Gimme gimme gimme!

Jack Kirby's heirs are attempting to sue Marvel comics for the copyrights to the characters he created. For those who don't know, that' a lot of characters. Jack Kirby and Stan Lee created a ton of characters during the Silver Age for Marvel. These include the X-Men, The Fantastic Four, Daredevil and he did work on the creation of Spider-man although Steve Dikto did the art on his first appearance in AMAZING FANTASY #15 and when Spidey's series launched. If this sounds familiar it's probably because this dance went on over at DC where Jerry Seigel's heirs tried to sue for the rights to Superman.

The stupid part comes from this statement:

"Sadly, Jack died without proper compensation, credit or recognition for his lasting creative contributions,"

OK, that's bull. Here's why. Anyone with only a little bit of knowledge about comics knows who Jack Kirby it. Saying he doesn't get credit or recognition is absolutely ridiculous. The man is a legend. They're making it sound like he was some nobody who toiled away for the evil corporation and got paid pennies and no one knows who he was. Walk into any comic book shop anywhere and ask if anyone knows who Jack Kirby is. Unless the place is packed with kids playing Yu-Gi-Oh and no one in there has actually read a comic, you'll see how well known the man is.

The proper compensation is a sticky wicket. Back then creators rights were pretty much nonexistent. It was all work for hire back then. Today many companies like Image and Dark Horse allow the creators to keep the rights to their creations and that's a good thing. But Jack Kirby was paid a wage that he agreed to do what he did. When he had problems with the company he hopped over to DC to work over there. We are not talking about indentured servitude here. Of course if Kirby was doing what he did today things would be a lot different. But he's not.

This is looking like people trying to get a payday. Its ugly. Everyone looks like a tool in this. Marvel looks like a bunch of cheating jerks. The heirs look like a bunch of greedy pricks trying to cash in on a dead relative. This is bad.

Seriously, what are the heirs going to do if they win this? They'll have the copywrite and then what? Are they going to start publishing X-MEN comings? Will they try to negotiate movie deals for more SPIDER-MAN movies? During the lawsuit with the Seigel's DC stopped using the name SUPERBOY. Even the current Superboy character was bumped off, but its said that was done for different reasons and now, low and behold, now that the lawsuit is settled the character has been resurrected. Will Marvel just let these characters go away? Will they be bumped off? Doubtful, but this whole thing is pointless. Marvel is under no obligation to give anything to the Kirby heirs. They're not under much of an obligation to Stan lee either, but ol Stan is shrewd and savvy with these things so he's well taken care of.

I don't want to demonize the Kirby heirs with this, I really don't. But this isn't much different from a person wanting the government to pay them reparations because their great-great-great grandmother was slave. You can't change history. There is no reset button. The parties involved are not going to let this drop. Expect this to get ugly. Marvel was not wrong for its work for hire policies. They are not the bad guys. No one had a crystal ball back then and could predict that the characters that Kirby created that appeared in comics this you could get for less that a quarter would be million dollar properties today.

This whole thing is a damn shame.

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