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Netflix is hedging against Marvel by acquiring comics publisher Millarworld

The deal gives Netflix more content if and when its Disney deal runs out.

Chloë Grace Moretz kicks some ass.
Rani Molla is a senior correspondent at Vox and has been focusing her reporting on the future of work. She has covered business and technology for more than a decade — often in charts — including at Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

Netflix has acquired Millarworld, the comic book publisher behind such hit titles as “Kick-Ass” and “Kingsman” that have inspired successful films.

This deal gives Netflix more content and likely acts as a hedge against the Marvel films Netflix has licensed from Disney.

That deal, which kicked in last year, also gives Netflix exclusive rights to Disney and Pixar films. But once that agreement expires (likely in a few years), Disney could pull its stuff off Netflix, either for its own streaming service or to a higher bidder.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but it’s probably smaller than the estimated $300 million a year Netflix is paying Disney. Millarworld was founded by comics writer Mark Millar, who has worked on franchises for Marvel and DC Comics.

The maker of originals “Orange Is the New Black” and “Stranger Things” has accumulated nearly $5 billion in debt and is also on the hook for $15.7 billion in content expenses as it seeks to broaden its original content.

In Q2, Netflix added 5.2 million subscribers, the most since Q2 2011.

Clarification: Netflix is on the hook for over $20 billion as a mix of debt and content obligations.

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