Surprising no-one, Marvel shareholders approved the sale of the company to Disney on Wednesday. Welcome to the official beginning of the Disney/Marvel era.

It's the moment people have been waiting for since August, finally ending any speculation that something would stop Disney buying up the most successful comic publisher in the western world (Although, as we said at the time, we're not sure if Disney really cared so much about the comics as much as everything that comes - and doesn't come - with it).

The sale comes at an interesting time for Marvel, who are not only ramping up movie production (Thor starts filming this month, Captain America is alleged to start in July, and Iron Man 2 is released this May) but also spending the first four months of 2010 closing out a line-wide storyline that's been running for more than half a decade before launching into a new status quo called "The Heroic Age" that'll reunite the core Avengers for the first time since 2005 and end the various long-running feuds keeping them apart - which sounds just like the kind of iconic, easy to market concept that their new owners would approve of. Most worries about Disney "changing" Marvel or dictating content seem to have been quelled by this point, but nonetheless, it'll be interesting to see if the Marvel of 2011 is an easier fit in the Happiest Place On Earth than the current one...

Image by ElDelgado