Marvel and DC Have an Image Problem

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For as much as we talk about Walt Disney's Marvel Comics and Time Warner's DC Comics here, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says there's reason to believe Image Comics chief Eric Stephenson when he says the company is aiming for the Big Two.

Last month, at the company's Image Expo conference, Stephenson said dollar sales were up 40% in 2012 and 38% throughout the first six months of 2013. The numbers, he said, were reflective of Image's "making significant gains" on both Disney and Warner, Comic Book Resources reports. Digital sales are a likely catalyst.

Does that mean you should sell Disney and Warner before Image, Dark Horse, BOOM! Studios, Valiant, and other indies eat into Marvel and DC's established franchises? Not at all, Tim says, but a talent exodus is certainly possible.

Just as AMC Networks profited when Matthew Weiner and Vince Gilligan brought the network Mad Men and Breaking Bad, Image today has several of the comics industry's big names making strong books such as The Walking Dead, Saga, and Thief of Thieves, among others, many of which have cross-media potential.

Should Disney or Warner make a bid for Image? Would you? Or, alternatively, would you invest in Image were it a public company? Leave a comment to let us know what you think of the indie comics opportunity and what, if any, indie series you're reading right now.


Indie comics may be on the rise, but the world still can't get enough of superheroes. Super-powered movies have been some of the highest-grossing films of all time, and as these franchises continue to grow, the numbers are only going to get more impressive. The Motley Fool's new free report "Your Ticket to Cash In on the Superhero Battle of the Century" details what you need to know to profit from your favorite superheroes. Click here to read the full report!

The article Marvel and DC Have an Image Problem originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Walt Disney and Time Warner at the time of publication. Check out Tim's Web home and portfolio holdings, or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.The Motley Fool recommends AMC Networks and Walt Disney and owns shares of Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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