By Jeremy Kahn
Back when Disney acquired Marvel many quickly jumped on the train of thought that a Disney Marvel crossover would only be a matter of time. There were many people saying things like it was only a matter of time till Mickey Mouse appeared along side Spider Man. There were even some going the opposite direct with Marvel characters appearing in Disney shows and movies. One thing that people were most vocal about was the fact that Disney likes to keep a family friendly image. They were afraid this in turn would lower Marvel’s standards regarding their stories, making them less mature. The main thing people kept saying over and over was to keep the two companies’ titles separate.
Well, to the dismay of some the inevitable has happened. In the latest Avengers issue 19, Marvel gives readers a quick side story featuring the two main characters from Prep and Landing. For those unaware, Prep and Landing is a holiday special that premiered in 2009. This year Disney has made a sequel called, Prep and Landing: Naughty vs. Nice. The first special focused on how Santa’s elves help him deliver gifts. The story revolved around an elf, Wayne, who has grown tired of his job. Wayne hopes to be promoted to Santa’s list checker. The new special sees Wayne team up with his younger brother as they have to save Christmas from a naughty child who hacks into the naughty and nice list.
This side story in the comic is basically a story of Wayne and his new partner delivering gifts to the Avengers’ mansion. Throughout the story things like the Avenger’s logo, Iron man’s glove, Captain America’s shield, the Hulk, are among a few things shown or hinted at. The main problem with this story is it feels like a quick cash in. Since the sequel Prep and Landing: Naughty vs. Nice aired recently this feel like a promotional story more than anything else.
This isn’t to say the whole thing is bad. One thing of note is that the characters in the story from Prep and Landing were originally CGI. Even with this they fit in just fine with Marvel’s 2D hand drawn world. The art work has a nice brush look to it (really capturing the feel of the holidays). As this is a holiday-themed story the majority of colors are in the red and green spectrum. The transitions from panel to panel are easy to follow. This all comes together for a story that feels like a marketing ploy to entice people to watch the new special.
Of course the argument can be made that this story is non-cannon, having no effect on any of the Avenger issues. The thing is, it’s only a matter of time till we see something that does have an impact (ex. a Donald Duck pulling a Howard the Duck).
For those that already have this issue or are already planning on getting it then this doesn’t matter. But for those that aren’t planning on buying it, this small story isn’t worth the purchase just for this. If only this idea wasn’t used for a promotion.