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Netflix buys comic book publisher run by 'modern-day Stan Lee'

[BENGALURU] US video streaming company Netflix said on Monday it bought comic book publisher Millarworld, home to titles such as Kick-Ass and Kingsman, in its first ever acquisition.

Millarworld, run by Scottish writer Mark Millar with his wife Lucy, will give Netflix a host of character franchises with which to develop films, TV series and children's shows.

Millarworld has developed three of its franchises - WantedKick-Ass and Kingsman - into films that have garnered nearly US$1 billion in the global box office.

The deal comes as Netflix spends billions of dollars on content to win new subscribers in a quest to become the world's top movie and TV streaming service.

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The company did not disclose the terms of the acquisition.

Mr Millar previously spent eight years at Marvel, where he developed comic books and story lines that resulted in movies such as LoganCaptain America: Civil War and Disney's first Avengers film.

"Mark is as close as you can get to a modern-day Stan Lee," Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement, referring to the 94-year-old creator of comic book franchises and box-office behemoths such as Spider-Man, Avengers and X-Men.

Millarworld will continue to create and publish new stories and franchises under the Netflix label, Los Gatos, California-based Netflix said.