have some bad news for you, Nathan. It's Hulk that is the star here, and let me tell you why: First of all, the comic is not called The Incredible Bruce Banner. The Jekyll and Hyde thing is great and intrinsic to the character, but without Hyde, Dr. Jekyll himself wouldn't be as much of a draw. This is why there have been so many long stretches where the Hulk stays in Hulk mode — it's what the people are paying to see (and read).

All that said, there's nothing wrong with you preferring Banner over Hulk, and I have no doubt it's aggravating that no one seems to share your love of the Hulk's less smash-y side. But for all intents and purposes you and your brethren do like two different characters — they like Hulk, you like Banner. It's almost like fans of Heroes for Hire — some like Luke Cage, some like Iron Fist. They're on the same team, which is more or less what Banner and Hulk are.

Furthermore, you're in the minority here. That said, there are plenty of times when Hulk has Banner's intelligence, when he's brilliant and smashing shit. There's your common ground. But for them to be accepting of the times when Banner's working in a lab, you need to be open to hearing about the time that Hulk was so angry he managed to crush Doctor Strange's hands from another dimension.

Worse case scenario, just find people who still enjoy the "science bros" meme.


​What Would Happen If Disney Bought DC Comics?

Toy Story

Kristine W.:

Dear Post-apocalyptic-man,

I don't know where you and your people do your shopping for the tiny humans of the future, but there may be tales of past parents shopping at a place called the Disney Store. This is because Disney has purchased everything that children and nostalgia love. All of it.

However, as I was wandering the store today, mindlessly singing along to the Frozen "Let it Go" promo (God help me, I think they programmed my brain that I can't actually let it go), I noticed something strange. Right next to their Captain America 2 stuff (which is, like, TOTALLY DIFFERENT from their regular Captain America stuff), and the discounted mounts of Thor 2 stuff, was a bunch of Spiderman 2 stuff.

My question to you is, HOW THE HELL IS THIS POSSIBLE?!?! All Marvel fans want is for their universe to be whole again. We want Spidey, Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and the X-Men to cross over. But, because of ownership rights, etc., we are reminded daily that will never happen. Through some legal wormhole, Disney can still make Spidey cartoons, but how do they get to merchandise the movie, which is made by Sony? Why is this so complicated?

The operative word in The Disney Store is — wait for it — store. It can sell anything, really. It could sell Official Batman Dildos if it really wanted to; there's nothing preventing it from buying any type of merchandise and then stocking it in their stores for customers to buy. While Sony owns the Spider-Man movie rights, they don't own the toys; Hasbro has the toy license, and can sell those toys to whoever it wants to. Sony wants Hasbro to sell as many toys to as many people as possible, because the toys act like mini-advertisements for the movie. Sure, Sony won't let Disney make a Spider-Man movie, but they're goddamned delighted the Disney Store is selling Spider-Man movie toys.Really, it's all about what customers want. If people are buying toys from the Marvel cinematic universe movies, chances are they're also willing to purchase toys from Marvel movies not produced by Marvel. In fact, other than nerds like us, I don't think many people know or care which studios own which Marvel characters. The Disney Store is merely stocking what they think will sell. The movie rights don't come into it at all.


Do you have questions about anything scifi, fantasy, superhero, or nerd-related? Email the postman@io9.com! No question too difficult, no question too dumb! Obviously!