Jack Kirby Estate Sues Marvel for Rights to Comic Book Characters he Created
I'm not really surprised that the Jack Kirby Estate is suing Marvel, Disney, Universal, Fox, and Sony to regain their share of the rights to the comic book characters that he created. Especially after the Jerry Siegel estate got back the rights to Superman from Warner Bros. and DC Comics. So what comic books characters are they looking to get back? How about, Captain America, The Fantastic Four, The X-Men, The Avengers, Iron Man, The Silver Surfer, and Thor. The Kirby Estate started off by sending the studios a notice terminating copyright to the publishers.
Such claims, if found valid, would begin from 2014 and, as always, it's worth noting that Marvel/Disney will still own the trademarks of the characters in comics, and the studios in movies. The likelihood is that, if successful, the Kirby estate would enter into negotiation over terms to continue publishing comics based on his work.
This is pretty crazy isn't it!? Oh! I forgot to tell you that the lawyer they got to represent them is the same lawyer that the Siegel estate got who won back the rights to Superman. I guess it all comes down to the deal that Kirby made with Marvel in the beginning. Bleedingcool.com reports:
Kirby battled Marvel for years over the return of the physical artwork to his comics, and was asked to sign documents that would have irrevocable and specifically signed away rights to the characters, something he refused to do. He also contributed to other creators fights with Marvel, including Steve Gerber, co-creating Destroyer Duck with Gerber in a benefit book over the Howard The Duck deal.
So from what is sounds like, if he never signed that agreement, there is a very good chance that at this point they might just get what they want. I don't know, who knows what the studio lawyers are going to pull out of their vaults. It will be very interesting to see how this ends up. I'm all for the artists getting what is rightfully theirs, and it sounds like Marvel has given him a hard time in the past. Now that Marvel is getting huge in the movie business and making tons of money and profiting off these great characters, of course people are going to come out of the shadows and fight for a piece of it.
I don't think this will effect any of the movies that Marvel plans on making in the near future, they will still get made and Marvel will be able to still do what they want with them. The Jack Kirby estate will just be making more money from them. What do you think of this little lawsuit