More suing occurs from the Todd McFarlane camp.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
Al Simmons, a former employee of Todd McFarlane, is being sued by the Spawn creator for having the audacity to describe himself as the inspiration for Spawn. Simmons claimed that he was the basis for Spawn, whose alter ego was also named Al Simmons, in a new memoir entitled "The Art of Being Spawn".
In his book, Simmons claimed that his life was used as the partial inspiration for Spawn. The lawsuit disputes this, claiming that Simmons (the person) has never been confused for Spawn, a former CIA operative resurrected with hellish powers after a botched mission. Complicating matters is that Simmons (the person) often made appearances on behalf of McFarlane's company as "the real Spawn" and that Simmons had to sign a waiver when the Spawn comic series was first released.
While McFarlane was interviewed for the memoir, McFarlane claims that the book is just trying to profit off of McFarlane's name and creations. He also claims that the book commits libel, unfair endorsement and misappropriation of trade secrets for claims made in the book.
This is not the first time that McFarlane has sued over Spawn. He engaged in a lengthy legal battle with Neil Gaiman over aspects of the Spawn story, which also mired the rights to Miracleman in legal hell for over a decade. Also, McFarlane lost a fifteen million dollar lawsuit to hockey player Tony Twist for using his likeness and name for a character in his book. Of course, Simmons isn't asking for a stake in the Spawn franchise, so the stakes are different this time around.
Personally, this seems like a rather petty lawsuit, but perhaps it's necessary for McFarlane to protect Spawn from potential claims in the future. It's doubtful that this will interfere with any Spawn comics coming out, so the 15,000 or so people that still read it shouldn't be concerned.
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