April 19, 2018

It’s Clobberin’ Time For Marvel: Lee Wins Lawsuit

By LJ Staff

A U.S. District Court Judge ruled January 19 that Marvel Enterprises must pay chair emeritus and comics legend Stan Lee ten percent of its profits dating back to 1998, which includes a bite of the $2.5 billion generated by the wildly successful feature film adaptations of Marvel properties Spider-Man and X-Men. Marvel’s profit share of the first Spider-Man film alone reportedly was more than $50 million. Lee, 82, the creator and co-creator with Steve Ditko of Spider-Man, the X-Men, The Incredible Hulk, and numerous other signature Marvel characters, receives an annual salary of $1 million from Marvel, which he helmed for decades. John Turitzin, Marvel’s general council, said the comics publisher plans to "appeal those matters in which we did not prevail and continue to contest vigorously the claims on which the court did not rule." It was a bitter-sweet victory for Lee, who said he was "gratified" by the win but expressed regret that "the situation had come to this…I am deeply fond of Marvel and the people there." Marvel was on the brink of bankruptcy in 1998, but avoided closure via numerous licensing deals.