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The Battle over Superheroes

supers.jpgTwo superhero-related lawsuits crept up last week. First, NBC has been sued over its new hit show “Heroes.” For those not familiar with the show, one part focuses on a painter named Isaac who can paint visions of the future. The story arc of the whole season focuses largely on his paintings of New York City getting jacked-up in a nuclear explosion. Well, there are two NY artists who claim that they came up with this idea a couple years ago. In an April 2005 exhibit, they claim that their work portrayed a story about an artist who sees and paints the future, and who painted two NYC landmark buildings being destroyed. And so NBC has done nothing but ripped off their brilliance.

Meanwhile, Marvel Entertainment has been sued for a whopping $5 billion by Stan Lee Media. The company, which is not owned by Stan “The Man” anymore, claims that it co-owns various marvel superheroes, including Spiderman and The X-Men. So it thinks that it’s entitled to a big hunk-a-chunk of the movie money that Marvel has been raking in off of its characters. The CEO and president of the company says that Stan Lee signed an agreement in 1998 giving the company a co-interest in all of these characters and that even though Lee isn’t with the company, that contract and the company’s interest in the characters is still valid.

I hope these stories play out in typical comic book fashion, with some secret origin stories tying everyone together in one neat little story. Maybe involving some radiation or aliens or Atlantis. I’d like to see the news get bit more comic book like (and the White House shenanigans don’t count).