One of the longest-running feuds in the history of Marvel Comics has come to an end.
It has nothing to do with Hulk vs. Thing, but it’s been a scrap on that level in some sense. It involves the rights to the characters created by the legendary Jack Kirby, who never received the financial windfall you might expect for someone who helped invent Captain America, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, and many other iconic comic book characters.
As the dispute rose through the court system, the Kirby family had petitioned for a hearing in front of the Supreme Court of the United States in order to argue its view that it could issue termination notices to movie studios who made films based on the characters the man known as “The King” helped create. In case you’re wondering, yes, that’s pretty much every hit movie starring a Marvel super hero in this century.
But now Deadline and other outlets ae reporting that Marvel and the Kirby family have settled out of court for undisclosed terms. Marvel’s brief statement on the matter said only that the company anticipated working with the family toward “their shared goal of honoring Mr. Kirby’s significant role in Marvel’s history.”
Put another way, Kirby is going to get more credit than he’s already received, and his heirs will see more profits from his work than they would have under the creator-unfriendly terms of his time. It’s coming 20 years after the King’s death, but it’s best for all involved that the dispute is over.