With Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger successfully completing the assembling for The Avengers, 2011 continues to be a banner year for Marvel, who were in favor in a Manhattan, New York court yesterday to have the legal rights for The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, and The Amazing Spider-Man, who will also join these fellow Avengers on the big screen for summer 2012.
Marvel was sued by the heirs of the late Jack Kirby for claims of copyright entitlements of the characters he co-created with Stan Lee such as the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and the Hulk. Kirby also partnered with Joe Simon for the creation of Captain America in March 1941.
U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon ruled that the work Kirby did was “for hire”, meaning Marvel has complete ownership of these superheroes. When speaking to The Associated Press (AP), she compared this case to a book that chronicled Dwight D. Eisenhower’s version of World War II:
“Like Eisenhower, Kirby took on none of the risks of the success of the many comic books he helped produce. His contribution to the enterprise was plainly critical, but Marvel, not he, bore the risk of its failure”
Kirby, who died from heart failure in 1994 at the age of 76, is survived by his wife and their four children.