On the Kirby vs. Marvel Decision

Jack Kirby's iconic cover to Fantastic Four #1 (1961), the beginning of the so-called "Marvel Age of Comics"

By now, most of you interested in such things will have seen that the heirs of Jack Kirby have had their lawsuit against Marvel rejected in a summary judgment by the federal court in New York. A sad, if predictable setback for the Kirby heirs, but also for anyone hoping for official recognition and substantial reconciliation efforts from the mainstream comics industry towards the creators (or heirs of), whose work have exploited throughout most of their sordid history, without more than a pittance in compensation.

The judge’s decision is understandable and rationally argued, but sometimes the adhering to letter of the law obstructs justice. Marvel and their corporate overlords at Disney would do well to recognize that and do the only honorable thing and start a systematic compensation plan for all creators who have suffered under the unjust and largely unarticulated work-for-hire conditions that governed their daily operation through at least the 1970s and which have secured for their shareholders millions upon millions of dollars in revenue over the last half century or so.

For those of you who read Danish, I now have a summary of the decision up at Nummer9.

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