Netflix on Monday said it has bought comics publisher Millarworld, bringing on board renowned comic book writer Mark Millar and a host of character franchises it can mine for TV shows and movies.
It is the first acquisition by Netflix, the 20-year-old streaming-video pioneer that is building a library of original series and films in a bid to hook new customers around the world.
Two of Millarworld's best-known comics, "Kick-Ass" and "Kingsman," are not part of the deal, whose terms Netflix did not disclose.
The purchase of a character stable mimics the strategy of Walt Disney Co. Disney bought Marvel Studios in 2009 and has churned out blockbuster movies, TV series, and toys based on its superheroes. Some Marvel shows run on Netflix.
Mark Millar, a Scottish writer and former Marvel employee, runs Millarworld with his wife, Lucy.
Three of Millarworld's franchises - "Wanted," "Kick-Ass" and "Kingsman" — have been adapted into films that have taken in nearly $913 million combined at global box offices.
Although "Kick-Ass" and "Kingsman" are not part of the deal, it does bring Netflix a range of other franchises across genres from science fiction to fantasy, plus superheroes, and real-world characters.
Shares of Netflix rose 0.6 per cent to $181.37 on Nasdaq.