Court rules against Kirby heirs in bid to regain character rights from Marvel

Contributed by
Aug 8, 2013

Jack "The King" Kirby has been further dethroned by Marvel. Sigh ...

Seems you can't throw a stone lately without hearing tales of woe over creator rights in comics. Most of the time it's over Superman and how the Siegels and Shusters both failed to regain any creative rights or payment for character use. In fact, the only rights battle in recent memory that has even the tiniest glimmer of hope is Gary Friedrich's fight with Marvel over Ghost Rider. Even then, if he wins, it'll be over some shoddy technical language and not because of anyone standing up for what's right and good.

Sadly, the Kirby estate doesn't even seem to have that glimmer anymore. The court of appeals has upheld the previous ruling that "Marvel’s inducement, right to supervise, exercise of that right, and creative contribution with respect to Kirby’s work during the relevant time period is more than enough to establish that the works were created at Marvel’s instance."

And that, it would seem, is that. Even though Siegel and Shuster's aggressive attorney, Marc Toberoff, is also handling the Kirby case, we're not sure there's much left for him or the estate to grip onto in order to continue appealing.

Whether you think Kirby was the true creator of characters like the Hulk and Captain America, or just played an instrumental role, it's hard not to see this as a blow to comic creators and fans alike.

(via The Comics Beat)

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