| September 28, 2014

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Anyone with a sense of history and an ounce of sense cannot undervalue the effect of Jack Kirby upon Marvel. Even if you aren’t a Marvel person, you can’t help but have seen or read a property he had a hand in, either in looks or in story.

The way that Kirby family has been treated by Marvel is disturbing, with the Kirby heirs suing for the rights to the characters Jack had such a deep impact on, and Marvel basically winning at every turn (except morally).

The case had made its way up to the Supreme Court, and that Court was going to make a decision on Monday if it was going to hear the case. If they did hear it, and they ruled in favor of the Kirby’s…a precedent would have been set, and Disney/Marvel would have been in a world of hurt. These characters are multi-billion dollar franchises, and they (rightfully) would have paid through the nose to either buy the rights, or pay what was owed if the Kirbys didn’t want to sell.

This would have meant that a lot of the way that we do work would have changed. Things have changed a lot from those days, already, but they would have changed even more. Participations for character creation would be stricter (if they aren’t extremely strict already–I wouldn’t know, never having seen a Marvel or DC contract). Hell, we might even have been able to get Bill Finger’s name put down as the co-creator of Batman.

Marvel and the Kirby heirs settled. Will we ever know the terms of the settlement? Maybe not. However, no matter what, I look at it as a victory. Jack has done a lot for the medium, and deserves to be recognized as a luminary both in credits and monetarily. At last part of that is being rectified.

This is a great day, not only for the Kirby heirs, but for all of us who love the medium. This is what perseverance should get you.

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Category: Columns, The Daily Dose

About the Author ()

Steven is an editor/writer with such credits as Fallen Justice, the award nominated The Standard, and Bullet Time under his belt, as well as work published by DC Comics. Between he and his wife, there are 10 kids (!), so there is a lot of creativity all around him. Steven is also the editor in chief and co-creator of ComixTribe, whose mission statement is Creators Helping Creators Make Better Comics. If you're looking for editing, contact him at for rate inquiries.

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