Marvel Comics Sues Jack Kirby!
Yeah, I know. Jack’s long-gone. That doesn’t mean he can’t be sued – or, at least, his estate. To be fair, Jack started it.
A whole bunch of copyrights expire between 2014 and 2019,
and Kirby’s estate sent notices saying those copyrights will revert to from the House That Jack Built to Jack’s actual house.
These copyrights pretty much include everything Jack ever
touched at Marvel: Amazing Adventures, Amazing Fantasy, Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, Fantastic Four, The Incredible
Hulk, Journey into Mystery, Rawhide Kid, Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos,
Strange Tales, Tales to Astonish, Tales of Suspense and The X-Men.
This action follows similar claims made by Jerry Siegel
(Superman), Marty Nodell (Green Lantern) and Joe Simon (Captain America). All have met with some degree of success for the litigants.
Marvel, of course, claims all this stuff was created as work-for-hire and therefore belongs to Marvel. Or, actually, now, Disney. “It is a standard claim predictably made by comic book companies to deprive artists, writers, and other talent of all rights in their work,” according to Kirby’s attorney Marc Toberoff. “The Kirby children intend to vigorously defend against Marvel’s claims in the hope of finally vindicating their father’s work… Sadly, Jack died without proper compensation, credit or recognition for his lasting creative contributions.”
In the world of litigation, Newtonian physics reigns supreme. Marvel lawyer John Turitzin said in a statement that the heirs were
trying “to rewrite the history of Kirby’s relationship with Marvel,” adding “Everything about Kirby’s relationship with Marvel shows that his contributions were works made for hire and that all the copyright interests in them belong to Marvel.” He then sought a court ruling that the Kirby notices have no effect.
Marvel is now owned by Disney, and Disney’s got more
hard-ass lawyers than Harvard graduated in 200 years. If the Kirby estate were to win, the $4,000,000,000.00 Disney just spent for Marvel goes up in smoke. Expect a big bloody fight – or an amusing settlement.
courtesy of the Associated Press.
The Kirby lawyers better rustle up the ultimate nullifier quick because Galactus and Sons, Attorneys at Law are gonna be knocking soon. Best of luck to the Kirbys.
John,The smart play is not to try and win in court, the play would be to garner public opinion VERY loudly. Rather or not America cares about these 'funny book' superheroes is unsure but, the comic book creative community is not the little bitch we once were. One of the reasons Disney courted Michael Ovitz who left the MEGA POWERFUL C.A.A. talent agency he founded to become President of Disney was because Ovitz's reach into the talent pool in Hollywood was massive. Also, it never looks good for a giant corporation to go after a family. I expect Disney will write a check and be done with this, until I sue them over Mickey Mouse…that was my idea…once…in a dream.
Michael, I've never seen you hang out with females that flat-chested.
This is where I pop in to again remain fans that just because a publisher claims something was work-for-hire doesn't automatically make it so…not even when there's a contract involved.
When did Kirby co-create Spider-Man? Wasn't that Lee & Ditko?
According to some sources, he had a hand in the design, as well as (as noted) doing the cover for that first story.
Lotsa stories, including one in Joe Simon's book. That's not a Kirby design. It's pretty damn typical Ditko stuff, as properly expanded and mitigated by Lee. We'll probably never know: Stan's memory is for shit, Steve ain't talking (in public), and Jack's at The Source.
Yeah. Well, I think that's a problem as well. But for the record, it was Jack who drew the cover to Amazing Fantasy 15 after somebody (Stan? Martin Goodman?) rejected Ditko's original version — which has been oft reprinted.
Drawing a cover is about as "work for hire" as it gets. He didn't change the costume or any other signature elements. Even what's happening is pretty much the same, he just framed it better. It's a great cover and better than the original, but nothing that affects who has rights to the character.
Stan Lee originally assigned Jack Kirby to draw Spider-Man's first appearance in Amazing Fantasy but, when he saw the artwork, didn't like the way Kirby handled it, so he gave it to Ditko to draw instead. As a result, Kirby always claimed to have had a hand in creating Spider-Man, even though his version of the character bore no resemblance to what was eventually unleashed on the world. I think Kirby's version got his powers from a magic ring, wore a cape and carried some form of gun.
“Sadly, Jack died without proper compensation, credit or recognition for his lasting creative contributions.”
It’s more than sad. It’s like Gandalf said, “some that live deserve to die and some that die deserve life”
that is true, some people died and at least they lived a significant life (Creating something that would impact many).
Will will see what happens between 2014 – 2018 with the copyrights.
Over the last 5 decades or so, we have seen a lot of people who were not able to get proper recognition and fame during their time. But come out as success a lot later.
Our blog, how can i win him back
how do i win him back
spider was reworked from 50s story.
thor done twice within DC books.
cap pre-dates WWII.
Stan Lee has added his initials to
half the artwork at any museum.
give CASH where credit is due