Starlog.com has a short note that media giant Disney has purchased Marvel Comics for about $4 billion.
The New York Times reports that "Isaac Perlmutter, Marvel’s chief executive, will continue to oversee his company’s properties, including more than 5,000 characters that also include Iron Man and the X-Men." So who knows what Disney has in store for the creation of new characters or the print side of the Marvel comics universe, but it will certainly put it in a great position to exploit the characters in film and television. In the past decade, there have been numerous wildly successful Marvel movies, including the X-Men and Spiderman series and the first Ironman.
So it'll be great for business. Time will tell if it will be great for readers and other audiences.
UPDATE at 7:15 am: The Wall Street Journal posted the official press release. Read it here. In it, Walt Disney chief Robert Iger says those magic words that make fans' hearts go pitter-patter: "We believe that adding Marvel to Disney's unique portfolio of brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and value creation." Which means, they'll get richer. But hey, if it gives a sound financial backing to a major comics publisher, who's really going to complain?