Marvel Battles Kirby Children Over Comic Heroes

Marvel is suing the children of the late comic artist Jack Kirby who issued notices that trademark rights to several Marvel characters will be reverted back to the Kirby estate by 2014.Captain-america-jack-kirby

The entertainment group, which was recently acquired by Walt Disney, filed the suit in a federal court in Manhattan, New York on Friday. It is an attempt to block 45 notices made by the Kirby children for characters such as Spiderman, The Avengers, The Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and The X-Men.

The iconic artist was instrumental in the development of the characters via his illustrations from 1958-1963. The cover art for the first Captain America comics by Kirby and Joe Simon is pictured at right.

Disney and Marvel insist that Kirby’s works were for “for-hire” and thus cannot become his property that will validate the claims of his children. It further maintained that it is a practice by comic book companies to strip artists, writers and other talents of their rights from their works that they render to a company.

Kirby died in 1994 without having the proper compensation, credit or recognition for his lasting works.