Want to know how crazy Mr. Market is? Marvel Entertainment (NYSE:MVL), at today's midday price of $26 per share, sells as if its movie studio were a permanent cost center, incapable of ever producing a dime of profit.


Can you believe that? I can. Panics like this one ravage the good along with the bad and the ugly. You know who you are. (Detroit automakers ... cough ... Airlines ... cough.)

Marvel is Clint Eastwood's Man With No Name in this stock market story. And, like Eastwood, it keeps winning against long odds. Its latest triumph: A deal with News Corp.'s (NYSE:NWS) Fox to continue the X-Men series with a new film titled X-Men: First Class, trade magazine Variety reports. Gossip Girl creator Josh Schwartz will write the script.

Go ahead, laugh. I get it. Beverly Hills 90210 set in the superhero realm. Maybe that's what Schwartz has planned. But even if he does, do you really care? More important is what this deal signals: Marvel, like Disney (NYSE:DIS), has attractive, license-worthy properties.

That's why Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE:LGF) has a Punisher sequel planned for next month. It's why Sony's (NYSE:SNE) Columbia Pictures has paid for the right to make Spider-Man 4. And it's why Viacom's (NYSE:VIA) Paramount Studios could confidently trade its distribution deal with DreamWorks (NYSE:DWA) for a global pact with Marvel.

Exactly how much of this business momentum is priced into the stock? Less than zero. Who says Santa only delivers in December?

Face front, True Believer, and read:

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers had stock and options positions in Marvel at the time of publication. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy will be a hero to your portfolio.