- Three major acquisitions and many creative minds have given Walt Disney an army of valuable characters
- Protecting the brand has helped deliver huge profits
In 1960, brothers Stanley and Larry Leiber wrote a new character into the 13th edition of their comic book series, Tales to Astonish. His name was Groot, an extraterrestrial, tree-like creature known as a Flora colossus who leapt onto page as a villain, intent on stealing human secrets of sentience. A starring role came in 1976 when he was one of the six savage forces to fight the Hulk in the fifth annual edition of Bruce Banner’s adventures as a radioactive monster.
And then for three decades Groot went quiet, consigned to Marvel’s vault of heroes alongside almost 7,000 others.