I struggled to write about Marvel and Disney for a while. I couldn't come up with anything concise... I think I had too much to say, seeing as I wanted to talk about Warner Bros, Nintendo, Capcom, continuity, Kermit the Frog, universe building, multiple authorship, narrative tropes of soap opera, crossover complications, managing histories, economics of fiction, video games, and Natalie Portman.
So instead of composing a messy statement on the consolidation of the key properties of my childhood imagination, I decided to create an elaborate chart.
Here's the gist... this is a diagram of important universes, organized by ownership. That's the organizing principle for fiction, after all... settings, used as organizational nets for intellectual property owners to their manage characters. In honor of Disney's buyout of Marvel, I focused on universes containing multiple franchises, created by multiple authors, under umbrellas of particular media companies. And of course, there's a bit of a Jesse-bias in there. If I'd had more time, I might have included the Star Wars universe, Sesame Street, and the Final Fantasy multiverse. I know there are a thousand million others... but I had to maintain some perspective here.
Enjoy. Click for larger view.
You think creating, collecting, and maintaining universes is difficult... try being a fanboy, amassing universes over a childhood of media exposure, and having to keep them all straight!