As can be see here at Penny Arcade and here at Worth 1000, the semi-takes on Disney buying Marvel have already been registered. However, what I can't figure out, and they don't seem any closer to over at the comic boards that I read is what exactly this means.
First, let's go over the facts: four billion dollars is a lot of money. We're not in the best financial times, so if Disney's willing to throw down this coin, they must think they're going to get their money's worth. DC Comics has been owned by Warner Brothers for a long time (since 1969, according to Wikipedia) and I've rarely heard anyone say terrible things about that. And, last but not least, this isn't going to change Marvel Comics in a tremendous way anytime in the near future, since most people's interaction with the company comes in the way of movies, and most of the deals that people are really amped on are already in the pipe.
So, if we don't have facts, what do we have? Hearsay and rumors. Let's dig in!
Now, keep in mind, I have no basis for any of these statements other than a lifetime of comic book fandom and a weird relationship with the Walt Disney Company. That being said, DC's deal with WB never seemed like a bad thing. I've always heard from comic books guys that a lot of the time, DC comics are given more rope, they don't have to prove themselves as quick, because WB doesn't care if they lose a little money on the product in the short term. Do I have any evidence to back this up? No, but look at how truly shitty the Batman movies had to get before they stopped, and moved to a reboot. I mean, damn.
Also, I think it's rad that DC has had this outlet for movies for a long time. That WB sign meant something when the first Superman and Batman movies dropped and it meant that, even if they weren't going to be great, they weren't going to suck. (So what happened?) Course, this doesn't really apply now, since Marvel had worked out distribution deals and finally just circumvented the middle man, and we have rad graphics in the 21st century that they couldn't even dream of back in the day. So this one's a wash.
Last but not least, though, the worries: is this going to mean, like was rumored with (and, in reality, I'm kind of sad that I know this) the ICP release The Great Milenko, that we're going to have to worry about Disney caving to pressure in regards to censorship when it comes to particular books? I hate having to make the comparison between comic books, which I love and think have great artistic value, and Insane Clown Posse, whom I think of as worthless. However, this was a big thing when I was in high school, and I still remember thinking how weird it was that the Walt Disney Company could have anything to do with this weird-ass band and their CD's release. It's not like I care about ICP, but it doesn't necessarily end there.
So...do we have things to worry about?
I have no idea. I think as long as the company's making a profit - and here's the first time (and maybe only) you'll hear me praise Joe Quesada: he brought this company back from the brink! - I think they'll leave well enough alone. Here's to hoping that'll be the case and that this will mean nothing, if not good things. But with Disney, I think, the past has taught us that we should be vigilant, if nothing else.