I've been a fan of author Stephen King for many years now. Recently, I've come to admire Marvel Entertainment (NYSE:MVL) as both a company and an investment. Imagine the joy I felt last week when I heard that my two idols were joining forces.

After inquiring with King's assistant, I learned that King will be writing treatments for a comic book based on his multinovel story, The Dark Tower. To many readers, The Dark Tower represents King's most significant achievement, and its hero Roland Deschain is his most lively creation. The comics will fill in Roland's backstory, helping to explain why he became a Gunslinger on a quest to unravel the mysteries of the Tower. The first issue will debut in April 2006.

Marvel shareholders should be excited about this. Joe Quesada, editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, was quoted in an interview at Newsarama.com as saying that "this is the kind of thing that can bring new readers to the comic book format." I think he's absolutely correct. Stephen King's brand equity should can only improve the financial prospects of Marvel's publishing division.

King's name recognition and large fan base should help raise comics' profile in the popular imagination, bringing in a whole cross section of demographics to sample the stories of Roland's origins. When Marvel has the attention of a whole new set of readers, it can then sell them more Marvel product. The company won't let an opportunity like this go to waste; whatever synergies can be exploited will be exploited.

In addition, consider what might happen if King, a longtime comics fan, chooses to expand his relationship with Marvel. Might he be interested in someday writing a movie for them? Remember, the company has a new strategy to fund its own movie projects via a non-recourse line of financing -- and keep more of the spoils. Its current strategy of licensing films to studios like News Corp.'s (NYSE:NWS) 20th Century Fox and Sony (NYSE:SNE) Pictures brings in lots of money at lesser risk, but Marvel feels it's time to move to the next level. Imagine if King created new franchises to transcend all mediums, from celluloid to comic books to console games. Oh, I'm getting goosebumps!

I think the sky's the limit with this relationship. It's an exciting development for Marvel shareholders, and I hope that the company's association with Stephen King will give it a ton of long-term value.

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Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns shares of Marvel Entertainment. His three favorite Stephen King works are IT, The Tommyknockers, and Apt Pupil. The Fool has a disclosure policy.