Rumble! We're late with this story—sorry!—but a potentially ground-shaking lawsuit's a-brewin' in the wake of the big Marvel / Disney merger. The estate of Jack Kirby—the beyond-influential artist responsible for creating or co-creating Captain America, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, and, heck, most of the Marvel stable of characters who don't owe their powers to radioactive spiders—has decided to sue for copyright reassignment. A sure-to-be-endless series of actions tied to the vagaries of copyright law and the exploitative practices of comic book publishers in days of yore is sure to follow. The L.A. Times has some of the details:
Under copyright law, creators and co-creators can seek to regain copyrights they previously assigned to a company 56 years after first publication and can give notice of their intentions to do so up to 10 years before that.
Kirby's children would be eligible to claim their father's share of the copyright of the Fantastic Four in 2017, while the Hulk would come up in 2018 and X-Men in 2019. The copyrights would then run for 39 more years before expiring, after which the characters would enter the public domain under current law.
Moving on from a broken alliance to a new superteam: Archie Comics has contracted with the Creative Arts Agency to better exploit their intellectual property. That goes beyond Riverdale, as The Beat observes:
Archie brands include Archie & Friends, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Josie and the Pussycats, Cosmo the Merry Martian, Super Duck and Dotty and Ditto.
While you won't find too many bigger fans of 2001's big-screen adaptation of Josie And The Pussycats than The A.V. Club—which also has a soft spot for the early seasons of Sabrina The Teenage Witch—Archie Comics hasn't had the greatest luck finding an audience beyond the checkout counters of grocery stores everywhere. Well, there was this:
Let us never speak of it again.