In 2012, Gary Friedrich's lawsuit to claim ownership of the Marvel character Ghost Rider, whom he created, ended badly, with a US District Court siding with Marvel and ordering Friedrich to pay Marvel $17,000 in royalties related to unlicensed merchandise sold by Friedrich at conventions. Hardcore fanboys, the ones who believe that creators should be screwed over at every turn in order to allow Marvel and DC to keep printing mediocre comics that pay little respect to superheroes, rejoiced at the news that Marvel had once again found a way to keep creators from profiting from their creations.
However, an appeals court has overturned the District Court's ruling, pointing out the ambiguity of Marvel's contract with Friedrich, which he signed in 1978, and noting that the contract did not explicitly reference the Ghost Rider creation, which Friedrich had allegedly created six years earlier. This will allow Friedrich's case to go back to court, or force Marvel/Disney to settle with Friedrich.
While the news seems largely optimistic, it does have a catch. Should Friedrich somehow win joint ownership of Ghost Rider, he will be forever known as the man who created the comic that was adapted for two Nicholas Cage movies, one of which features the actor pissing CGI flames. If Friedrich is willing to shoulder that burden for the rest of his life, then we support his endeavor 100%.
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About the Author - ThanosCopter
ThanosCopter is a specially designed helicopter built to transport Thanos the Mad Titan. Built by Sterling Custom Helicopters, ThanosCopter appeared in several Marvel comics, before being abandoned by its owner during the character's ascension into major villainy. ThanosCopter was discovered by the Outhouse and given a second chance at life. He now buzzes merrily around the comic book industry, spreading snark, satire and humor like candy to small children.
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