Lawsuits are not something new to the Marvel Studio, including their last big one from Scarlett Johansson. This time Marvel turned the table of suing and started suing the creators of their biggest superheroes, like Iron Man, Spider-Man, and the whole Avenger. No not Nick fury, their real creators, well not quite though. Marvel took their sweet time to reach where they are now, meanwhile most of the creators died, and now their heirs are the owner of the rights for these superhero stories. So Marvel in order to retain the rights started suing them.
These heroes are no longer just mere comic book characters, they have become a pop culture phenomenon, while the writing and creators deserve the credit but a lot of it also depends on the Movie presentations from the MCU. In the past two Decades, MCU has become a Dominating force within the Global entertainment map; still, the characters are subject to “Copy Right Law”
Glad you asked, the discussion about the law would be boring, so is relevant to the context the law simply states that the creators and their family members or the estate are capable of reclaiming the character’s rights from the Franchises, after any certain period of time. In the case of Comic books, it is true that the writer usually cedes the Character rights to the company, per se Marvel. Although after the continuation of the character for several years the creator can file a petition for terminating the copyright of the publishing company and after a successful termination the characters will be again a right of creators.
More than leaking the plot, the company is concerned about losing its Characters. Although there is a long waiting period for the Creators to reclaim the copyright, as is mentioned before Marvel has taken a sweet time and some of the major characters like Spider-Man, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Hawkeye, Black Widow, etc. are going to be eligible for reclaiming in the following two years.
That is why Marvel is concerned and as part of their defense, they filed five lawsuits against the creator’s heir or estates. As any fan can assume the lawsuits are against some of the biggest creators and favorite guest artists from MCU, the late Stan Lee, and also the list includes legends like Steve Ditko and Gene Colan. The lawsuit from Marvel simply states that “all the characters in question were created as work for hire that is why it is essential to make their rights ineligible for a return to the creators”.
Is Marvel copying DC?
This whole Lawsuit scene starts at the cue of a termination notice by the Estate of Ditko’s, for one of the most loveable characters from MCU, Spider-Man, which would terminate the copyright of Marvel on the Spider-Man from June 2023. This storyline is a little bit of a remake of their all-time rival DC universe.
They faced something similar for their Superman, Marc Toberoff a noted attorney who represented the creators of Superman and Dan Petrocelli defended the DCEU, in that case, and actually defeated the evil creators who are trying to be kryptonite to their future Justice League ideas. Coincidently Ditko’s estates hired Marc Toberoff too, and guess what?? MCU also appointed the same savior Dan Petrocelli. So the ball is pretty much in MCU’s court.
Although in reality before DCEU, MCU has faced Marc Toberoff in a previous encounter in 2013, that time he was representing Jack Kirby’s estate. Who won, you asked? Yeah, you guessed it right…MCU. I know right, why people are still hiring that attorney, blows my mind. Although the previous battles were won by MCU, still this time the stakes are high and they are tired of legal obligations so they want to act before the Creator’s estates or heirs, that is why they are suing the creator’s heirs.