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Posts tagged “X-Men

Kirby and Marvel Settle Out of Court

Just days before the Supreme Court was set to take the matter into conference, Marvel and the family of Jack Kirby have settled their long running legal dispute over the comic legend’s rights to the characters he created or co-created. Here’s their joint statement:

“Marvel and the family of Jack Kirby have amicably resolved their legal disputes, and are looking forward to advancing their shared goal of honoring Mr. Kirby’s significant role in Marvel’s history.”

Widely viewed as one of the Kings of Comics, Kirby created or co-created some of the biggest names on the page and now on the big screen in the superhero blockbusters that Hollywood has profited from in recent years. However, while his often partner Stan Lee was a Marvel employee, Kirby was a work for hire and had no rights to Captain America, The Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, the original X-Men and the plethora of other characters he played a pivotal part in bringing to life. The settlement between Marvel/Disney is confidential, but you don’t have to be a Supreme Court Justice to know that if a deal was reached this late in the process, it must be a healthy one for the Kirby’s – who were holding a lot of the cards for once.

It was a long legal road for them and Marvel to get to today’s deal. After failing repeatedly in lower courts, Lisa Kirby, Neal Kirby, Susan Kirby and Barbara Kirby petitioned the High Court on March 21 for a hearing on the matter. In their petition, the heirs wanted SCOTUS to rule in favor of their assertion that they had the right in 2009 to issue termination notices on 262 works that the comic legend helped create between 1958 and 1963. Those 45 notices went out to Marvel/Disney, Fox, Universal and Paramount Pictures and others who have made films based on the artist’s characters under the provisions of the 1976 Copyright Act. Marvel sued in 2010, after failing to reach an agreement back then with the Kirby family to invalidate the termination notices. Jack Kirby himself passed away in 1994.

Despite initial indifference and then objections from Disney-owned Marvel, SCOTUS agreed to take the case into conference to consider if they would actually hear it. That conference, where the nine Justices would ostensibly be sitting around talking about comic as well as copyright, was scheduled for September 29. The Kirby family and their legal point had a lot of support and not just among the fanboys. SAG, the WGA and the DGA back in June submitted a brief to the High Court in favour of having the Kirbys’ petition granted.

All things considered, and with the billions that Marvel/Disney have made off the films filled with characters Kirby created, this 11th hour deal should come as no great surprise – except for how long it took them. The bottom line and PR risk that the media giant was taking if SCOTUS had agreed to move the family’s petition up to an actual hearing would have sent a shudder through the market and the town. As well, if there had been a hearing and if then the High Court had found for the Kirbys, the results would have thrown Marvel/Disney into turmoil as they would have to negotiate for millions and millions with the family on everything from The Avengers, this summer’s big hit Guardians Of The Galaxy, with the popular Groot character a Kirby creation, and the all the characters in the notices if they wanted to keep the franchises going at Disney and other studios. And there would have been royalties on the already made movies like the 2008 hit Iron Man and 2012’s The Avengers with its billion dollar plus box office, to name a few. As well a wide variety of copyrights across the industry, including those at Warner Bros and DC Comics, would suddenly be in play as the work of writers, composers and others designated under a freelancer or the work for hire status could suddenly gain a piece of what they created in what would now be seen as a much more traditional employee/employer arrangement.


X-Men: Apocalypse – Viral Teaser

The blu-ray release of this year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past provides Fox with a prime opportunity to launch viral promotions that expands the world seen in the X-Men films, and possibly begins to link them together, and from Fox’s point of view, promote X-Men: Apocalypse, for which Bryan Singer will return to direct.  Check out a four-minute Days of Future Past viral video below, and get links to a couple of websites that represent organizations claiming to work for the benefit of mutantkind: Tandem Initiative HERE and M Underground HERE


The Most Popular Superheroes On Social Media

At the end of another Superhero dominated year, check out this infographic from Mashable which charts the popularity of Superheroes and Villans over the last 30 days…

Superheroes_infographic


The Wolverine by my 7 year old Son ****½

The Wolverine_Poster ArtA delayed review from my son as he wasn’t really that interested in seeing The Wolverine on initial release. I couldn’t understand why as it seemed to have most of the ingredients he likes: Comic book superheroes battling bad guys… When I asked why he wasn’t keen, he said that “Wolverine just ‘complains’ all the time, it’s boring” Anyway, we eventually saw it, here’s the inevitable review… albeit more synopsis than review:

The Wolverine starts in an army prison in Japan, the Wolverine is a soldier and he’s locked in an empty iron well. A nuclear bomb gets dropped on a Japanese city (Nagasaki) and Wolverine saves one of the Japanese soldiers.

A few years pass and Wolverine is in the mountains with a beard. He is friends with a bear, then some guys kill the bear with poison arrows. Wolverine takes one of the poison arrows and stabs it in the guys hand and he says “It’s poison” then pours some beer on his hand.

Then a Japanese girl, who is like a Ninja, arrives and takes him to Japan where he meets the soldier that he saved in Japan. The old guy dies and Wolverine gets a haircut and at the funeral Wolverine won’t get back in line because he is suspicious of some bad  guys. Soon an army of bad guys come to the funeral to take the old mans grand-daughter away but Wolverine and an archer save her. Then he is on a bullet train and washes his wounds , just then he fights some bad guys!

He wakes up and Viper takes some of his mutant power away so he wont heal. He takes the girl to her old house which is where the old prison was. He does work chopping up a tree on the road, then some bad guys take the girl away. When he’s on his way to save the girl that’s when Wolverine fights 40 Ninjas but he gets about 23 poisoned arrows in his back and he gets caught.

SPOILER ALERT: He then has to fight a giant adamantium Samurai the ninja girl fights Viper. Viper shedded her snakeskin. Wolverine sees that inside the adamantium samurai is the dead old Japanese man.

I give it 4½ stars. Because there’s not much fighting and a lot of talking.


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The Wolverine – Poster Art

The Wolverine_Poster Art


The Wolverine – International Trailer

The official International Trailer for The Wolverine (2013). Starring Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee, Tao Okamoto. Chronicling Wolverine’s time in Japan after the X-Men movies.


Gun Machine – Trailer

After a shootout claims the life of his partner in a condemned tenement building on Pearl Street, Detective John Tallow unwittingly stumbles across an apartment stacked high with guns. When examined, each weapon leads to a different, previously unsolved murder. Someone has been killing people for twenty years or more and storing the weapons together for some inexplicable purpose.

Check out the trailer for the new Warren Ellis book: Gun Machine. Narrated by Wil Wheaton, Illustrated by Ben Templesmith from 30 Days of Night fame and Directed by Jim Batt.