Tagged: X-Men

Marvel Wins Summary Judgments In Jack Kirby Estate Rights Lawsuits

Marvel Wins Summary Judgments In Jack Kirby Estate Rights Lawsuits

Photo of Jack Kirby at the San Diego Comic Con...

Jack Kirby. Image via Wikipedia

Deadline reports that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has delivered a summary judgment for Disney/Marvel and other studios Sony, Universal, 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures against the Jack Kirby Estate in the matter of notice of copyright termination.

The estate of Jack Kirby, co-creator of Captain America, Fantastic Four, X-Men, The Avengers, Iron Man, Hulk, Silver Surfer and Thor, sent notices terminating copyright to publishers Marvel and Disney, as well as film studios that have made movies and TV shows based on characters he created or co-created, including Sony, Universal, 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures.

The federal judge not only granted the studios’ motions for summary judgment but also denied the Kirby cross-motion for summary judgment.

The Kirby estate is represented by Marc Toberoff, who is also currently representing the Jerry Siegel estate against DC Comics in the copyright termination case regarding Superman and Smallville.

More information as we get it.

Marvel Studios Regains Punisher and Blade

punisher-thomas-jane-300x225-5035670Marvel Studios has reacquired film rights to the characters of Blade and The Punisher according to Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada. He announced this during his Cup O’ Joe panel during Comic-Con International, but cautioned the audience that this did not mean either was being put into active production.

As a result of these acquisitions from New Line Cinema and Lionsgate, respectively, this leaves the X-Men, Ghost Rider, and Fantastic Four franchises still under 20th Century-Fox control while Sony continues to produce Spider-Man films. A Ghost Rider sequel with Nicholas Cage returning as Johnny Blaze is in the works while a reboot of the FF is in pre-production. X-Men: First Class performed so well this summer sequels are already on order.

Marvel has indicated that as the first cycle of films based on their best known heroes chugs along, the focus is shifting to their lesser known characters, most likely leading off with Doctor Strange and Edger Wright’s Ant-Man. At present, none of these projects have been given release dates meaning they are far off.

At the Marvel Television panel conducted by their VP Jeph Loeb, it was shown that the ABC pilot for Alias Jessica Jones continues to move through the production process, and would include Luke Cage in the supporting cast. Cloak & Dagger is also in development for ABC Family.

2012 will see The Avengers on May 3 followed by Amazing Spider-Man over July 4 weekend with 2013 already ticketed to screen Iron Man 3 and Thor 2. Beyond that, the calendar and options remain wide open even though lead actors including Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and Samuel L. Jackson are signed for multi-picture deals. Evans, for example, has a nine picture deal with Captain America and The Avengers only covering two of the nine.

X-Men: First Class hits Home Video September 9

September is shaping up to be a marvelous month for comics fans. Not only does the DC Universe reboot,ut while awaiting issues to be released, you can rewatch your favorite heroes on DVD. 20th Century Home Entertainment just announced X-Men: First Class is coming to disc on September 9 ( a rare Friday release) and on the following Tuesday, the 13th, Thor will arrive from Paramount Home Entertainment. Here are the details:

Before they were superheroes, the fate of humanity depended on an extraordinary group of youngsters who went on to become X-MEN: FIRST CLASS.  Based on the international bestselling Marvel Comics franchise, this box office hit bursts onto Blu-ray and DVD Friday, September 9 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. For the first time ever, “X-Men” fans will have the power to choose a side between Professor X and Magneto with two versions of premium collectible Blu-ray packaging.  Also exclusively on Blu-ray, fans receive access to over two hours of special interactive features PLUS ten Marvel “X-Men” Digital Comics including a never-before-seen “X-Men: First Class” backstory— redeemable through each Blu-ray’s unique packaging code.

Director Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake, Kick Ass) tells the true origins of the multi-billion dollar film franchise, guiding exceptional performances by Golden Globe®-nominee James McAvoy (Atonement), Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds), and Golden Globe®-winner Kevin Bacon (“Taking Chance,” Mystic River).  A “rare movie event that balances an intelligent story with solid performances, first-rate action and top-of-the-line special effects” (Ben Lyons, E!), X-MEN: FIRST CLASS has drawn an impressive $150 million at the domestic box office and nearly $350 million worldwide.



DENNIS O’NEIL: Universal Upheaval!

So the universe upheaved and a gap appeared in time and here we are, at the far end of that gap. (Or the near end, if we’re looking backwards. But never mind.) We’ve again grubbed residence in Comicmixland and vowed to deliver weekly blather.

But, with a deep bow to Bill Maher, we have new rules—or to be exact, just rules, since when I last did this nobody mentioned rules, though I did promise Mike Gold and myself to do at least 500 words per installment, lest I be mistaken for a carbuncle. The 500 word deal still holds, but Mike has added a new proviso; subject matter should be somehow related to comics.

Pretty draconian, huh?

Actually, Mike’s edict doesn’t much close any doors. First, a lot is happening in comics and related media per se and, second, virtually everything in our media-drenched, perpetual-news-cycling global civilization is connected. Always has been. Really. Remember the butterfly effect: The sumbitch flapping around a garden in Tokyo today will cause your hat to blow off next Tuesday and the breath I just took may have contained an atom that was once part of Cleopatra. (And, more painfully, the monetary crisis in Greece may bump your mortgage.) And we all come from the same place, out there among the stars in the baby cosmos.

So yeah, the world is a vast network of interconnections, and it’s a lot easier to see that now that it was a century ago. It shouldn’t be much of a rhetorical trick to write about comics and still acknowledge that other things exist, and are worthy our notice.

(I wonder: could you have a comprehensive knowledge of comics, beginning with [[[The Yellow Kid]]] and ending with…oh, I dunno – Chris Claremont’s run on [[[X-Men]]]? – could you know that and be ignorant of the history of the United States in the Twentieth Century? Maybe not.)

But where to begin?

Well, this week, nowhere. I’ve already burned away 329 of those 500 words and unless I want to content myself with knocking off a few haiku, there isn’t much room left for pontificating. But next week? Hey, this has been called the summer of the superhero movie, hasn’t it? And although I haven’t seen all of the films in question, and probably won’t in the next seven days (Thor has already hammered back to Asgard, which I think is somewhere just off Sunset Boulevard, and is not available for viewing) but doesn’t utter ignorance of my subject qualify me as a pundit? Darn right! And what’s happening behind the cameras—the changes in management—is worth a bit of uninformed opinionating, too.

A final note: In the previous incarnation of this feature, and in a comic book that the aforementioned Mike Gold and I worked on a couple of decades past, we recommended books we thought might amuse our readers. I’d like to continue recommending reading, but not every week, just when I come across something I think will be of particular interest to y’all.

Happy trails…

FRIDAY… Martha Thomases

Legendary Superhero Doc Savage Returns in Second Audiobook Adventure

The greatest pulp fiction character of the 20th Century is featured in a brand new audio release from RadioArchives.com!

He was a role model during the Great Depression and World War II and a pop icon for the millions who thrilled to his paperback exploits from the 1960s thru the 1980s. Now Doc Savage, the legendary Man of Bronze, comes to vivid life in “White Eyes”, the new and soon to be released audiobook adventure from RadioArchives.com.

In “White Eyes”, a new supercriminal emerges from the underworld. Dressed all in white, his face masked, eyes blank as a blind man’s, he calls himself White Eyes. Who is he? What are his goals? All of Manhattan reels under the onslaught of the Blind Death, a scourge so terrible that innocent people are struck dead, their eyes turning white as hardboiled eggs. From his skyscraper headquarters high above the streets of New York City to the sugarcane fields of Cuba, Doc Savage races to crush gangland’s latest uncrowned king!

Written by Will Murray and produced and directed by Roger Rittner – the same team that created “Python Isle” and “The Adventures of Doc Savage” audio collections also available from RadioArchives.com, “White Eyes” features dramatic narration by Richard Epcar, cover art by Joe DeVito, and two exclusive audio interviews with Will Murray on the continuing history of Doc Savage and the original Lester Dent manuscript that led to the writing of this exciting edge-of-your-seat adventure.

Scheduled for release on July 29, 2011, “White Eyes” will be available as a 10-CD set priced at $31.98 and as a 10-hour digital download priced at $21.98. This Doc Savage thriller is the second in a new line of pulp fiction audiobooks from RadioArchives.com; upcoming releases will feature the classic adventures of The Spider, Secret Agent “X”, and more of Will Murray’s exciting Doc Savage adventures.

RadioArchives.com is one of the largest creators and distributors of old time radio and pulp fiction entertainment in the United States. Specializing in fully restored radio programs, remastered from original recordings, they are known for their outstanding audio fidelity, impressive packaging, and commitment to top quality customer service.


Doc Savage “White Eyes” Creative Team Biographies

Will Murray (author) is the literary agent for the estate of Lester Dent, and the author of over 50 novels, including several posthumous Doc Savage collaborations with series originator Lester Dent, among them “Python Isle”, “White Eyes”, and his latest novel “Desert Demons”, soon to be released by Altus Press.

Roger Rittner (producer, director) has written, produced, and directed specials and multi-part series for National Public Radio, including the drama series “Darkness”, the mystery/macabre series “Midnight”, “The Adventures of Doc Savage”, and the musical special “Charlie Sent Me!” Other radio projects have been heard on stations KMPC, KFI, and KGBS in Los Angeles. Roger created and directed The Variety Arts Radio Theatre, live recreations of classic radio drama, for 10 years at the Variety Arts Center in Los Angeles.

Richard Epcar (narrator) is well known to animation, anime, and gaming fans, having voiced over 300 characters in his lengthy career. He is “Batou” in “Ghost in the Shell” and he’s also featured in a new series from Nickelodeon, “Airbender: The Legend of Korra’. Video game credits include “Robotech”, “Kingdom Hearts”, “Transformers”, “Star Wars”, “Mortal Kombat”, “Modnation Racers”, “Mortal Kombat vs. D.C. Universe”, “Call of Duty: Black Ops”, “Dead Space”, “Star Craft”, “Red Faction Guerilla”, “Command & Conquer”, “Xenosaga”, “Guilty Gears”, “.Hack”, and “Resident Evil”, to name only a few. Animation fans have heard his voice in “Bleach”, “Bobobo”, “X-Men”, “Macross Plus”, “The New Speed Racer”, “Rurouni Kenshin”, “Lupin the Third”, “Digimon”, and “Power Rangers”. On camera, Richard has appeared in many films and television shows, including “Memoirs of an Invisible Man”, “Columbo”, “Diagnosis Murder”, “Guns of Paradise”, “Beverly Hills 90210”, “Matlock”, “Who’s the Boss?”, “Cheers”, “Days of Our Lives”, and “General Hospital” and he will be featured in the film “Broken Spirits”, scheduled for release later this year.

White Eyes – Unabridged Audiobook

Written by Will Murray, based on a concept by Lester Dent
Narrated by Richard Epcar
Produced and Directed by Roger Rittner
Cover Art by Joe DeVito
ISBN: 9781610814027

10 Audio Compact Disc Set $31.98

10 Hour Digital Download $21.98

Release Date: July 29, 2011

A Day In The Life Of A ComicMix Guy

People occasionally ask me: so how do you fill your days working for ComicMix? Here’s what I did yesterday…

After getting up around 10 AM (because I’d been working overnight on various programming changes for the web site) I went into New York City to have lunch with authors [[[Dave Smeds]]] (X-Men: Law Of The Jungle), [[[Aaron Rosenberg]]] (World Of Warcraft, Eureka), [[[David Alan Mack]]] (Farscape: Scorpius for Boom!, Star Trek: Vanguard) and ComicMix contributors Alexandra Honigsberg and Kim Kindya, among others.

Headed off to a post-lunch survey of comic book stores, where I discussed with the owners about DC’s digital plans, and the meeting that DC will be having on Friday between their executives and various comic book store owners. We expect there to be fireworks a bit early this summer.

At one of the comics stores, also caught up with [[[Michael Uslan]]] (executive producer of the Batman films and author of [[[Archie Marries…]]]) who revealed that he’s in town to speak at the United Nations on Friday with Jerry Robinson (Batman artist and creator of Robin and the Joker) to address political cartoonists from all over the world.

Then after a brief meeting with a possible investor, I hopped a subway to Citifield, where I sat in Joe Quesada-provided seats with Peter David and his family to watch the Mets battle the Oakland A’s. Joe was a gracious host, and Peter and I spent a lot of time discussing an upcoming project of his we’ll tell you more about later this week.

It was a looooong game– started an hour late due to rain, and went to 13 innings. (The Mets won on a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch with two outs.) Between innings, I also played chess with Marvel Senior VP of Publishing, Tom Brevoort. I think it’s mate in seven moves, but I’m not sure for which of us yet.

But after the Mets victory, as I headed towards the number 7 subway station, I saw one more comics tie-in– our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man was there, alternately serenading us with Take Me Out To The Ball Game and his own theme song.

Then back here, setting up a few more things for the site before I had to drive a friend to a 5 AM flight. And after I get back from the airport, the morning press releases will be coming in.

So how was your day?

GL Nabs a Mere $52.8 Million

glposter-300x443-6455954Analysts gaze into a crystal ball and make educated guesses about how well a film will open. This week, they used a Power Battery instead and suggested that Warner Bros’ Green Lantern would open between $50-60 million. Box Office Mojo just released the numbers and they are estimated the Emerald Crusader brought in $52.7 million, placing it at the lower end of the spectrum.

For comparison purposes, a month earlier, Thor, one of Marvel’s ongoing series of films, opened with a god-like $65,723,338. GL’s modest numbers certainly have to be disappointing to both Warner and their DC Entertainment division. Mixed to negative reviews from the mainstream media no doubt blunted the film’s opening weekend so the better indicator of its changes will be next weekend when we gauge how much of a drop off there has been. This would be the “word of mouth” barometer and a chance for the fans to spread the gospel or take in a repeat showing.

No doubt 3-D fatigue is also a factor in the lower numbers despite being shown on approximately 2700 screens. That recent trend has shown that 3-D may actually be once more a fad and not a new form of entertainment. The jury remains out on this issue.

Coming in second was Super 8, the original thriller from J.J. Abrams. It took in $21.3 million for a two week total of $72.8 million.

In third place was the debut of Mr. Popper’s Penguins, adapted from the popular children’s book, starring Jim Carrey. It took in just $18.2 million demonstrating recognizable name value doesn’t always bring in audiences. It certain show how far Carey’s marquee value has dropped.

Speaking of Marvel, their X-Men: First Class nabbed an addition $11.5 million in its third weekend, totaling a pleasant $119.9 million, almost ensuring it a sequel order any minute now.

Warner no doubt is taking comfort in the wild success of The Hangover II, which earned an additional $9.6 million for a cumulative total of $232.7 million after four weeks.

The Ryan Reynolds action flick, directed by Martin Campbell, was made for an estimated $150 million with a nearly equal amount spent on marketing and promotion.  It was plagued with a weak debut trailer in November that meant a new plan needed be created. The spring buzz turned around after several minutes were shown at Wonder Con and a steady stream of new trailers helped reshape public opinion.

Box Office Mojo Editor Brandon Gray has written that any opening short of $70 million would make a sequel questionable despite Warners already asking for script treatments. Obviously, worldwide box office may turn the tide as an increasing percentage of a film’s performance is now coming from overseas markets.

Here Comes Speed Racer Back To Comics


As we hinted earlier today, Speed Racer is returning to comics, with new stories by Len Wein (Human Target, Swamp Thing, X-Men, Wolverine), Tommy Yune, Robby Musso, Lee Kohse, and James Rochelle.

[[[Speed Racer]]] is an English adaptation name of the Japanese manga and anime, Mach Go Go Go, but is best known in the US from the 60s television series translation and the 2008 film. Selected chapters of the manga were released by NOW Comics in the 1990s under the title Speed Racer Classics, later released by the DC Comics division, Wildstorm Productions under the title Speed Racer: The Original Manga, then collected by IDW.

The release date of the new series has yet to be announced. Maybe in this new series, the Mach 5 will actually have a trunk lock? Or is that too much to hope for?


‘I Am Captain America’ variant covers

Marvel announced these a while back, but it seems more appropriate to show you these on Flag Day: to promote Captain America: The First Avenger, Marvel is running “I Am Captain America” variant covers on selected titles through June and July, with all-new artwork from Joe Quesada, Marko Djurdjevic, Alex Maleev, Skottie Young, and Ed McGuiness, among others.

Personally, I’d love to have a few of these as posters.


DC’s Official #1 Solicitations For September 2011

Making it all official, here are all 52 of the #1 solicits from DC Comics for September.

Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art and cover by JIM LEE and SCOTT WILLIAMS
1:25 Variant cover by DAVID FINCH
RETROSOLICITED • On sale AUGUST 31 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US RATED T • Combo pack edition: $4.99 US
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.
Comics superstars Geoff Johns and Jim Lee make history! In a universe where super heroes are strange and new, Batman has discovered a dark evil that requires him to unite the World Greatest Heroes!

This spectacular debut issue is also offered as a special combo pack edition, polybagged with a redemption code for a digital download of the issue.