By Nikki Finke

EXCLUSIVE: The first thing you should know is that Bob Iger has comic books in his blood. And the second thing you should know is that his ties to Marvel go back two generations. His late great-uncle (his grandfather’s brother) was illustrator/cartoonist Jerry Iger, who partnered with illustrator/cartoonist Will Eisner back in the 1930s to create — you guessed it — the comic book packager Eisner & Iger Studios. I couldn’t make up this stuff if I tried… (Blackthorne Publishing has released three compilations of Jerry Iger-related comics: The Iger Comics Kingdom, Jerry Iger’s Classic Jumbo Comics, Jerry Iger’s Classic National Comics, and Jerry Iger’s Golden Features. Will Eisner is no relation to Michael Eisner.)

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And their first hire was Jack Kirby, who as you know later became the co-creator of many of Marvel’s best known characters with Stan Lee. So Bob Iger had an unusually rich appreciation for the comic book biz dating back to his childhood when his great-uncle would draw for him. Fast forward to Monday’s Disney-Marvel deal, which I’ve learned was 10 years in conception, and three months in negotiation between Iger and Ike Perlmutter for the 7,000 Marvel characters — that’s right, 7,000, not the 5,000 number every media outlet keeps reporting including me.

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