Netflix will need its comic-book heroes: Disney may just have become a rival

Just as the streaming service acquired its own suite of cartoon characters, the entertainment giant announced plans to join the pay-TV business

Netflix’s move to snap up the comic-book company behind Kick-Ass and Kingsman may have grabbed headlines, but the real news was Disney’s decision to pull its films from the streaming service as it looks to launch a US rival.

The deal to buy Glasgow-based Millarworld marked Netflix’s first company acquisition in its 20-year history and aped Disney’s 2009 move to buy Marvel, home to the Avengers and thousands of comic-book characters including Iron Man and Captain America. Disney has turned Marvel into a superhero hit machine and by owning a stable of characters and franchises of its own, Netflix is aiming to cut the almost $16bn it has committed over the next five years to mostly paying producers for films and TV shows.

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