Marvel vs. Stan Lee Media

Published on January 28th, 2009

spiderman_stan_leeFrom Newsarama:

Stan Lee Media shareholders claim that Lee, Perlmutter, Lee’s former partner Arthur Lieberman and Arad “improperly colluded to hide and misappropriate financial interests in Lee’s creations assigned to Stan Lee Media in 1998 and reaffirmed in 1999.” As such, Martin Garbus, the lawyer for Stan Lee Media, contends that the money Lee was paid should have gone to the company.

Marvel, in legal papers filed in response to the suit says that it is filled with “ridiculous claims,” and is arguing that the suit is seeking claims that have been made in other cases.

Garbus states, according to an Associated Press article, that Lee’s settlement with Marvel in 2005 was fashioned in a manner that allowed the money to go directly to Lee, rather than to the company.

In earlier court papers in 2007, Lee’s lawyers have denied that he gave the company any copyright interests in the characters created during his career at Marvel.

Though the public may not fully be aware of it, Marvel, Stan Lee and Stan Lee Media, Inc. have been suing the pants off of eachother for years. Stan Lee Media, Inc., founded in 1998 by Stan Lee and Peter F. Paul (the source of most of the company’s eventual troubles), was a digital endeavor that grew from good intentions and mutated into a veritable ‘Hulk’ of a monster. The company re-emerged from bankruptcy in 2006 with new shareholders and new optimism, despite the already burgeoning legal battles, which have continued onwards with the most recent suit.

Let’s hope the Stan Lee Media Monster and Marvel/Lee can come to a fair, clean settlement. And dearest Stan, just remember those parting words from Ultimates #12, Captain America: “Surrender? SURRENDER? You think this letter on my head stands for France?” Ok, minus the France part.

Adri Cowan
adri@comicimpact.com